Nvidia 1080 vs. 1060 GTX laptop performance

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  • I'm looking at the just announced Microsoft Surface Book 2 which has the GTX 1060 gpu vs. the Dell Alienware 15 which has either the 1070 or 1080. I'd like to have a decent balance of performance to usability for a laptop to run Enscape and some some occasional full on VR with the HTC Vive. Since both these cards are going into laptops, are they "throttled" so that they don't overheat? Is there a significant performance difference between the two cards when it comes to real time? The Surface book is light enough to actually encourage taking it to client meetings and has a tablet setup for marking up drawings with Bluebeam which is a big one for me. I'm only looking at a couple of years, so longevity or future proofing is not an issue.



  • Hi angelo_arch finding a laptop in this segment is a choice of compromises.

    • Enough Power for VR in high quality
    • Portability

    A GTX 1080 is needed for the best portable performance in VR in high quality. There are two chip designs: Desktop and Max-Q.

    • Max-Q is optimized for less power consumption/heat generation = lower performance = better portability
    • Desktop for highest performance = best portable VR experience = high power consumption/heat generation = bigger body

    The GTX 1060 6Gb is a very good compromise but I see lacks in performance regarding VR.

  • I have just completed a 2-week side-by-side testing of the following Laptops: ROG Zephyrus - 1080, Razer Blade HD - 1060, Razer Blade 4K - 1060, Dell XPS 15 - 1050. I did not compare benchmarks, just real-life feel and observations of everyday Revit/Enscape tasks. Here are my observations:

    ROG Zehpyrus: Rocks the house, flies Revit, Enscape, Twinmotion. Good build quality. Display is only HD. Battery life sucks (1.5-2 hrs when running Enscape). Charging brick is ridiculously big (you can kill someone with this thing) and heavy. Runs quite under load.

    Razer Blade HD: Slick design and beautiful craftsmanship - It's like a windows macbook prop. Great performance w Revit, Good performance with Enscape, OK performance with Twinmotion. HD screen is OK, not great. Battery life is about 3-4hrs w Enscape. Runs semi-quite under load.

    Razer Blade 4K: Great performance w Revit, Good performance with Enscape, OK performance with Twinmotion. 4K screen is super nice. Great color. Battery life is about 1-2hrs w Enscape, Fans runs super loud when Enscape or Twinmotion is open (to the point where it's uncomfortable in a meeting)

    Dell XPS15: Great performance with Revit. Great build quality. OK performance with Enscape, Crawls with Twinmotion. Screen is super nice, but color balance is off. Battery life is bets in the bunch - 3-4hrs under heavy load, 7-8hrs under normal load. My fav laptop for everyday tasks. Runs quite under load.

    In summary, IMO, there's no ideal solution. The ROG Zephyrus blows all other machines out of the water, runs very quite even under heavy load but the battery life and power brick make it only a semi-portable laptop. I think I'm going to keep this one to run every day presentations in our conference room. It runs so smooth, I can get over the battery life and size of the power brick. The Blade is beautiful but somewhere in the middle on performance, and just semi-OK on battery life, so I'm going to return both of my blades even though the build quality is beautiful.

    The Dell XPS is perfect until you have to run a heavy model in Enscape, it runs it, but just not very smooth.

    In the end, you're going to have to decide what is important to you - Max performance or portability. The in-between (the Blade's) for me just don't cut it. I can live with the slightly lower performance with great battery life of the Dell over the slightly higher performance of the Razer and the sucky battery life. But I also need at least one semi-portable that can fly Enscape and Twinmotion for the conference room presentations. So at least for now, I'm stuc with two laptops, my everyday Dell XPS allrounder and the ROG for the heavy stuff.

    The performance of the Razers is OK, but the battery life kills it for me. I'm curious how the new Surface Book 2's will stack up. The 1060 in the Razers is OK for Enscape, so if the new Surface Books live up to the battery life promises, they might be our best best bet for now of a good performance/battery life compromise.

  • Hey Thanks Marc! Very helpful and thank you for sharing real world performance. Glad you were able to test them side by side. If you like the Dell, why didn't you try the Alienware 15? Or are you looking for a slim laptop? It is a bulky beast. I'm going to go for performance over portability for the short term, then see what card they put in the next version of the Surface Book. I'd be interested in your thoughts once you've had the ROG Zehpyrus for a year or so to see how it holds up durability-wise. Hopefully they will work on battery life for the next version. I've got to imagine that in the next 2-3 years the slim-line laptops will be able to drive VR without melting!

  • I did not go for the Alienware or any of the MSIs because of size and portability and the battery life is equally bad. I woould argue that the Zephyrus is on par with the Alienware (which I tested previously). So far the Zephyrus is holding up really well. The ventilation base is pretty sturdy and fairly stable even when on my lap. It has a 15" screen which is my ideal screen size. I previously tested a couple of MSIs and I could just not see myself logging those around either. I have an Alienware desktop with a 1070 and the Zephyrus blows my desktop out of the water performance wise. I would seriously give it a shot.

  • marckleinmann It's been a few years, are you still using the ASUS or have you moved on to something else? Definitely feeling the slowness of a GTX 1080 Max Q in my Alienware. The RTX 5000 in the ProArt series looks interesting, but it doesn't seem like they are really shipping.

    Agree with you , RTX 5000 is just amazing. It offers 8 Giga rays/sec which i like the most. And i am mad to purchase it after watching its specs. But i can't find it in my town then I found a shop near my friend residence who are offering it But they are not shipping it and my friend also denied to ship it due to Covid crisis. Struggling to find a shipping service who will do so. Then comes the man - Steve who was a special care item runner on Citizenshipper shipping service. He done my work with reasonable pricing and with maintaining proper precautions. And i felt lucky my self after getting my RTX 5000.

    But i am struggling a little bit in placing it in my PC. As this was my first time to install a graphic card. So can you help me by giving any reference to how to do so ?