– Hey guys, this is Austin. Computers have been
getting smaller and smaller ever since the days of mainframes. It just makes sense, right? As technology advances, you want to put it into more
and more portable form factors. So when Nvidia reached
out and wanted to sponsor a video on the brand new
Acer Predator Triton 500, it felt like the perfect time to ask, Are laptops killing desktops? And yeah, that’s a big question. At only 18 millimeters thick, and just over two kilos in weight, this is a great example
of how a laptop like this could not have existed
even a couple years ago. The entire chassis is made of metal, and it has a narrow-bezel display, which is not only bright
and fairly vibrant, but importantly it does have
a full 144hz refresh rate, over double what you
would find on most other non-gaming laptops these days. Now this version of
the Triton does have an RTX-2060 inside, so it will support GSYNC
via an external display. But if you are able to upgrade this to the 2080 version of the Triton, it has GSYNC on the internal display Which keeps things looking even smoother. On board, you also have
Killer DoubleShot Pro. Essentially this can take
advantage of both ethernet and WIFI at the same time, to route your traffic
through whichever is faster. Something that’s hard to get across is just the level of
polish, fit and finish with this laptop. I mean not only does it look clean with all the blue lighting,
although of course it is RBG. But on top of that, you’ve
got the little things which are absolutely nailed. This is one of the best
touch pads I’ve ever used on any Windows laptop. The keyboard is also great. And that screen really does sell the idea that this is a super-fast gaming laptop, even when you’re not even gaming, right? Stuff like web browsing is
still much, much smoother than on pretty much any other laptop. And that is a big, big plus. So if we get back to the idea of laptops becoming close to replacing desktops, one of the very first things
you have to acknowledge is that laptops have a lot
less space to deal with. But it also fits in your backpack, so, you know, there’s that. This might sound obvious but there’s some major advantages of going with a desktop tower. In the big ones, it’s on
the power side of things. So not only does a
desktop not have to worry about things like battery life. As long as you’ve got mom
paying the electricity bill you’re totally fine. One of the bigger issues is the actual cooling aspect of things. As you can see with a tower like this, you can load it up with
fans, RGBs, liquid cooling, all that is no problem. So things can be run at much,
much higher clock speeds. It just really not a big issue. But, we come over to a laptop which is less than an inch thin, certain sacrifices have to be made. But you know what? Those sacrifices are getting
smaller and smaller every year. This delivers a very
similar level of performance to this giant tower right in front of me. If we come back to the Triton 500, you’ll that a large part of this design is entirely dedicated to
keeping the laptop cool. Now that makes sense, right? With a 2060 inside, this can
put off a hundred watts of heat just from the GPU alone. So because they have all
these different heat sinks as well as the metal arrow-blade fans to keep all that heat moving, it means that there is
actually very little throttling even though we are gaming on
such a thin and light laptop. A big part of this is
thanks to the software. So if we hit the Predator Sense button which is very helpfully
labeled right here, you have full control
over a lot of things, including the fans. So by default, this guy actually runs with the fans all disabled. But as soon as you start
needing any kind of extra power, they will start to kick up. Now for gaming, it’s
actually fairly quiet. One of the cool parts
is, that if I come over to the fan control side
and hit the turbo button, you’ll see that this
thing can really crank up. So if you have headphones
on and you don’t care about a little bit of noise, you can get significantly
better performance out of the Predator. And the best part is, as
soon as your done gaming, you can just hit the turbo button, and it will bring the clock
speeds back down to normal. And importantly, those fans
will kick right back off. It actually is nice to
have the performance when you need it, or the
silence when you want it. And I always want the silence. (laughs) I’ll give up a few frames to
have a much quieter laptop. I feel like the more
videos we do like this, the more I just out myself as
someone who’s like an old man and like, I don’t care I
just want it to be quiet. I want it to work well. Right now there are over one
billion PC gamers in the world. I think it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that a lot of those gamers
are using desktops right now. But just look at the
overall trends, right? I mean it wasn’t that long
ago that pretty much everyone had a desktop in their homes. Now laptops have largely replaced them for pretty much anything
besides gaming tasks. Well, I think given how far
gaming laptops have come, it’s only a matter of time
before gaming is also moving more and more to the
laptop side of things. My real question is, exactly
how close can a laptop get to a full gaming desktop? So we have come to GDC
here in San Francisco which is the mecca of all things gaming and tech related to talk
just a little bit more about why the laptop actually makes so much sense in 2019. Also, we’re were looking for
an excuse to come to GDC. Now if you take a look inside the Triton, you’ll see the secret sauce
that makes all this work. The highly optimized CPU
and GPU to really elevate the laptop to an entirely different level. First up we have the CPU. This is the Intel Core I7-8750h, which is a full 6 4
processor that can clock over 4 ghz when it’s boosting. Now it’s easy to forget
that for a very long time, we were capped at around four cores not only on the desktop side, but also the laptop side. The idea that we can get
six cores in something that’s this thin and light, is something that’s easy
to take for granted. But this is a big deal. You can do more than just
gaming on something like this. With that much power,
stuff like streaming, video editing, 3D
rendering, all that stuff is totally possible. Inside, essentially what you’re getting is a more power-efficient version of the eighth-gen core desktop processors. Now there’s a lot of advantages to this. Not only is it a very similar layout, but because we’re dealing with about less than half the power,
somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 watts versus 90
plus on the desktop side, it means that while you’re giving up a little bit of performance, that same basic core
architecture is all here. As long as you have the
cooling to back it up, which the Triton definitely does, you can actually still keep
those fairly high boost clocks even with all six cores loaded. Now the laws of physics do mean that because we have less
than an inch-thick laptop, it’s never going to have quite that same level of performance as the desktop. But, it kinda doesn’t need to as long as you’re getting close enough and you still deliver the portability. I think it’s a trade
off that a lot of people are happy to make. Don’t expect this trend
to go anywhere either. As laptops and desktops
share more and more of the same components, it is very likely, if the rumors are true,
that we’ll see laptops with eight core CPU
before too much longer, which would mean, to be fair, do you need eight cores
in a CPU of a laptop? Probably not. Do you want one? I do. Maybe the more interesting comparison is on the graphics side. Now for years, Nvidia
made a separate version of all of their graphics cards. They wold make the desktop
version, and then a mobile. However, for the past couple years, they’ve straight up just made one that works across the board. Now, no, it’s not quite that simple. Nvidia and their OEM
partners such as Acer, do a lot of work to make
sure that a full RTX card can fit in a thin,
light chassis like this. But you might be surprised
at just how close the graphics card from this laptop is compared to a much thicker and much more expensive gaming PC. What this means is that you’re getting all of the performance you would expect as an RTX graphics card. Not only do you have the
power to play a lot of games on ultra settings and high frame rates, but you can also get some of
the cool bells and whistles including ray tracing which we are just very
conveniently standing in front of a giant booth for. Really what this means is that the days of waiting for the cool bells and whistles for the desktop to come
down to laptops are over. We really basically hit feature parity. And typically speaking, when something comes out for
the desktop side of things, it’s gonna come out for the
laptop side very quickly. And generally speaking, you’re really going to be
loosing a lot in that process. This is something that’s easy to kind of take for granted, right? But again, this is a much
thinner, much lighter, and much more difficult thing to engineer. It’s easy to forget
that not that long ago, there was a massive penalty
to get gaming on a laptop. You had to deal with far inferior specs, both on the CPU and the GPU side. And a lot of times you
just didn’t even have those same level of features. I mean I can imagine if ray
tracing came out five years ago, you would not have been
able to play it on a laptop. While it’s great to have that same level of performance with the
2060 inside the Triton as you would get in a desktop, you also have other
options as you go higher up in the product stack. So specifically on the Acer side, if you upgrade this
Triton with an RTX 2080, you then get a Max-Q design. Now the Max-Q design is
actually not that different from what Intel does on
their high-end mobile CPUs. So they basically start from
the same building block. In this case the RTX
2080, it’s the same GPU across the laptop as well as the desktop. Now there are some slight differences. Usually the Max-Q design is a
little bit more highly benzed and a little more
power-efficient just naturally. On top of that, they do a much better job of bringing out the power to
keep that level of performance as high as possible. So for context, typically speaking, an RTX 2080 has a roughly 220 watt TDP. Now on the laptop side, it’s
usually about half of that, around 100 to 120 watts. Even though it’s using half the power, often times you’re
getting anywhere between two thirds to three quarters of that same level of performance. Now if you excuse all the
nerd talk for a second, what this means is that
laptops and desktops are so similar at this point. It really is just a scaled-up version of what you’re finding
on the laptops side. You can go grab a desktop
with some giant cooler and a ton of heat sinks. Now of course, there’s going
to be the laws of physics which mean that laptops
can never quite match that level of performance. But when we’re talking about 70 to 80% of that same level, in something that’s
less than an inch thick that you can fit in your backpack and take with you all day, I think that’s a super-compelling
value proposition. I think a lot of people
would prefer to have one single system. This here might not be a
hundred percent as powerful as the most crazy thing out there. But it can do basically very well, plenty of battery life,
and most importantly you can take it with you all day, something that’s not
really going to happen anytime soon with the desktop.

Can Gaming Laptops Replace the Desktop?
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