Nvidia Studio laptops offer a ray tracing MacBook Pro alternative

Fed up of allowing the likes of Apple and Wacom cleaning up in the creative laptop space, Nvidia has launched Nvidia Studio to kick start a wave of new media savvy Windows 10 portables.

While these laptops will all have RTX graphics cards, which are renowned for enabling ray tracing for gaming, Nvidia will be releasing new drivers that will optimise the graphics cards for content creation.

The Nvidia Studio drivers will improve the performance for ray tracing, artificial intelligence and various creative suite apps. And while you will be able to download these drivers to select RTX gaming laptops if you’re looking to swap Fortnite for Photoshop, dedicated creatives will better off buying from one of the Nvidia Studio laptops set to be released this year by various manufacturer partners.

Related: Best Laptops 2019

What is Nvidia Studio?

The Nvidia Studio initiative is all about content creation and will see the release of multiple RTX-powered laptops and studio driver updates that will all be optimised to get the best performance possible from creative applications.

This new range of Studio laptops will all feature RTX graphics cards, ranging from the entry-level GeForce RTX 2060 all the way up to the Quadro RTX 5000 which is aimed at cash happy professionals. The graphics card will be accompanied by a Full HD or 4K display too, so there’s plenty of pixels to make use of the graphical grunt.

These super-powered laptops also boast up to 16GB of RAM, Intel Core i7 processors and at least 512GB SSD storage. The large amount of RAM here is particularly important, allowing users to open multiple multiple multimedia apps simultaneously with little to no lag.

These components will be bundled in slim and lightweight Max-Q designs, so there’s no need to worry about being lumbered with a cumbersome laptop.

Of course, it’s the new Nvidia Studio Drivers that truly distinguish the Studio laptops from the RTX gaming laptops. These drivers will optimise the hardware for content creation, with the RTX benefits used to accelerate the performance of ray tracing, AI and ultra-quality video.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, ray tracing refers to a rendering technique that sees highly realistic lighting effects and reflections in 3D animation. This technique has recently been implemented into select video games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield 5, resulting in more visceral and immersive visuals.

Related: What is ray tracing?

Nvidia Studio Laptops – What Nvidia Studio laptops have been confirmed?

Nvidia confirmed several manufacturers are already working on Nvidia Studio laptops, with Acer, Asus, Dell, Gigabyte, HP, MSI and Razer all showing off new Studio hardware at Computex. Hopefully we’ll get some hands-on time with them shortly, but for now, here’s a roundup of some of the best Studio laptops announced:

Razer Nvidia Studio

Razer

While Razer has long established itself as a gaming brand, it’s suddenly making the leap to the creative space with two Nvidia Studio laptops. Both the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition and Razer Blade Pro 17 Studio Edition will offer multiple configuration, with graphics card options ranging all the way up to the Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000. Razer has opted for a silver desk to differentiate the creative laptops from the jet black gaming alternatives.

Acer

The Acer ConceptD range of laptops were already geared towards creatives, so they’re the absolute perfect fit for the new Nvidia Studio graphics cards. RTX cards, ranging all the way up to the Quadro RTX 5000 GPU, will be made available for the ConceptD 7 and ConceptD 9 laptops.

Dell Alienware m15 and m17 2019

Dell

The Alienware m15 Creators Edition looks identical the newly announced Alienware gaming laptops, and to be honest, the only major difference here is probably the Nvidia Studio Drivers that you’re able to download yourself anyway. This will likely be one of the most affordable Nvidia Studio laptops though, since its rocking the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2060 GPU options.

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo

ASUS

Have you seen that wacky twin screen ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo laptop? It basically looks like a Nintendo DS in laptop form, so you really need to check it out. Love it or hate it, the news that it will be bossing the Nvidia Studio drivers is exciting indeed, so you can delve into some super-fast ray tracing creations. The ASUS StudioBook 700G3T and W500 both get the Nvdia Studio treatment too, both available with Quadro RTX graphics cards.

Nvidia Studio performance – what benefits will Nvidia Studio drivers bring?

While creatives were already able to implement ray tracing into animation prior to Nvidia Studio, the new drivers mean RTX users can see an approximate 14x performance boost for the application Autodesk Arnold compared to when using an Intel Core i7-8750H laptop. Nvidia showed a video demonstrating the difference in performance speed, and RTX-powered ray tracing was impressively speedy.

The added Tensor Cores also apparently allow for an optimised AI performance for features such as frame interpolation, super resolution, auto colour matching and facial recognition. All of these improvements essentially result in better quality images, with Nvidia using an example of words on a page becoming easier to read thanks to AI intervention. 

A number of applications will support these AI acceleration features from day one, including Autodesk Arnold, Adobe Lightroom, Unity and Unreal Engine. Many more are confirmed to follow shortly too.

The Nvidia Studio drivers will apparently also see 10.5x improved speeds for 4K video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro 2019 with an RTX 2080 or RTX 5000 graphics card compared to when using an a non-RTX Intel Core i7-8750H laptop. This shows the Nvidia Studio laptops won’t solely see benefits for advanced 3D modeling, but also for video production.

Nvidia Studio System requirements – what specs are needed to download Nvidia Studio drivers?

Interestingly, Nvidia confirmed you don’t necessarily need one of the new Nvidia Studio laptops to gain access to the creative-focused drivers, with select RTX gaming laptops already capable of installing the drivers.

As long as the RTX-powered computer or laptop meets the Nvidia Studio system requirements, owners will be able to switch between Nvidia’s game ready and Nvidia Studio drivers as frequently as they wish, with the lengthy installation process being the only obstacle.

Related: Best Graphics Cards 2019

Nvidia Studio System Requirements
GPU GeForce RTX 2060, Quadro RTX 3000 or higher
CPU Core i7 (H Series) or equivalent or higher
RAM 16GB or higher
SSD 512GB SSD or higher
Display 1080p or 4K

Of course, the new Nvidia Studio laptops will come with the added benefit of having a design catered specifically for creators, so they won’t have to put with the over-the-top flair and RGB lights traditionally found with gaming laptops.

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