As expected, Nvidia unveiled the professional version of the mobile RTX 4090, the fastest laptop GPU on the market today at GTC 2023. The RTX 5000 Ada generation will power mobile workstations from companies including Lenovo (ThinkPad), Dell (Precision) and HP ( Zbook).
Like its consumer alterego, it has 9,728 CUDA cores, 76 Ray Tracing cores, and 304 Tensor cores. The maximum power draw is 175W, which is not surprising considering it uses the chip as an RTX 4090 and is probably clocked at the same speed. The only significant differences are the use of ECC GDDR6 memory (16 GB) and the price.
The top of the range MSI CreatorPro Z16P (opens in a new tab) with the Nvidia RTX A5500, the most powerful GPU available for a previous generation mobile workstation, it costs around $4,400. Please note that the most powerful graphics card remains the RTX 6000 Ada Generation, for which there is currently no mobile equivalent.
What sets these pro cards apart is that they are more stable and reliable in terms of both hardware and drivers. They are also ISV certified which means they are actually tested by many of the biggest software vendors in the world; from Autodesk AutoCAD to Solidworks Dassault Systemes and everything in between.
RTX 4090 vs RTX 5000: a battle fit for creators
Laptop makers have been trying to find new ways to convince companies to buy more of their products, and arguably the most successful strategy so far has been to bring gamers and creators together, even for business laptops.
Sibling rivalry will happen as RTX 4090 laptops compete with RTX 5000 mobile workstations as budget cuts and maintenance costs force companies and creators to make tough decisions. You can get laptop 4090* with an Intel Core i9 processor and 32GB of RAM for less than $3,000.
How much of a gap can we expect between them? If the desktop counterparts of the two cards are anything to go by, the RTX 4090 will likely perform as well if not better than the RTX 5000, except when you’re using professional Nvidia drivers that have been tuned for ultra-niche software packages. Various benchmarks (Catia, Solidworks, Siemens NX, Creo, 3DS Max, Maya AND Davinci, Premiere Pro, Blender, Topaz) show that consumer graphics cards (including AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX) will fight a real fight with Pro workstation class cards.
*Just remember that not all RTX 4090 cards are created equal. Some may have a TGP as low as 100W, which will make them much slower than others. Check before you buy.