We just tested the first Nvidia RTX 4090 gaming laptops — here are the results

We just tested the first Nvidia RTX 4090 gaming laptops — here are the results
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

We just reviewed the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18, which are the first Nvidia RTX 4090 gaming laptops.

Using Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace architecture, the company claims that its new 4000 series will deliver the “largest-ever generational leap in performance and power efficiency.” 

Based on our initial results the first part of that claim is holding up, but the big daddy RTX 4090 may not be the best example of the latter claim.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 benchmarks
Header Cell - Column 0 1920 x 1080 (Ultra)2560 x 1600
Assassin's Creed: Vahalla154 fps119 fps
Grand Theft Auto V181 fps124 fps
Far Cry 6107 fps94 fps
Cyberpunk 207769 fps60 fps
Forza Horizon 589 fps75 fps
DiRT 5111 fps86 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider181 fps124 fps
Borderlands 3165 fps112 fps

The Scar 18 has a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i9-13900HX processor backing it up, while the Zephyrus M16 has the same, minus the "X." The CPU contributes a lot to the results we received, and since these are the best CPUs available currently, there was nothing holding back the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 chips.

Only Cyberpunk 2077 managed to slow the RTX 4090 down to a still solid 60fps in Ultra settings at 2560 x 1600. While that was the result in the benchmark test, our reviewer fired up CyberPunk 2077 and in her playthrough saw the Scar 18 average 101fps in Ultra settings, so there is simply no bringing the RTX 4090 to a crawl.

The only real disappointment we can cite with these first RTX 4090 laptops is that efficiency didn't get the boost we were hoping for. The Scar 18 only managed 4 hours and 26 minutes in our Laptop Mag battery test which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi with the display set at 150 nits. That's over an hour and a half short of the premium gaming laptop average of 6 hours and 3 minutes. Gaming battery life was similar at just 1 hour and 23 minutes, just barely edging out last year's Alienware X17.

We'll be curious to see a laptop with an RTX 4070 come through our labs as Nvidia showed us a number of 4070-powered laptops at CES running games at 60fps while using roughly one-third of the power of an RTX 3070 laptop hitting 8-10fps lower. While it's easy to be swayed by the king of the mountain in the RTX 4090, there may be a sweet spot for those that care about battery life and performance. 

We'll be reviewing plenty more RTX-40 series laptops in the coming weeks and months, so if you're in the market for a gaming laptop in 2023 then stay glued to our reviews. If these early results tell us anything, it's that gaming laptops are starting to catch up to desktops. 

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.