Nvidia has really been pushing the bar on all fronts of their GPU design. You’ve got the option to kit out your not-so-notebook-anymore with a beefy GTX 1080 if you like, with the Pascal architecture proving its worth time and time again. Problem is that solution is heavy, power hungry and not so portable. But if you need that sort of power, where else are you meant to look? Nvidia has the answer – sort of – with Max-Q.
Max-Q is a new design philosophy that will allow Nvidia to shrink down existing models of the GTX 1080 and 1070 for more power efficient, cooler chips for notebooks. It sounds a lot like a rebrand of the existing portable GPU moniker, with the MXM range of cards featuring the same sorts of innards but with a little less power. The aim here is really the same, with Nvidia boasting about better battery life, quieter cards and new cooling solutions to keep notebooks feeling more like a laptop and less like a toaster on your lap.
Comparing an older 880M chip to a Max-Q 1080, Nvidia claimed that the new design allowed them to achieve around three times more performance. With laptops coming in at only 18mm thick, that’s pretty impressive, and a lot more suitable to portable gaming hardware. Sure the bigger, desktop versions will still perform a lot better, but for machines that need to be portable for VR (like in a backpack, for example), or just a little less conspicuous, this sounds pretty perfect.
Of course the real test is implementation, and AiB partners such as Asus and MSI will be eager to throw this into laptops.
Last Updated: June 1, 2017