NVIDIA introduces GeForce GTX with Max-Q Design at Computex

Elizabeth Williams
May 31, 2017

NVIDIA CEO Jen Hsun Huang just delivered a keynote speech at Computex Taipei, during which he unveiled some new mobile technology created to optimize game performance, in smaller notebook form factors than have been previously possible.

"Max-Q, an integral part of NASA's mission to launch a man into space, is defined as the point at which the aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is maximized". To do that they're built on four pillars of design.The first is tuning the GeForce GPU for efficiency itself, the next is to optimise game settings via GeForce Experience, and then it's a case of "sparing no expense", as Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang explained, on both the laptop's thermal design and its low-voltage regulators. To deliver more performance to thin laptops, NVIDIA has further optimized and configured Pascal for even higher efficiency. Aesthetically, this will put gaming notebooks on par with the MacBook Pro while delivering up to 70 percent more gaming performance than the designs that have been available up until today.

In a bid to make gaming laptops quieter, the firm also introduced WhisperMode technology. The new design approach is said to make gaming laptops "thinner, quieter, and faster" compared to previous generations. During a presentation at Computex, Nvidia outlined the recommended specs for the line including 18mm thickness, 5 pounds of weight, and one of Nvidia's graphics cards, which top out at the GTX 1080. Nvidia's philosophy is similar, using the Max-Q GPU design as the centre of a new generation of gaming laptops.

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Want thin-and-light with performance? As a result, rockets are engineered around what is known as Max-Q. While Nvidia is yet to reveal the technical details behind WhisperMode, it sounds an bad lot like AMD's Radeon Chill feature, which lowers the frame rate during less action-orientated scenes in order to save power.

Max-Q gaming laptops will start to appear on the market from 27 June. How much this new tech will cost gamers, however, is something we'll also have to watch for. And that's a great example of how Max-Q is using clever design tricks to increase performance, not just raw power. Nearly all leading gaming laptop manufacturers have announced that they will be bringing their own models based on the new architecture, these include industry leaders like ASUS, Acer, MSI, Alienware, Lenovo, HP and the likes.

Nvidia says the Max-Q laptops will have WhisperMode to self-adjust settings to keep battery life long and fan noise low. By encouraging hardware makers to design their machines as efficiently as possible, Nvidia has finally found a way to incorporate the same chips used in its clunky desktop graphics cards in a laptop that's sleek enough to be carried to and from work every day.

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