During a keynote address at Computex in Taiwan, Nvidia revealed its breakthrough technology for ultra-thin gaming laptops. It’s called Max-Q, and it’s made up of several PC hardware and software designs to fit a high-end graphics card into a low-profile form factor without sacrificing much performance.
Nvidia stated that the GTX 1080 can achieve around 90 percent of the performance of other GTX 1080 cards seen in today’s gaming laptops. With all that power packed in a tight chassis, the cooling solution and power management should be as efficient as possible, which is where WhisperMode comes in. It’s a software solution to emphasize peak efficiency instead of peak performance, though Nvidia stated the performance gap is minimal. Through WhisperMode, the hardware can scale back when a game’s frame rate is high enough to decrease power usage and temperature.
In order for a manufacturer to build a laptop with the Max-Q design, Nvidia must be involved in the creation process to meet the proper thermal and performance requirements. The Asus Zephyrus was on display during the Nvidia keynote, and it sports a GTX 1080 and measures at 18 mm thick. It’ll also weigh around five pounds, have a maximum noise level of 39 dB, and come equipped with a 120GHz G-Sync panel. Gigabyte, Clevo, and Acer will be offering laptops with the Max-Q design, as well.
Pricing, availability, and specifications will vary between manufacturers and the models offered. We’ll have to see how Max-Q gaming laptops perform when they hit the market on June 27.