Nvidia announces Max-Q for smaller, thinner Pascal-powered laptops
May 30, 2017 // 10:38 a.m.
Nvidia has announced a redoubled effort to get its top-end graphics processors into even the slimmest of ultraportable laptops, announcing a new platform which cuts the thickness of gaming laptops by around two-thirds: Nvidia Max-Q.
Announced during the company's Computex 2017 presentations, Max-Q is at its heart a redesign of the company's Pascal-based graphics processors with minimum thickness at the forefront. Named for the point at which aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is at its highest, Max-Q is claimed to offer a 70 percent performance boost for Ultrabooks and other ultraportable laptops - bringing them on-par with thicker gaming laptops - with a maximum overall thickness of just 18mm.
Part of the Max-Q platform, Nvidia explained during the unveiling, comes from new optimisations, including a clock curve optimised for low voltage operation, which allow the GPU to operate at higher efficiency without harming gaming performance. Another key element is what Nvidia vaguely referred to as 'sophisticated thermal and electrical design, [including] new advanced thermal solutions along with unprecedented regulator efficiency.'
Although Max-Q itself is primarily a hardware modification which will be available exclusively to buyers of GeForce GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080 Max-Q-equipped laptops from a range of hardware partners beginning on June 27th this year, there's a little something in Nvidia's announcement for existing Pascal-powered laptop owners: WhisperMode. Developed as part of Max-Q, WhisperMode is claimed to intelligently pace the frame rate of a given application to minimise heat output and reduce fan noise without sacrificing graphical fidelity. Entirely optional, WhisperMode will be available on all Pascal-GPU laptops through an Nvidia GeForce Experience software update 'soon'.