NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX With Max-Q Design For Optimized Mobile Gaming
NVIDIA CEO Jen Hsun Huang just delivered a keynote speech at Computex Taipei, during which he unveiled some new mobile technology designed to optimize game performance, in smaller notebook form factors than have been previously possible. NVIDIA calls the technology Max-Q Design, and it enables NVIDIA’s notebook partners to cram high-performance GPUs like the GeForce GTX 1080 into notebooks that are a fraction of the size of previous-gen offerings.
Jen Hsun brought out a couple of system to illustrate the differences between older gaming notebooks and next-gen notebooks featuring Max-Q design. Although there are a myriad of designs on the market, with varying z-heights and form factors, etc., Jen Hsun used a couple of Asus ROG notebooks in his demonstration. The older model was built around the GeForce GTX 880, while the new machine that leveraged Max-Q Design was powered by a GeForce GTX 1080.
Jen Hsun called the new machine the Asus ROG Zephyr, and it was roughly 1/3 the thickness of the older system, and half the weight, but was over 3.3x faster. To show off the Asus ROG Zephyr’s gaming prowess, Jen Hsun publicly demoed the upcoming game Project Cars 2, which looked absolutely incredible. Then Jen Hsun claimed the machine he was holding in his hands was “60% faster than the PlayStation 4 Pro”.
NVIDIA claims it took a combination of four techniques to make Max-Q design possible. First, the GPUs have to be tuned for Max-Q operation. The games then have to be optimized for efficiency, using GeForce Experience. And the GPU’s thermal management / cooling system and voltage regulation circuitry are built with top-shelf materials – Jen Hsun said they “spared no expense when it comes to thermal management and voltage regulator efficiency”. The voltage regulators are optimized for 1v operation and waste the least amount of power possible, according to Jen Hsun.
All told, instead of operating with maximum performance or with maximum battery life, Max-Q Design is meant to optimize game performance at the GPU’s peak efficiency point, to balance performance, thermals, and power.
We’re not clear how the GPU in a system with Max-Q design will run with games not supported by GeForce Experience, or if a user simply overrides the game’s settings, but it’s possible the GPUs will have to throttle more aggressively to better manage thermals within the tighter physical constraints. We hope to have more information about GeForce GTX with Max-Q Design soon and will keep you updated as additional details become available.