Notebookcheck
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

Actually, abandoning Max-Q makes a lot of sense. Here are our top 3 reasons why Nvidia is finally getting rid of it

Actually, abandoning Max-Q makes a lot of sense. Here are our top 3 reasons why Nvidia finally got rid of it (Image source: Nvidia)
Actually, abandoning Max-Q makes a lot of sense. Here are our top 3 reasons why Nvidia finally got rid of it (Image source: Nvidia)
There are pros and cons for sure, but the advantages arguably outweigh any losses especially since many retailers would avoid listing "Max-Q" anyway and that some Max-Q laptops would even outperform Max-P ones.
, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

After just two generations with the Max-Q name, Nvidia will be dropping it altogether for the GeForce 30 series and enthusiasts are already crying foul for understandable reasons. However, we want to take a closer look at some of the reasons that may explain why the chipmaker ultimately decided to let go of Max-Q.

1. Some GeForce Max-Q GPUs Were Already Outperforming Their Non-Max-Q Counterparts

A big reason why Nvidia introduced Max-Q in the first place was to allow for lower TGP targets which made it possible for OEMs to design ultra-thin gaming laptops. As time went on, however, some OEMs have been able to squeeze more performance out of their Max-Q GPUs to the point where they can run as fast or even faster than their non-Max-Q counterparts. The Razer Blade Pro 17 and its GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, for example, is actually 1 to 3 percent faster than the regular GeForce RTX 2070 in the Asus ROG Strix G15 even though the latter GPU is supposed to be the faster version. This discrepancy essentially nullifies the Max-Q name in the Razer system as it no longer becomes a reliable indicator of performance.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Razer Blade Pro 17 RTX 2070 Max-Q 300 Hz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H
21191 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H
21004 Points ∼99%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Razer Blade Pro 17 RTX 2070 Max-Q 300 Hz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H
8065 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H
7826 Points ∼97%
2560x1440 Time Spy Score
Razer Blade Pro 17 RTX 2070 Max-Q 300 Hz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H
8236 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H
7718 Points ∼94%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Razer Blade Pro 17 RTX 2070 Max-Q 300 Hz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H
27694 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H
27298 Points ∼99%
1280x720 Performance Combined
Razer Blade Pro 17 RTX 2070 Max-Q 300 Hz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H
15564 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H
10992 Points ∼71%

2. Mobile GeForce Names Will Be Much Simpler For Laymen Shoppers

When Nvidia announced Max-Q back in 2017, they effectively doubled their GPU SKUs as each step up would consist of two versions instead of one. In 2020, Nvidia announced mobile Super versions which doubled their GPU SKUs again. We complained about this last year as it was ridiculous to see "GeForce RTX 2080", "GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q", "GeForce RTX 2080 Super", and "GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q" options when shopping for gaming laptops. Their performance deltas can also be very minor between them at times which would inevitably lead to instances of our first reasoning above. Having four different names for GPUs that can overlap one another in performance is arguably unhelpful.

Attempting to explain why there are four different laptop versions each of the GeForce RTX 2070 or 2080 to an uninformed shopper at Best Buy would be a nightmare. In fact, many retailers and OEMs have been omitting "Max-Q" from their specification sheets anyway which further reduces the marketing need for the name.

3. It Will Likely Hasten Production And Reduce QA Costs For Both Nvidia and OEMs

Max-Q wasn't only about performance targets. At the time of launch, Nvidia made a big deal about its Max-Q certification process that OEMs had to adhere to. Laptops with Max-Q must not break certain fan noise thresholds when under ISO-7779 testing conditions, must be a certain thickness to qualify, and must operate at specific voltage ranges. Manufacturers and Nvidia would have to test all these standards for every Max-Q laptop model in addition to their usual QA procedures. Removing Max-Q would therefore streamline the process and give more freedom to OEMs when it comes to adjusting GPU clock rates, TGP, fan noise, and chassis design.

Of course, there are also several reasons why abandoning Max-Q might cause more confusion for gamers. Expect our top three reasons on the benefits of Max-Q soon as a counterpoint to our three reasons against Max-Q.

, , , , , ,
search relation.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 
Read all 20 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4662 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > Actually, abandoning Max-Q makes a lot of sense. Here are our top 3 reasons why Nvidia is finally getting rid of it
Allen Ngo, 2021-01-28 (Update: 2021-01-28)