COMPUTEX 2017 | Nvidia Max-Q Pascal will bring GTX 1080 graphics to super-thin notebooks
The rumored "low-power Pascal" has now been made official by Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at Computex 2017.
While details are low, Huang is promising future notebooks sporting the new Max-Q GPU to be three times faster than the GTX 880M at potentially half the weight and one-third the thickness. As an example, he held up what appears to be an old Asus ROG G750 on one hand and the upcoming Asus ROG Zephyus on the other to show the advancement in graphics technology. The latter is expected to sport a Max-Q GTX 1080 and, as we've already reported, will be just as thin as the MSI GS63VR. Nvidia is even setting a fan noise maximum target of 40 dB(A) or lower on gaming notebooks sporting Max-Q GPUs.
So, how will a Max-Q GTX 1080 be different from a standard GTX 1080? The new Max-Q series prioritizes performance at the highest possible power efficiency level whereas a standard GTX GPU may have a lower performance-per-Watt ratio. Thus, a Max-Q GPU is not expected to be faster than its standard GTX equivalent even though it will be more efficient on paper. This approach should aid in developing notebooks that are both thinner and sleeker without sacrificing significant GPU power in the process. The Asus Zephyrus and GS63VR/GS73VR will be some of the first notebooks this year to bring this concept to life.
Based on knowledge that the Zephyrus will carry a Max-Q GTX 1080 and a 230 W AC adapter, we can estimate that the Max-Q GTX 1080 will be a 100 W to 140 W TDP GPU. The standard GTX 1080 is rated for a much higher TDP of 180 W in comparison.
In addition to the GTX 1080, also the GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 will come in Max-Q variants that should be around 10-15% slower than the previous models.
In addition to the Asus Zephyrus, Nvidia talked about two MSI (GS63 and GS73), a Clevo (P950HR), an Acer Predator and a Gigabyte Aorus X5 using Max-Q GPUs.
Nvidia recently announced the MX150 GPU earlier last week as a lower power GPU, but according to Nvidia it is not using Max-Q technology.