ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2: NVIDIA confirms that Lenovo's multimedia laptop has a GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, not a regular GTX 1650
We have may have treated the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 a little harshly. While Lenovo gave us every reason to believe that the device could not get the most from its GeForce GTX 1650, it emerged that the company may not have included the GPU that the drivers report it has. As we reported last month, Lenovo has been marketing the X1 Extreme Gen 2 in some markets as having a GeForce GTX 1650 and the lesser GTX 1650 Max-Q in others. Incidentally, the most-recent driver readme lists the GPU as a GeForce GTX 1650.
Since then, NVIDIA has reassured us privately that the X1 Extreme Gen 2 has a GTX 1650 Max-Q, and its drivers should have reflected that. While it remains unclear why this discrepancy occurred, Lenovo has failed to mention this on multiple occasions.
Accordingly, NVIDIA states that the next GeForce display driver will add Max-Q to the GPU name that X1 Extreme Gen 2 machines report. While NVIDIA released the 442.59 Game Ready Driver on March 10, Lenovo has yet to release the new driver through its channels.
In our experience, drivers downloaded from NVIDIA are not optimised for the X1 Extreme Gen 2. Our machine consistently has worse battery life and higher power consumption when running on drivers from NVIDIA compared to when it is running on ones downloaded from Lenovo. This is a Lenovo-specific issue though, as the same has proven the case with Dell and HP laptops too.
While we shall test 442.59 to see if it renames our machine's GPU to a GTX 1650 Max-Q, we would not recommend installing it on your machine. Incidentally, Lenovo last updated the NVIDIA drivers for the X1 Extreme Gen 2 on December 24. However, they include the 432.13 Game Ready Driver, which NVIDIA never released publicly for the GTX 1650 series. The closest we could find was 431.60, which NVIDIA released on July 23 2019.
In short, it could be months before Lenovo releases an NVIDIA driver that changes the GPU name on the X1 Extreme Gen 2 to the GTX 1650 Max-Q. We shall keep you updated of our experiences with 442.59, though.
Notebookcheck & Lenovo