BO MOORE

Tech­nol­ogy Ed­i­tor

Maximum PC - - IN THE LAB -

If you’ve fol­lowed my last few Lab Notes, you’ll know my life has been con­sumed by lap­top test­ing. This month con­tin­ues that trend, save for one small but sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence: I fi­nally got the chance to test Nvidia’s new Max-Q de­sign phi­los­o­phy. As seen in my re­view of the Asus ROG Zephyrus (page 80), I’m ex­cited about Nvidia’s prom­ise of com­pact and por­ta­ble lap­tops that don’t skimp on power.

The Zephyrus is still the only Max-Q lap­top I’ve tested, but I’m plan­ning time with other GTX 1080 sys­tems soon, and it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how the dif­fer­ent OEMs (Acer, Gi­ga­byte, MSI, and Sager all have Max-Q mod­els) in­ter­pret Nvidia’s phi­los­o­phy—and how they stack up against their own kind, rather than non-Max-Q fare.

I’m also cu­ri­ous to see how the slightly lower spec Max-Q lap­tops hold up. Con­sid­er­ing that the Zephyrus and its Max-Q GTX 1080 per­formed only slightly bet­ter than a desk­top-class GTX 1070, it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how a Max-Q GTX 1070 com­pares. If it’s only a small down­grade in per­for­mance, I can see Max-Q 1070 lap­tops be­com­ing a fa­vorite, of­fer­ing the best bal­ance of price, per­for­mance, and porta­bil­ity.

On the other hand, it’ll be a harder rec­om­men­da­tion if the Max-Q phi­los­o­phy pushes the 1070 down closer to GTX 1060 per­for­mance. Ei­ther way, we’ll know more soon.

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