Nvidia shows off Max-Q technology for thinner and more powerful gaming laptops

Nvidia has promised a new generation of gaming laptops that will be three times thinner and three times faster than currant laptops thanks to its new Max-Q technology.

Unveiled at Computex 2017, Max-Q takes its name from the idea that Nvidia is pushing maximum efficiency, as well as maximum performance. Nvidia claimed it has applied a similar precision-engineered design philosophy to the one used by NASA, to create technology that will allow device manufacturers to build incredibly thin and powerful gaming laptops.

This means that the days of lugging around bulky and heavy gaming laptops could be at an end, with Nvidia stating that the Max-Q platform could lead to gaming laptops that are as thin as 18mm – around the same thickness as a MacBook Air.

Not only that, but these laptops should be up to 70% more powerful than currant gaming laptops, signifying a generational leap.

The tech behind Max-Q

Nvidia has been able to achieve the impressive results of Max-Q by optimizing and refining its Pascal GPU architecture. By taking a precision engineering approach to Pascal, it has managed to make the architecture even more efficient.

Nvidia has configured every aspect of the Max-Q platform, from the design of the laptops themselves to the physical GPU, the software drivers, and even the thermal and electrical components.

This allows slimline laptops to come with some of Nvidia's most powerful GPUs, such as the GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and GTX 1060, which have been tweaked for peak efficiency to provide gaming power while remaining power efficient.

Nvidia's Game Ready drivers will also help make sure the GPUs are delivering optimal efficiency while providing stunning graphics.

Nice and quiet

Meanwhile, advanced thermal solutions will keep the GPUs running cool in compact laptops, and with Nvidia's new WhisperMode technology, which was also unveiled at Computex, these gaming laptops will run quieter when running games as well. This is great news for anyone who has been distracted by a laptop's fans kicking into overdrive whilst playing graphically-demanding games.

WhisperMode will be available on any gaming laptop with a Pascal-based graphics card, and will be included in an upcoming GeForce Experience software update.


If you're looking forward to getting a Max-Q gaming laptop then the good news is you won't have to wait too long, as they will be available to buy from June 27.

These will come with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 or GTX 1060 graphics cards and will be made by a range of popular laptop builders including Acer, Alienware, Asus, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI and many more.

Prices will vary, and as soon as these new gaming laptops become available, you can be sure we'll be testing them out.

At the launch event, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang showed off the incredibly thin Asus ROG Zephyrus Max-Q gaming laptop, which comes with a GTX 1080 graphics card somehow included in the slim body. This laptop, according to Huang, is 60% more powerful than the PlayStation Pro 4.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.