NVIDIA GeForce Laptop Update: RTX SUPER and Improved Max-Q
NVIDIA Reveals Two New Mobile GPUs and a Max-Q Tech Update
NVIDIA’s mobile GPU offering just got the SUPER treatment, as a new GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and 2070 SUPER have been announced. These are mobile variants of the desktop GPUs introduced this past July, first with the RTX 2060/2070 SUPER launch; the RTX 2080 SUPER following later than month.
“NVIDIA today announced that its global OEM partners are bringing out more than 100 new thin, light and fast laptop models, all powered by NVIDIA GeForce GPUs, including the just-launched GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and 2070 SUPER GPUs for laptops.
The record-size launch also includes a range of RTX 2060-powered laptops starting at just $999. The new platforms are all based on the NVIDIA Turing™ architecture, which incorporates dedicated hardware RT Cores to process ray tracing and AI in real time, delivering increased performance and enhanced visual fidelity for today’s hottest games and major content creation applications.
Many of the models are offered in Max-Q configurations, an NVIDIA technology enhanced with new features providing the absolute fastest performance and highest efficiency in a mobile platform.”
RTX Laptop GPU Specs
A glance at the specs of the updated NVIDIA GeForce RTX mobile GPU lineup reveals the same configurations as their desktop counterparts, with the expected reduction in clock speeds – though these are configurable by the OEM (note the range in Base and Boost clocks).
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX Mobile GPUs|
|RTX 2080 SUPER||RTX 2080||RTX 2070 SUPER||RTX 2070||RTX 2060|
|RTX-OPS||38-55 T||37-53 T||34-40 T||31-38 T||26 T|
|Base Clock||735-1365 MHz||735-1380 MHz||930-1140 MHz||885-1215 MHz||960 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1080-1560 MHz||1095-1590 MHz||1155-1380 MHz||1125-1455 MHz||1185-1200 MHz|
|GPU Power||80-150+ W||80-115+ W||80-115 W||80-115 W||65-90 W|
|Standard Memory Config||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||6GB GDDR6|
|Memory Data Rate||Up to 14 Gbps||Up to 14 Gbps||Up to 14 Gbps||Up to 14 Gbps||Up to 14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||Up to 448 GB/s||Up to 448 GB/s||Up to 448 GB/s||Up to 448 GB/s||Up to 336 GB/s|
The RTX 2060 does not gain a “SUPER” variant with this update, but NVIDIA says this existing GPU is coming to the $999 gaming laptop price point, with models from Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and MSI, among others.
Max-Q Technology Update
In addition to the new mobile versions of the RTX 2070/2080 SUPER GPUs, NVIDIA’s laptop gaming update includes a new version of Max-Q, the initiative first announced way back at Computex 2017.
NVIDIA lists these Max-Q Technology features:
- Dynamic Boost — Intelligently and automatically balances power between the GPU and CPU on a per-frame basis, boosting overall in-game performance. Dynamic Boost is automatic, adaptive and always working to deliver more performance without increasing system power consumption.
- Low-Voltage GDDR6 — NVIDIA has worked with its memory partners to increase memory efficiency while delivering high performance with new lower voltage GDDR6 memory.
- Advanced Optimus — A breakthrough display innovation that delivers long battery life and immersive, stutter-free gameplay from NVIDIA G-SYNC technology. Advanced Optimus controls which GPU is driving the display and intelligently determines the right GPU for the right workload at the right time, dynamically switching on the fly without needing a system reboot. The new lineup of Lenovo Legion laptops are the world’s first to feature this groundbreaking technology.
- Next-Generation Regulator Efficiency — Next-generation voltage regulators help optimize system design so the GPU runs more efficiently while delivering higher overall performance.
- Deep Learning Super Sampling 2.0 — Powered by dedicated AI processors on RTX GPUs called Tensor Cores, DLSS 2.0 is an improved deep learning neural network that boosts frame rates while generating beautiful, sharp images for games. It boosts a game’s performance headroom while maximizing ray-tracing settings with increased output resolution and extending battery life by up to 20 percent.
Power balancing was heavily emphasized during NVIDIA’s presentation of this new Max-Q tech, with the shared thermal load between GPU and CPU a major contributing factor for performance in notebook design.
Rather than limit each component to a static power limit, the new Max-Q Dynamic Boost can perform automatic, per-frame GPU and CPU power balancing, according to NVIDIA. What can this do for performance? NVIDIA is claiming that the new Max-Q actually doubles efficiency, increasing performance within the same power limit.
One important note: this new Max-Q tech will require new hardware. NVIDIA continues to use their GeForce Experience software to configure in-game settings to optimize power consumption, but this is also a hardware update (the lower-voltage GDDR6 and next-gen voltage regulators mentioned above) – meaning, of course, that existing laptops won’t gain the new Max-Q technologies via software or firmware.
DLSS 2.0 is another component of the 2020 mobile graphics offering that can help improve gaming performance with these new RTX GPUs, and on the laptop side this is also presented as a way to improve battery life.
NVIDIA claims battery life improvements of up to 20% when playing with real-time ray tracing enabled (RTX on), with the technology’s Performance Mode used in NVIDIA’s example pictured above (this mode using the lowest internal resolution to help boost both performance and battery).
RTX Studio Update
Finally, an important aspect of this notebook graphics update that might fly under the radar for those just looking at gaming potential: content creation. Gaming laptops can be a smart way to get what amounts to a high-end mobile workstation without the pro-level price tag, and NVIDIA says their “RTX Studio empowers creators with new laptops”.
“NVIDIA also announced 10 new RTX Studio laptops, powered by RTX SUPER GPUs and the latest Intel 10th-generation processors. Available from Acer, Gigabyte, MSI and Razer, the laptops are the ultimate solution for creators seeking unmatched video and 3D performance.
More than 45 of the top creative applications — such as Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, AutoDesk Arnold, Blender and many more — all feature RTX acceleration by the RT Cores in RTX GPUs.”
Pricing and Availability
NVIDIA’s new RTX Gaming and Studio laptops are scheduled to start shipping “the week of April 15th from multiple partners globally”, the company states, “with more coming in May”. Specs and pricing will, as always, vary by model/vendor/region. NVIDIA has indicated that RTX 2060-powered machines will start at $999. Launch partners include Acer, ASUS, Clevo, Dell, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and Razer.
More information on the RTX SUPER notebook update can be found on NVIDIA’s product page (link).