Taipei is the best place in the world to be this week to grok the relentless revolution taking place in PC gaming laptops.
At Computex, Asia’s largest technology trade show, NVIDIA partners are taking efficiency and performance to new levels — extending a trend that’s seen gaming laptop sales soar 9x in the past five years to more than 10 million last year.
GeForce partners are unveiling more than 40 new gaming products. They include 15 dazzling new laptops that incorporate powerful new NVIDIA innovations like Max-Q — an innovative design approach that enables gaming laptops to be 3x thinner with 3x more performance than previous generations — and WhisperMode, for quieter laptops.
The incredible growth of the gaming laptop market has been fueled by NVIDIA’s relentless introduction of breakthrough GPU architectures. Its latest, Pascal, has helped provide a dramatic increase in performance and efficiency since the start of the decade. In fact, we’ve roughly doubled the efficiency with every architecture transition.
What a change these have enabled.
Just five years ago, gaming laptops had all the attributes you’d want from a plate of nachos — hot, big and heavy. Not bad for a snack, but hardly what you’d seek out in a portable gaming system.
They ran so hot many came with a warning that wasn’t meant to be ironic — “Do not place directly on lap.” They also came with a big, bulky chassis that made cramming them into ordinary backpacks a challenge. And battery life was limited — gamers had to stay close to a power outlet.
For elite gamers, these systems just weren’t competitive. We recall many LAN parties with people carting in huge systems, and feeling a bit sorry for gamers playing on underpowered laptops facing their fully geared-up competitors. The gaming laptop had to get better.
From Dumpy to Devastating
We set out to help laptop PCs step up their game, so you can step up yours.
In addition to continued manufacturing optimizations with each new GPU generation, we took the lead to accelerate the evolution of the gaming laptop into a device even the most serious gamers could use.
At previous Computex shows, we unveiled powerful new GPUs, and technologies like G-SYNC for notebooks. They joined a fusillade of other innovations — such as Optimus and BatteryBoost — that have transformed laptop PCs into sleek, powerful machines favored by serious gamers.
This week’s announcements of Max-Q and WhisperMode go further still.
Our Max-Q technology allows a GeForce GTX 1080 to be used in an ultraportable gaming notebook by reducing the GPU power consumption by half.
It finds the most efficient tradeoff of performance and power for the GPU. Our software balances work done on the CPU and GPU, optimizing the game settings and using advanced system design techniques for thermal management and power regulation.
We also introduced WhisperMode. The new, ultra-efficient mode makes your plugged-in laptop run much quieter while gaming. It works by intelligently pacing the game’s frame rate while simultaneously configuring the graphics settings for optimal power efficiency.
Laptop Gaming Has Arrived
There can be no doubt that gaming laptops are now a first-class option for PC gamers. With the advances in GPU architecture and technologies, and the improvements in displays, memories, SSDs and more, for the first time ever gamers can have sleek, lightweight gaming laptops at the highest performance level.
And we’re far from done. We’ll continue to drive the evolution of the gaming PC — notebook and desktop. And PC gaming — on laptops and on desktops — will continue to grow thanks to new gamers, new games, eSports and new capabilities such as VR.
There’s never been a better time to be a laptop gamer.
And it’s only getting better.