NVIDIA, in its latest Linux changelog has supposedly let slip the existence of a new graphic card for the mobility market, the GTX 1050 Ti with Max-Q design. This can mean only one thing, the company is completely ready to lock horns with long term rivals AMD and their new partners Intel. The GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design will be a direct competitor to the Kaby Lake G lineup’s RX Vega M GL that will be integrated in the Intel’s recently released 8th Gen chips. The Max-Q will aim for better power efficiency and maximizing the thermal and power envelop.
The presence of the new 1050 Ti was spotted in the changelog of the Linux display driver that was released earlier this month. It listed the MX 130, MX 110 along with the 1050 Ti with Max-Q design. Max-Q technology involves using constrained TDP settings and was last used in ultraportable Zephyrus gaming laptops. This design was able to reduce the GPU power consumption by half. Going by this, we are expecting the 1050Ti with Max-Q design to be fairly competitive.
The Max-Q design GPU provides desktop-level configurations but are designed to be more power efficient and to have a better cooling system. This allows for a longer sustained performance with quieter acoustic profiles. But this thinner, lighter and power efficient design comes at the price of top end clock speeds. The software optimizes the game settings by balancing work done on the CPU and GPU and uses advanced system design techniques for thermal management and power regulation. It also introduces the WhisperMode. It is a new, ultra-efficient mode that makes your plugged-in laptop run a bit quieter while gaming. Max-Q design GPU achieves this by smartly throttling the game’s frame rate and simultaneously configuring the graphics setting ensuring optimal power efficiency.
The specs and the clock speeds haven’t been released yet and all the clock speeds are guesses based on the existing chips around the 1050 Ti Max-Q design.
The GTX 1050 Ti without the Max-Q design which is right above this chip runs at 1620 MHz on boost clock which converts to a theoretical maximum FP32 performance of 2.49 TFLOPS so it’s expected that the clock speed of the Max-Q will probably be somewhere around 1417 Mhz to 1450 MHz, which converts to a graphics performance of 2.18 TFLOPs.
Whenever NVIDIA officially launches this chip, it will be great news for people who want respectable performance with better battery life, less noise and ultimately better portability with their laptops. The Max-Q design is not for someone who wants top-end clock speeds and the best possible performance from their GPU. The Max-Q design was last seen in the Zephyrus series of laptops which had a rather awkward keyboard layout to facilitate the cooling and that was not appreciated much by the users. So it remains to be seen whether this chip would also require the same design profile and aesthetics. If yes, then it would probably limit the GPU’s market as not everyone feels comfortable with a different keyboard layout and an odd cooling system. Apart from this, we can also expect a standard GTX 1050 Max-Q to be coming soon as well.