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Technology: Nvidia is requiring laptop makers to be more transparent about RTX 30-series specs

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  Nvidia at CES 2021: RTX 3060, RTX 30-series laptop chips it says outperform Sony's PS5 The chip giant unveiled its latest RTX 30-series desktop graphics chip, and its first new laptop graphics chips.Nvidia's RTX 3080 is one of the hottest computer products today.

Nvidia is now requiring, not just encouraging, companies selling laptops with its new RTX 30-series graphics chips to be more transparent about the kind of power people can expect. Nvidia tells The Verge these companies will have to disclose specific clock speed stats and total graphics power on online product pages — all of which tells people everything they need to know about a laptop’s graphics potential, for better or worse.

a car parked on a city street © Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

However, companies won’t have to mention that these chips are Max-Q variants because, according to an Nvidia spokesperson, “Max-Q is no longer part of the GPU name.” Rather, Max-Q is now used solely used to communicate that a laptop with an RTX 30-series graphics chip ships with efficiency features like Whisper Mode 2, Dynamic Boost 2, and Advanced Optimus. Previously, seeing Max-Q branding made it easy to determine a laptop’s general performance without having to know its specific clock speeds.

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It’s encouraging to see Nvidia no longer allows companies to hide this vital information from marketing materials. It should go far enough in helping buyers make an educated purchase without having to wait on reviewers and early adopters to report on the specs.

By sharing these specs, companies can make it much easier for consumers to understand how it’s possible that, in some instances, the RTX 3070 in MSI’s GP66 Leopard can outperform an RTX 3080 in the MSI GS66 Stealth, which is something we saw first-hand. Since the Max-Q brand no longer signifies a graphics chip’s power capabilities, being transparent with clock speed and how much power it can consume is more crucial than ever.

a screen shot of a smart phone: Nvidia now requires companies share the clock speed and power on laptop product pages © Image: Nvidia Nvidia now requires companies share the clock speed and power on laptop product pages

“We’re requiring OEMs to update their product pages to the Max-Q technology features for each GeForce laptop, as well as clocks and power — which communicates the expected GPU performance in that system,” an Nvidia spokesperson told The Verge.

Asus ROG Flow X13 and XG Mobile hands-on: A one-two punch from AMD and Nvidia

  Asus ROG Flow X13 and XG Mobile hands-on: A one-two punch from AMD and Nvidia With a Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU on the inside and GeForce RTX 3080 mobile on the outside, this pair floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.I managed to get in some testing over the few days I've had the duo so far. I liked using it -- until I ran into issues that felt like the tech equivalent of backing up over traffic spikes. I'm waiting to hear back from Asus, but I suspect the problem is there's just too much new here and possibly a misconfigured or too-early evaluation unit.

Nvidia says manufacturers have already begun sharing this info, including Asus, which we’ve confirmed at the time of publishing. We’re going to keep tabs on some models coming out soon (and for those currently on the market) to see how long it takes for these requirements to roll out across the industry. Let us know in the comments if you notice that one has been updated with info or needs to be added to this list.

Origin PC

  • EVO 15-S (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • EVO 17-S (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)

Acer

  • Nitro 5 (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • Predator Triton 300 SE (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)

Asus

  • ROG Zephyrus G15 (updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • TUF Dash 15 (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)

Razer

  • Blade 15 (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • Blade 17 Pro (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)

Gigabyte

  • Aorus 15G (updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • Aorus 15P (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • Aorus 17G (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • Aero 15 (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • Aero 17 (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)

MSI

  • GE76 Raider (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • GP76 Leopard (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • GP66 Leopard (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • Stealth 15M (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • GS66 Stealth (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)

Alienware

  • M15 R4 (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)
  • M17 R4 (not updated as of 2/5 with clock/power specs)

Lenovo

  • Product pages aren’t yet live for the Legion 7 and Legion 5 Pro, but it didn’t share specs in its press release or in the information provided to us for our coverage

Today I learned Nvidia’s RTX Voice works on older GTX graphics cards .
In case you didn’t know, like meGiven that Nvidia’s newest RTX 30-series graphics cards are pricey and tough to find (as are just about any kind of somewhat capable GPU), this is a good way to extend the utility of older hardware if you don’t want to upgrade yet. If your graphics card is running Nvidia’s 410.18 driver, models down to the GTX 600-series released in 2012 should be able to run the feature once you download it. Here’s a link to the download.

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