I Fell in Love With the Asus ROG Flow X13, and Then It Broke My Heart
I never heard of a 2-in-1 gaming laptop prior to CES 2021. Did one even exist? Convertible laptops and gaming laptops are two incredibly different things with unique thermal and performance needs—not to mention they are designed for two different consumer bases. But it looks like we’ve finally shrunken GPUs small enough and gotten CPUs to run cool enough to combine the two form factors. Opposites apparently do attract! Asus has made a wonderfully portable transformer of a gaming laptop in the ROG Flow X13. Without getting to hold or type on the Flow X13 like I normally would at CES during the “before times,” I was expecting it to be larger than it actually is.
Unlike most GPUs in the RTX 3000 series, Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics cards can be relatively compact. The dual-fan EVGA RTX 3060 XC we reviewed measured just 201.8mm long, for example, making it easy to fit in most gaming cases. But if you want something even smaller, Asus has become the latest to announce a single-fan RTX 3060 GPU from its Phoenix brand, which is known for making compact desktop GPUs. © Image: Asus
Asus’ single-fan GPU is actually the longest single-fan GPU announced so far, at 177mm long (and 2.55-slots wide), while companies like Gainward (170mm), Palit (170mm), and MSI (172mm) have all created more compact single-fan RTX 3060 GPUs that are even slightly shorter and take up only two slots each. Still, the Asus is notably shorter than the already-short dual-fan EVGA 3060 card we reviewed.
Nvidia is requiring laptop makers to be more transparent about RTX 30-series specs
A move that will make it easier to shop for a gaming laptop with a new Nvidia graphics chipHowever, 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.
Asus has yet to announce a price or release date for the RTX 3060 Phoenix
Like other RTX 3060 cards, the RTX 3060 Phoenix includes the same 3,584 CUDA cores, 12GB of GDDR6 memory, and four display outputs: one HDMI 2.1 and three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs. The card requires a single 8-pin PCIe power connection, a minimum power supply of 650W, and has no RGB lighting.
Asus has yet to announce a price or release date for the RTX 3060 Phoenix. But you can anticipate that when the cards become available, they will likely be difficult to find and buy — and the street prices these cards go for are more than the actual MSRP.
Nvidia teases GeForce RTX 3080 Ti announcement for May 31st .
A new RTX 3070 Ti is expected, tooRecent rumors have suggested the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will be revealed alongside the RTX 3070 Ti on May 31st. The RTX 3080 Ti will reportedly include 12GB of GDDR6X memory, a 2GB increase over what’s found on the existing RTX 3080. A wider 384-bit bus is also rumored, matching the RTX 3090 — and an increase to the memory bandwidth over the RTX 3080.