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Home / Tips and Tricks / How do you know which GeForce 30 series laptop is the most powerful?

How do you know which GeForce 30 series laptop is the most powerful?



We understand if you’re not sure how to tell the difference between several new gaming laptops with GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs. Nvidia has clouded what “Max-Q” means with 30 series GPUs, so it’s even more difficult to choose a laptop based on its performance.

Max-Q, where are you?

Earlier, Max-Q pointed out a mobile GPU from Nvidia tuned to squeeze the best performance out of a thin and light gaming laptop by using as little power as possible – with the tacit understanding that sacrifices were being made to get there.

As part of Nvidia’s launch of RTX 30 series laptops at CES, the company has quietly turned Max-Q into an umbrella term that includes everything from WhisperMode 2.0 and Advanced Optimus to Dynamic Boost 2.

However, what most confuses people is that Max-Q no longer means the laptop is thin or light. In fact, we̵

7;re seeing laptops that in the past would have rocked the full-power versions of the GPU, which were built with lower-powered “Max-Q” versions.

“Max-Q” vs. Max-P: What’s the difference?

As far as we can tell, ‘Max-P’ stands for maximum performance, while Max-Q stands for, well, maximum Q. The less powerful Max-Q version of a mobile GPU will differ from the more powerful Max-P- version based on its power range. Of the three RTX series GPUs available to date, the top-of-the-range GeForce RTX 3080 makes the most of extra power, as it ranges from 80 watts to over 150 watts. We are already seeing fluctuations in performance of 15 percent to 25 percent based on the wattage differences between GeForce RTX 3080 laptops.

The GeForce RTX 3070 will likely remain more consistent as the power range is much more limited from 80 watts to 125 watts.

The RTX 3060 has very wide swings in power from 60 Watts to 115 Watts, but we suspect these will be more situational. A very thin 3.5 pound laptop with a 60 watt GPU is expected to be slower.

rtx 30 laptops Nvidia

Each of the RTX 30 series mobile GPUs has a power range and their Max-Q versions should hang at the bottom while their Max-P versions should fly at the top.

How to tell the difference

How do you know if you are getting a higher or lower power version? It will take some detective work. We’ve come up with a few ways that, while not completely foolproof, should help you spot the difference.


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