It is usual that a gaming laptop with a Super High-end GPU will be bulky & the fan noise will be super loud. Razer tried to change this concept with their Razer Blade Pro that had a GTX 1080 & was comparatively thin but, still was quite a bit heavy & super loud even while doing less demanding tasks.
This is where Nvidia Max-Q came in. So, what is this Max -Q anyway ? Well, it is Nvidia’s new approach to build Hi-end Gaming Laptops that are thin & quiet at the same time of being crazy powerful. So, we saw quite a few Gaming Laptops coming out that has the Max-Q version GPUs from Nvidia. The GTX 1060, 1070 & 1080 variants are currently available with the Max-Q design & there are also some gaming laptops available that are packing these GPUs inside.
We wanted to pick the two best gaming laptops with the Max-Q approach as that’s where many pro gamers are looking right now. So, to choose these laptops we had to set some pointers. These include..
- The Laptop chassis should be exclusively made for the Max-Q design approach
- The Laptop must house a Max-Q GTX 1080
- The design of the Laptop shall not be overwhelmed by Gaming Aesthetics
- The screen shall be a 120 Hz G-sync IPS panel
The only two laptops that fulfill all these conditions were the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 & the Acer Predator Triton 700. They both have custom build chassis, houses a Max-Q 1080 & have a balanced design aesthetics & they both have 120 Hz 1080P G-sync IPS panel. The main hardware components are almost identical but, there are major differences in other segments so, let’s compare the specs to have a clear idea about these devices.
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501||Acer Predator Triton 700|
|Display||15.6 inch 1080P G-sync Panel (120Hz Refresh Rate)||15.6 inch 1080P G-sync Panel (120Hz Refresh Rate)|
|Processor||Quadcore i7-7700HQ||Quadcore i7-7700HQ|
|RAM||24GB (16 GB in North America) DDR4||32GB DDR4|
|GPU||Nvidia GTX1080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR5X VRAM)||Nvidia GTX1080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR5X VRAM)|
|Storage||Upto 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD||512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Ports||1 x Microphone-in/Headphone-out jack, 1 x Type C USB3.1 (GEN2) Thunderbolt 3, 4 x Type A USB3.1 (GEN1), 1 x USB 3.0 port(s) Type A, 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert, 1 x HDMI, Support HDMI 2.0||1 x Microphone Jack, 1 x Headphone Jack, 3 x USB 3.0 Ports,1 x USB 2.0 Port, 1 x USB Port For Wireless Accessories, 1 x HDMI,1 x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3), 1 x Display Port|
|Wi-Fi||Integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||Integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Battery||50 Whrs (4 Cells)||4670 mAh (3 Cells) (Unspecified Whrs)|
|Number Of Speakers||2||2|
|Weight||2.25 Kilograms (4.96 lbs)||2.39 Kilograms (5.29 lbs)|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro||Windows 10 Home|
|Price||$2699 (314000 INR in India)||$2999 (isn’t available in India yet)|
THE DISCUSSION PART
As I have previously mentioned, both of these Laptops have a Max-Q GTX 1080 inside. With Max-Q, though you’re getting a thin, light & quiet laptop but, you’re also sacrificing the GPU’s performance quite a bit. Compared to a regular Laptop GTX 1080, the Max-Q GTX 1080 does not sacrifice the amount of VRAM, does not sacrifice the CUDA cores but, it do reduces the GPU clockspeeds & the amount the power that is supplied to the GPU. I’m leaving a chart below where there is a comparison of the regular GTX 1080 with the Max-Q GTX 1080..
NVIDIA MAX-Q COMPARISON (GTX 1080)
|Regular GTX 1080 (For Laptops)||Max-Q GTX 1080 (For Laptops)|
|Base Clock (MHz)||1556||1101-1290|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||1733||1278-1468|
|Total Power (W)||150||90-100|
|VRAM||8GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5X|
|Memory Speed (GBPS)||10 GBPS||10 GBPS|
*Listed from NVIDIA’s official website
NVIDIA actually claims that for the Max-Q GTX 1080, the Efficiency is around 1.5 times compared to a Regular mobile GTX 1080. So, we are definitely getting better efficiency while the thermals are also lowered and that’s why OEMs like ASUS & Acer are able to fit a GTX 1080 in such a thin chassis. But, with that reduced clock speed & reduced power input, we do lose some of the performance. A Max-Q GTX 1080 laptop will lose around 10-15% of it’s performance compared to a regular one. But, it’s still significantly powerful than a GTX 1070.
So, in terms of Gaming Performance you’ll be getting almost the same results on both the ASUS Zephyrus & the Triton 700. Calculating from that performance reduction, they should still easily handle all the popular games like Battlefeild 1, Dota 2, CS:GO, Overwatch & the frame rates shall stay near & above 120 FPS in different cases when the graphics are maxed out at 1080P. More demanding games will show reduction in frame rates but at graphics maxed out, they shall stay above 60 FPS as well.
Another thing that Max-Q does pretty well is a super reduction in Fan Noise. The target noise for the Max-Q GPUs is around 40 Decibels & in real life both the ASUS Zephyrus & Acer Triton 700 stays near that value even under full load. So, no matter if you’re Gaming or Editing Videos on any of these devices, the cooling fans will never create any annoyance.
If you’re really interested in Video Editing with these Laptops, they both actually have Good Screens with good Color Accuracy & good Brightness. So, you can edit your Videos & Photos without any issues on both of these devices.
SO, ZEPHYRUS OR TRITON 700 ?
From the above discussion it may seem a little bit confusing to you. I mean, if they are so similar in performance then what’s the point of comparing them ? Just go & buy any of these laptops right ? Well, that’s not the case. We have to consider the price to performance ratio here. Also, we need to keep some other factors in mind like design aesthetics, the overall weight etc. So, let’s list out things below,
The ASUS Zephyrus Gx501 Strikes in:
- Better Price To Performance Ratio
- A lesser Body Weight
- A less Gaming & more General Hi-end Laptop Look (Impressive to people who love that kind of design including me)
- A Better & more Practical Trackpad
The Acer Triton 700 Strikes in:
- A more stealthy Gaming Laptop like design that’s not overwhelmed (Impressive to people who want to keep a little bit of that Gaming Laptop look)
- GPU Overclocking via. Software
So, we have to give the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 the lead here as it has similar performance & usability at a lower price point. So, the Zephyrus seems to be a better value for money compared to the Acer. But, that doesn’t mean that the Acer Triton 700 is a bad laptop. It’s actually a very good laptop & it ties with the Zephyrus in terms of performance. But, the price isn’t that compelling. I mean until you’re planning Production Video edits on your laptop, 16 Gigs of RAM shall be more than enough for you.
But, if you want a slightly more Gamer Look or you want to Overclock your Max-Q Laptop then the Acer Triton 700 is the one to go. Remember that you have to deal with the increased amount of heat produced as the result of overclocking. But if the capability to overclock is something you need badly, go for the Triton 700.
Ok, so that was our comparison between the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 & the Acer Triton 700. We hope we were able to give you the complete idea on Nvidia’s Max-Q approach & help to figure out the best suitable Max-Q laptop for you as well. Also, this wasn’t a sponsored article so, neither Nvidia or ASUS or Acer have paid us to make this article & highlight their features. We made it so you guys can clear your doubts on the whole Max-Q thing & if you’re thinking of purchasing one, you can make a better purchase decision & spend your money on exactly what you’re looking for.
So, definitely let us know your views on this article, down in the comments section & maybe consider sharing this article to whom it maybe useful to. Thanks for reading & we’ll catch you with another interesting & useful topic pretty soon !