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Feature Articles

Should you get an NVIDIA Max-Q notebook?

By Koh Wanzi - 27 Sep 2017

Temperature, battery life & portability


We measured the external temperatures of the four quadrants of the notebook after looping the 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme stress test for 15 minutes. This amount of time is more than enough to get an idea of your average maximum running temperature for this workload.

Ultimately, there were few perceptible differences in temperature between the two notebooks, although the CPU on the Max-Q model did run slightly hotter.


Battery life and power consumption

We used the battery life benchmark in PCMark 8 Home to test the battery, and it’s here that the GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card in the Max-Q notebook really reared its head. It may feature a lower TDP – 80W versus 115W – and efficiency tweaks, but it still consumes a lot more power than the GeForce GTX 1060 and seriously taxes the relatively small 55Wh battery unit.

The GeForce GTX 1060 laptop lasted over four hours, while the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q unit came in at under half that.


Portability index

Our portability index is an objective measure of how portable a notebook is, taking into account factors like size, weight, and battery life.

The shorter battery life of the Max-Q notebook means that it is a lot less portable than the GeForce GTX 1060 model, despite its light weight and svelte dimensions. This is less of a problem if you’re just taking the notebook out as a portable work and gaming machine and know that you’ll seldom be away from a power outlet, but it poses serious challenges if you’re going to be working for prolonged periods without access to charging.

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