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BUYING GUIDE to 720p.

BUYING GUIDE to 720p. The GTX 1050 Ti nets you 1080p with some games on high. Step up to a GTX 1060, and you’re in solid ground for 1080p gaming at very high to ultra with frame rates around 60fps. If you need to feed your high-refresh panel, then the GeForce GTX 1070 is the answer as it can push 120fps in many games at 1080p. Or if you want to just play on a screen that’s got a higher resolution, say, 2560x1440, the GTX 1070 works for that too. The GTX 1080 is the current top dog and should be considered for 1440p gaming on ultra at greater than 60fps, or to push a wide-aspect-ratio monitor at higher refresh rates. And SLI? Yes, that yields great performance, but the huge caveat is that many games no longer support SLI so it’s mostly a bragging point. Our chart also includes some older GPUs in the mix to indicate just how much they’ve aged. A GTX 980 is still quite serviceable but the 980M version has clearly lost its lustre. One last thing we want to point out from our chart: you’ll note the large performance gaps between some of the same GPUs, such as the two GTX 1080 cards or the two GTX 1070 cards. The disparity is the result of the vendors’ respective cooling strategies as well as varying chassis size. In the case of the Razer Blade Pro, it’s a fairly thin laptop for a GTX 1080 card. The MSI GT73VR it bumps against is thick and heavy and allows MSI to clock the GPU up quite a bit. We see the same with the Alienware 15 R4, which cranks up the GTX 1070 to very high speeds (and you can hear it too) whereas the HP Omen 17 keeps the clocks more conservative and the fans quieter. 88 TECH ADVISOR • MAY 2018 Worldmags.net

BUYING GUIDE Asus’ ROG Zephyrus GX501 and its GTX 1080 Max-Q GPU is a breakthrough in performance while being exceptionally thin Decoding Nvidia’s Max-Q The only other wrinkle to consider in picking out a GPU is Nvidia’s new ‘Max-Q’ technology. Cynics will say Max-Q is Nvidia’s way to market what should have been a GeForce GTX 1075 as a ‘GeForce GTX 1080 with Max-Q’, while more forgiving people will see it as an initiative to push thinner, lighter gaming laptops. In a nutshell, Nvidia has taken its GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070, and GTX 1060 and tuned down the clock speeds so they consume less power and generate less heat. Other than that, they are the same GPUs with the same amount of RAM, same memory bandwidth, and same CUDA core count. We found in testing that a GeForce GTX 1080 with Max-Q would perform between a GeForce GTX 1080 Worldmags.net MAY 2018 • TECH ADVISOR 89

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