Asus’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) division released a blog (opens in new tab) that hinted at the creation of a premium gaming laptop capable of upending an Nvidia GTX Titan X in 3DMark11.
The blog was tagged with the term “24-inch laptop,” indicating that Asus’s glimpse into the future of ultimate gaming laptops has plus-sized aspirations in addition to ambitious performance goals. With the advent of the Nvidia GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, many are speculating that this is the debut of a mobile Pascal-based Nvidia GPU. However, there is another possibility for the new concept gaming laptop.
As it happens, I was just working on a beast of a laptop known to the world as the MSI GT80S Titan SLI, a mammoth 18.4-inch gaming notebook with a mobile Intel Core i7-6920HQ processor and two desktop-class GTX 980 graphics modules in SLI. Not to give too much away, but without overclocking the MSI Titan, it was capable of performance relative to (if not greater than) a desktop Titan X. However, one of the drawbacks to the massive laptop was that it was incapable of overclocking, because the power supply was limited to only 330 watts of juice, and any further strain on the graphics subsystem resulted in lower performance.
Conjecture: Perhaps Asus’s new concept laptop measures up to 24 inches not just for a larger screen, but for a larger power supply–one capable of powering two desktop-class GPUs in SLI with room for overclocking. Generally, a 330 W PSU has been the limit for the largest, most powerful laptops sporting either desktop GPUs or desktop processors, but the combination of both (desktop CPU with a GTX 980 SLI setup) with overclocking headroom does not yet exist.
If Asus’s new challenger for the desktop-replacement laptop throne isn’t the debut of a mobile Pascal-based Nvidia GPU, then it is highly likely to be a GTX 980 SLI configuration, possibly with an unlocked desktop CPU, with a higher power ceiling and thermal dissipation to accommodate the high-performance components. It could also be a laptop sporting a desktop GTX 980ti Matrix GPU (it was tagged in the blog as well), but all of that’s just a guess based on Asus’s cryptic blog. We'll have to wait until Computex to see what it's really all about.