When we wrote about Acer's Predator Triton 700 gaming laptops earlier today, we were somewhat taken aback by Acer's coyness about what Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series graphics chips were stuffed inside. The $3000 starting price suggests a GeForce GTX 1070 or better, but the press release was no more specific than saying that the laptops use a Pascal chip of some kind.
Acer shared some benchmark numbers with press conference attendees and even let them poke around with pre-release hardware. That's where the mystery takes an interesting turn. The folks at NotebookCheck were among the poke-and-prod crowd, and Acer's touted performance figures and the some time with the hardware prompted the site to reveal inside information about a "GTX 1080 Max-Q" chip set to release at Computex.
Acer was particularly proud of the Triton's score of 17,000 points in 3DMark 11. That particular benchmark rewards high-performance CPUs and graphics chips. Assuming the laptop is packing a high-end mobile Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NotebookCheck says that whatever graphics chip is inside the Triton 700 is performing just a bit better than a GeForce GTX 1070. The interesting bit is that mobile GTX 1070s are typically found in laptops a size class thicker than the Predator Triton's 0.75" (19 mm) thickness. Getting this level of performance usually requires a laptop at least 0.9" (23 mm) thick or more.
Notebookcheck's backstage poking and prodding revealed more interesting nuggets of info. The laptops' installed Nvidia Control Panel software revealed the presence of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 with a "GP104M" chip. Thus far, all GeForce GTX 1080 graphics chips, mobile and desktop, have been designated GP104, no ifs, ands, or buts. The driver indicated a core clock of 1290 MHz, though Acer staff did note that the hardware specifications had not yet been finalized.
NotebookCheck goes on to say that the Predator Triton 700 will be offered in two different performance tiers. The author believes this could mean the mysterious GP104M chip could be used in both reduced-power-consumption GTX 1070s and GTX 1080s, in the same way that the standard GP104 chip is used in the standard GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards.
For now, these GTX 1080 Max-Q chips are simply a matter of speculation. Another possible explanation is better-than-expected cooling system efficiency that allows the standard mobile GeForce GTX 1070 into a smaller package. If Notebookcheck's sources are correct, we'll learn more at Computex.
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