Gaming laptops and long battery life aren't often used in the same sentence. High-end gaming laptops can offer awesome desktop-like gaming performance in a package that can be moved from place to place, but never far from a power outlet. And even though you can game on them for a limited stint while using the battery, the performance is never quite the same as when they are plugged into a wall socket.
Nvidia says that its new GeForce GTX 980M and GTX 970M notebook graphics cards tackle this issue head on. Not only are the 980M and the 970M the number one and two most powerful notebook graphics cards on the market, according to Nvidia, they both offer a number of new power saving features that let you game longer while unplugged and make sure the gaming experience is just as good on battery as it is when plugged in.
The new graphics cards use Nvidia's Maxwell architecture to provide their performance boosts, which Nvidia says is double that of its previous generation cards. They can support gaming at higher than 1080p resolutions, and they support new lighting techniques that add more realism to games. To put it short, laptop gaming has never looked better.
Nvidia's upgraded BatteryBoost can add up to 55 percent more play time
But the most interesting advancements come from Nvidia's upgraded BatteryBoost feature. BatteryBoost automatically manages the game performance to provide a consistent experience when unplugged, while saving excess processing power turning that into longer time away from an outlet. The system caps frame rates while on battery, so a game will consistently run longer at 30 frames per second, as opposed to a higher frame rate that will drop at times and consume more battery power. Nvidia says the new cards offer up to eight times the frame rate performance on battery in games like Tomb Raider, while the BatteryBoost adds up to 55 percent longer playing time.
Gaming laptops won't ever likely see the many hours of battery life that a MacBook Air or Windows Ultrabook offers, but Nvidia's advancements can make a notable difference in where and for how long you can play a PC game. The new GTX 980M and GTX 970M are available in notebooks from Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, and Clevo starting today.