Asus Packed a $4,000 Nvidia GPU Into a Laptop

Photo: Victoria Song (Gizmodo)

Building on the success of Max-Q design, its guidelines for slim laptops sporting powerful graphics, Nvidia announced a new reference design today dubbed “Ace.” Reference designs are blueprints for building specific devices with a lot of the engineering guesswork already done by someone else. The Ace reference design promises a (relatively) slim and sleek 15-inch laptop with as much power as possible. Naturally, the company has to show off that reference design with the most eye-catching laptop possible—which is where the new Asus ProArt StudioBook One comes in. This 15-inch laptop has a world-first for laptops. There’s a very powerful and very expensive Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 GPU inside.

The Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 is from Nvidia’s work-focused line of Quadro processors. GeForce RTX- and GTX-line processors are intended for average folks and gamers, while Quadro processors are built for people who work in 3D and video rendering applications. The average person doesn’t need a Quadro GPU, and the desktop versions are priced for professional operations. At its most affordable, a Quadro RTX 6000 costs $4,000.

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The Quadro RTX 6000 is one of the latest pro GPUs from Nvidia. It launched back in late 2018 and is most comparable to the Nvidia Titan RTX. The desktop version is a performance beast and constantly thirsty for power, drawing 300W.

The most powerful laptop GPUs up until now have been the mobile versions of the RTX 2080, and the mobile version of the Quadro RTX 5000. Mobile GPUs typically draw a lot less power than their desktop siblings. The mobile version of the Quadro RTX 5000 can draw between 80W and 150W. The desktop version starts at 230W. With more power, you can hit higher clock speeds and better-sustained performance.

It’s still not clear how much power the mobile version of the Quadro RTX 6000 will draw, but Asus made a new super-slim 300w charger, and it put an Intel i9-9980HK processor inside. The charger is about 3.6 inches by 3.6 inches and just 1.1 inches thick. I’m talking about the charger because chargers for big beastly machines like the Asus ProArt StudioBook One are typically big beastly monsters you can use as a flail in case of a zombie emergency. A brick that’s just 3.6 by 3.6 by 1.1 inches is unheard of for something like the ProArt StudioBook One.

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The Quadro RTX 6000 found in the Asus ProArt StudioBook One will have 24GB of RAM dedicated for video, 32GB of traditional RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Three Thunderbolt ports provide plenty of I/O while a 90Whr battery should keep it charged, fora little while at least.

Size-wise the Asus ProArt StudioBook One sounds like it will be on the thinner side for something this powerful. It’s just .94-inches thick and weighs 6.4 pounds. Those are, by no means, impressive measurements when you consider the state of gaming laptops. Thanks to Nvidia pushing its Max-Q reference design they’ve gotten much thinner. (Asus’ ROG Zephyrus is .66 inches thick at its thinnest.) But there isn’t another laptop quite as powerful as the Asus ProArt StudioBook One right now, and its design sure as heck beats some of the monsters I’ve had to carry around before.

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It sports a 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut, and 97 percent of DCI-P3 color gamut. Asus and Nvidia claim it will be calibrated at the factor with a delta E of 1 or less. The delta E is a number that corresponds to the average accuracy of a display. A display with a delta E of 3 or lower is so good that the human eye can’t detect inaccuracy.

Other specs haven’t been disclosed, and pricing isn’t available either. We’ll update once Asus and Nvidia give us more information.

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About the author

Alex Cranz

Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.