Nvidia GTX 980M, 970M revealed – here are the specs

According to Nvidia, there has been a five-fold increase in gaming notebook sales over the past three years as more PC enthusiast move from towers to the more portable alternative.

To meet this demand, the hardware maker has launched its 900M series, starring the GeForce GTX 980M and GTX 970M.

The graphics units are aimed at gamers who don’t want to sacrifice performance when moving to laptop gaming, with Nvidia promising the GTX 980M will deliver 75% of the performance of the recently released GTX 980.

That’s a bold promise, considering the GTX 980 has a fan the size of a helicopter blade to keep it cool, costs just under R10,000, and beats its mobile counterpart in all aspects in terms of specifications.

The 980M and 970M’s key specifications have been summarised in the table below.

Specifications Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M
Cuda Cores 1536 1280
Core Clock 1038 + boost 924 + boost
Memory Clock 2500MHz GDDR5 2500MHz GDDR5
VRAM* 4GB or 8GB 3GB or 6GB
Memory Interface 256-bit 192-bit
LCD eDP 1.2 Support 3840×2160 3840×2160
VGA Analog Support 2048×1536 2048×1536
DisplaytPort Multimode Support 3840×2160 3840×2160
*According to Anandtech

Nvidia also revealed a bevy of laptops which will be fitted with either a 980M or 970M.

The Asus G751 series and the MSI GT and GS series both feature on Nvidia’s product page. The Asus comes standard with the GTX 980 4GB, while the MSI GT72 gives you the option of either the 980M 8GB or 970M.

Other laptops, pictured below, which will feature the new graphics units include the Gigabyte P35 and Aorus X7, and the the Clevo P150 and P650.

900m Laptops

900m Laptops

Fret not, we will be putting a 900M laptop feature – hopefully with local pricing – together in the coming days.

Nvidia provided some performance figures for its 980M and 970M, which I could not find on Nvidia’s site but which were sent to Anandtech, which have been tabulated below. Note that all games were tested in 1080p.

Game Game Settings GTX 980M GTX 970M
Batman: Arkham Origins Max, FXAA High, PhysX High 60 45
Battlefield 4 Ultra 66 49
Bioshock Infinite Ultra DX11_DDOF 91 69
Crysis 3 Very High 4xMSAA 36 26
Far Cry 3 Ultra 4xMSAA 51 38
Hitman Absolution Ultra 74 65
Metro: Last Light Very High SSAA 36 27
StarCraft II Max 4xMSAA 68 62
Tomb Raider Ultimate 69 51
*All games were tested in 1080p

A concern for laptop gamers at times is how this ramped up performance will affect the battery life of their laptops – a problem which Nvidia marketers have answered eloquently and without offending any cultural groups.

The GPU makers state that the Battery Boost technology pioneered when the 800M series was launched will ensure gamers get more than a hour out of their rigs before it is time to recharge, by regulating the performance of the GPU to ensure it only uses enough power to keep your game running smoothly and stepping up or down depending on how visually demanding the game is.

Before we go, here’s where Nvidia plans to hide its little GPUs… right below the space bar, how clever.

GeForce GTX 900M Series

GeForce GTX 900M Series

Are these chips powerful enough to convert you to a laptop gamer? Let us know what you think in the comments and forum.

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