NVIDIA launches GeForce GTX 980M and GTX 970M

Published: 7th Oct 2014, 09:35 GMT

GTX 980M

Please note not all specifications are confirmed, this post will be updated as soon as information becomes public.

Today NVIDIA finally reveals its first GeForce 900M Maxwell mobile GPUs.

High-end Maxwell architecture finally makes its way to mobile segment. GeForce GTX 980M and GTX 970M are the first high-end Maxwell graphics cards in notebooks, and we finally see why NVIDIA made the transition to 900 series.

We should note that GTX 980M/970M are not the first Maxwell mobile parts, there was also GTX860M, based on GM107.

GeForce GTX 880M, which has been with us since March, was nothing else than a third installment of GK104 in mobile form. It’s about time NVIDIA finally makes the transition to a new architecture.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Specifications

Bear in mind, that the screen-shot above (source NotebookReview) is most likely showing wrong values for TMUs and ROPs. While TMUs are easy to calculate, we don’t know if NVIDIA enabled full Raster engine in mobile GM204. If they did, we have 64 ROPs, if not, 32 ROPs could also be the possibility.

Update: GeForce GTX 980M has full 64 ROPs, while GTX 970 has 48 ROPs.

In fact GTX 980M and GTX 880M share very similar specifications. Both cards have 1536 CUDA cores, so it’s going to be interesting to see how core efficiency increased since last flagship graphics card.

GeForce GTX 970 on the other hand only sports 1280 CUDAs. This card also comes with shorter bus width (192-bit) and less memory (starting with 3GB). It’s a good indicator of what might happen in desktop segment soon. It basically means NVIDIA already has 192-bit GM204 GPU, so they can easily transform it to GTX 960 or whatever they are planning.

The fact that NVIDIA did not use full GM204 core in mobile GPU is not shocking. These cards will never be as fast as desktop variants, due to strict TDP requirements. The lesson here is that next GeForce 1000 series, GTX 1800/1080M (whatever it’s called) will most likely feature GM204 with more SMMs enabled. NVIDIA has still large field of improvement, as there are 4 SMMs disabled in N16E-GX (980M GPU).

GeForce GTX 980MGeForce GTX 970MGeForce GTX 870MGeForce GTX 880M
Architecture28nm Maxwell28nm Maxwell28nm Kepler28nm Kepler
GPU Codename GM204 (N16E-GX)
GM204GK104 (N15P-GT)GK104 (N15E-GX)
CUDA Cores1536128013441536
GPU Clock1038+ MHz924+ MHz941+ MHz954+ MHz
Memory Clock1253 MHz1253 MHz1250 MHz1250 MHz
Memory Bus256-bit192-bit192-bit256-bit
Bandwidth160 GB/s120 GB/s120 GB/s160 GB/s
Launch DateOct 7th, 2014Oct 7th, 2014Mar 12th, 2014Mar 12th, 2014


In case you’re wondering how fast will GTX 980 be, MSI has posted a teaser with GTX 880M and GTX 980M comparison. As you can see almost a 60% improvement. You can find more results in our previous post.

GT72 880M GT72 980M score

NVIDIA GTX 980M/970M press slides:

NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (9)NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (8) NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (7) NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (6) NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (5) NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (4) NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (3) NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (2) NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 970M (1)

Guys over at NotebookReview forums found few MSI notebooks with GTX 900M GPUs:

MSI GS60 2QE Ghost Pro 3K (GTX970M)

MSI GT Series GT72 Dominator Pro(GTX980M)

MSI GS70 2QE Stealth Pro (GTX970M)

MSI GS70 2QE Stealth Pro Red Edition (GTX970M)

MSI GT60 2QD Dominator 3K (GTX970M)


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