Did NVIDIA show Maxwell instead of Pascal?

Published: Jan 12th 2016, 10:03 GMT

Simple question and simple answer .. yes.

NVIDIA showcased Drive PX 2 with Maxwell GPUs

More and more sites are picking up the story, but I haven’t seen any taking a closer look at the GPU, not just the MXM module.

So what do we know? Jen-Hsun said that Drive PX 2 has two Pascal GPUs and two Tegra SoCs on board. What’s interesting is that NVIDIA has only released official pictures of the front (aka Tegra side). There were no pictures of the back, where MXM modules are installed.

Luckily for us, NVIDIA was careless enough (or simply didn’t care) to show both sides of the board at its CES booth. It took me a while to find a picture of the back in good quality. Fortunately, Golem.de had just what I needed.

Here’s the original picture:

NVIDIA Drive PX 2 Maxwell

First we have a comparison between the Drive PX 2 MXM module that should be based on Pascal and GeForce GTX 980M (picture taken by Eurocom). Only few components at the top are misplaced. The probability of Pascal GP104 and GM204 sharing the same board is close to none. This was without a doubt graphics card based on GM204. Whether this was GTX 980M or Quadro M5000 (which was not pictured yet), we don’t know.

NVIDIA Drive PX 2 MXM vs GTX 980M

And here’s a closeup at the GPU compared to GM204.

First is GM204 made in third week of 2015 (1503A1), and on the right side we have GM204 (from desktop GTX 980) manufactured in 21st week of 2014 (1421A1).

NVIDIA Fake Pascal VS GM204

The memory is ELPIDA EDW4032BABG (16x 512MB modules):

Elpida EDW4032BABG

So what does it all mean? Absolutely nothing. NVIDIA was just not ready to show Pascal, but they failed to inform us that the Drive PX 2 prototype had Maxwell installed.

AMD was at least ready to show Polaris GPUs at RTG Summit and later at CES, and this was confirmed by multiple sources, which unfortunately were not allowed to take any pictures.

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