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TekSpek GPU - Graphics
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 900M Series Mobile Graphics

NVIDIA Geforce GTX 900M Series Mobile Graphics

Date issued:

Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX 980M and GeForce GTX 970M mobile GPUs, based on the latest Maxwell graphics architecture, in October 2014. More recently, in January 2015, the GeForce GTX 965Mwas released to laptop makers. These new mobile GPUs provide class-leading gaming performance for a wide variety of premium laptops.

Following on from the desktop GPUs bearing the same name and technology, Nvidia says it is introducing never-seen-before performance for premium laptops. The underlying Maxwell architecture's key strengths are energy efficiency and an impressive performance-per-watt metric, so it makes perfect sense when designed for laptops where power consumption and battery life are very real concerns. Here is how the trio of 900-series mobile GPUs line up against one another:

Nvidia GeForce Mobile 900-series comparisons

Memory Speed
Memory Bus Width
SLI Support
Performance uplift over previous gen
GTX 980M
GTX 970M
GTX 965M


Though not overly different to their 800-series predecessors from a pure specification point of view, the Maxwell architecture is significantly more efficient, leading to better power consumption. Also, Nvidia says the Maxwell Cuda cores are up to 40 per cent more powerful than the previous-generation Kepler, meaning that is now incorrect to compare generations on pure specifications alone.

The Maxwell architecture underpinning these GTX 9xxM parts also uses far more efficient memory technology, where, through intelligent compression techniques, real-world throughput is boosted by approximately 25 per cent. The technology behind these new mobile GPUs is better in every regard than anything that has come before.

GeForce GTX 980M, GTX 970M and GTX 965M, therefore, are about 40 per cent faster than the previous generation bearing the same name. Premier mobile GPUs consume about 100W when operating at full speed - this hasn't changed between Maxwell and Kepler - so notebook manufacturers, such as Scan Computers, can replace older technology easily without having to change the cooling.

Closing the gap between desktop and mobile

As an example of performance progression and narrowing of mobile and desktop GPUs, the GTX 980M's performance uptick is enough for it to benchmark at 75 per cent of the level exhibited by the excellent desktop GeForce GTX 980. This means it can run all modern games at a full-HD resolution and with excellent image quality with consummate ease. The GTX 970M and GTX 965M are not as fast, naturally, but still provide enough graphics horsepower for a premium mobile gaming experience.

Battery Boost (Plus)

You may remember that Nvidia introduced Battery Boost for the GTX 800-series mobile GPUs. Battery Boost is an umbrella term for a collection of Nvidia technologies that extend the time the laptop runs when on the battery. When unplugged, most laptops equipped with decent discrete graphics tend to burn through a lot of power - both on the CPU and GPU - in trying to replicate mains-connected performance, even though most batteries can only supply a continuous 100W.

In a nutshell, transparent to the user, and automatically activated as soon as the laptop is unplugged from the mains, Battery Boost reduces system-wide power to the minimum level where gaming can still be considered smooth. Nvidia pegs this level to 30fps and uses GeForce Experience know-how to control the framerate. But Battery Boost goes further than this and examines the way in which the CPU, memory and GPU interact with one other as each frame is rendered.

Now, with the new GeForce GTX 900M-series GPUs, Nvidia says that, by using Battery Boost at a 1080p resolution and limiting the framerate to 30fps, unplugged game time is further improved, by up to 55 per cent when compared to playing the games without any frame- and power-limiting technology. The reason for this is GTX 900M-series' extra horsepower, which can easily play games at 30fps when sipping on minimal power.

Nvidia now ties in the game-configuration GeForce Experience settings with Battery Boost - new for the GTX 900M-series - such that image-quality settings can be set lower for even longer battery time. Having more absolute performance is great, but what matters just as much to laptop gamers is having good battery life.

In summary, Nvidia now provides more on-the-go graphics performance than ever before, made possible by using the new, energy-efficient Maxwell architecture for a trio of GeForce GTX 900M GPUs. More performance, better power efficiency and a roster of new features makes the GeForce GTX 980M, GTX 970M and GTX 965M the go-to choice for the graphics in your next gaming laptop.


Multiple laptops are available that feature GeForce GTX 900M technology. Scan Computers has a wide range of premium notebooks featuring Nvidia's latest technology. Please head on over to SCAN to peruse our selection.