Trash Your Gaming Desktops: Nvidia’s New GeForce GTX 970M and 980M Get Serious

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Performance gapMost of our long-term readers have known for many years that high-end gaming notebooks deliver amazing performance with the latest and greatest games. However, the truth is serious gamers kept using desktops because there has always been a healthy gap between the in-game performance from notebook graphics processors (GPUs) and desktop GPUs.

Nvidia hopes to dramatically narrow that gap with the new GeForce GTX 970M and GTX 980M.

Nvidia GTX 980M Performance vs. GTX 680M

Nvidia GTX 980M Performance vs. GTX 680M

It’s no secret that the world is turning to mobile devices and today’s consumers — even hardcore gamers — are less willing to stay tied to a desktop. Notebook GPUs need to close the performance gap so consumers don’t feel like they’re making a sacrifice by using a notebook rather than a desktop. That’s why Nvidia packed the GTX 980M with new Maxwell processors that will deliver 2x or greater performance compared to the GTX 680M based on the aging Kepler architecture.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M

At the top of the line is the GeForce GTX 980M, which is now the world’s fastest notebook GPU. Built on the 28 nanometer Maxwell architecture with twice the power efficiency of the Kepler architecture, the 980M features 1536 processor cores with a memory clock of 2500 MHz and a 256-bit memory width. It features all of the Nvidia technologies that automatically maximize consumers’ notebook experience – BatteryBoost, ShadowPlay, GameStream, NVIDIA Optimus, and GeForce Experience. One of the major selling points of the new GTX chips is the fact that Nvidia has refined its BatteryBoost feature (first seen on the GTX 800M GPUs) so that you can play a visually intense game for longer while unplugged.

GTX980M_3QtrAnother new feature is Dynamic Super Resolution technology, which enables games designed for lower resolutions to be rendered at 4K. On the other hand, Dynamic Super Resolution also allows the GPU to do a better job taking a game with a high-end resolution and scaling down to the native resolution on the notebook’s display. Nvidia claims the resulting image is much higher quality than simply rendering directly to 1080p.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M

For people who want a great gaming experience but want to keep their laptop’s price more affordable, the GTX 970M notebook GPU is next on the list. Also built on the Maxwell architecture, the 970M packs 1280 processor cores with a memory clock of 2500 MHz and a 192-bit memory width. It likewise features BatteryBoost, ShadowPlay, GameStream, NVIDIA Optimus, and GeForce Experience.

Digital-Storm-LaptopsOver a dozen notebooks equipped with the new GTX 970M and GTX 980M are available now for immediate purchase from various manufacturers. Maingear just announced the NOMAD 17 is now equipped with the Nvidia GTX 980M GPU, and the Maingear NOMAD 15, PULSE 15, and PULSE 17 will now be available with the Nvidia GTX 970M GPU. ORIGIN PC and Eurocom will also offer the new GPUs in their existing lineups of Clevo-based gaming notebooks. Likewise, Digital Storm announced it will add Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 970M and 980M graphics cards to the its line of award-winning gaming laptops.

We’ll have a full review of one of the new Digital Storm notebooks in the near future, so be sure to check back for more.


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