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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M is a 28 nm DirectX-11 graphics card for mid- and high-end notebooks. It was introduced in January 2015 and is based on the Maxwell GM204 (later GM206) architecture. The clock rates specified by Nvidia are 924 MHz (+ Boost) for the GPU and 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective) for the up to 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

Early 2015 a new version of the 965M (codename N16E-GR, formerly known as 965M Ti) based on the GM206 will be available that features higher core clocks of 935 MHz base and 1151 MHz Turbo. This resulted in a 12% faster performance in games (in our tests with a MSI GE72 pre-sample in maximum detail settings). The TDP however should remain at 50 Watt like the GTX 960M and the chip is also pin compatible. In theory the GM206 also supports HDMI 2.0, but the laptop has to implement the wiring for this correctly.

Architecture

Just like the mid-range GM107 chip (GeForce GTX 860M), the GM204 is also based on Nvidia's new Maxwell architecture, which replaces the previous Kepler generation. Among other changes, Nvidia have restructured the streaming multi processors (SMM) in order to increase workload and efficiency. Now each SMM contains only 128 shader units and 8 TMUs, which is noticeably less than an equivalent Kepler GPU. The GM204 features four GPCs, and each consists of four SMMs. But, in the GeForce GTX 965M, Nvidia have deactivated 8 of 16 SMMs. As a result, only 1024 shader ALUs and 64 TMUs are active. In addition, there are 32 ROPs in two clusters with 16 units each.

The memory interface has a bandwidth of 128-bits (2x 64 bit). Thanks to an improved compression algorithm, the connection to the GDDR5 memory should be significantly more efficient per MHz. Furthermore, the L1 (96 KB per SMM) and L2 caches (2 MB) have been significantly increased to lower the needed bandwidth.

Although the GM107 and the GM204 both belong to the Maxwell generation, the newer and larger GM204 has several additional features and changes. Aside from the improved polymorphic engine in the SSMs, it is also the first Nvidia chip to support DirectX 12 Feature Level 12_1.

Performance

Thanks to the increased efficiency, the GeForce GTX 965M performs similar to the previous Kepler-GPU GeForce GTX 870M (1344 shader, 192-bit GDDR5). The more expensive, also Maxwell-based GTX 970M (1280 shader, 192-bit GDDR5) is a further 35 to 40 percent faster. Overall, the GTX 965M is fast enough to run demanding games as of 2014/2015 with high details and FullHD resolution. In some titles, even additional quality features like anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are possible.

Features

Most of the features are identical to the GeForce GTX 800M series. With the GTX 965M, there can be up to 4 active displays possible, but this will likely decrease due to Optimus. Displays can be connected with a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz via DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 (no HDCP @ 4K). HD audio formats like Dolby True HD and DTS HD can be sent to a compatible receiver as bitstream. As with previous models, 3D Vision is not supported with Optimus.

The updated video processor VP6 supports the usual formats like H.264 and can also decode and encode H.265 with a resolution of up to 4K via the NVENC API. Several parallel streams, such as picture-in-picture in a Blu-Ray movie, are also possible.

Further features of the GTX 900M series, which are also partly supported by older cards, include Battery Boost (longer battery life during gaming), Shadowplay (recording of gaming videos up to 4K60p and 130 Mbit/s) and Gamestream (game streaming on Shield console). More information on these features are available here.

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the 28 nm GeForce GTX 965M including its MXM board and memory should be significantly below the GTX 870M at an estimated 70 watts. Nevertheless, the graphics card can only be used in large gaming notebooks with powerful cooling systems.

Under low load, dynamic clock rates help the GTX 965M to save energy. While idle, the Optimus technology also allows for the complete deactivation of the GPU in favor of the integrated processor graphics card.

ManufacturerNVIDIA
GeForce GTX 900M Series
GeForce GTX 980M SLI 3072 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz2x 256 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M SLI 2560 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz2x 192 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M SLI 2048 @ 924 - 950 (Boost) MHz2x 128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 980M 1536 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz256 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M 1280 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz192 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M 1024 @ 924 / 935 - 950 / 1151 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 960M 640 @ 1029 - 1097 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 950M 640 @ 914 - 993 - 1124 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 1800 - 5000 MHz
CodenameN16E-GS, N16E-GR
ArchitectureMaxwell
Pipelines1024 - unified
Core Speed *924 / 935 - 950 / 1151 (Boost) MHz
Memory Speed *5000 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory4096 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 12 (FL 12_1), Shader 5.0
Power Consumption50 Watt
Transistors5200 Million
technology28 nm
FeaturesBattery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement05.01.2015
* The specified clock rates are only guidelines for the manufacturer and can be altered by them.

Benchmarks

GFXBench 3.0 - Manhattan Offscreen OGL off screen
0%
100%
min: 213     avg: 213.5 (44%)     median: 213.5 (44%)     max: 214 fps
GFXBench 3.0 - Manhattan Onscreen OGL on screen
0%
100%
min: 60     avg: 60 (80%)     median: 60 (80%)     max: 60 fps
Cinebench R15
Ref. Match 64Bit +
OpenGL 64Bit +
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 1920x1080 +
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 +
3DMark (2013) - Fire Strike Standard Graphics 1920x1080
0%
100%
min: 5323     avg: 5707.2 (21%)     median: 5699.5 (21%)     max: 6160 Points
3DMark (2013) - Fire Strike Standard Score 1920x1080
0%
100%
min: 4760     avg: 5034 (22%)     median: 5005 (21%)     max: 5366 Points
3DMark (2013) - Cloud Gate Standard Graphics 1280x720
0%
100%
min: 17226     avg: 34708.4 (21%)     median: 35144.5 (22%)     max: 39064 Points
3DMark (2013) - Cloud Gate Standard Score 1280x720
0%
100%
min: 13156     avg: 17738.3 (51%)     median: 18122.5 (52%)     max: 19524 Points
3DMark (2013) - Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score 1280x720 offscreen
0%
100%
min: 258981     avg: 259766 (58%)     median: 259766 (58%)     max: 260552 Points
3DMark (2013) - Ice Storm Extreme Graphics 1920x1080
0%
100%
min: 17214     avg: 63780.5 (17%)     median: 63780.5 (17%)     max: 110347 Points
3DMark (2013) - Ice Storm Standard Graphics 1280x720
0%
100%
min: 17213     avg: 103440 (14%)     median: 94840 (13%)     max: 221192 Points
Unigine Heaven 3.0 - DX 11, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders 1920x1080
0%
100%
min: 66.3     avg: 66.3 (25%)     median: 66.3 (25%)     max: 66.3 fps
ComputeMark v2.1 - Normal, Score 1024x600
0%
100%
min: 4057     avg: 4444.7 (28%)     median: 4597 (29%)     max: 4680 Points
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit - Room Scene, OpenCL GPUs-only
0%
100%
min: 873     avg: 915 (25%)     median: 915 (25%)     max: 957 Samples/s
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit - Sala Scene, OpenCL GPUs-only
0%
100%
min: 1544     avg: 1752.5 (30%)     median: 1779 (31%)     max: 1908 Samples/s
3DMark 11 - Performance GPU 1280x720
0%
100%
min: 6980     avg: 7619.5 (21%)     median: 7612.5 (21%)     max: 8391 points
3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
0%
100%
min: 7099     avg: 7716.8 (34%)     median: 7901.5 (35%)     max: 8400 points
3DMark Vantage
P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024 +
P Result no PhysX 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06 Standard 1280x1024 +
SPECviewperf 12
Solidworks (sw-03) 1900x1060 +
Siemens NX (snx-02) 1900x1060 +
Showcase (showcase-01) 1900x1060 +
Medical (medical-01) 1900x1060 +
Maya (maya-04) 1900x1060 +
Energy (energy-01) 1900x1060 +
Creo (creo-01) 1900x1060 +
Catia (catia-04) 1900x1060 +
SPECviewperf 11
Siemens NX 1920x1080 +
Tcvis 1920x1080 +
SolidWorks 1920x1080 +
Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080 +
Maya 1920x1080 +
Lightwave 1920x1080 +
Ensight 1920x1080 +
Catia 1920x1080 +
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit +
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit +
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card

Game Benchmarks

The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailled information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Mirror's Edge Catalyst

2016
low 1280x720
124.2 127.8 ~ 126 fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
80.9 83.6 87 ~ 84 fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
39.3 40.5 41.7 ~ 41 fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
33.5 35.8 36.4 ~ 35 fps    + Compare
3840x2160
3.6 12.6 ~ 8 fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Overwatch

Overwatch

2016
low 1280x720
202.3 260.4 ~ 231 fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
178.3 179.4 ~ 179 fps    + Compare