NVIDIA GeForce GT 445M

NVIDIA GeForce GT 445M

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 445M is a fast mid-range laptop graphics card introduced in 2010. It is based on the GF106 core, which is related to the Fermi architecture. Therefore, it supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0. In contrast to the GTX 460M, the card only features 144 of the 192 shader cores. Depending on the configuration, the GPU is available in 128 bit DDR3 or 192 bit GDDR5 for VRAM. The performance difference between the two versions can differ significantly.

GF106 architecture

The GF106 core of the GTX 445M is related to the GF100 core of the GeFore GTX 480M and offers a maximum of 192 shaders and a 192 Bit memory bus with GDDR5. The GT 445M offers only 144 shaders and, in some variants, also a smaller memory bus with DDR3. Except for the memory controllers, the GF106 can essentially be considered a halved GF104. Therefore, the architecture is not comparable to the old GT215 (e.g., GeForce GTS 350M) or GT216 (e.g., GeForce GT 330M) cores.  

Unlike the GF100, the smaller GF104, GF106 and GF108 cores were not only shortened, but also considerably modified. In contrast to the GF100, which was designed for professional applications, these latter GF10x chips target the consumer market. They feature more shaders (3x16 instead of 2x16), more texture units (8 instead of 4) and more SFUs per streaming multi-processor (SM). 

As there are still only 2 warp schedulers (versus 3 shader groups), Nvidia now uses superscalar execution in order to utilize the higher amount of shaders per SM more efficiently. In other words, the shaders operate more efficiently with higher performance per core. 

However, in worst case scenarios the performance can also be worse than of the GF100 and its predecessors. The ECC memory protection, which is important for professional applications, was completely omitted and the FP64 hardware shortened (only 1/3 of the shaders are FP64-capable and thereby only 1/12 of the FP32’s performance). Because of these cutbacks, the size of the SM  grew only by 25% despite the higher number of shaders and larger warp schedulers with superscalar dispatch capabilities. 

Due to the different shader architectures and the higher clock rates of the shader domain, the Nvidia core count cannot be directly compared to AMD cores of the Radeon 5000 series (e.g. HD 5830).

Detailed information on the GF104 architecture (and also the GF106 and GF108 by extension) can be found in the desktop GTX 460 article by Anandtech.


Because the GeForce GT 445M features the new Fermi architecture, the performance is not comparable to older chips with a similar core count. General performance heavily depends on the used memory, as DDR3 should be a bottleneck to the performance. The gaming performance is intended to be on a level with the Mobility Radeon HD 5850, assuming that the same type of graphics memory is used. In our tests, a DDR3 GeForce GT 445M was on average 14% faster than a DDR3 Radeon HD 5850 with DDR3. Furthermore, the the Fermi based chips offer a higher Tessellation performance than DX11 chips of the Radeon HD 5000 series. See below for our detailed benchmark values and gaming tests.


A novel feature of the GF104/106/108 chips is the support for Bitstream HD Audio output via HDMI for Blu-ray playback. Similar the Radeon HD 5730, the GT 445M can transfer Dolby True HD and DTS-HD bitstream without quality loss to a HiFi receiver.

The GT445M offers the PureVideo HD technology for video decoding. The included Video Processor 4 (VP4) supports feature set C and is able to fully decode MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2 (MPEG-4 ASP - e.g., DivX or Xvid), VC-1/WMV9, and H.264 (VLD, IDCT, Motion Compensation, and Deblocking). In our tests, a 1080p H.264 encoded movie was playing fluently at very low CPU utilization (about 1%). A 1080p Youtube Flash video stressed the CPU only at 4%.

Furthermore, the GPU is able to decode two 1080p streams simultaneously (e.g., for Blu-Ray Picture-in-Picture).

Through CUDA, OpenCL and DirectCompute 2.1 support, the GeForce GT 445M can be of help in general calculations. For example, the stream processor can encode videos considerably faster than can a modern CPU. Furthermore, physics calculations can be done by the GPU using PhysX. Certain games, such as Mafia 2 or Metro 2033, natively support this feature.

According to Nvidia, support for 3D Vision on the GT 445M is also new. It enables the laptop to send 3D content (3D games, 3D Web Streaming, 3D photos, 3D Blu-Rays) to a built-in 3D-enabled screen or an external 3D TV if supported by the laptop manufacturer.

According to rumors, the power consumption of the GeForce GT 445M should be about 45 Watt TDP if including the MXM board and memory, which is about the level of a Mobility Radeon HD 5830. If idle, the chip is clocked at 50/100 MHz (chip/shader) in 2D mode and 200/400 in 3D mode for power-saving purposes. Furthermore, the 400M series supports Optimus to automatically switch between the integrated graphics card from Intel and the Nvidia GPU. Most notebooks include this feature, but its implementation is completely dependent on the notebook manufacturer.

GeForce GT 400M Series
GeForce GT 445M 144 @ 590 MHz192 / 128 Bit @ 1250 MHz
GeForce GT 435M (compare) 96 @ 650 MHz128 Bit @ 800 MHz
GeForce GT 425M (compare) 96 @ 560 MHz128 Bit @ 800 MHz
GeForce GT 420M (compare) 96 @ 500 MHz128 Bit @ 800 MHz
GeForce GT 415M (compare) 48 @ 500 MHz128 Bit @ 800 MHz
Pipelines144 - unified
Core Speed590 MHz
Shader Speed1180 MHz
Memory Speed1250 MHz
Memory Bus Width192 / 128 Bit
Memory TypeDDR3, GDDR5
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11, Shader 5.0
technology40 nm
FeaturesOptimus Support, PureVideo HD VP4, 3D Vision, Bitstream HD Audio, CUDA, DirectCompute, OpenCL, OpenGL 4.0, DirectX 11
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement03.09.2010
Link to Manufacturer Page


3DMark Vantage
P Result 1280x1024 +
P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06 Standard 1280x1024 +
Unigine Heaven 2.1 - high, Tesselation (normal), DirectX11 1280x1024
16.2 fps (7%)
SPECviewperf 11
Siemens NX 1920x1080 +
Tcvis 1920x1080 +
SolidWorks 1920x1080 +
Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080 +
Maya 1920x1080 +
Lightwave 1920x1080 +
Ensight 1920x1080 +
Catia 1920x1080 +
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit +
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit +
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

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.

Call of Duty: Black Ops
med. 1024x768
61.8 fps  fps    + Compare
high 1360x768
56.5 fps  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
37.1 fps  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Fifa 11

Fifa 11

med. 1024x768
235.5 fps  fps    + Compare
high 1360x768
163.3 fps  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
98.9 fps  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Mafia 2

Mafia 2

med. 1024x768
51.8  fps    + Compare
high 1360x768
41.8  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
25.1  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
StarCraft 2
med. 1360x768
58.1 fps  fps    + Compare
high 1360x768
43.5 fps  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
23.2 fps  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Metro 2033
med. 1360x768
37.7 fps  fps    + Compare
high 1600x900
19.4 fps  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
6.8 fps  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
med. 1366x768
52.7 fps  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
39.3 fps  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
21.1 fps  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
CoD Modern Warfare 2
med. 1024x768
63 fps  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
52 fps  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
33.8 fps  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.


med. 1024x768
48.6 fps