The NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M is a fast middle class graphics card for laptops and is essentially a renamed GeForce GT 555M. It is based on the GF108 or GF116 cores with different shader counts, clock speeds and memory configurations. It stems from the Fermi generation and supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0.
96 cores 753MHz, 128Bit GDDR5, e.g. Lenovo Y570p / Y560p
The GF114 and GF116 chips are slightly reworked architectures that were introduced in 2011. Due to a changed transistor design, the clock rates could be higher without increasing overall power consumption. Detailed information on the GF106 can be found on the GeForce GT 555M page and information on the GF104 on the GeForce GT 435M page.
The performance of the GeForce GT 635M is dependent on the version of the card used (see above). The performance range is similar to the former GT 555M and somewhat below the Kepler based GT 640M. Therefore, most modern games run fluently in medium to high settings in 1366x768. Only very demanding games like Metro 2033 or Battlefield 3 will require lower settings (see our benchmark tests below).
A novelty of the GF104/106/108 chips is the support of Bitstream HD Audio (Blu-Ray) output via HDMI. Like the Radeon HD 5730, the GT 635M can transfer Dolby True HD and DTS-HD bitstream to a HiFi receiver without quality loss.
The GT 635M offers PureVideo HD technology for video decoding. The included Video Processor 4 (VP4) supports feature set C and allows the GPU 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). This can free up processing time from the CPU, leading to better multitasking performance.
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 635M can be of help in general calculations. For example, the stream processor can encode videos considerably quicker than can a modern CPU. Furthermore, physics calculations can be done by the GPU using PhysX if supported, such as in Mafia 2 or Metro 2033.
According to Nvidia, the GT 635M supports 3D Vision. It enables the laptop to output 3D content (3D games, 3D Web Streaming, 3D photos, 3D Blu-Rays) to a 3D-enabled screen or an external 3D TV if supported by the laptop manufacturer and when not in conjunction with Optimus.
The relatively high power consumption of the GeForce GT 635M suits it for larger laptops starting from 14-inches. To save power, the card supports Optimus to automatically switch between the integrated Intel graphics card and the Nvidia GPU. Even though the video card natively supports Optimus, it is up to the manufacturer to implement the technology.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M is a relatively fast middle-class graphics card for laptops. Currently, it can be based on three different chips with different specifications and performance values. The GF108 version (a renamed GT 540M) features 96 shaders while the GF106/GF116 version (a renamed GT 550M) features 144 shaders. Furthermore, the newer 28nm Fermi-based GF117 variant will be available as well with significantly reduced power consumption. All models feature a 128 Bit memory interface for DDR3 graphics memory. As part of the Fermi architecture, the cards support DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0.
The performance of the 96 shader version should be exactly like the GeForce GT 540M and the 144 shader version like the GeForce GT 555M (see both gaming benchmark pages). Demanding games of 2010 should therefore run fluently in medium to high details. However, certain 2011 games like Anno 2070 or Skyrim may need reduced detail settings for fluent framerates. The GF117 version can be clocked up to 800 MHz and therefore performs similar to the average GT 555M. However, exact clock rates differ between laptop models and manufacturers; the overall performance is somewhere between a GT 540M and GT 555M.
A novelty of the GF104, GF106 and GF108 chips is the support for Bitstream HD Audio (Blu-Ray) via HDMI. Similar to the Radeon HD 5730, the GT 630M can transfer Dolby True HD and DTS-HD bitstream without quality loss to a HiFi receiver.
The GT 630M offers PureVideo HD technology for video decoding using the GPU. The integrated 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). 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 630M can assist 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 (supported in Mafia 2 and Metro 2033). However, the GPU is not powerful enough to support both PhysX and high detail game settings at reasonable frame rates.
Following the current 3D trend, the 630M supports 3D Vision. This 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. This feature is disabled if the notebook includes Optimus.
The power consumption of the GeForce GT 630M should be similar to the GeForce GT 435M or Radeon HD 5730 and is therefore suited for 15" or larger laptops. If idle or not under load, the chip is clocked at approximately 50/101/137 MHz (chip/shader/memory, respectively) in 2D mode and at 202/405/324 MHz in 3D mode to save power. Furthermore, the 600M series supports Optimus to automatically switch between the integrated Intel graphics card and the Nvidia GPU. The implementation of Optimus, however, is dependent on the laptop manufacturer.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI is a high-end DirectX 11-compatible graphics solution for laptops, consisting of two GeForce GT 650M. Each card has a 28nm GK107 core based on the Kepler architecture. With SLI, each card usually renders a single frame (AFR mode). Therefore, it may suffer from micro stuttering in low fps ranges of 30fps. This happens because of different timespans between two frames (e.g., irregular delays between sequential frames). The 650M SLI is currently used only in the Lenovo Y500 with fast GDDR5 graphics memory and clock rates of 790 to 835 MHz (GeForce Boost).
The Kepler architecture is the successor to the Fermi architecture that first appeared in laptops with the GeForce 400M series. The GK107 Kepler core offers two shader blocks, called SMX, each with 192 shaders for a total of 384 shader cores that are clocked at the same speed as the central core. Although more shader cores are available in the Kepler architecture as compared to the Fermi design, the Kepler shaders are still expected to be up to twice as power efficient. However, due to the missing hot clock of the shader domain, two shaders of a Kepler chip are about as fast as one shader of a Fermi chip (as the latter is clocked twice as fast). PCIe 3.0 is now supported by the mobile Kepler series and an optional Turbo mode can automatically overclock the Nvidia card by a theoretical 15 percent if the laptop cooling system allows it. The implementation of this boost mode is done in the BIOS, but it is ultimately dependent upon the manufacturer of the laptop.
The gaming performance of the SLI combination ranges between a GeForce GTX 670MX (maximum, e.g. in 3DMark 11 benchmarks) down to a single GeForce GT 650M (if SLI is not supported by the game). On average the 650M SLI could therefore be placed a bit above a Geforce GTX 660M in the high-end class. Modern games of 2012 should therefore be playable with high detail settings.
The improved feature set now includes support for up to 4 active displays. Furthermore, high resolution monitors of up to 3840x2160 pixels can now be connected using DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 1.4a if available. HD-Audio codecs, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, can be transmitted via bitstream mode through the HDMI port. However, as most laptops will feature Optimus, the integrated GPU will likely have direct control over the display ports and may limit the feature set available by the Nvidia Kepler cards.
The 5th generation PureVideo HD video processor (VP5) is also integrated in the GK107 core and offers hardware decoding of HD videos. Common codecs such as MPEG-1/2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.264 and VC1/WMV9 are fully supported up to 4K resolutions while VC1 and MPEG-4 are supported up to 1080p. Two streams can be decoded in parallel for features such as Picture-in-Picture. Another novelty is the inclusion of a dedicated video encoding engine similar to Intel QuickSync that can be accessed by the NVENC API.
The power consumption of the GeForce GT 650M SLI should double compared to a single GTX 650M. Therefore, only large laptops can handle the heat dissipation.
Average Benchmarks NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M → 100%n=9
Average Benchmarks NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M → 99%n=9
Average Benchmarks NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI → 234%n=9
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card - Average benchmark values for this graphics card * Smaller numbers mean a higher performance 1 This benchmark is not used for the average calculation
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 detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.