NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) vs NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M vs NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)► remove
The mobile Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 is a graphics card for high end laptops. It is based on the Pascal architecture and manufactured in 16 nm FinFET at TSMC. The GPU is using the smaller GP106 chip. Compared to the desktop version of the GTX 1060, the laptop version offers the same amount of shaders but slightly lower clock rates. The TDP is slightly less than the old GTX 970M (predecessor).
For thin and light laptops Nvidia offer a Max-Q called version of the GTX 1060 with lower TDP and also significantly lower performance. Sadly this variant im sold with the same GTX 1060 name, making it hard to judge the performance.
The performance of the mobile GTX 1060 is a few percent below a reference GTX 1060 desktop card. In our benchmark so far (no max-Q version) the mobile GTX 1060 was somewhere between -1 and -16% slower than a desktop variant. A comprehensive review of the dekstop GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition with 6 GB GDDR5 can be found here. Therefore, the card is most suited for Full HD or WQHD gaming in high to maximum details (see benchmarks below).
The GP106 chip is produced in 16nm FinFET at TSMC and offers a range of new features, like DisplayPort 1.4 (ready), HDMI 2.0b, HDR, Simultaneous Multi-Projection (SMP) and improved H.265 video de- and encoding (PlayReady 3.0). A list of improvements and features can be found in our article on the Pascal architecture.
The power consumption is specified with a TGP of 80 Watt and therefore slightly below the old GTX 970M. Since summer 2017 a low power variant (Max-Q) is available for thin and light laptops with reduced performance and a lower TGP of 60 - 70 Watt.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M► remove
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M is an upper mid-range, DirectX 11-compatible graphics card for laptops unveiled in March 2015. It is based on Nvidia's Maxwell architecture (GM107 chip) and manufactured in 28 nm. The GTX 960M offers 640 shader units clocked at 1097 - 1202 MHz (Boost) as well as fast GDDR5 memory (128 bit, 5000 MHz effective, 80 GB/s).
Compared to the previous and technically very similar GTX 860M, the GTX 960M is clocked slightly higher.
Compared to Kepler, Maxwell has been optimized in several details to increase power efficiency. Smaller Streaming Multiprocessors (SMM) with only 128 ALUs (Kepler: 192) and an optimized scheduler should lead to better utilization of the shaders. Nvidia promises that a Maxwell SMM with 128 ALUs can offer 90 percent of the performance of a Kepler SMX with 192 ALUs. GM107 features 5 SMMs and thus 640 shader cores, 40 TMUs and 16 ROPs (128-bit interface).
Another optimization is the massively enlarged L2 cache (GM107: 2 MB). The increased size can handle some of the memory traffic to allow for a relatively narrow memory interface without significantly reducing the performance.
GM107 supports DirectX 12 with feature level 11_0 only.
Although the GTX 960M has the same memory bandwidth as the previous GTX 860M, its higher core clock leads to a slightly better performance. Overall, the 960M is almost 10 percent faster and similar to the desktop GTX 750 Ti.
Many games of 2014/2015 can be played fluently in FullHD resolution and high detail settings. However, very demanding games such as Assassin's Creed Unity will require lower resolutions and/or details.
GM107 integrates the sixth generation of the PureVideo HD video engine (VP6), offering a better decoding performance for H.264 and MPEG-2 videos. Of course, VP6 supports all features of previous generations (4K support, PIP, video encoding via NVENC API). Unfortunately, HDMI 2.0 is still not supported.
The power consumption of the GeForce GTX 960M should be similar to the old GTX 860M (about 60 watts). Therefore, the GPU is best suited for 15-inch laptops or larger. The 900M series also supports Optimus to automatically switch between an integrated graphics card and the Nvidia GPU.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI► remove
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI is a high-end DirectX 11-compatible graphics solution for laptops, consisting of two GeForce GTX 965M. Each card has a 28 nm GM204 GPU based on the Maxwell architecture, which is the same chip as found on the GTX 980M, GTX 970M as well as several desktop cards. The clocks for the SLI-setup are usually identical to a single GTX 965M (924 MHz GPU, 1250 MHz memory).
With SLI, each card renders a single frame (AFR mode). Therefore, it may suffer from micro stuttering in low fps ranges of 30 fps. This happens because of different timespans between two frames (e.g., irregular delays between sequential frames).
GM204 is based on Nvidia's 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) for each of the two GPUs. 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. Compared to the mid-range GM107, 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.
With good driver support, SLI almost doubles the performance of a single card. In this case, the GTX 965M SLI beats a single GeForce GTX 980M by about 10 percent. Therefore, the GTX 965M SLI is powerful enough to run even the most demanding games with highest details, AA/AF and/or resolutions exceeding FullHD.
Most of the features are identical to the GeForce GTX 800M series. With the GTX 965M, there can be up to 4 active displays, but this will likely decrease due to Optimus. Displays can be connected with a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels 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 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 (hybrid H.265 decoder, not fully fixed function). 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.
The power consumption of each GeForce GTX 965M including its MXM board and memory should be around 70 W, leading to a total TDP of about 140 W. Therefore, the SLI setup can only be used in very large and heavy gaming notebooks with powerful cooling systems. Under low load, dynamic clock rates help the GPUs to save energy.
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI|
|GeForce GTX 900M Series|
|1280 -||640 -||2048 -|
|Core||1404 - 1670 (Boost) MHz||1096 - 1202 (Boost) MHz||924 - 950 (Boost) MHz|
|Memory||8000 MHz||5000 MHz||5000 MHz|
|Bus||192 Bit||128 Bit||2x 128 Bit|
|Max. Memory||6.144 MB||4096 MB||2x 4096 MB|
|DirectX||DirectX 12_1||DirectX 12 (FL 11_0), 5.0||DirectX 12 (FL 12_1), 5.0|
|Transistors||4400 Million||1870 Million||2x 5200 Million|
|Technology||16 nm||28 nm||28 nm|
|Features||Multi-Projection, VR Ready, G-SYNC, Vulkan, Multi Monitor||Battery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience, GameWorks, Adaptive VSync, DSR, Ansel||Battery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience|