NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M vs NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M

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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 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 950M offers 640 shader units clocked at 914 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 850M, the GTX 950M is clocked slightly higher. A detailed performance comparison of the GTX 950M with GDDR5 and DDR3 can be found here.

Some GTX 950M may be equipped with cheaper 900 - 1000 MHz DDR3 memory (1800 - 2000 MHz effective, 28.8 - 32 GB/s), which leads to a 10 - 20 percent lower performance despite the slightly higher core clock of 993 MHz.

Architecture

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.

Performance

Although the GTX 950M has the same memory bandwidth as the previous GTX 850M, its higher core clock leads to a slightly better performance. Overall, the 950M (GDDR5 version) is about 15 percent slower than the GTX 960M and just slightly behind the old GTX 860M.

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.

Features

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.

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the GeForce GTX 950M should be similar to (or slightly above) the previous GTX 850M at about 50 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 980MNVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
NVIDIANVIDIA
GeForce GTX 900M
GeForce GTX 980M SLI (compare) 3072 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz2x 256 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M SLI (compare) 2560 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz2x 192 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M SLI (compare) 2048 @ 924 - 950 (Boost) MHz2x 128 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 980M 1536 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz256 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M (compare) 1280 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz192 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M (compare) 1024 @ 924 / 935 - 950 / 1151 (Boost) MHz128 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 960M (compare) 640 @ 1096 - 1202 (Boost) MHz128 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 950M (compare) 640 @ 914 - 993 - 1124 (Boost) MHz128 @ 1800 - 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 980M SLI (compare) 3072 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz2x 256 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M SLI (compare) 2560 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz2x 192 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M SLI (compare) 2048 @ 924 - 950 (Boost) MHz2x 128 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 980M (compare) 1536 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz256 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M (compare) 1280 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz192 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M (compare) 1024 @ 924 / 935 - 950 / 1151 (Boost) MHz128 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 960M (compare) 640 @ 1096 - 1202 (Boost) MHz128 @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 950M 640 @ 914 - 993 - 1124 (Boost) MHz128 @ 1800 - 5000 MHz
MaxwellMaxwell
1536 - 640 -
1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz914 - 993 - 1124 (Boost) MHz
5000 MHz1800 - 5000 MHz
256 128
GDDR5DDR3/GDDR5
8192 4096
DirectX 12 (FL 12_1), 5.0DirectX 12 (FL 11_0), 5.0
5200 1870
28 28
Battery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience, VXGI, DSR, Ansel, G-SYNCBattery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience, GameWorks, Adaptive VSync, DSR, Ansel
07.10.2014 12.03.2015
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/notebook...http://www.geforce.com/hardware/notebook...
N16P-GT

3DMark - Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score 1280x720 offscreen
min: 286434     avg: 338661     median: 327632 (72%)     max: 398761 Points
min: 139393     avg: 187457     median: 198867 (44%)     max: 204769 Points
3DMark - Ice Storm Extreme Graphics 1920x1080
min: 38312     avg: 184005     median: 214615 (29%)     max: 280576 Points
min: 45989     avg: 75149.4     median: 73448 (10%)     max: 120877 Points
3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Score 1280x720
min: 18666     avg: 22750.9     median: 22162 (45%)     max: 27998 Points
min: 5196     avg: 12401.6     median: 14081 (28%)     max: 16389 Points
3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Graphics 1280x720
min: 36230     avg: 61823     median: 65241 (40%)     max: 69696 Points
min: 18547     avg: 21577.2     median: 21500 (13%)     max: 25900 Points
3DMark - Fire Strike Score 1920x1080
min: 8095     avg: 8360     median: 8341 (36%)     max: 8914 Points
min: 2304     avg: 2908.3     median: 2863 (12%)     max: 3448 Points
3DMark - Fire Strike Graphics 1920x1080
min: 9227     avg: 9695.5     median: 9677 (24%)     max: 10489 Points
min: 2931     avg: 3251.7     median: 3175 (8%)     max: 3638 Points
3DMark - Ice Storm Standard Graphics 1280x720
min: 47124     avg: 209653     median: 231325 (31%)     max: 377482 Points
min: 40625     avg: 81849.1     median: 69209 (9%)     max: 162860 Points
3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
min: 10464     avg: 11289.6     median: 11177 (39%)     max: 12364 points
min: 3276     avg: 4407.6     median: 4575 (16%)     max: 4892 points
3DMark 11 - Performance GPU 1280x720
min: 11209     avg: 12479.4     median: 12517 (25%)     max: 13581 points
min: 4046     avg: 4356.9     median: 4384 (9%)     max: 4678 points
3DMark Vantage
P Result 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
P Result 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
3DMark 03 - Standard 1024x768
min: 43262     avg: 46127.3     median: 43517 (24%)     max: 51603 Points
3DMark 05 - Standard 1024x768
min: 19685     avg: 22797.7     median: 23810 (51%)     max: 24898 Points
3DMark 06 Standard 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
Standard 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
Unigine Heaven 3.0 - DX 11, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders 1920x1080
min: 103.7     avg: 112     median: 110.6 (41%)     max: 119 fps
Unigine Heaven 3.0 - OpenGL, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders 1920x1080
33.9 fps (31%)
Unigine Heaven 2.1 - high, Tesselation (normal), DirectX11 1280x1024
56.1 fps (25%)
SPECviewperf 11
Siemens NX 1920x1080 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
Siemens NX 1920x1080 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
Tcvis 1920x1080 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
Tcvis 1920x1080 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M