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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI

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).

Architecture

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.

Performance

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.

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, 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.

Power Consumption

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.

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
ArchitectureMaxwell
Pipelines2048 - unified
Core Speed *924 - 950 (Boost) MHz
Memory Speed *5000 MHz
Memory Bus Width2x 128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory2x 4096 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 12 (FL 12_1), Shader 5.0
Transistors2x 5200 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

Cinebench R15
Ref. Match 64Bit +
OpenGL 64Bit +
3DMark - Ice Storm Standard Graphics 1280x720
0%
100%
min: 73450     avg: 73450 (10%)     median: 73450 (10%)     max: 73450 Points
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.

Batman: Arkham Knight
med. 1366x768
69  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
40  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
27  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Battlefield Hardline
high 1920x1080
105.2  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
71.9  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
high 1920x1080
72  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
49.8  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
F1 2014

F1 2014

2014
high 1920x1080
115  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
90  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Ryse: Son of Rome
high 1920x1080
61.2  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
58.8  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
high 1920x1080
89.5  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
69.2  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Thief

Thief

2014
high 1366x768
84.7  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
60.1  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Metro: Last Light
high 1366x768
85.8  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
56.9  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
BioShock Infinite
high 1366x768
165.3  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
93.1  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Tomb Raider
high 1366x768
244.5  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
117.6  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Guild Wars 2
high 1366x768
64.5  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
57.3  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
For more games that might be playable and a list of all games and graphics cards visit our Gaming List

Notebook reviews with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI graphics card

Aorus X5: Intel Core i7-5700HQ, 15.6", 2.7 kg
  Review » Aorus X5 Notebook Review

  External Review » Aorus X5

Aorus X5-CF1: Intel Core i7-5700HQ, 15.6", 2.5 kg
  External Review » Aorus X5-CF1

» Comparison of GPUs
Detailed list of all laptop GPUs sorted by class and performance.

» Benchmark List
Sort and restrict laptop GPUs based on performance in synthetic benchmarks.

» Notebook Gaming List
Playable games for each graphics card and their average FPS results.

Class 1
Class 2
GeForce GTX 580
Radeon HD 6970
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Radeon HD 5850
Radeon HD 7770
Radeon HD 7770
GeForce GTX 460 768MB
Radeon HD 6790
Radeon HD 5770
GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Radeon HD 4850
Class 3
GeForce GTS 450
Radeon HD 5670
GeForce GT 240
GeForce GT 430
Class 4
Radeon HD 5570
GeForce GT 220
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
Class 5
Radeon HD 4350
GeForce G 107M *
Chrome9HD *
Class 6
unknown *

* Approximate position of the graphics adapter

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Benchmarks / Tech > Comparison of Laptop Graphics Cards > NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
Klaus Hinum (Update: 2016-01-26)