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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.

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.

GeForce GTX 900M Series

GeForce GTX 980M SLI compare 3072 @ 1.04 - 1.13 GHz2x 256 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M SLI compare 2560 @ 0.92 - 1.04 GHz2x 192 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M SLI 2048 @ 0.92 - 0.95 GHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 980M compare 1536 @ 1.04 - 1.13 GHz256 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M compare 1280 @ 0.92 - 1.04 GHz192 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M compare 1024 @ 0.92 - 0.95 GHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 960M compare 640 @ 1.1 - 1.2 GHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 950M compare 640 @ 0.91 - 1.12 GHz128 Bit @ 1800 - 5000 MHz
Pipelines2048 - unified
Core Speed924 - 950 (Boost) MHz
Memory Speed5000 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory2x 4096 MB
Shared Memoryno
APIDirectX 12_1, Shader 5.0
Transistor Count0 Billion
technology28 nm
FeaturesBattery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement05.01.2015


Performance Rating - 3DMark 11 + Fire Strike + Time Spy
4.7 pt (14%)
Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) +
Cinebench R11.5 Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit +
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64 Bit +
Cinebench R15 OpenGL Ref. Match 64 Bit +
- 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 detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

med. 1366x768
69  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
40  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
27  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
high 1920x1080
72  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
49.8  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
F1 2014

F1 2014

high 1920x1080
115  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
90  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
high 1920x1080
61.2  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
58.8  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
high 1920x1080
89.5  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
69.2  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.


high 1366x768
84.7  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
60.1  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
high 1366x768
85.8  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
56.9  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
high 1366x768
165.3  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
93.1  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
high 1366x768
244.5  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
117.6  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
high 1366x768
64.5  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
57.3  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
high 1366x768
159.9  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
62.8  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.
Batman: Arkham Knight694027
Battlefield Hardline105.271.9
Dragon Age: Inquisition7249.8
F1 201411590
Ryse: Son of Rome61.258.8
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor89.569.2
Metro: Last Light85.856.9
BioShock Infinite165.393.1
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm14576.2
Tomb Raider244.5117.6
Guild Wars 264.557.3
Sleeping Dogs159.962.8
< 30 fps
< 60 fps
< 120 fps
≥ 120 fps



For more games that might be playable and a list of all games and graphics cards visit our Gaming List

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show all (including archived), 2024, 2023
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Notebook reviews with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI graphics card

Aorus X5 Notebook Review

Aorus X5 Notebook Review

SLI and G-SYNC. Aorus may be less than a couple years old, but the manufacturer already has some of the thinnest gaming notebooks with the latest hardware and f...
Intel Core i7-5700HQ | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI | 15.60" | 2.7 kg

Aorus X5-CF1: Intel Core i7-5700HQ, 15.60", 2.5 kg
  External Review » Aorus X5-CF1

Aorus X5: Intel Core i7-5700HQ, 15.60", 2.7 kg
  External Review » Aorus X5

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