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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M is a 28 nm DirectX-11 graphics card for mid- and high-end notebooks. It was introduced in January 2015 and is based on the Maxwell GM204 (later GM206) architecture. The clock rates specified by Nvidia are 924 MHz (+ Boost) for the GPU and 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective) for the up to 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

Early 2015 a new version of the 965M (codename N16E-GR, formerly known as 965M Ti) based on the GM206 will be available that features higher core clocks of 935 MHz base and 1151 MHz Turbo. This resulted in a 12% faster performance in games (in our tests with a MSI GE72 pre-sample in maximum detail settings). The TDP however should remain at 50 Watt like the GTX 960M and the chip is also pin compatible. In theory the GM206 also supports HDMI 2.0, but the laptop has to implement the wiring for this correctly.


Just like the mid-range GM107 chip (GeForce GTX 860M), the GM204 is also based on Nvidia's new 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). 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.

Although the GM107 and the GM204 both belong to the Maxwell generation, 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.


Thanks to the increased efficiency, the GeForce GTX 965M performs similar to the previous Kepler-GPU GeForce GTX 870M (1344 shader, 192-bit GDDR5). The more expensive, also Maxwell-based GTX 970M (1280 shader, 192-bit GDDR5) is a further 35 to 40 percent faster. Overall, the GTX 965M is fast enough to run demanding games as of 2014/2015 with high details and FullHD resolution. In some titles, even additional quality features like anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are possible.


Most of the features are identical to the GeForce GTX 800M series. With the GTX 965M, there can be up to 4 active displays possible, but this will likely decrease due to Optimus. Displays can be connected with a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz 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 updated 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. 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 the 28 nm GeForce GTX 965M including its MXM board and memory should be significantly below the GTX 870M at an estimated 70 watts. Nevertheless, the graphics card can only be used in large gaming notebooks with powerful cooling systems.

Under low load, dynamic clock rates help the GTX 965M to save energy. While idle, the Optimus technology also allows for the complete deactivation of the GPU in favor of the integrated processor graphics card.

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 compare 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 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
CodenameN16E-GS, N16E-GR
Pipelines1024 - unified
Core Speed924 / 935 - 950 / 1151 (Boost) MHz
Memory Speed5000 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory4 GB
Shared Memoryno
APIDirectX 12_1, Shader 5.0, OpenGL 4.5
Power Consumption50 Watt
Transistor Count5.2 Billion
technology28 nm
FeaturesBattery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience, DSR, Ansel, G-SYNC
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement05.01.2015
Link to Manufacturer


Performance Rating - 3DMark 11 + Fire Strike + Time Spy
2.5 pt (8%)
3DMark - 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics
min: 258981     avg: 259767     median: 259766 (29%)     max: 260552 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Cloud Gate Score
min: 8836     avg: 17054     median: 18013 (19%)     max: 19524 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Cloud Gate Graphics
min: 15573     avg: 33236     median: 34748 (9%)     max: 39064 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Fire Strike Standard Score
min: 4395     avg: 4985     median: 4851 (9%)     max: 5366 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Fire Strike Standard Graphics
min: 5175     avg: 5666     median: 5536 (6%)     max: 6160 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Ice Storm Graphics
min: 17213     avg: 103440     median: 94840 (11%)     max: 221192 Points
3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance Score
min: 5941     avg: 7598     median: 7896 (11%)     max: 8400 Points
3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance GPU
min: 6528     avg: 7536     median: 7322 (6%)     max: 8391 Points
3DMark Vantage
3DM Vant. Perf. total +
3DMark Vantage - 3DM Vant. Perf. total
min: 23018     avg: 23399     median: 23562 (7%)     max: 23617 Points
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX +
3DMark Vantage - 3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX
min: 22456     avg: 22986     median: 23215 (13%)     max: 23287 Points
3DMark 06 3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06
min: 23854     avg: 25208     median: 24774 (32%)     max: 26996 Points
SPECviewperf 11
specvp11 snx-01 +
specvp11 tcvis-02 +
specvp11 sw-02 +
specvp11 proe-05 +
specvp11 maya-03 +
specvp11 lightwave-01 +
specvp11 ensight-04 +
specvp11 catia-03 +
SPECviewperf 12
specvp12 sw-03 +
specvp12 snx-02 +
specvp12 showcase-01 +
SPECviewperf 12 - specvp12 showcase-01
min: 25.65     avg: 26.1     median: 26.1 (6%)     max: 26.48 fps
specvp12 mediacal-01 +
SPECviewperf 12 - specvp12 mediacal-01
min: 14.11     avg: 15.5     median: 15.5 (4%)     max: 16.86 fps
specvp12 maya-04 +
specvp12 energy-01 +
specvp12 creo-01 +
specvp12 catia-04 +
Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) +
Cinebench R11.5 Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit +
Cinebench R11.5 - Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit
min: 49     avg: 58.7     median: 59.8 (21%)     max: 62.7 fps
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64 Bit +
Cinebench R15 - Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64 Bit
min: 51     avg: 85.9     median: 93.9 (5%)     max: 108.8 fps
Cinebench R15 OpenGL Ref. Match 64 Bit +
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
GFXBench T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 +
Power Consumption - Witcher 3 ultra Power Efficiency - external Monitor
min: 0.2026     avg: 0.3     median: 0.3 (22%)     max: 0.3346 fps per Watt
Emissions Witcher 3 Fan Noise +
- 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.

F1 2020

F1 2020

low 1280x720
96.5  fps    + Compare
med. 1920x1080
45.9  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
34.1  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
23.2  fps    + Compare
QHD 2560x1440
17.5  fps    + Compare
4K 3840x2160
9  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
low 1280x720
126.6  fps    + Compare
med. 1920x1080
64.6  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
34.2  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
25.3  fps    + Compare
QHD 2560x1440
16.1  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..