The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M is a 28 nm DirectX-11 graphics card for high-end notebooks. It was introduced in Fall of 2014 and is based on the Maxwell GM204 architecture. The clock rates specified by Nvidia are 924 MHz (+ Boost) for the GPU and 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective) for the up to 6 GB of GDDR5 memory.


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 970M, Nvidia have deactivated 6 of 16 SMMs. As a result, only 1280 shader ALUs and 80 TMUs are active. In addition, there are 48 ROPs in three clusters with 16 units each.

The memory interface has a bandwidth of 192-bits (3x 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 970M performs somewhat better than the former top model, the GTX 880M and should sit comfortably as the second fastest model after the GTX 980M. According to our benchmarks, it is about 15 % faster than the GTX 880M depending on the scenario. The GTX 980M is a further 20 to 30 percent faster than the GTX 970M. Overall, the GTX 970M is fast enough to run even the most demanding games with highest details and FullHD resolution. Additional quality features like anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are also not a problem for this card in most titles as of 2014.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
11926 Points ∼29%
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
9598 Points ∼24%
GeForce GTX 980M
7268 Points ∼18%
GeForce GTX 970M
6095 Points ∼15%
GeForce GTX 880M
5744 Points ∼14%
GeForce GTX 780M
5294 Points ∼13%
Radeon R9 M290X
4802 Points ∼12%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
15823 Points ∼31%
GeForce GTX 980M
9907 Points ∼19%
GeForce GTX 970M
8690 Points ∼17%
GeForce GTX 880M
8014 Points ∼16%
GeForce GTX 780M
6817 Points ∼13%
Unigine Heaven 3.0 - 1920x1080 DX 11, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders AA:Off AF:Off (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
145.9 fps ∼48%
GeForce GTX 980M
93 fps ∼31%
GeForce GTX 970M
81.2 fps ∼27%
GeForce GTX 880M
76.8 fps ∼25%
GeForce GTX 780M
62 fps ∼21%
Crysis 3 - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:2xSM AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
52.3 fps ∼43%
GeForce GTX 980M
33.4 fps ∼27%
GeForce GTX 970M
33.2 fps ∼27%
GeForce GTX 780M
22.8 fps ∼19%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
61.8 fps ∼36%
GeForce GTX 980M
53.3 fps ∼31%
GeForce GTX 970M
42.6 fps ∼25%
GeForce GTX 880M
41 fps ∼24%
GeForce GTX 780M
33.1 fps ∼19%
Radeon R9 M290X
35.3 fps ∼21%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
104 fps ∼39%
GeForce GTX 980M
72.5 fps ∼27%
GeForce GTX 970M
65.6 fps ∼25%
GeForce GTX 780M
46.8 fps ∼18%
Battlefield 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
GeForce GTX 880M SLI
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
84.5 fps ∼42%
GeForce GTX 980M
54.8 fps ∼27%
GeForce GTX 970M
45.4 fps ∼23%
GeForce GTX 780M
38.7 fps ∼19%


Most of the features are identical to the GeForce GTX 800M series. With the GTX 970M, 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 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 GeForce GTX 970M including its MXM board and memory should be about the same as a GTX 870M with a specified TDP of 100 Watt. Given the significantly higher performance despite the identical manufacturing process (28 nm TSMC), this can be considered a massive increase in performance-per-watt. Nevertheless, the graphics card can only be used in very large and heavy gaming notebooks with powerful cooling systems.

Under low load, dynamic clock rates help the GTX 970M 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.


The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M is a high end DirectX 11.2 graphics card for laptops. The card is not yet officially announced and therefore the following information is based on rumors and leaks. The card based on the GM204 Maxwell chip, that is already available in the desktop GeForce GTX 970 and 980. Thanks to the improved efficiency, the GTX970M should be clearly faster than the previous GTX 870M and even the old GTX 880M.

GeForce GTX 900M Series
GeForce GTX 980M SLI (compare) 3072 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz2x 256 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M SLI (compare) 2560 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz2x 192 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M SLI (compare) 2048 @ 924 - 950 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 980M (compare) 1536 @ 1038 - 1127 (Boost) MHz256 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 970M 1280 @ 924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz192 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 965M (compare) 1024 @ 924 / 935 - 950 / 1151 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 960M (compare) 640 @ 1096 - 1202 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 5000 MHz
GeForce GTX 950M (compare) 640 @ 914 - 993 - 1124 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 1800 - 5000 MHz
Pipelines1280 - unified
Core Speed924 - 1038 (Boost) MHz
Memory Speed5000 MHz
Memory Bus Width192 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory6144 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 12_1, Shader 5.0
Transistor Count5200 Million
technology28 nm
FeaturesBattery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI, GeForce Experience, DSR, Ansel, G-SYNC
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement07.10.2014
Link to Manufacturer Page


Performance Rating - 3DMark 11 + Fire Strike + Time Spy
21.7 pt (22%)
3DMark - Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score 1280x720 offscreen
min: 265020     avg: 277485     median: 274626 (52%)     max: 303296 Points
3DMark - Ice Storm Extreme Graphics 1920x1080
min: 42740     avg: 103456     median: 96678 (13%)     max: 203891 Points
3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Score 1280x720
min: 13453     avg: 20337     median: 20720 (31%)     max: 22537 Points
3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Graphics 1280x720
min: 24050     avg: 48403     median: 51247 (26%)     max: 55797 Points
3DMark - Fire Strike Score 1920x1080
min: 5982     avg: 6572     median: 6565 (22%)     max: 7124 Points
3DMark - Fire Strike Graphics 1920x1080
min: 7241     avg: 7482     median: 7463 (18%)     max: 8216 Points
3DMark - Ice Storm Standard Graphics 1280x720
min: 48702     avg: 130534     median: 116692 (16%)     max: 340853 Points
3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
min: 8533     avg: 9369     median: 9403 (24%)     max: 10936 points
3DMark 11 - Performance GPU 1280x720
min: 9439     avg: 9950     median: 9877.5 (19%)     max: 12446 points
3DMark Vantage
P Result 1280x1024 +
P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06 Standard 1280x1024 +
Unigine Heaven 3.0 - DX 11, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders 1920x1080
min: 91.6     avg: 92.8     median: 93 (31%)     max: 93.7 fps
SPECviewperf 11
Siemens NX 1920x1080 +
Tcvis 1920x1080 +
SolidWorks 1920x1080 +
Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080 +
Maya 1920x1080 +
Lightwave 1920x1080 +
Ensight 1920x1080 +
Catia 1920x1080 +
SPECviewperf 12
Solidworks (sw-03) 1900x1060 +
Siemens NX (snx-02) 1900x1060 +
Showcase (showcase-01) 1900x1060 +
Medical (medical-01) 1900x1060 +
Maya (maya-04) 1900x1060 +
Energy (energy-01) 1900x1060 +
Creo (creo-01) 1900x1060 +
Catia (catia-04) 1900x1060 +
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit +
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit +
Cinebench R15
OpenGL 64Bit +
Ref. Match 64Bit +
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit - Room GPUs-only
min: 1113     avg: 1234     median: 1222.5 (23%)     max: 1395 Samples/s
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit - Sala GPUs-only
min: 1920     avg: 2246     median: 2223 (21%)     max: 2545 Samples/s
ComputeMark v2.1 - Normal, Score 1024x600
min: 4975     avg: 5196     median: 5137.5 (18%)     max: 5622 Points
- 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.

Rage 2

Rage 2

low 1280x720
67.4  fps    + Compare
med. 1920x1080
31.2  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
27.1  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
26.4  fps    + Compare
QHD 2560x1440
16.5  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.
Anno 1800

Anno 1800

low 1280x720
62  fps    + Compare
med. 1920x1080
52.7  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
34.8  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
15.6  fps    + Compare
QHD 2560x1440
11.2  fps    + Compare
4K 3840x2160
6.2  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
low 1280x720
93  fps    + Compare
med. 1920x1080
49  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
39  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
30  fps    + Compare
QHD 2560x1440
20  fps    + Compare
4K 3840x2160
6  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
low 1280x720
133  fps    + Compare
med. 1920x1080
65.1  fps    + Compare
high 1920x1080
47.5  fps    + Compare