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Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M 2016 Refresh (N16E-GR) Review

Klaus Hinum (translated by Martina Osztovits), 01/16/2016

Nvidia listened to what customers want and published a faster GTX 965M based on the smaller GM206 chip. Although the number of shaders remained the same, the clock rates and the performance increased.

For the original German review, see here.

The new Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M came to us in a pre-sample of the MSI GE72. It is based on the GM206 chip of the desktop GTX 960 and thus pin compatible with the weaker GTX 960M (GM107) with the same TDP. In theory, the chip also supports HDMI 2.0, but the notebook has to implement this.

We have already reviewed the MSI GE72 17-inch gaming notebook in e.g. the MSI GE72 6QF with GeForce 970M (or 960M). However, our test model comes with the new Skylake platform. The prototype status of the device was still noticeable here and there. Thus, there could have been some room for improvements in terms of performance.

MSI GE72 with GeForce GTX 965M refresh.
MSI GE72 with GeForce GTX 965M refresh.
All components can be reached after removing the underside.
All components can be reached after removing the underside.
The new GTX 965M chip.
The new GTX 965M chip.

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MSI GE72 965M Ti (GE72 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M - 2048 MB, Core: 1150 MHz, Memory: 1253 MHz, GDDR5, 359.00
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2133
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, glossy: no
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit

 

965M refresh versus (GM204)
965M refresh versus (GM204)
965M old (GM206)
965M old (GM206)

Synthetic Benchmarks

With +13% on average, the new 965M performs significantly better than its predecessor. The higher clock rates definitely show through in the 3DMark graphics benchmarks. However, there remains a respectable difference of +19% to the GeForce GTX 970M in the GE72.

MSI GE72 965M Ti
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZMTE128HMGR
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
Schenker XMG P705
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston SM2280S3120G
Acer Predator 17 NX.QK4EP.022
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB
MSI GE72-6QF8H11
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NU
3DMark
-12%
-12%
-12%
29%
19%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
6160
5380
-13%
5403
-12%
5394
-12%
7509
22%
7450
21%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
38935
34611
-11%
34627
-11%
34748
-11%
52973
36%
45543
17%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
8391
7016
-16%
6980
-17%
7136
-15%
9743
16%
9889
18%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-14% / -13%
-15% / -13%
-14% / -13%
23% / 25%
19% / 19%

Gaming Benchmarks

The difference is similar in our gaming tests at maximum details. However, the advantage of the test model falls at reduced settings, and it even falls behind the "old" 965M at minimum details. However, this might be due to the pre-series status of the device.

MSI GE72 965M Ti
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Medion Erazer X7615-MD99293
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZMTE128HMGR
Schenker XMG C405
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Crucial M550 CT256M550SSD3
MSI GE62-2QEUi716H21BW
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD1
Schenker XMG P705
GeForce GTX 965M, 4720HQ, Kingston SM2280S3120G
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
20.2
16.8
-17%
Battlefield Hardline
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11) AA:4x MS
44.2
39.1
-12%
38.7
-12%
Evolve
1920x1080 Very High Graphics Quality AA:1TX SM
44.9
40.5
-10%
37.9
-16%
Alien: Isolation
1920x1080 Ultra, On, Shadow Map 2048, HDAO AA:2x SM AF:16x
61.3
55.2
-10%
54.8
-11%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (HD Package)
35.4
29.3
-17%
28.8
-19%
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x
37.5
34.9
-7%
34.2
-9%
Battlefield 4
-9%
3840x2160 High Preset
21.8
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS
43.1
39.1
-9%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x
42
38.7
-8%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x
67
59
-12%
57.9
-14%
57.3
-14%
Crysis 3
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:2xSM AF:16x
26.2
23.9
-9%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-13% / -13%
-13% / -13%
-11% / -11%
-11% / -11%

Verdict

Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M (Ti): Ranks in midway between the GTX 965M and GTX 970M.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M (Ti): Ranks in midway between the GTX 965M and GTX 970M.

In our opinion, the new GeForce GTX 965M could have definitely been called GTX 965M Ti as had been originally envisaged. The higher clock rates unambiguously prove to have an impact in our tests and would have justified giving it a special name. However, the difference to the GTX 970M still remains significant. Nevertheless, the new GTX 965M is well suitable for games in Full HD with high details. Notebooks with the new GTX 965M are supposed to be launched in Q1 2016. So far, we only know that MSI with the GE62 and GE72 and Clevo (e.g. Schenker XMG) will use the new graphics cards.

Further gaming tests to the new and old GTX 965M can be found in our daily updated graphics card article.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
MSI, GE72 965M Ti, 6700HQ
6160 Points ∼82%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
Acer, Predator 17 NX.QK4EP.022, 6700HQ
7509 Points ∼100% +22%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
MSI, GT72-2PE16SR231BW, 4710HQ
6144 Points ∼82% 0%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
Schenker, XMG C405, 4720HQ
5536 Points ∼74% -10%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
Lenovo, Ideapad Y700-17 80QK7709PB, 6700HQ
4343 Points ∼58% -29%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M 2016 Refresh (N16E-GR) Review
Klaus Hinum, 2016-01-16 (Update: 2016-01-16)