The long awaited mobile graphics card GTX 960M from NVIDIA is here and we had the privilege to test it and see how far has the vendor come with its new GPU lineup. The GTX 960M is considered as high class or some of you may rate it as upper-mid class, since it’s placed mostly in budget gaming laptops like this one. Despite the flagship position of the Aspire VN7 Nitro Black Edition in its gaming lineup, this notebook is quite affordable for its characteristics. Also, you can expect a detailed review on the refreshed VN7 Nitro Black Edition notebook with this GPU, so stay tuned.
Moving on to the “good part” where we can analyse in-depth the new GTX 960M. Unfortunately we cannot know for sure which GPU is used in the 960M, but we can assume that it uses the GM107 chip, which can be found in last year’s GTX 860M. However, we’ve got higher clock (1097MHz vs 797MHz base) and as for the boost frequency, it’s 1176MHz vs 915MHz. Just by looking at the values we can expect some extra heat, but we will check that in our upcoming detailed review. Other notable specs are, 2GB GDDR5 memory, 128-bit memory width, 640 CUDA cores (shading units) and memory clock of 1253MHz. As for now, we can apply some useful results from benchmark tests and gaming tests.
You can see from the charts below that the GTX 960M has just 8% performance leap compared to its predecessor, which can be considered low for some. We too think that the higher price of the new GPU doesn’t compensate for the little performance. At least gaming tests look good, which can be seen in the next section below, but still we don’t have any noticeable changes in the average FPS.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Gaming tests – GeForce GTX 960M (345.05)
We’ve tested with the drivers provided in the DVD (345.05) since NVIDIA has not yet uploaded official drivers for this particular GPU. We will run the gaming tests again with newer drivers and update this article as soon as possible.