Detailed NVIDIA comparison: GeForce 920M vs 930M vs 940M vs 950M vs 960M vs 965M vs 970M vs 980M (benchmarks, gaming tests, specs and prices)

nvidia-cover

NVIDIA has brought us the Maxwell family for quite some time now and we’ve gathered enough information about every GPU that’s part of the new generation. With all the insight we’ve gathered so far, we will try to make an in-depth analysis of each GPU that’s been available to the consumer so far and also suggest some machines that feature the GPUs. Of course, we are going to discuss the specs of each model, but numbers aren’t the only thing to consider. Real-life performance should be the leading factor and that’s why we are here.

Nevertheless, all GPUs that are part of the Maxwell generation share some of the features and specs. For instance, all graphic cards support DirectX 11.2, DirectX 12, OpenCL, OpenGL, CUDA, PhysX etc. Also, all chips are manufactured using the same 28nm technology.

Contents


GeForce 920M

geforce-920mThis is the entry level GPU that’s mostly integrated inside budget notebooks and aims to be an alternative to the integrated GPU, but retaining the price range. However, some OEMs use this particular model on a CPU-centric machines that require the bare minimum of GPU performance and mostly rely on the processor for CPU-intensive tasks. It’s based on the GK208 GPU core and it should offer relatively better performance than its predecessor and other iGPUs. The GPU comes in two flavors – 1GB or 4GB DDR3 memory. However, each variant can go up to 954MHz with a base clock of 575MHz.

Keep in mind that the GPU is able to run some of the games with the lowest possible settings and it can be mainly used for multimedia purposes, like playing 4K on an external monitor.

You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-920m/

And here’s where the GeForce 920M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/

Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce 920M here: http://amzn.to/1NRiaPz

Make sure to check out our reviews of models using the 920M – ASUS X554LJ, Dell Inspiron 5758, Dell Inspiron 5558

Gaming tests

tomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1

Tomb Raider (Low) Tomb Raider (Medium) Tomb Raider (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 63 fps 25 fps 12 fps
FHD (1920 x 1080) 36 fps 15 fps 8 fps
F1 2014 (Low) F1 2014 (Medium) F1 2014 (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 56 fps 54 fps 29 fps
FHD (1920 x 1080) 41 fps 35 fps 20 fps

thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1

Thief (Low) Thief (Medium) Thief (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 21 fps 15 fps 10 fps
FHD (1920 x 1080) 12 fps 10 fps 6 fps

gta-5-cover

GTA V (Low) GTA V (Medium) GTA V (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 24 fps 9 fps 4 fps
FHD (1920 x 1080) 29 fps 8 fps 3 fps

GeForce 930M

geforce-930m-3qtrThis is one step higher than the GeForce 920M, but it’s still used mostly in budget and rarely in mid-range notebooks. We’ve got the GM108 core inside that’s has been used in GeForce 840M from the last generation. Other specs include 16 ROPs, 32 TMUs, 384 CUDA cores (shaders), and 2GB DDR3 memory. Interestingly the GPU has really short boost range – from 928 to 941MHz, but it’s rated at 25W TDP and it’s significantly lower compared to the 33W TDP of the 920M.

The GPU can run most of the popular games with settings set to low, but the GPU’s main purpose to be used for multimedia.

You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-930m-2gb-ddr3/

And here’s where the GeForce 930M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/

Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce 930M here: http://amzn.to/1GQxTXb

Make sure to check out our reviews of models using the 930M – Toshiba Satellite L50-C

Gaming tests

All gaming tests were performed with the latest drivers from NVIDIA installed and in this case – 353.30 WHQL and resolution set to 1366 x 768 as this is the maximum that the notebook supports.

tomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1

Tomb Raider (768p, Low) Tomb Raider (768p, Medium) Tomb Raider (768p, Max)
92 fps 31 fps 15 fps

f1-2014

F1 2014 (768p, Low) F1 2014 (768p, Medium) F1 2014 (768p, Max)
82 fps 66 fps 39 fps

thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1

Thief (768p, Low) Thief (768p, Medium) Thief (768p, Max)
34 fps 24 fps 14 fps

gta-5-cover

GeForce 940Mgeforce-940m-3qtrThe 940M means more serious business but still falls into the multimedia graphics card category. Of course, it’s a direct successor to the last year’s 840M and it’s mostly used in mid-range notebooks, but can handle some light gaming. It’s basically the 840M but the GM108 chip runs with slightly higher clocks – 1072 – 1176MHz. The GPU can be found in 2GB or 4GB of DDR3 memory, but either way the graphics card uses 384 shaders (CUDA cores), 24 TMUs and 8 ROPs.Interestingly, this significantly more powerful GPU outperforms the 920M by a lot while it keeps the same TDP of 33W. Yet, the performance of the 940M doesn’t justify the higher TDP and price than the 930M and as we already stated in our article comparing both GPUs, the improvement is by a small margin. So if you have limited budget, you better opt for the 930M, but if not, the 940M could prove more useful.You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-940m-4gb-ddr3/And here’s where the GeForce 940M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce 940M here: http://amzn.to/1jRhwEyMake sure to check out our reviews of models using the 940M – Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574G) and Lenovo Yoga 3 (14-inch)Gaming testsMetro-Last-Light-Covertomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1f1-2014thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1gta-5-coverGeForce GTX 950Mgeforce-gtx-950m-3qtrWhile from 920M to 940M each chip offers slightly better performance, the GTX 950M takes a drastic turn and can be used primarily for gaming. The GPU is used inside budget gaming notebooks and offers quite good performance/price value. Compared to the 940M, the GTX 950M will assure significantly higher frame rates and performance for GPU intensive tasks. The base clock of the GM107 core is 941MHz and can go up to 1124MHz, but the TDP is significantly increased up to 50W.However, the GPU can come in two variants with DDR3 and GDDR5 VRAM, but we haven’t had the opportunity to test the latter yet and the variants with DDR3 are more widely spread. Also, CUDA cores are doubled (640) while the texture mapping units and ROPs see smaller, yet effective increase in numbers – 40 and 16 respectively. Moreover, the GPU boasts wider bus width – 128-bit. All of this adds to a much larger performance leap as you can see from our dedicated article comparing GTX 950M and 940M.Most of the games nowadays will run smoothly with settings set to minimum or medium. The ones that are not as demanding can be played in 1080p resolution without minimum frame loss.You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-950m-2gb-ddr3/And here’s where the GeForce 950M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce GTX 950M here: http://amzn.to/1Gnxv7zMake sure to check out our reviews of models using the 950M – ASUS ROG GL552Gaming teststomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1f1-2014thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1gta-5-coverGeForce GTX 960Mgeforce_gtx_960m_0Now we are talking serious horsepower. The GPU is considered to be a high-end model, but it’s mainly used in upper-mid-range gaming notebooks or laptops that are gaming-oriented but keep the slim profile and low weight. It comes in two variants – 2GB and 4GB GDDR5 memory which alone improves the performance a lot compared to the GTX 950M. Still based on the GM107 chip, the GPU offers slightly better performance than the GTX 860M and higher clocks – 1097MHz – 1176MHz.With somehow similar to the GTX 950M specs, the GTX 960M offers much better performance boasting 640 CUDA cores, 32 ROPs and 128-bit bus width. It can handle more serious gaming with maxed out settings at 1080p resolution, but will surely struggle with some of the most demanding games out there. The power consumption is increased accordingly as well – 60W TDP.You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-960m-4gb-gddr5/And here’s where the GeForce 960M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce GTX 960M here: http://amzn.to/1Gnxv7zMake sure to check out our reviews of models using the 960M – ASUS ZenBook UX501, ASUS ROG G551JW, ASUS ROG G501, Lenovo Y50, Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-591G), Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition (VN7-791G)Gaming testsMetro-Last-Light-Covertomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1f1-2014thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1gta-5-coverGeForce GTX 965MCES-2015-NVIDIA-Releases-GeForce-GTX-965M-Laptop-GPU-469293-2This GPU actually has more in common with its higher-end siblings – GTX 970M and GTX 980M, because all three incorporate the same core – GM204. While it has a lot more to offer compared to the GTX 960M, the GTX 965M is clocked slightly lower – 924MHz – 950MHz. Also, the amount of VRAM is either 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5, but other important specs outshine the GTX 960M. We are talking about 1024 CUDA cores, 64 TMUs and 32 ROPs and that’s a good reason to be priced above the GTX 960M and bring better overall performance at the end of the day.GeForce GTX 965M can be mostly found in high-end gaming notebooks and it can handle more serious gaming with ease. Still, higher than 1080p gaming is not advisable for most games.You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-965m/And here’s where the GeForce 965M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce GTX 965M here: http://amzn.to/1hQ6y0QMake sure to check out our reviews of models using the 965M – Dell Alienware 15 (GTX 965M, Early 2015)Gaming testsMetro-Last-Light-Covertomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1f1-2014thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1gta-5-coverGeForce GTX 970Mgeforce-gtx-970m-3qtrFor a TDP of 81W, the GPU offers serious horsepower that’s a step closer to the higher-end GTX 980M. It packs some impressive specs under the hood – 3GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 5000MHz, 192-bit bus width, 48 ROPs, 1280 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs, and GM204 chip clocked at 924MHz and can go up to 1037MHz. It’s really powerful GPU capable of sorting out GPU intensive tasks, applications and run games at the highest possible settings.Most of the time it’s integrated inside high-end gaming notebooks, but it’s actually offered as a more affordable alternative to the configurations featuring the GTX 980M.You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-970m/And here’s where the GeForce 970M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970M here: http://amzn.to/1hQ6y0QMake sure to check out our reviews of models using the 970M – Gigabyte P34WGaming testsMetro-Last-Light-Covertomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1f1-2015-gamethief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1gta5GeForce GTX 980Mnvidia-gm204m-gpu-geforce-gtx-980mAnd finally the king of all mobile GPUs – the GeForce GTX 980M. Well, it’s the king at least for now, because NVIDIA has unveiled its plans to launch a new GTX 980 GPU that’s in par with the performance of its desktop counterpart but fits inside the gaming notebooks like a normal mobile chip. We are eager to see how that turns out.Anyway, back to the GTX 980M that offers the same GM204 GPU core clocked at 1038MHz – 1127MHz paired with 4GB GDDR5 memory and 256-bit bus width. Other notable specs like 96 TMUs, 1536 CUDA cores, and 64 ROPs make sure that the GPU will perform excellently no matter what you throw at it. The graphics card is perfectly capable of handling the latest games with maximum settings at 1080p resolution, but struggles when it comes to serious 4K gaming. Of course, the 100W TDP and the form factor make the GPU more suitable for 17-inch high-end gaming notebooks. You can check how the GTX 980M stacks against the GTX 970M if you are still wondering whether or not you should opt for the more powerful, yet more expensive, solution.You can take a closer look at the GPU here: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-980m-4gb-gddr5/And here’s where the GeForce 980M ranks in our GPU ranking table: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/Check out all the available laptops with NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980M here: http://amzn.to/1M3WOblMake sure to check out our reviews of models using the 980M – ASUS ROG G751JY + G-Sync, Acer Predator (G9-791)Gaming teststomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1f1-2015-gamethief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1gta5Performance comparison and synthetic benchmarking

Specs sheet

GTA 5 (768p, Low) GTA 5 (768p, Medium) GTA 5 (768p, Max)
36 fps 16 fps 9 fps
Metro: LL (768p, Low) Metro: LL (768p, Medium) Metro: LL (768p, Max)
38 fps 21 fps 11 fps
Tomb Raider (768p, Low) Tomb Raider (768p, Medium) Tomb Raider (768p, Max)
102 fps 34 fps 18 fps
F1 2014 (768p, Low) F1 2014 (768p, Medium) F1 2014 (768p, Max)
52 fps 38 fps 37 fps
Thief (768p, Low) Thief (768p, Medium) Thief (768p, Max)
35 fps 25 fps 15 fps
GTA 5 (768p, Low) GTA 5 (768p, Medium) GTA 5 (768p, Max)
56 fps 18 fps 8 fps
Tomb Raider (1080p, Low) Tomb Raider (1080p, Medium) Tomb Raider (1080p, Max)
110 fps 39 fps 21 fps
F1 2014 (1080p, Low) F1 2014 (1080p, Medium) F1 2014 (1080p, Max)
108 fps 89 fps 65 fps
Thief (1080p, Low) Thief (1080p, Medium) Thief (1080p, Max)
47 fps 35 fps 19 fps
GTA 5 (1080p, Low) GTA 5 (1080p, Medium) GTA 5 (1080p, Max)
83 fps 28 fps 13 fps
Metro: LL (1080p, Low) Metro: LL (1080p, Medium) Metro: LL (1080p, Max)
GeForce 350.05 61 fps 45 fps 17 fps
GeForce 350.12 59 fps (-3%) 42 fps (-7%) 15 fps (-15%)
Tomb Raider (1080p, Low) Tomb Raider (1080p, Medium) Tomb Raider (1080p, Max)
GeForce 350.05 136 fps 65 fps 32 fps
GeForce 350.12 141 fps (+4%) 66 fps (+2%) 32 fps
F1 2014 (1080p, Low) F1 2014 (1080p, Medium) F1 2014 (1080p, Max)
GeForce 350.05 114 fps 88 fps 74 fps
GeForce 350.12 115 fps (+1%) 99 fps (+13%) 79 fps (+7%)
Thief (1080p, Low) Thief (1080p, Medium) Thief (1080p, Max)
GeForce 350.05 44 fps 38 fps 27 fps
GeForce 350.12 48 fps (+9%) 38 fps 27 fps
GTA 5 (1080p, Low) GTA 5 (1080p, Medium) GTA 5 (1080p, Max)
GeForce 350.05 99 fps 37 fps 18 fps
GeForce 350.12 85 fps (-14%) 37 fps 18 fps
Metro: LL (1080p, Low) Metro: LL (1080p, Medium) Metro: LL (1080p, Max)
56 fps 52 fps 22 fps
Tomb Raider (1080p, Low) Tomb Raider (1080p, Medium) Tomb Raider (1080p, Max)
175 fps 78 fps 37 fps
F1 2014 (1080p, Low) F1 2014 (1080p, Medium) F1 2014 (1080p, Max)
116 fps 94 fps 82 fps
Thief (1080p, Low) Thief (1080p, Medium) Thief (1080p, Max)
54 fps 49 fps 35 fps
GTA 5 (1080p, Low) GTA 5 (1080p, Medium) GTA 5 (1080p, Max)
118 fps 46 fps 23 fps
Metro: Last Light (Low) Metro: Last Light (Medium) Metro: Last Light (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 87 fps 71 fps 50 fps
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 73 fps 69 fps 32 fps
Tomb Raider (Low) Tomb Raider (Medium) Tomb Raider (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 322 fps 177 fps 84 fps
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 245 fps 116 fps 57 fps
F1 2015 (Low) F1 2015 (Medium) F1 2015 (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 93 fps 84 fps 77 fps
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 84 fps 69 fps 54 fps
Thief (Low) Thief (Medium) Thief (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 60 fps 57 fps 55 fps
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 57 fps 55 fps 46 fps
GTA 5 (Low) GTA 5 (Medium) GTA 5 (Max)
HD (1366 x 768) 127 fps 79 fps 38 fps
Full HD (1920 x 1080) 115 fps 53 fps 25 fps
Tomb Raider (Low) Tomb Raider (Medium) Tomb Raider (Max)
UHD (3840×2160) 94 fps 47 fps 24 fps
FHD (1920×1080) 252 fps 149 fps 71 fps
F1 2015 (Low) F1 2015 (Medium) F1 2015 (Max)
UHD (3840×2160) 39 fps 30 fps 23 fps
FHD (1920×1080) 105 fps 90 fps 70 fps
Thief (Low) Thief (Medium) Thief (Max)
UHD (3840×2160) 42 fps 37 fps 22 fps
FHD (1920×1080) 58 fps 55 fps 51 fps
GTA 5 (Low) GTA 5 (Medium) GTA 5 (Max)
UHD (3840×2160) 80 fps 23 fps X fps
FHD (1920×1080) 123 fps 72 fps 34 fps
GeForce 920M GeForce 930M GeForce 940M GeForce GTX 950M GeForce GTX 960M GeForce GTX 965M GeForce GTX 970M GeForce GTX 980M
GPU GK208 GM108 GM108 GM107 GM107 GM204 GM204 GM204
GPU frequency 575MHz (954MHz Boost) 928MHz (941MHz Boost) 1072MHz (1176MHz Boost) 914MHz (1124MHz Boost) 1097MHz (1176MHz Boost) 924MHz (950MHz Boost) 924MHz (1037MHz Boost) 924MHz (1037MHz Boost)
Memory 1GB / 4GB 2GB 4GB 2GB 2GB / 4GB 2GB / 4GB 3GB / 6GB 4GB / 8GB
Memory frequency 1800MHz 1800MHz 2000MHz 2000MHz / 5000MHz 2500MHz 2500MHz 5000MHz 5000MHz
Memory type DDR3 DDR3 DDR3 DDR3 / GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory bus width 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 192-bit 256-bit
TMUs 16 24 24 40 54 84 80 96
ROPs 8 8 8 16 16 16 48 64
Shading units 384 384 384 640 640 1024 1280 1536
Power consumption (TDP) 33W 25W 33W 50W 60W 70W 81W 100W
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Al
Al
7 years ago

Thumbs up for the comparison 🙂

jackalride
7 years ago

a nice expert comparison (y)

Goran_Serbia
Goran_Serbia
6 years ago

Great, thanks.

hadi khabbaz
hadi khabbaz
6 years ago

absolutely fantastic
well done job
great thx to the author

Akiem Paul
Akiem Paul
6 years ago

Was totally helpful… plan to buy a laptop this weekend ??

spraypaint7
spraypaint7
6 years ago

Why does GTA 5 on 920m has more fps on 1080p than 768p?

nogi46
nogi46
6 years ago

I have saw on GPUBoss, Geforce 940M’s TMUs’ are 24, isn’t it?

nogi46
nogi46
6 years ago
Reply to  Rossen Pandev

You’re welcome 🙂 Ah, and one more, on GTX965M, in fact the TMU is 64 and the ROP is 32 🙂

Muhwyndham
Muhwyndham
6 years ago

may i ask the medium setting in tomb raider would be “normal” or “high” in in-game setting? or it custom setting?

Dushyant
Dushyant
6 years ago

Great comparison mate.very informative. Can u also please make a similar comparison between amd and Intel GPU s( I.e. considering the same games as above etc)

gamer&
gamer&
5 years ago

awesome comparison review….