NVIDIA recently unleashed an onslaught on the gaming world, an onslaught named Maxwell. We launched the new graphics architecture during GAME24, an unprecedented 24-hour celebration of gaming. And it blew away gamers across the globe.
We held onto one big secret, which we’re revealing today: the introduction of the GeForce GTX 970M and GeForce GTX 980M notebook GPUs.
Maxwell, the company’s 10th-generation GPU architecture, is undeniably the world’s most advanced. It solves some of the most complex lighting and graphics challenges in visual computing. And it does so with twice the energy efficiency of the previous generation. It’s a combination that will pay huge dividends in notebooks.
A Quick History Lesson
Let’s start with some history. NVIDIA’s 8th-generation GPU architecture, Fermi, delivered about 40% of the desktop equivalent in 2010. Kepler, our 9th generation GPU, launched in 2010, closed the gap to 60%, giving gamers 1080p resolution and “ultra” settings for the first time in a notebook.
With Maxwell, that gap shrinks to 80% of the desktop equivalent and pushes the resolution well beyond 1080p. It’s an astonishing achievement when you compare the thermal and power differences in a desktop tower and a notebook chassis.
Just like the generations preceding it, GeForce GTX 980M is the world’s fastest notebook GPU, a title NVIDIA has held for a long time. But how fast is it?
Maxwell doubles performance compared with the first Kepler notebook GPUs on “video card killers” like Battlefield 4 and Metro: Last Light. We’re pushing playable resolution to 2500×1400+ at ultra settings. But most notebooks don’t have a native resolution that high, and this is where NVIDIA gives you more than just killer frame rates.
DSR Delivers 4K-Quality Resolution
The GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs deliver a higher fidelity gaming experience even on standard 1080p display. Maxwell’s Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) technology can render games at 4K or other high-end resolutions. Then they’re scaled down to the native resolution on the notebook’s display. The results are an image that is much higher quality than one rendering directly to 1080p.
BatteryBoost Gets Better
A second ask from notebook gamers is the ability to untether from the wall socket and really game on battery. We’re addressing this with our next evolution of NVIDIA BatteryBoost. Instead of your notebook pushing every component to its max, BatteryBoost sets a maximum frame rate from 30 to 60 FPS. The driver-level governor takes over from there, running all your system components including CPU, GPU and memory at peak efficiency. All while maintaining a smooth, playable experience.
We’ve also made big improvements to BatteryBoost in the six months since its launch. The first thing you’ll notice is many more systems achieving playable frame rates on battery. This was the result of collaboration with OEMs to enhance on-battery performance.
Another big update is an improved governor to enhance battery savings. We also added features to GeForce Experience, allowing gamers to set specific game settings for use while on battery, along with a one-click optimize-for-battery button.
Anti-Aliasing Gets Amped
GeForce GTX 980M and 970M GPUs also get all the same cool technology that their desktop counterparts get. That means 30% more AA performance at the same quality with NVIDIA Multi-Frame Anti-Aliasing (MFAA).
They also support Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI) technology, which better depicts indirect lighting – including diffuse lighting, specular lighting and reflections. This enables gaming GPUs to deliver real-time dynamic global illumination for the first time.
All the features, performance and efficiency combine to make Maxwell the world’s most advanced GPU architecture. Over a dozen SKUs are now available with GeForce GTX 980M and 970M.
MSI has the GT72, GS70 and GS60 models. Asus is offering the G751. Gigabyte has the Aurus X7 and P35 models. Boutique vendors like AVADirect. MainGear and OriginPC are also selling gaming powerhouses with these new GPUs.