Nvidia brings Maxwell chips to notebooks

GeForce GTX 970M and 980M GPUs promise more power and efficiency
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Chip maker Nvidia has introduced two new GeForce GTX 970M and GeForce GTX 980M notebook GPUs.

Maxwell is the company’s 10th-generation GPU architecture, boasting twice the energy efficiency of the previous generation. The Maxwell chip architecture also features in Nvidia's recently announced 970 and 980 graphics cards for desktop computers.

Nvidia's 8th-generation GPU architecture, Fermi, delivered about 40 per cent of the desktop equivalent in 2010. Kepler, its 9th generation GPU, launched in 2010, and closed the gap to 60 per cent, giving gamers 1080p resolution and “ultra” settings for the first time in a notebook.

With Maxwell, that gap shrinks to 80 per cent of the desktop equivalent and pushes the resolution well beyond 1080p, claims Nvidia.

Maxwell also doubles performance compared with the first Kepler notebook GPUs on games like Battlefield 4 and Metro: Last Light, with pushing playable resolution pushed to 2500x1400+ at ultra settings. 

Maxwell’s Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) technology can render games at 4K or other high-end resolutions, and are then scaled down to the native resolution on the notebook’s display. 

Nvidia BatteryBoost also sets a maximum frame rate from 30 to 60 FPS. The driver-level governor takes over from there, running all system components including CPU, GPU and memory at peak efficiency.

Nvidia has added features to GeForce Experience, too, allowing gamers to set specific game settings for use while on battery, along with a one-click optimize-for-battery button.

Plus, the notebook GPUs promise 30 per cent more AA performance at the same quality with Nvidia Multi-Frame Anti-Aliasing (MFAA). They also support Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI) technology, which Nvidia says better depicts indirect lighting – including diffuse lighting, specular lighting and reflections. 

Over a dozen SKUs are now available with GeForce GTX 980M and 970M, including the MSI GT72, GS70 and GS60 models, the Asus G751, Gigabyte Auros X7 and P35 models. Boutique venders like AVADirect, MainGear and OriginPC are also selling gaming systems with these new GPUs.

For more information on notebook GPUs that feature the Maxwell architecture, visit NVIDIA’s web site.

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