Nvidia Corp. has quietly added the GeForce GTX 965M graphics processing unit into the lineup of its products. The new graphics solution is based on the code-named GM204 graphics processing unit, but it is so heavily cut-down that it will hardly provide performance on par with other products powered by the same chip.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics card features 1024 stream processors (SPs), 64 texture units, 32 raster output pipelines as well as 128-bit memory bus, according to the product page at Nvidia’s web-site. The graphics processor is clocked at 944MHz, whereas its memory operates at 5GHz. The new graphics processor supports all modern technologies from Nvidia, including Optimus, Battery Boost, GameWorks and so on. The GM204 also supports DirectX 12 feature level 11_3, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.1 and so on.
It is rather surprising that Nvidia decided to use the GM204 processor for a relatively low-performance graphics solution with 1024 stream processors and 128-bit memory bus. Given that the full configuration of the GM204 includes 2048 SPs and 256-bit bus, whereas Nvidia sells a chip with half of its building blocks deactivated, it means that either yields of the GM204 are not very good (which is not really possible since the chip is made using proven 28nm fabrication process), or Nvidia basically wastes half of its chip. The motive behind such move is completely unclear.
Since Nvidia did not make any formal announcements of the GeForce GTX 965M and given its rather strange configuration, it is possible that the company does not expect this solution to become truly widespread. It may need a cheap standalone GeForce GTX 900-series offering for notebook makers, therefore, the GTX 965M is just filling a niche.
Several notebook makers, including Aorus and MicroStar International (MSI), have already introduced laptops featuring Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics processors.
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KitGuru Says: It will be really interesting to see how Nvidia positions the GeForce GTX 965M against forthcoming solutions based on the code-named GM206 graphics processing unit that features a similar configuration and performance.