GeForce GTX 880M, 870M, And 860M: Mobile GPUs, Tested

How We Test Nvidia's GeForce GTX 800M Graphics

Origin PC supplied all the hardware needed to test the latest GeForce modules, and the previous set of data we generated was also facilitated by Origin PC. This is how the company's Eon17-S looks for 2014, when ordered in white:

Using the stats reported by GPU-Z, this is how our hardware and software is being benchmarked. The notebook needed to be custom-ordered to retain the previously-used Core i7-4930MX, since that processor was replaced by Intel's slightly-faster Core i7-4940MX.

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-4930MX: 3.0 to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, FCPGA946
Motherboard,
Chassis
Origin PC Eon17-S: Intel HM87 Express, 4 x DIMM, 3 x SATA/2 x mSATA/1 x eSATA 6Gb/s, HDMI, Dual DisplayPort, 17.3" FHD 1080p
Cooling SystemDual-blower air: 2 x CPU pipes, 2 x GPU pipes, 1 x GDDR5 pipe
RAMKingston 99U5469-041.A00LF (8 GB)
2 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CAS 11-11-11-28, Dual-Channel Mode
GeForce GTX 800M GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 880M: 954-993 MHz GPU, 8 GB GDDR5-5000
Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M: 941-967 MHz GPU, 6 GB GDDR5-4008
Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M: 797-915 MHz GPU, 4 GB GDDR5-4008
GeForce GTX 700M GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 780M: 771-797 MHz GPU, 4 GB GDDR5-5000
Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M: 706-797 MHz GPU, 3 GB GDDR5-4008
Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M: 797-863 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5-4008
StorageSamsung 840 Pro MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkRealtek 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth v4.0+LE Combo Half Mini-Card module
PowerChicony A12-230P1A: 100-240 VAC to 19.5 VDC, 11.8 A
System Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64
GeForce GTX 800M GraphicsNvidia GeForce Mobile 337.50 WHQL
GeForce GTX 700M GraphicsNvidia GeForce Mobile 332.21 WHQL

Nvidia's newest modules are tested with the company's new 337.50 driver, which could have thrown a wrench in our plans to compare last generation's hardware to the latest and greatest (at least as far as isolating the graphics modules was concerned). Fortunately, we found that the games we're using are barely affected by the update.

The Eon17-S’s only potential benchmarking issue is that its 1920x1080 panel resolution is too low to maximally stress Nvidia’s potent Kepler-based GK104 GPU. StarTech's MDP2DVID dual-link DVI adapter supplies the bandwidth to feed our aging Dell 30" screen its native 2560x1600 resolution from the notebook’s DisplayPort output, pushing slightly beyond the capabilities of QHD-equipped machines.

3D Games
Arma 3
Version 1.08.113494, 30-Sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase"
Test Set 1: Standard Preset, No AA, Standard AF
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x FSAA, Ultra AF
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, DirectX 11, 100-Sec. Fraps "Tashgar"
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO
Far Cry 3V. 1.05, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost"
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
F1 2012Steam version, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Metro: Last LightSteam version, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
Test Set 1: DX11, Med Quality, 4x AF, Low Blur, No SSAA, No Tesselation, No PhysX
Test Set 2: DX11, High Quality, 16x AF, Normal Blur, SSAA, Tesselation Normal, No PhysX
Tomb RaiderSteam version, Built-In Benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset (8x AF, FXAA), Motion Blur, Screen Effects
Test Set 2: Ultimate Quality, (16x AF,  FXAA), Tesselation, TressFX
Synthetic
3DMark ProfessionalVersion 1.1, SystemInfo 4.17.0.0, Fire Strike Benchmark (Extreme Off/On)
This thread is closed for comments
35 comments
    Your comment
  • CaptainTom
    Eh these generations are all the same cards. Show us a 980M with full maxwell. Then we'll talk...
  • dscudella
    Looks like maybe two more generations before we see single gpu 4K mobile gaming.
  • Puiucs
    we need them to finish working on 20nm fast. TSMC just can't do it anymore. global foundries has 14nm only on paper too....
  • guvnaguy
    I'm actually fairly impressed. Their website says a max of 6 hours battery on "UMA" mode. Would you be able to test this, Tom?

    Previously I wouldn't consider getting a gaming laptop due to their short battery life, even when not gaming. But if a laptop with this kind of hardware can manage 5 - 6 hours, I'd consider it...
  • ubercake
    Page one gives the impression you might include desktop cards so we could get a frame of reference with regard to desktop v laptop GPU performance. Then I looked immediately at the BF4 page and found no desktop GPUs in the performance charts?
  • Ninjawithagun
    Highly disappointed overall by the 800M series performance. I can feel assured that my GTX780Ms in my Alienware 18 will serve me well for at least another year. So, whatever happened to multi-core GPUs?? The concept works well for desktop CPUs, yet we have not seen it in desktop or mobile GPUs as of yet? ATI's Hawaii GPU comes close in certain aspects regarding behavior like a multi-core GPU by handing off processes to other chips within the die. One step closer to a next-gen GPU, yet still so far...
  • jrharbort
    A shame this didn't include the Maxwell-based 860M. It performs much more in line with what we'd expect from a true next-gen mobile chip (I'm currently using said chip, and still exercising its capabilities). I can say it's roughly 30% faster than the previous gen 765M, and benchmarks by others have shown it to be twice as fast as the GTX 660M while staying at a max of 50W TDP. I've yet to do any real benchmarking myself, so if anyone cares to see any, leave me some suggestions of what to use (preferably free software).
  • hannibal
    Is there any way of knowing if you get kepler 860 or maxwell 860 when you buy a laptop?
    I hate these kind of naming tricks... Even 860a and 860b or anything that gives out what you will get.
  • jrharbort
    Quote:
    Is there any way of knowing if you get kepler 860 or maxwell 860 when you buy a laptop? I hate these kind of naming tricks... Even 860a and 860b or anything that gives out what you will get.
    It is difficult to know unless you get more specific information from the manufacturer before purchase (or find benchmarks of the computer model you're looking at beforehand). The MSi GE60 Apache Pro was the first notebook to feature the Maxwell-based 860M.
  • dstarr3
    Quote:
    So, whatever happened to multi-core GPUs?? The concept works well for desktop CPUs, yet we have not seen it in desktop or mobile GPUs as of yet?


    GPUs have been multi-core for ages now. Well beyond desktop cores, even. The GTX880M in particular is a 1,536-core GPU. Similar numbers have been around for a long time.
    http://www.geforce.com/hardware/notebook-gpus/geforce-gtx-880m/specifications
  • Steveymoo
    Scumbag Nvidia. Want a new GPU? Here's exactly the same piece of silicon with a slightly faster clock rate and increased power usage, and higher price. Laziest business model ever.
  • Crashman
    957409 said:
    I'm actually fairly impressed. Their website says a max of 6 hours battery on "UMA" mode. Would you be able to test this, Tom? Previously I wouldn't consider getting a gaming laptop due to their short battery life, even when not gaming. But if a laptop with this kind of hardware can manage 5 - 6 hours, I'd consider it...
    We have a couple complete notebooks set aside for that type of review :)

    146263 said:
    Highly disappointed overall by the 800M series performance. I can feel assured that my GTX780Ms in my Alienware 18 will serve me well for at least another year. So, whatever happened to multi-core GPUs?? The concept works well for desktop CPUs, yet we have not seen it in desktop or mobile GPUs as of yet? ATI's Hawaii GPU comes close in certain aspects regarding behavior like a multi-core GPU by handing off processes to other chips within the die. One step closer to a next-gen GPU, yet still so far...
    GPU's have been multi-core for several generations. And dual-GPU mobile solutions have come and gone several times as AMD basically applied a dual-GPU name to a pair of notebook modules (in CrossFire).
  • John Wittenberg
    "Is there any way of knowing if you get kepler 860 or maxwell 860 when you buy a laptop?
    I hate these kind of naming tricks... Even 860a and 860b or anything that gives out what you will get."

    Yes, the 860M Maxwell is a 2GB card that is soldered directly onto the motherboard with only 640 cuda cores w/ 50W TDP. The Kelper 860M is 4GB and is MXM (replaceable) with 1152 cuda cores w/ 75W TDP.
  • John Wittenberg
    As an addendum, I was unaware that the Kepler 860M even came in 2GB - but according to Tom's it is?
  • Menigmand
    I would love to see a comparison benchmark between mobile maxwell (860m) and desktop maxwell (750 Ti)
  • h2323
    Toms never gets anything right, should have added a radeon or two to the bench's, updated in this test.
  • Crashman
    561580 said:
    Toms never gets anything right, should have added a radeon or two to the bench's
    Already done:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-780m-770m-765m,3732.html
  • cynic77
    Quote:
    As an addendum, I was unaware that the Kepler 860M even came in 2GB - but according to Tom's it is?


    I was going to comment earlier and ask Thomas about this. Did Origin PC come up with custom 800M-series modules for this article?... or was half the VRAM somehow disabled? If not, I'm confused. The EON17-S as available on their web site comes with the "standard" double-memory configurations - 4 GB for the 860M, 6 GB for the 870M, and a whopping 8 GB for the 880M. I didn't see this mentioned in the article at all. On other forums, users have indicated this "double-VRAM" is a waste. It would have been nice if this article had put the "double-VRAM" to the test, especially at the QHD resolution.
  • Crashman
    1559186 said:
    Quote:
    As an addendum, I was unaware that the Kepler 860M even came in 2GB - but according to Tom's it is?
    I was going to comment earlier and ask Thomas about this. Did Origin PC come up with custom 800M-series modules for this article?... or was half the VRAM somehow disabled? If not, I'm confused. The EON17-S as available on their web site comes with the "standard" double-memory configurations - 4 GB for the 860M, 6 GB for the 870M, and a whopping 8 GB for the 880M. I didn't see this mentioned in the article at all. On other forums, users have indicated this "double-VRAM" is a waste. It would have been nice if this article had put the "double-VRAM" to the test, especially at the QHD resolution.
    I checked the pictures in the article's image gallery :) GPU-Z shows that the memory amount in the tables was wrong, so I corrected the tables. Thanks! I wish someone would have caught this earlier, but I'm glad I at least got to correct it the same day.
  • mikeangs2004
    I wouldn't buy a laptop like this from rjtech nor SSD until M.2 10G comes out
  • someguynamedmatt
    Using a GTX 660M right now, I'm actually quite happy with it... I think some people underestimate what even a 'lowly' mid-level GPU is capable of these days. Can't wait to pick up Sager's refresh of the 9170 with an 870M in it!

    Oh, and it's nice to see so many replies in the comments section by the author - keep up the great work. Always interesting!
  • MasterMace
    still waiting on laptop manufacturers to treat laptops like desktops, instead of losing their business while trying to treat them like tablets. there's no reason why laptops shouldn't be fully upgradable with specified form factors for the sizes available.
  • Riccardo Corbetta
    You can find a comparison between 860m Kepler vs. Maxwell on notebookcheck.net. They claim Maxwell has a 10% advantage in gaming performance, and that Kepler is slightly worse than older Gtx 770m, but far better than Gtx 765m
  • thatonedude1
    I'm confused. Can someone help me identify whether or not my chip is Maxwell or Kepler based? I bought the MSI GE60 Apache Pro, and it comes with an 860M graphics card. I've read conflicting comments on whether or not it is Maxwell or Kepler. Looking at GPU-Z, it states the Memory size of my graphics card is 2GB. Does this mean it is Maxwell-based? Thanks