NVIDIA GTX 970m vs 980m, what’s the difference?

The NVIDIA GTX 980m and GTX 970m are the latest laptop graphics cards that launched this fall for high-end gaming laptops. They are based on 28nm Maxwell GM204 architecture. Their performance relative to the previous-generation GTX 880m graphics card is significantly improved — especially the GTX 980M, which has up to 75% of the performance of the desktop GTX 980, almost closing the laptop-desktop performance gap, according to NVDIDA. The GTX 980M and 970M have the ability to play most demanding games at Ultra settings with 2560×1440 resolution. And now they’re being used on the laptops. You can find them in the ASUS G751 and MSI GT72. Here we’ll show you the difference between 980M and 970M. We hope it will be helpful for you in choosing a gaming laptop.

Specs comparison:

Products GeForce GTX 970M GeForce GTX 980M GeForce GTX 970 GeForce GTX 980
GPU GM204 (Maxwell) GM204 (Maxwell) GM204 (Maxwell) GM204 (Maxwell)
Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
Shader Units 1280 1536 1664 2048
Texture Units 80 96 104 128
ROPs 48 64 64 64
Core Clock 924 MHz 1038 MHz 1050 MHz 1126 MHz
Memory Clock 1250 MHz GDDR5 1250 MHz GDDR5 1750 MHz GDDR5 1750 MHz GDDR5
Memory Bus 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 132 GB/s 176 GB/s 224 GB/s 224 GB/s
Memory Capacity 3GB/6GB 4GB/8GB 4 GB 4GB
Max. TDP 95 Watts 125 Watts 145 Watts 165 Watts

From the table, it can be seen that the GTX 980M is better than the GTX 970M in most ways. The 980M and 970M are based on the 28nm GM204 Maxwell chip. They are not the full GM204, which is only present in desktops with the GPU GTX 980 and has 2048 Shader Units. The 970M has 1280 and the 980M has 1536, so the essential setups for GTX 980m and GTX 970m, respectively, is as follows: A desktop GeForce GTX 980m with 4 and 6 SMM disabled, 1250 MHz GDDR5 memory and a 88 MHz and 202 MHz -lower GPU clock rate;

For a 970M, you’ll find it has less memory bus, just 192 bits as opposed to 256 bits in the 980M, 48 ROPs per clock (980M: 64 ROPs), and 3 GB of GDDR5 (980M: 4 GB). The reason for this is that the GTX 970M disables one 64-bit memory channel and renders back-end disabled, which reduces performance but adds the benefit of reducing power consumption to 95 Watts.

Performance comparison:

According to the test, the GTX 980m is a about 20-30% faster than the GTX 970m depending on the scenario. I’ll list the test result to you.

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