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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GeForce GTX 860M 2GB
Red Dead Redemption 2 51% 168%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 51% 168%
Cyberpunk 2077 107% 268%
Halo: Reach 52% 15%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 107% 268%
Detroit: Become Human 128% 305%
Borderlands 3 59% 183%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 107% 268%
FIFA 20 20% 43%
Resident Evil 3 Remake 45% 158%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB are significantly better than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M 2GB.

The GTX 860M has a 105 MHz higher core clock speed than the GTX 970M, but the GTX 970M has 40 more Texture Mapping Units than the GTX 860M. As a result, the GTX 970M exhibits a 32.7 GTexel/s better Texture Fill Rate than the GTX 860M. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The GTX 860M has a 105 MHz higher core clock speed than the GTX 970M, but the GTX 970M has 32 more Render Output Units than the GTX 860M. As a result, the GTX 970M exhibits a 27.9 GPixel/s better Pixel Fill Rate than the GTX 860M. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The GTX 970M was released less than a year after the GTX 860M, and so they are likely to have similar driver support for optimizing performance when running the latest games.

The GTX 970M has 1024 MB more video memory than the GTX 860M, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the GTX 970M also has superior memory performance overall.

The GTX 970M has 40.1 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the GTX 860M, which means that the memory performance of the GTX 970M is noticeably better than the GTX 860M.

The GeForce GTX 970M 3GB has 1280 Shader Processing Units and the GeForce GTX 860M 2GB has 640. However, the actual shader performance of the GTX 970M is 1794 and the actual shader performance of the GTX 860M is 948. The GTX 970M having 846 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the GTX 970M delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the GTX 860M.

The GeForce GTX 970M 3GB requires 81 Watts to run and the GeForce GTX 860M 2GB requires 60 Watts. The GTX 970M requires 21 Watts more than the GTX 860M to run. The difference is not significant enough for the GTX 970M to have a noticeably larger impact on your yearly electricity bills than the GTX 860M.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed924 MHzvs1029 MHz
Boost Clock1038 MHzvs1097 MHz
ArchitectureMaxwell GM204Maxwell GM107-N15P-GX-A1
OC Potential Fair vs Fair
Driver Support Great vs Great
Release Date07 Oct 2014vs12 Mar 2014
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

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GPU Memory

Memory3072 MBvs2048 MB
Memory Speed1253 MHzvs1253 MHz
Memory Bus192 Bitvs128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth120.3GB/secvs80.2GB/sec
L2 Cache 2048 KB green tick vs green tick 2048 KB
Delta Color Compression yes vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units1280vs640
Actual Shader Performance86%vs46%
Texture Mapping Units80vs40
Texture Rate73.9 GTexel/svs41.2 GTexel/s
Render Output Units48vs16
Pixel Rate44.4 GPixel/svs16.5 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections0vs0
HDMI Connections0vs0
DisplayPort Connections0vs0

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power81 Wattsvs60 Watts
Recommended PSU--

GPU Features

Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.5vs4.5
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUyesyes

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i7-4930MX 4-Core 3.0GHzvsIntel Core i7-4710HQ 4-Core 2.5GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution1920x1080vs1600x900

Gaming Performance Value

Grand Theft Auto Vvs
Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewOverview
GeForce GTX 970M 3GB is a high-end Mobile Graphics Card based on the second revision of the Maxwell architecture.

The Second variant of the Maxwell Architecture, despite being also manufactured with a 28nm technology, has an extremely large L2 Cache and features a Third Generation Delta Color Compression which allows NVIDIA to produce Graphics Cards with relatively small memory data transfer rates, without causing too much impact on the overall performance. Furthermore, the Shaders have been redesigned and are both more powerful and energy efficient.
The Second Revision of Maxwell also adds the VXGI (Voxel Global Illumination) Technology which makes scenes significantly more lifelike and believable as light interacts more realistically in the game environment and the MFAA Technology which provides the same effect as MSAA but at a much lower performance cost.

It equips a GPU codenamed GM204 which has 10 SM activated and thus offers 1280 Shader Processing Units, 80 TMUs and 48 ROPs. The central unit runs at 924MHz and goes up to 993MHz, in Turbo Mode.

The GPU accesses a 3GB frame buffer of fast GDDR5, through a 192-bit memory interface. The memory clock operates at 1253MHz. The frame buffer size is adequate and any extra memory wouldn't add any extra performance.

DirectX 12.0 Support (11.0 Hardware Default) and support for SLI, GameStream, G-SYNC, GPU Boost 2.0, GeForce Experience, PhysX and other technologies.

The Card is known to run cool. However, ultimately, it all depends on the notebook's cooling system.

Power Consumption
With a rated board TDP of 81W, it will only be equipped in large notebooks.

Benchmarks indicate its performance is over 10% faster than GeForce GTX 880M. Therefore, it should even surpass GeForce GTX 760 and be around as fast as desktop GeForce GTX 670. GeForce GTX 970M is therefore the second fastest mobile Graphics Card as of October 2014 and AMD's Radeon R9 M290X is beaten in over 20%.

System Suggestions
We recommend a very strong processor (Intel Core i7 Mobile Quad Core) and 8GB of RAM for a notebook with GeForce GTX 970M 6GB.
GeForce GTX 860M 2GB is a Performance Mobile Graphics Card based on the First Generation of the Maxwell Architecture.

GeForce GTX 860M 2GB Features a GPU Codenamed GM107-N15P-GX-A1 which is a First Gen Maxwell GPU and is Identical to the GM107-400-A2 GPU used on the Desktop GeForce GTX 750 Ti.
It has 6 Stream Multiprocessors activated and offers 640 Shader Processing Units, 40 TMUs and 16 ROPs.

The central unit runs at 1029MHz and goes up to 1097MHz, in Turbo Mode.

Memory: Speed
The GPU is equipped with fast GDDR5 and Accesses the Frame Buffer through a 128-bit Memory Interface. The Memory Clock Operates at 1253MHz.

Memory: Frame Buffer
The GPU can fill up a Memory Pool of up to 2GB.

Power Consumption
GeForce GTX 860M 2GB Consumes between 60W and 75W depending on the Scenario.

Benchmarks Indicate Similar Performance to the older GeForce GTX 770M, using the best suited Resolution - 1600x900.
As a Result, GeForce GTX 860M provides a decent experience at 900p, in most Modern Demanding Games.

System Suggestions
GeForce GTX 860M 2GB is best suited for resolutions up to and including 1600x900. We recommend a Performance Processor and 8GB of RAM for Optimal Performance.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants