NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, GTX 950M and GT 940M Spotted – Mobility 900 Series Line To Complete Transition To Maxwell Architecture

Hassan Mujtaba

NVIDIA is likely to switch to their highly efficient Maxwell architecture over the next few weeks with the upcoming GeForce GTX 960M, GeForce GTX 950M and GeForce GT 940M graphics chips. NVIDIA currently launched three high-performance Maxwell chips utilizing their high-performance GM204 architecture which currently rests in the heart of their flagship GeForce 900 series offering, the GeForce GTX 980.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, GTX 950M, GT 940M Chips Feature Maxwell Architecture

Over the upcoming months, there will be some announcements on the mobility and desktop side of things by NVIDIA. NVIDIA does have a event planned for 3rd March which will is related to "Redefining Future of Gaming" and is rumored to be related to the Tegra X1 powered products such as the Shield Tablet. There are also twice the possibilities of NVIDIA announcing a new graphics card next month since they have the March 3rd event and also the GTC 2015 (Graphics Technology Conference) which commences on March 17th. So there are many possibilities but we can't exactly point out what cards will be launched or what announcements will be made during the event.

NVIDIA does have three mobility 900 series chips planned for launch in a few weeks which include the GTX 960M, GTX 950M and GT 940M. Surprisingly, none of the chips feature the GM206 architecture even though the 965M which was launched recently is very similar in specifications to the GeForce GTX 960 that is the only card to feature the core currently however there are rumors that a GeForce GTX 950 graphics card featuring a cut down variant of the GM206 core could be on its way soon. Moving onward, the specifications are reported however their validity cannot be confirmed. Based on what we know so far, the GeForce GTX 960M and GTX 950M will be based on the GM107 architecture while the GeForce GT 940M and GT 930M will be based on the GM108 core architecture.

The specifications for the GM107 based chips would be 640 CUDA Cores each and a 2 GB VRAM operating along a 128-bit memory interface. There's no word on the clock speeds or TDPs but they will be around 50-65W. As for the GM108 chips, the GT 940M is reported to feature 384 CUDA Cores and 4 GB VRAM along a limited 64-bit memory interface while the GeForce GT 930M will feature 256 CUDA Cores and a 2 GB VRAM operating along a 64-bit interface. These chips will ship with TDPs under the 40W barrier. The GM107 chips defined as the mainstream chips will go in several slim notebook designs while GM108 will be adopted by the more budget friendly and entry tier notebooks. A few models which already list the upcoming mobility chips have also been spotted by Videocardz that include ASUS's ROG G551JW, ROG G501, ACER Aspore V Nitro VN7-571G and Lenovo Thinkpad T550.

While NVIDIA makes a complete transition to Maxwell on their mobility lineup, AMD is yet to offer a complete refresh on their mobility lineup which has been reusing older GCN chips since several years now. The only new chip from AMD came as the Radeon R9 M295X which makes use of the full Tonga XT configuration however the memory seems to be cut down from its 384-bit bus to 256-bit bus. The chip is only available on the Apple iMac and is yet to make an appearance on consumer level notebooks. AMD seems to be pushing for their desktop line in the next few months but their mobility line has so far been missing from action and the rumored Crystal series line seems to have disappeared from the rumor mill all of a sudden. As far as performance is concerned, NVIDIA holds a strong advantage with Maxwell GM204 in the mobility field giving notebooks a greater leverage in performance compared to Kepler generation. The new chips will further boost NVIDIA's strategic deployment on the notebook front.


NVIDIA GeForce 900M - GTX 960M, GTX 950M, GT 940M Preliminary Specifications:

NVIDIA GeForce GT 930M NVIDIA GeForce GT 940M NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
Core Architecture Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell
Core SKU GM108 GM108 GM107 GM107 GM204 GM204 GM204
CUDA Cores 256 384 640 640 1024 1280 1536
ROPs/TMUs TBD TBD TBD TBD 64/32 48/80 64/96
Clock Speed TBD TBD TBD TBD 950 MHz+ 1038 MHz+ 1127 MHz+
Memory Bus 64-bit 64-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 192-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth TBD TBD TBD TBD 80.2 GB/s 160.4 GB/s 160.4 GB/s
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