Nvidia Geforce Maxwell Architecture Roundup – GM206, GM204, GM200 and Maxwell Mobility


There have been countless leaks and rumors about Nvidia's Second Generation Maxwell Architecture. Some of them have been pretty far fetched while others are almost confirmed. I have wanted to do an aggregate post summarizing all the authentic leaks so far for quite some time now but haven't gotten the chance up-till now. I would also like to point out that the Majority of the Maxwell Mobility details have been spotted by the now well-known user Cloudfire (over at NotebookReview Forums) while the desktop variant leaks have multiple sources, including but limited to: Videocardz.com, SweClockers.com and Our Own.Maxwell-GTX-880-

Geforce Second Generation Maxwell Architecture - GM204, GM206 and GM200 Overview

Lets start with the desktop counterparts first. As you can probably guess, all Nvidia cores starting with the prefix GM2xx are Maxwell Second Generation cores. Now the first generation of the Maxwell Architecture was the GM107 which is present in the GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti. Now the first generation of Maxwell introduced some very impressive performance gains on the same node. However, due to some drastic change of plans behind the curtains, Nvidia seems to have abandoned the GM1xx completely; at least as far as Desktop is concerned. Currently all reports have pointed to the GM2xx Dies being developed on the 28nm node and this begs the question what is the difference between GM1xx and GM2xx. There are two possibilities, one is what I want to hear: that the GM2xx might contain ARM cores and the other which I logically know is more probable: performance gains and a better architectural revision. The cores are as follows:

GM200 - Maxwell Second Generation Enthusiast Class Core

  • Status: Confirmed
  • Internal Testing: Ongoing
  • Consumer Sample Testing: N/A

This core is being referred to as the Titan II core for the simple reason that in all probability it will end up in the Titan II or Equivalent, of the Geforce 800 Series. We know that it is currently being internally tested because the " GM200-INT0-A1" and "GM200-INT2-A1" Graphics processors were spotted on Zauba.com. The INT in the code of the chip means Internal, short for Internal Testing and the 0-A1 and 2-A1 are most probably versions of the same chip designed for testing. This also ofcourse confirms the status of the chip. Now as of yet there is no Customer Sample in the import/export data meaning the chip hasn't been finalized completely yet. The speculated specifications (credits: 3dcentre.org) are a die area of 600mm^2 with 3584 Shader Units, 224 TMUs and 48 ROPs. It is suspected to have a 348 Bit interface with 6GB/12GB worth of GDDR5 Memory.

GM204 - Maxwell Second Generation High End Core

  • Status: Confirmed
  • Internal Testing: Cleared
  • Consumer Sample Testing: Ongoing

Now this chip is what will most probably be featured in the Geforce GTX 880 or the current Maxwell Flagship. Once again, the exact performance is not really known and only a time frame of Oct/Nov is heard off. Other reports suggest that the GTX 880 may be shown off at Gamescom in a few weeks. This wouldn't exactly be out of the past trend either so it seems quite plausible. All chips that have been spotted were equipped with 8GB of GDDR5 Memory and the few samples in which bus was mentioned it was 256bit. We also got to see the GTX 880 Engineering Samples with a part blurred out, depicting one of two things. 1) an ARM core that we so desperately want and 2) a new dual fan design. This chip was spotted on Zauba.com during the time its internal testing was going on under the codes "GM204-INT41684-A1". However if you head over to Zauba you can now spot the Customer Samples too under the codes "GM204-CS0-A1". The CS here stands for Customer Sample. This means the core has been more or less finalized and is almost ready for AIB and Retail.  The speculated specifications (credits: 3dcentre.org) are a die area of 430mm^2 with 2560 Shader Units, 160 TMUs and 32 ROPs.

GM206 - Maxwell Second Generation Mainstream Core

Status: Rumored
Internal Testing: N/A
Consumer Sample Testing: N/a

This particular core hasn't been properly authenticated by the rumor mill so far and remains on a 'most-probably-exists' status. Ofcourse since the card hasn't been spotted anywhere yet, very little is known about the card. However, that hasn't deterred 3dcentre.org from speculating specifications. These are a die area of 250mm^2 with 1280 Shader Units, 80 TMUs and 24 ROPS. For this particular chip we will leave it at that.

New Nvidia Geforce Maxwell Mobility Cards Inbound

Now most of the speculation on the Maxwell Mobility comes from Notebook Review Forums where the user Cloudfire is to be credited for most of the deductions and identifications. Following the sum of his posting, rumor is that we are looking at the mobile version of GM204, the mobile version of GM107 and even the elusive GM108 only.  It would appear that we are looking at an entry level to high end spectrum of mobile GPUs. Now the nomenclature will either be the with the suffix "MX" added to the end, or GPUs branded under the 900 Series. Now do keep in mind that while I say speculation this is not just stuff that someone thought up. These GPUs have been spotted in the .inf of new driver releases, so new cards are definitely coming and it is only a question of whether we will see them branded under the 800 Series or the 900. Here are the probable names (found here) if the cards come under 800 :

  • GTX 870MX (N16E-Q1)
  • GTX 875MX (N16E-Q3)
  • GTX 880MX (N16E-Q5)
  • GTX 850MX ( N16E-GX)
  • GTX 860MX (N16E-GX-B)
  • GT 840MX (N16E-GT)

So there you go folks, looks like we have a ton of new cards coming and in both Red and Green flavors. Graphics Card Tech has really come a long way in these past few years and unlike CPUs there doesn't seem to be an end in sight for quite some time. The aggressive and exponential increase in the power of the GPUs is unrivaled by any other high performance ASIC, and that truly speaks volumes for the Gaming Industry. I can't wait for 20nm GPUs to arrive and I will probably die of excitement when the first Graphene Processor lands (An unhelpful comment, but oh well).