Even when you get a mobile part that seems to correspond with a current generation GPU you will more than likely find that it is a last generation product that has been rebranded (this is true for both GPU makers). Now that Maxwell is on the street NVIDIA is claiming that they have made a big stride in closing that performance gap. They announced the availability of the GTX 980 and 870M GPUs. These are intended as very high-end mobile GPUs and are based on the GM204 Maxwell Core.
Just how much as NVIDIA closed the gap? Well in most cases a mobile GPU will run between 50-60% of the performance you find in a desktop model. With Maxwell, NVIDIA is claiming 75%. This is a pretty decent jump in performance for a mobile product especially when you consider the fact that laptops are getting thinner, lighter and are coming with higher resolution displays, so it is a good thing that NVIDIA claims the new 970 and 980M can comfortably push 2560×1440 with all the eye candy on.
Getting into the meat of the two new mobile GPUs we find that the 980 has 1536 cores while the 970 sports 1280. This is in comparison to the GTX 980 desktop part that boasts 2048 Cuda Cores. This means that the 980M has exactly 75% as many Cuda Cores as the desktop 980 (and might explain the performance claim), the 970 has around 62% of the cores available. For SMMs we have the 980M ad 12 and the 970M at 10. The rest of the specs appear to be very close to the desktop part although the amount of memory available to the mobile parts will factor into final performance levels.
In the end the claims of 75% of the performance ratio between mobile and desktop are likely a little over stated, but they are going to be pretty close. NVIDIA says that there will be a few OEMs that will have the new 980 and 970M starting today, but these are not likely to fall into the thin and light category, but they will eventually get there. Sadly we will all have to wait for the day when we can carry around the same performance in our hands as we have under our desks, but we are getting closer.
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