NVIDIA flew us out to Los Angeles to have some one-on-one time with us and an exciting new development for gaming laptops. We had a feeling it was coming. They showed us the GM204 GPU, the same GPU that powers the desktop video card in the form of the GeForce GTX 980, inside of a gaming notebook.
Exciting, right? Well, that's only part of the puzzle.
I thought that we would just see a thermally-throttled GM204 GPU being used, but that was only part of it. NVIDIA has unveiled a GeForce GTX 980, minus the M, inside of a notebook that is overclockable. Yes, overclockable. Not only do some of the vendors like MSI, ASUS and GIGABYTE offer up Intel's new Skylake-powered Core i7-6700K so you can overclock your CPU, but the GTX 980 has some huge OC headroom too.
Overclocking a GPU inside of a notebook is something quite new, and furthermore, it's overclockable by 10-15% minimum. NVIDIA showed us in person, overclocking the GTX 980 inside of an upcoming MSI gaming notebook. The overclock was completely stable to around 15-20%, but we'll get to that soon in more detail.
GM204 In a Notebook?! Yeah.
The most surprising thing is NVIDIA managed to put the GM204 GPU, 4GB of GDDR5 clocked at 7GHz and used 4-8 phase power supplies on a small board. The thing that surprised me the most is NVIDIA didn't need to use High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) to get it down this small, unlike AMD with its Fiji-powered range of desktop video cards.
NVIDIA used select GM204 GPUs, the ones that are more capable of being used inside of a notebook while using the same GDDR5 found on desktop counterparts. Nothing but premium components were used, offering some truly insane performance. The GTX 980 for notebooks was built for overclocking, which is truly a first for notebook GPUs.
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