GPU Battle: GTX 675M vs GTX 680M vs Radeon 7970M vs Radeon 6990M

(Top gaming laptops recommedations)




This article will talk about the high end GPUs section. Being a table lover, I’ll start with a tables. The previous generation Fermi GTX 675M and new generation Kepler GTX 680M:

ModelCore, shaders (vertex / geometry / pixel)memory and bandwidthCore speedNotes
GTX 680MKepler (GK104), 1344 unified : 112 : 32, 28nm processGDDR5@900MHZ, 115.2GB/s720MHZ
GTX 675MFermi (GF114), 384 unified : 64 : 32, 40nm processGDDR5@750MHZ, 96GB/s620MHZActually a GTX 580M

Now, it might seem like the GTX 680M has 3.5 times the stream processors the GTX 580M, but it’s actually only half of that because whay Nvidia did (for some architecture considerations) is doubling the processors number and cutting to half their clock, therefore, effectively the 680M has something like 672 ‘Fremi stream processors’ (see here and here). Anyway, the 680M numbers are considerably higher.


And AMD:

ModelCore, shaders (vertex / geometry / pixel)memory and bandwidthCore speedNotes
Radeon HD 7970MPitcairn, 1280 : 80 : 32, 28nmGDDR5@1200MHZ, 153.6GB/s850MHZ
Radeon HD 6990MBarts, 1120 : 56 : 32, 40nmGDDR5@900MHZ, 115.2GB/s715MHZ
Radeon HD 6970MBarts, 960 : 48 : 32, 40nmGDDR5@900MHZ, 115.2GB/s680MHZ

Well, it speaks for itself. The 7970M, even if we look at the raw numbers themselves, should have considerable advantage over the Radeon HD 6990M.


The numbers are taken from here. As stated in several places, there is a problem with Radeon 7970M systems: It was reported that the “Enduro” switching mechanism is actually causing a performance penalty due to suboptimal operation. This can be shown here, for example: The non-enduro m17x-R4 laptop has a significantly higher performance than the Enduro one although the Enduro one is equipped with faster hardware (I7-3720QM vs I7-3610QM). Therefore, I used the m17x-R4 results, but keep in mind that you have to notice that.


SettingsRadeon 6990M (I7-2630QM)Radeon 7970M (I7-3610QM)GTX 680M (I7-3720QM)GTX 675M (I7-2670QM)
Metro 20331920×1080,DirectX 11 / very highAA AF:4x19.626.924.217.4
The Elders scroll V: Skyrim1920×1080 Ultra PresetAA:8x AF:16x3455.656.140.5
Anno 20701920×1080 very highAA:on AF:4x3455.451.533
F1 20111920×1080 Ultra Preset DX11AA:4x AF:-48656746
Battlefield 31920×1080 ultraAA:4x MS AF:16x22353424
Crysis 21920×1080 Extreme3354.548.936.3
Starcraft II1920×1080 ultra63.599.282.559.9


As you can see, the Radeon 7970M and GTX 680M are very similar in performance, sometimes the GTX is with the upper hand and sometimes the Radeon. SCII is an exception as the 7970M has big advantage. Moreover, you can see that the 7970M has a significant 30-60% advantage over the 6990M. The I7-3610QM is also a bit faster, but such a difference in performance does not come from there, but from the higher clocks and stream processors and the new AMD GCN architecture advantages. The GTX 680M holds similar advantage over the GTX 675M.

The point of this short article is to show that the GTX 680M and Radeon 7970M DOES offer considerably higher performance plus the fact that their performance is very much similar and you probably shouldn’t decide which laptop to buy based on this parameter, unless you use some specific game or application and then you better investigate which solution is preffered spcifically for your uses. There are other variables to consider and I bring the forth:

GTX 680M vs Radeon 7970M

Doesn’t really matter as far as raw performance is considered. BUT,  two important points:

  1. AMD’s ‘Enduro’ technology its switching system between the integrated and dedicated GPUs is far from perfect and lags behind Nvidia Optimus in a way that 7970M systems suffer from considerable performance hit – here, look at the difference between the Alienware m17x-R4 (non-Enduro) and the Schenker P702 (Enduro). Big difference. So, if you take the 7970M solution, keep in mind that currently it is far from being good and you need to switch off the switching system (like in the m17x-R4) – but be sure to check that it is really possible.
  2. Price difference – the difference in price is currently quite significant. Same machine with a Radeon 7970M will probably 200$-300$ less expensive than the GTX 680M one, including Alienware, Sager and others.


Conclusion. Currently, I’d take the Radeon 7970M without a lot of thought, as you don’t lose anything really performance-wise and you save a good money which you can use for other uses.



GTX 680M vs GTX 675M / GTX 580M

That’s a good question. Ofcourse, the GTX 680M is far ahead the GTX 580M and if your dilemma is between two similarly priced machines then the 680M is the way to go, if what you’re looking for is more horse power – even for 200$ extra. Why not add another 10%-15% to get another (just to be on the safe side) 30%-50%  in performance? If you’re considering such machines, you probably want the performance and the 680M definitely worth it.

However, you can find GTX 580M for much lower price sometimes, like the “Force” laptops on XoticPC and probably more – sure, it will come with an I5 and more such things, but if you don’t feel you need to have the best cpu + best screen + best case, you can take such a laptop and get a hell of performance per price ratio.

The GTX 675M is actually a GTX 580M, so there is no need to think twice.


That’s all.

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now what laptops come with these! looking to get me an awesome 17.3 incher reasonably priced!


Nvidia was pretty shady this gen, seems like they had a bunch of 5xx series cards left so they rebranded them and then left a huge gap between the 660 and 680 for them to fill. AMD has done similar things in the past as well and rebranded some of their lower tier cards this gen too. Just seems pretty messed up that they can brand a mobile card as being the laptop version of a desktop GPU when its actually a far weaker card that has a completely different architecture.