GTX 860M vs GTX 765M : midrange gaming has shifted again

Nvidia Maxwell GTX 860M

So, the new Nvidia Maxwell 800 series is now becoming available as a new high midrange queen is crowned, the Nvidia Geforce GTX 860M. We’ll compare these old and new midrange offerings and compete them one with the other.

The previous generation queen of high midrange mobile gaming was the GTX 765M / 760M with many laptops available for the $1000 price point, more or less. In terms of price, the 860M replaces the GTX 765M. The GTX 860M supposedly will have two version, one based on the older GK104 (Kepler) and one based on the new GM107 (Maxwell) which is the much more interesting GPU (I’m not sure we’ll even see the Kepler one).

Modelcore (stock)memory (stock)Power
GTX 860M (Kepler)GK107 (Kepler), 1152 cores@800MHZ + boostGDDR5@1.25GHZ (5MHZ effective), 128-bitprobably around 75W-80W
GTX 860M (Maxwell)GM104 (Maxwell), 640 cores@1030MHZ + boostGDDR5@1.25GHZ (5GHZ effective), 128-bitprobably around 40W-45W
GTX 765MGK104 (Kepler), 768 cores@850MHZ + boostGDDR5@1250MHZ (5000MHZ effective), 128-bit60W-65W

The GTX 860M power consumption specifications are based on the desktop GTX 750 Ti measures compared to the desktop GT 650 Ti (here), combined with the fact that the GTX 765M has a power consumption of around 60W. The GTX 750 Ti (640 cores, around the same clocks) have maximal power draw around 25-30W lower than the GTX 650 Ti, which is a bit faster than the GTX 765M but not by much. Therefore, I think the power consumption of the Maxwell GTX 860M should be around 20-25W less than the GTX 765M.

Now, lets see some numbers. Numbers are for gaming on very high settings @ 1080p (GTX 860M numbers source, GTX 765M source)

GTX 860M vs GTX 765M, 1080p, very high graphics settings

Well, not much to figure out. The new Maxwell GTX 860M is a new level of gaming performance for the midrange. Actually, the GTX 860M easily competes with the GTX 770M too (here). Achieving a 50% performance advantage over the GTX 765M with the GTX 860M is easy as voting to the wrong party. What more, it does it for the same price point and with much lower power consumption. There’s no point in looking back to GTX 765M for $1000.

The new Maxwell parts gain the “Battery Boost” feature which, combined with other features and Nvidia Geforce Experience software, will allow to squeeze higher battery running times (up to x2, Nvidia says), while maintaining good FPSs (considered to be 30FPS, by NV), running on reasonable settings. This is ofcourse mainly useful while the laptop is not plugged to a power outlet.

NVIDIA GeForce 800M Battery boost

This is actually useful if you don’t feel like you want to be plugged to the matrix while gaming. Many games are very playable at 30FPS in my opinion and the optional extra mobility is only a plus.

More features that come along with the Geforce 800M series – ShadowPlay and GameStream. Gamestream is the ability to stream games to the Nvidia Shield machine. ShadowPlay, in short, is the ability to record the last minutes of your gameplay, if you wish.

Bottom line. The GTX 860M GPU is a new level of gaming performance for the same price point. It can easily transform many games into playable at very high settings, compared to the GTX 765M and consumes less energy too. Some laptops are already available with GTX 860M (Amazon, Newegg), especially the 17.3″ MSI GE70 and the 13.3 Sager NP7338 (Clevo W230SS) with the 1080p IPS display.

More to come, though, especially the anticipated Lenovo Y50.


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Mike Zacierka
Mike Zacierka

I don’t know who is paying you for this but I have 2 laptops on my desk and one is CLEVO W370st with 765m and my GF’s HP Asus X running on GTX860m. Battlefield 4 on 765m reaches the same level as 860m yet Clevo has FHD screen and Asus 1366×768. In many benchmarks the 765m is faster(Performance Test 8) 765m is a great overclocker and 860m is failing at 50mhz lift. Guys don’t read that web crap, they want you to crush your piggy bank just to buy new stuff. After lots of test runs I did to both… Read more »

Deividas Zbarauskas
Deividas Zbarauskas

why do you write GM107 (Maxwell), and then below GK107 (Kepler)


On Passmark, these two GPUs are listed as basically the same performance:

But in your test, 860m is clearly superior. What’s your take on Passmark?