Hello again friends
We’ll talk about the GTX 860M vs the GTX 870M GPUs for laptops, as they are both good options in the $1000-$1400 price range the question is what do you get, performance-wise, for these extra bucks.
We’ve already seen the difference between the the new GTX 860M vs the previous generation GTX 770M and in short, you’d get the same gaming performance with a much lower power consumption => lower heat and less throttling. It is also comes close to the very popular and power hungry 750M / 755M SLI in performance while requiring a considerably less power. Now, It is also obvious that the GTX 860M is more powerful than the older GT 755M / 750M and GTX 765M quite a bit too with ease, while maintaining around the same power requirements plus the fact that you can usually find it for around the same price of $900-$1000 currently with laptops like the Clevo W230SS and the upcoming and interesting Lenovo Y50. Therefore, the 6/7 series is – bottom line – no good as a competitor at these price ranges unless you can get a GTX 680M/780M laptop for a really good price (like $900-$1000 for a 680M).
So, for a new laptop, the question should reside around the Nvidia 800 series (till AMD answer at least) and in this case, the 870M and 860M.
|Model||core (stock)||memory (stock)||Power|
|GTX 680M (Kepler)||GK104 (Kepler), 1344cores@720HZ + boost||GDDR5@0.9GHZ (3.6GHZ effective), 256-bit||around 100W|
|GTX 860M (Maxwell)||GM104 (Maxwell), 640 cores@1030MHZ + boost||GDDR5@1.25GHZ (5GHZ effective), 128-bit||probably around 40W-45W|
|GTX 870M (Kepler)||GK104 (Kepler), 1344 cores@941MHZ + boost||GDDR5@1250MHZ (5GHZ effective), 192-bit||~100W probably (peak ofcourse)|
Lets look on the 860M numbers compared to the 870M in FPS and percentage (numbers courtesy of NBR, take with some salt)
Lets talk about these simple graphs. The first one shows the absolute FPS and the second one shows the the advantage of the 870M in percentage. We can see that the GTX 870M does not provide more than 40% advantage and the average is lower and is around ~30%. Edit: later results show 50% in some games, like Crysis 3 and Total War : Rome II, however, in other built-in benchmarks which are more constant, the advatange is around 30%, including Bioshock Infinite, Metro : Last Light, Thief, Civilization : Beyond Earth.
This is reasonable, as we know the GTX 860M is around the same performance of the GTX 770M. The 870M has 40% more cores (1344 vs 960), around 25% higher memory bandwidth and around 15-20% higher core clocks. Other parameters are more or less the same and the core architecture is the same (Kepler), so the performance should be something between 25-40% faster (tops) than the GTX 770M/860M more or less and don’t expect more than that.
So, roughly, if you make an effort, you can find a GTX 870M laptop for only 30% higher price, so the 30% performance advantage fits in. However, few points:
1. Many GTX 860M laptops are not available yet – the upcoming Lenovo Y50 with an IPS display and good sound quality + very good sound system (probably) for probably around $1000 or some Asus offering for the same price. The total value of the Y50 including the IPS display, good looks, good battery (a guess, based on previous models) is higher for the price.
2. Even now, the 13.3″ Clevo W230SS comes with a very good 1080p IPS display for less than $1000. That’s a significant advantage. You’ll currently won’t find a good 17.3″ IPS display, if that’s what you wanted to ask.
3. The Maxwell parts, if it’s not clear, are much more power efficient. In this case, the 860M draws easily half or less than the 870M, at peak. That means less heat and better battery, under 3D load. In some cases this results in CPU/GPU throttling and lower gaming performance in some games.
So, bottom line, if you ask me, you should keep away from the GTX 870M for now. Wait for the Maxwell parts or go with a GTX 860M laptop if you really need one now. I’d also suggest waiting for more GTX 860M offerings, again, like the Lenovo Y50.
Edit: this is outdated, we are not in the 960M (soon) and 970M era.