The Launch

With the Pascal product out of the way, let's dig into the actual launch, which again is a hard launch from NVIDIA and their partners. It's been a long road, but NVIDIA now has mobile parts which are powerful enough to drop the "M" designation, and it's partners are eager to add the new card to their products.

The design of the notebook GPU has varied depending on what product it is, and what the target market is. It's no different this time around, and GTX 10-Series for notebooks will be available in a variety of form factors. MXM cards will be available for some of the larger gaming laptops around, and there will also be soldered on versions too for thinner and lighter designs. But NVIDIA has added some features to improve the end result. For example, NVIDIA will be using Dual-FET power supplies and multi-phase power controllers. This should give a smoother voltage level, and is likely one of the reasons NVIDIA is allowing overclocks on their mobile parts now.

Another feature that we saw introduced last year on the notebook was G-SYNC, and with Pascal, this has been updated as well. Previously it was only available on select laptops with a 1920x1080 panel, up to 75 Hz refresh rate. With the GTX 10-Series, the resolution has been increased to 2560x1440, and G-SYNC will now support panels with up to 120 Hz refresh rate. The standard caveats will still apply though. G-SYNC on a notebook will only work if the GPU is directly connected to the display, so that rules out any notebooks with Optimus support.

Comparing GTX 10-Series to the outgoing Maxwell based parts shows that there is going to be a significant amount of performance gained. The bottom end of the lineup should see a substantial increase in performance, with not only double the CUDA cores, but a 192-bit bus on the GTX 1060, compared to just a 128-bit bus on the GTX 960M.

NVIDIA High-End/Midrange Mobile GPU Specification Comparison
  GTX 1070 GTX 1060 GTX 970M GTX 960M
CUDA Cores 2048 1280 1280 640
Texture Units 128 80 80 40
ROPs 64 48 48 16
Core Clock 1442MHz 1404MHz 924MHz 1097MHz
Boost Clock 1645MHz 1670MHz Undefined Undefined
Memory Clock 8Gbps GDDR5 8Gbps GDDR5 5Gbps GDDR5 5Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 192-bit 192-bit 128-bit
FP64 1/32 1/32 1/32 1/32
GPU GP104 GP106 GM204 GM107
Transistor Count 7.2B 4.4B 5.2B 1.87B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 16nm TSMC 16nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 08/16/2016 08/16/2016 10/07/2014 03/12/2015

Moving up the product stack to the GTX 1080, it considerably outclasses the older cards, including the GTX 980 for notebooks, with more CUDA cores, 10 Gbps GDDR5X memory, and 8 GB of RAM.

NVIDIA High-End Mobile GPU Specification Comparison
  GTX 1080 GTX 980 GTX 980M GTX 880M
CUDA Cores 2560 2048 1536 1536
Texture Units 160 128 96 96
ROPs 64 64 64 32
Core Clock 1556MHz 1064MHz 1038MHz 954MHz
Boost Clock 1733MHz Undefined Undefined Undefined
Memory Clock 10Gbps GDDR5X 7Gbps GDDR5 5Gbps GDDR5 5Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
FP64 1/32 1/32 1/32 1/24
GPU GP104 GM204 GM204 GK104
Transistor Count 7.2B 5.2B 5.2B 3.5B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 16nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 08/16/2016 09/22/2015 10/07/2014 03/12/2014

With this being a hard launch, NVIDIA has already started with shipements to their partners, and pretty much every single gaming laptop manufacturer is already shipping, or will shortly be shipping, updated product lines to take advantage of this new GPU. Most of the devices shipping now are going to be refreshes of existing product lines, but we may see some new designs in the not too distant future as well. NVIDIA is expecting designs around $1300 as a starting place, but I would expect several manufacturers to quickly get under the $1000 threshold on their competitively priced gaming notebooks.

Pascal is a major update to the notebook, with pretty substantial performance increases accross the board. With the first new GPU capable process in many years, architectures have been patiently awaiting the chance to stretch their legs with the latest FinFET transistors. NVIDIA is able to pack more transistors in the same space, and the FinFET design limits current leakage enough that we've finally got desktop class capability in a portable form factor.

With several manufacturers already shipping updated designs, we should have some review units in soon to check out the latest GPU.

The Product


View All Comments

  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    I'd like to have that "Batteryboost" available on the desktop as well. Set the display refresh rate as frame rate target for action games, or half of it for slower ones, and have the rendering "perfectly" sync'ed to the display output without GSync. With the added benefit of automatically running in the most energy-efficient configuration and without worrying about frame rate dips.

    That's not for "hardcore" gamers, but for everyone else I'd consider this a sensible setting.
  • kn00tcn - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    what? adaptive vsync has an option for half refresh, otherwise it's locked to your refresh, now why would you still want battery boost? it's going to alter your clockspeeds, reducing performance Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, August 22, 2016 - link

    It more limits your FPS to 30 then reducing performance. My guess is to keep heat/power consumption down. There is no real easy way of doing that on desktop. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    1060 Laptop Spec - 80W TDP
    1070 Laptop Spec - 120W TDP
    1080 Laptop Spec - 150W TDP

    I found one review of a 1060 equipped laptop - $1800 - and it managed 85 minutes on battery in Witcher 3.
  • D. Lister - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    "NVIDIA is also tying quality settings into Battery Boost, allowing the technology to dial down game settings to further save power."

    I'm guessing that means dual 3D settings profiles, one for direct power and the other for battery. Otherwise it would be pretty daft of Nvidia if the quality got reduced without the end-user having any choice in the matter.
  • kn00tcn - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    that depends on if you use GFE & set your game to 'nvidia optimized' Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    How on earth are they going to keep a GPU that consumes that much power cool in a laptop, when the reference desktop parts even had issues cooling them? Yes these will be lower power, as their clock is slightly lower, and I am sured they are the best chips of the crop. But even if they got a 1080 down to a real world consumption of 145W, thats a ton of heat to dissipate out of a laptop. Reply
  • Spoogie - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    So can these newfangled notebooks drive an external gsync enabled monitor to 120hz? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    If the dGPU is directly wired to a DisplayPort, yes. Reply
  • rxzlmn - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    What I'm most curious about is whether these cards will still support Optimus, and whether this Optimus support (in case it is there) will still prevent them from powering proper VR. I don't remember the specifics, but I remember that the Optimus re-routing through the integrated graphics was quoted as a technical hurdle for laptops to run VR. Reply

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