Geforce 860m 2gb vs 960m 4gb

Rockerao

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Sep 28, 2015
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Hi, I am considering between two notebooks, they are the same except the graphics. one has 860m 2gb and costs 900€, the second has 960m 4gb and costs 1090€. With some discount the second one should be about 1050-1060€.

My question is - is the difference between these cards worth the extra money? I have found comparisons saying that 860m 2gb vs. 960m 2gb is very small difference and 960m 2gb vs. 960m 4gb is almost no difference, considering the display is 1080p. But can we say that 860m 2gb would be almost the same as 960m 4gb?
 

photonboy

Distinguished
Okay, good...

I found this actually pretty confusing at first. Maxwell with two generations and also knowing rebadged GPU's exist... sigh.

860M has two variants:
GK104, and
GM107

960M has one variant:
GM107

"M" for Maxwell and "K" for Kepler.

Pretty sure that "GM107" means Maxwell 1st gen and that "GM204" (like 980M) means a Maxwell 2nd gen GPU. Must be.

*Which begs the question WHY such a difference between the 860M and 960M at times in the video if both were Maxwell because then they would both be the same EXACT GM107 GPU.

Maybe the video is wrong and the 860M they had was GK104?

I know the question was answered so I'll leave it there, but if both chips are GM107 then the performance should be IDENTICAL (or close depending on CPU and cooling).

**I would not assume that the VRAM amount confirms GPU architecture. I recommend the GM107 regardless as it should produce less heat, so I'd just confirm that it does have the GM107 GPU.

(Thus if both are GM107 then the only difference is VRAM amount which is really future proofing... I have a GTX680 2GB in my desktop and many games. I'm not aware of any games except Watch Dogs that made a difference at REASONABLE settings. By reasonable I mean not choosing an ULTRA setting that means like 20FPS... possibly a few like GTA 5 might make a small difference at times but again I've seen no issue that necessitates more VRAM other than future proofing.)
 

photonboy

Distinguished
Updated....

Both are MAXELL GPU's however I think the 960M is second generation and the 860M is first.

Comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02PUtht_OyQ

I'm fairly certain there are a few problems with the above review (why the 860M does much better in a couple games seems odd) but there are times when the 960M is noticeably better. If accurate I guess it must be due to the differences between first and second generation Maxwell?

Summary:
For the most part either one should work fine. The 960M advantage will depend on the game you play. For the most part 960M's new architecture and more VRAM is more about future proofing.

Hope this adds a bit more info to help see if the extra cost is worth it.
 

crisamz

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Oct 16, 2013
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Go for the gtx 960m it will ensure your money since it is newer it will have better driver support, it has more vram and will be better future proof than the 860m, the difference its not noticiable right now but in a year or two you will notice it when games demand more power from your laptop
 

Rockerao

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Sep 28, 2015
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For photonboy - Regarding kepler/maxwell - I did some research and I believe that the kepler ones 860s were with 4gb vram, so the 2 gb version which i am referring to should be maxwell. On several sites it is stated that 860 and 960 have the same chip (GM107), just in 960 it is a bit overclocked. Most sites are stating, that the additional 2gb vram is good for playing in UHD or more. Anyway, I am sure that the 960 is better, just i am not sure if the difference is worth 200€. That is around 25% in price and considering your video, 960m is better by 10-15% mostly.

Crisamz thanks for you opinion. You are kind of right, but i usually change notebooks every 2 years and when i will that notebook, i doubt that i will be able to sold it for 150€ more just because of that graphics
 

photonboy

Distinguished
Okay, good...

I found this actually pretty confusing at first. Maxwell with two generations and also knowing rebadged GPU's exist... sigh.

860M has two variants:
GK104, and
GM107

960M has one variant:
GM107

"M" for Maxwell and "K" for Kepler.

Pretty sure that "GM107" means Maxwell 1st gen and that "GM204" (like 980M) means a Maxwell 2nd gen GPU. Must be.

*Which begs the question WHY such a difference between the 860M and 960M at times in the video if both were Maxwell because then they would both be the same EXACT GM107 GPU.

Maybe the video is wrong and the 860M they had was GK104?

I know the question was answered so I'll leave it there, but if both chips are GM107 then the performance should be IDENTICAL (or close depending on CPU and cooling).

**I would not assume that the VRAM amount confirms GPU architecture. I recommend the GM107 regardless as it should produce less heat, so I'd just confirm that it does have the GM107 GPU.

(Thus if both are GM107 then the only difference is VRAM amount which is really future proofing... I have a GTX680 2GB in my desktop and many games. I'm not aware of any games except Watch Dogs that made a difference at REASONABLE settings. By reasonable I mean not choosing an ULTRA setting that means like 20FPS... possibly a few like GTA 5 might make a small difference at times but again I've seen no issue that necessitates more VRAM other than future proofing.)
 

Rockerao

Estimable
Sep 28, 2015
3
0
4,510
0
You are right, I know about these 2 variants, but as I said - 2gb 860m (which i am considering) should be maxwell. The 4gb version of this card can be kepler. Look here: http://wccftech.com/nvidia-geforce-gtx-860m-features-maxwell-gm107-core-45w-tdp-benchmarks-unveiled/

And, basically, we can say - If i am right and the gpu on this 2gb 860m is the GM107, it is roughly the same asi 960m (or at least not worth extra 150€) and I will probably go for that. IF there will be kepler, I will send the notebook back and buy the 960m one.
 
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