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
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  • A5 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Huh. The 1060 seems to be the most interesting part for people who actually use their laptops as portable devices - double the performance (I assume) of the old 960M is nothing to sneeze at.

    Also explains where all the 1080 and 1070 supply went. /s...maybe?
  • Xajel - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Indeed, I'm still waiting to see if 1060 is the real successor to 960M, NV never released the TDP of 960M but most says its between 60 & 80, and 1060 seems to have more power than that... I don't know how they will manage the power and thermal limits if it was really higher as 120W as the desktop part.. and the gap between 60~80W to 120W is very big to think that an mobile optimised version of 1060 will manage..
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Only 299.99 for platinum founders edition.

    You heard it here first next gen nvidia gpus will have not one but two tiers of founders edition and the sheep will eat it up
  • Michael Bay - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    What exactly is wrong with paying more for getting the thing you want faster?
  • HollyDOL - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Indeed, that's same like complaining post office charges you more for express mail. Nobody forces you to use it either.
  • D. Lister - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    C‘mon fellas, be fair. What else is left there for AMD fans to complain about besides pricing and Gameworks?
  • Morawka - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    well your mail example is only a difference of a few days, with the shortage in 16nm GPU's, most people will be waiting 4-6 months for the prices to hit MSRP
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, August 22, 2016 - link

    So no different then last gen?
  • emn13 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    What's certainly a little misleading is to then to also focus on the base price of the product, even though that price is to this day not achievable where I live (the netherlands). Part of the problem is the press, for repeating those fictious prices in reviews, and using them in perf/$ comparisons, but I certainly would have appreciated a little less sleaziness from the uncontested market leader.
  • medi03 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Or why shouldn't manufacturer price gouge. No, really, why?

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