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

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).

Model core (stock) memory (stock) Power
GTX 860M (Kepler) GK107 (Kepler), 1152 cores@800MHZ + boost GDDR5@1.25GHZ (5MHZ effective), 128-bit probably around 75W-80W
GTX 860M (Maxwell) GM104 (Maxwell), 640 cores@1030MHZ + boost GDDR5@1.25GHZ (5GHZ effective), 128-bit probably around 40W-45W
GTX 765M GK104 (Kepler), 768 cores@850MHZ + boost GDDR5@1250MHZ (5000MHZ effective), 128-bit 60W-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.


  • 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 systems it looks like there is 2% or less difference between those 2. Yet remember that Clevo is FHD and not 1366 and that makes a lot of difference.

    • Hi Mike!

      1. I’m not paid for this. Why do you think someone will pay for this?

      2. Are you talking about the same graphics settings exactly, right?

      3. If you are talking about two different resolutions, then there is a big difference between the performance. Compare performance for the same resolution and graphics settings and see what you get

      4. 860M can do a lot more than 50MHZ

      5. You can see notebookcheck’s tests too:

      6. Yes, those guys just want you to buy more and more – I agree. They don’t care at all about you

      • Mike Zacierka

        You maybe not. I use to be the owner of the over*******.com and when I did motherboard shootout with real testing involved, then few days after I was attack by motherboard maker and threatened with lawsuit if I would not change the outcome of the test. There is practically no website saying the 100% truth about new hardware. All gaming laptops from one very famous series got busted thermo-sensors and spins 100% with no reason whatsoever, nobody is saying that because it would prevent poor people from spending 1200K. Nobody says that cards are faster with older drivers and latest ones are made to push you into buying new ones…lots of stuff to say but if you’ll try, then they will shut you down in no time.

        • Well, you can check the reviews, but:
          1. I don’t know how to really test the sensors and components quality. Yes, I can get some fancy thermal equipment and check differences, but I’m not sure how important it is. The biggest problems are the locked bios and software, then the closed source hardware..

          2. No one contacted me about the reviews, and I’m not such a nice person. I dislike most of the laptops. But I don’t tend to say things I’m not sure about

          3. I guess my site is pretty small and not the influential anyway

          4. About “Truth” – yes, there is always some bias and many times I’d forget things or highlight some points over others, I know that, but I’m trying to give a good picture for the gaming consumer. Don’t know if there is a way around it

          • Mike Zacierka

            After few fat hours of waiting BF4 has been once again installed and checked on. GTX 765M Clevo Drivers Driver date 5-14-2013. Resolution 1920×1080 settings ULTRA – FPS Max- 54/ FPS Min – 17/ FPS Mid – 32. Never use other drivers than the ones listed on makers website. As I said before drivers are meant to harm older hardware and not help it. In world of tanks there is 15FPS difference between CLEVO and Nvidia Drivers.

            • It really depends on what scene you are testing. You have to test the same route for both of the systems

              And you can check the videos I upload to my channel GLJ – these are video captures with FPSs

            • Thor De Oliveira Véras

              Hmm, i really doubt a 765m on ultra would run mid 32 on bf4. My 970m with drivers update dont pass 60 970m is about 3 to 4 times de performance.

              • That’s an old one!

      • Mike Zacierka

        I will reinstall BF4 just to test it again with GTX765M-i7-4710MQ-12GB DDR3 1866- 17.3 1920×1080 on ultra settings. As I recall there was no such thing like 20fps, maybe with lots of smoke and fire, but generally it was above 30fps all the time.

  • Deividas Zbarauskas

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

    • Good question
      K = Kepler, M = Maxwell
      There are two version of the 860M

      • Deividas Zbarauskas

        ahh, ok lol, everything is so well hidden in nowadays tech gadgets naming to confuse even more, lol

  • Sandbag

    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?

    • Every mark is closely related to the nature of the test itself – I think that this G3D test tests a very narrow or simply specific aspect of performance – one that does not reflect practical gaming scenarios. If you’ll check other GPUs in this list, you’ll see that other GPUs are also not inline with 3D results over the web (GT 750M is 75% in performance than 860M, GTX 750 Ti is much faster than 860M, although these are the same chips with slightly different clocks..). Also, they might have a mistake in some tests. Could be too..

      Many others (like “3DMark”) show more distinguishable performance and clearer differences. Besides, the performance in games is very different