This time last year Nvidia’s 980M introduced improved energy efficiency for mobile gamers, and now the company is touting a 30 per cent performance boost from putting a proper GeForce GTX 980 GPU into a notebook. The new chip effectively takes a desktop GTX 980 and shrinks it into a gaming laptop, giving it a huge power boost that optimises it for VR and makes overclocking possible. Yesterday, we got a sneak peek at some of the upcoming machines headed to Australia –- including the crazy liquid-cooled Asus GX700 first spied at IFA.
While Nvidia admits that not everyone will want to fork out for the price hike that comes with the jump from the 980M to the more powerful 980, these are machines for gamers who want a true desktop experience in a portable format. "Built for enthusiasts", Nvidia claims, citing a whole list of gaming laptop firsts that come with these overpowered machine: VR compatibility, unlocked GPUs, overclocking enthusiast controls, fan control and water cooling amongst others. The GTX 980 boasts a core clock of 1190MHz with overclocking allowing speeds up to 1400MHz, depending on the notebook's cooling. It'll also allow you to overclock the base memory of 7.0Gbps up to 7.5Gbps, too. This is intense portable gaming tech — in one test, the Clevo P870DM actually outperformed a desktop gaming PC.
VR gaming support is one of the most exciting updates here — with VR gaming typically having four to five times more performance hunger than regular gaming. “The new GTX 980 notebook offers a great portable option for the Oculus Rift," says Nate Mitchell, Oculus's co-founder. "We're excited to see high-performance notebooks powering virtual reality.” Even game developers are excited about it with executive poducer of EVE: Valkyrie, Owen O'Brien saying: “The GeForce GTX 980 notebook is a very impressive piece of hardware. EVE: Valkyrie runs super smooth on it with rock solid performance.”
Nvidia has released six new laptops with the updated GPU: two from MSI, one from Aorus, one from Asus and two from Clevo (which are often rebranded by companies like Alienware).
Most noteworthy is the Asus GX700VO water-cooled laptop which unfortunately Nvidia didn't get to bring down to the briefing yesterday, though we did get to have a look at it at IFA earlier this year.
The Aorus X7 DT that Nvidia demoed in Sydney was hooked up to a triple monitor, surround gaming display. The chassis is impressively slim for a gaming notebook, although as a result the Aorus was notably louder than the other laptops on display.
The MSI GT72 that Nvidia brought along was set up to show off its built-in overclocking controls. MSI's other model, the GT80, wasn't on display, but Nvidia noted that it would support dual desktop-grade GTX 980 GPUs in SLI; mental amounts of power.