Nvidia Geforce Gtx 980mx: Our Honest Review

The GeForce GTX 980MX is a mobile graphics chipset developed by NVIDIA. Because it is a mobile chipset designed for laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices, the 980MX is less powerful than the fully unlocked GeForce GTX 980. This chipset may be ideal for upgrading an older laptop. Anyone using a desktop or a newer laptop, on the other hand, should probably avoid it.


Clock Speed1050 MHz
Boost Clock1178 MHz
Memory Clock1500 MHz
Effective Speed6 GB/s
Memory Size8 GB
Memory TypeGDDR5
Memory Bus256 bit
Bandwidth192.0 GB/s
Bus InterfacePCIe 3.0 x16
Shading Units1664
SMM Count13
L1 Cache48 KB/SMM
L2 Cache2 MB
Direct X12
Shader Model6.4
Slot WidthMXM Module
TDP148 W
ArchitectureMaxwell 2.0
Process Size28 mm
Transistors5,200 million
Die Size389 mm^2

What You Need to Know About the GTX 980MX’s History

This chipset was first released on June 1, 2016, and it is based on the GM204 graphics processor, which is manufactured using the 28-nanometer semiconductor manufacturing process. The GPU variant for the 980MX is the N16E-GXX-A1, which supports DirectX 12, allowing the chipset to run modern games efficiently.

The 980MX is also compatible with OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 3.0, Vulkan 1.3, CUDA 5.2, and Shader Model 6.4.

Unlike the fully unlocked GTX 980, the 980MX does not require any additional power connectors. However, it has a maximum power draw of 148 W and no display connectivity because it was designed to be used in laptops and notebooks, using the host device’s output.

To connect to the system, it employs a PCIe 3.0 x16 interface. It has a base clock speed of 1050 MHz that can be increased to 1178 MHz, with a memory clock speed of 1500 MHz.

The GTX 980MX has GDDR5 VRAM and 8 GB of dedicated video memory. Furthermore, the chipset has a 256-bit memory bus width and 192.0 GB/s bandwidth.

The number of shading units unlocked in the chipset is one of the most noticeable differences between the GTX 980MX and the GTX 980. The fully unlocked 980 has 2048 shaders enabled, but the 980MX only has 1664. It does, however, include 104 texture mapping units and 64 render output units. So losing those locked shader units isn’t a total disaster. The decision to lock a portion of the shader units was made to assist the chipset in reaching its target shader count.

Can You Run the GTX 980MX in SLI?

No. The GTX 980MX is a stand-alone laptop chipset with no SLI support. As a result, you cannot run it alongside another GTX 980MX. If you want to run your graphics card in SLI, you’ll need to buy a GTX 980M SLI card. This laptop chipset includes two 980M chipsets that are permanently locked into SLI with each other, allowing the chipset to run SLI natively.

Nvidia Geforce Gtx 980mx
Nvidia Geforce Gtx 980mx


Is the GTX 980MX Worth It? Should I get one?

At this time, we do not recommend purchasing a GTX 980MX. The chipset is currently nearing the end of its useful life and will most likely become obsolete in the coming years. Furthermore, more recent cards

that have received firmware updates for a longer time are in the same price range as the 980MX. So, if you’re looking for an upgrade, one of those cards will most likely serve you better in the long run.

There’s also the matter of the card being a mobile chipset. These chipsets are much more limited and cannot be used in desktop rigs. So you’ll need a laptop that you can effectively open with a non-proprietary motherboard that is compatible with the chipset and doesn’t already have a GPU soldered onto the board.

In short, even if this was a recent, powerful card, most modern computer builders would have no use for it. Unless you’re explicitly upgrading a gaming laptop, you’re unlikely to have a compatible PC.

Even if you’re upgrading a gaming laptop, there are simply newer, better mobile chipsets on the market. So there’s no reason to buy a chipset that will effectively brick itself in three years if a software update sneezes at it.

Alienware 17in Laptop

Final Thoughts

While the GeForce GTX 980MX made a name for itself in the world of laptop graphics cards, it has long since passed its prime. As a result, you’re probably better off investing in a newer card that isn’t about to become obsolete. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the love and care that went into its design. Advances from the 980MX, like any other engineering advancement, were critical to the architecture and design of modern mobile chipsets.

So, even if you don’t buy a 980MX, its engineering advances live on in modern chipsets.

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