Another Wrench – GeForce GTX 760M Results

We found some interesting issues with the GeForce GTX 760M with our Frame Rating testing.

Just recently, I evaluated some of the current processor-integrated graphics options from our new Frame Rating performance metric. The results were very interesting, proving Intel has done some great work with its new HD 5000 graphics option for Ultrabooks. You might have noticed that the MSI GE40 didn’t just come with the integrated HD 4600 graphics but also included a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M, on-board.  While that previous article was to focus on the integrated graphics of Haswell, Trinity, and Richland, I did find some noteworthy results with the GTX 760M that I wanted to investigate and present.

The MSI GE40 is a new Haswell-based notebook that includes the Core i7-4702MQ quad-core processor and Intel HD 4600 graphics.  Along with it MSI has included the Kepler architecture GeForce GTX 760M discrete GPU.

This GPU offers 768 CUDA cores running at a 657 MHz base clock but can stretch higher with GPU Boost technology.  It is configured with 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 2.0 GHz

If you didn’t read the previous integrated graphics article, linked above, you’re going to have some of the data presented there spoiled and so you might want to get a baseline of information by getting through that first.  Also, remember that we are using our Frame Rating performance evaluation system for this testing – a key differentiator from most other mobile GPU testing.  And in fact it is that difference that allowed us to spot an interesting issue with the configuration we are showing you today. 

If you are not familiar with the Frame Rating methodology, and how we had to change some things for mobile GPU testing, I would really encourage you to read this page of the previous mobility Frame Rating article for the scoop.  The data presented below depends on that background knowledge!

Okay, you’ve been warned – on to the results.

3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate and Skyrim

With an graphics score advantage of about 2.15x over the next closest competitor, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M is clearly in a different class when it comes to raw GPU performance.  The integrated solutions from AMD and Intel aren’t able to keep up at all proving there is still a lot of room for discrete graphics solutions in mobile platforms. 

The first game we tested was Skyrim and things look like you would expect – the GTX 760M is able to bring in a much higher average frame rate (115 FPS) than the integrated solutions and does so while having a smooth and tight frame time graph as well.  Frame time variance never goes over the 2 ms mark and all is well.  But something odd crept up in other games…

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