You may remember a few months ago in May, I wrote about the new graphics card being released by Nvidia – the 1080. This new GPU has been around for a couple of months now and has not disappointed! What wasn’t mentioned in this article however, was the future path of the new 10 series GPU, the M variants.
The predecessor of the 10 series, oddly enough, the 9 series, offered cards made for mobile devices, such as laptops and notebooks. The new 10 series, will be no exception. While Nvidia is yet to make a formal announcement over the M version of the 10 series, rumour has it, the announcement will come at Gamescom, between the 17th and 21st of August! – mere days away at time of writing.
As with all things that are in the rumour mill, a pinch of salt is required. With this in mind, lets take a look at some specs!
We can see that some speculation has gone into the 1080M but is missing that all important clock speed. An interesting thing to note here is the 1070/M version. The mobile version has more CUDA Cores (referenced as GPU Configuration in this table) than its bigger desktop sibling, but is clocked ever so slightly slower. The aim here, we can assume, is to give performance parity between the desktop and mobile version – A rather important factor which we will get into later. Moving further down the line to the 1060, it has not had the same treatment as the 1070, it’s core clocked speed has been reduced and the core count has stayed the same. As a result, we would expect the performance to be less than its desktop counterpart, by how much however, remains to be seen. The 1060 has been benchmarked and if it is to be believed, it sits between the 980M and the 970 desktop GPU.
Setting The Benchmark
From this we can assume a few things. The 1060M is not going to be powerful enough for virtual reality rendering, and if it follows the same specs as its desktop counterpart, it will also not be SLi compatible – No dual 1060M laptops anytime soon! and… all M cards higher than a 1060M are going to be VR Ready.
An important note to make at this time is this – These cards may simply be the desktop versions fitted into laptops such as we have seen with the 980 GTX. This would make sense with the 1070 as its power draw is similar to previous mobile GPU’s, the 1080 could potentially have a mobile version as to reduce its power consumption, but again, this is all rumours and speculation.
So why is the 1070 important in all this?
The 1070 desktop GPU is, at least in this current generation of graphics cards, is the price and performance sweet spot for VR. Its not prohibitively expensive compared to the previous generation and it has the power required to run excellent VR content. This is important. If the rumoured specs are believed, the ability to have desktop performance inside laptops which makes VR vastly more portable, accessible, thinner and, probably more crucially – cheaper, than the previous generation of VR ready laptops, is upon us.
This is excellent news for businesses and individuals looking to buy into VR who need either, the flexibility laptops bring to the table or a desktop solution that will not need to move.
With the release of this new generation of graphics cards – The VR Ready gen -, the stage was set, and now… the show is just beginning.
Until next time friends!