My Nvidia GTX 880M Test Run Review

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by Johnksss@iBUYPOWER, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Johnksss@iBUYPOWER

    Johnksss@iBUYPOWER Company Representative

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    Before I begin I will say this….This is NOT going to be your standard Mobile GPU review. This is the real look at what was, what is and what can be review. For most of you this should be pretty straight forward. And for those of you that it’s not…Well, lets just hope it's not...:). When we first heard about this new GPU everyone quickly jumped on the bandwagon and started bashing it. It’s another NVidia rebrand. It has too much video memory for any game out. It’s too hot. It’s too expensive. Is it really worth the upgrade. Is it really better than the 780M and the list of questions goes on….. Well friends, it’s time to address some of these concerns, but from an over clocker / benchers point of view.

    When I first received the 880M I didn’t have any real expectations other than it “better” be better than the 780M. Nothing more. And when I ran this first set of test I get this.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I was in shock! Nvidia, are you serious with this? This is what we can expect from shelling out anywhere between 880.00 to 1200.00 dollars per card for this! Or worse, you just bought a brand new 2000.00 to 4500.00 dollar machine and right out the box you’re playing “Inspector Gadget” Grrrrrrrr! So it’s time to investigate a bit. After a little bit of tinkering, svl7 and I came up with this.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Now we are getting somewhere. As usual, stuff is broken out the gate. So now that we have addressed most of the throttling I decide to go ahead and start running some real benchmarks. What I found out was the new drivers break the card! If you crash one to many times your card will always down clock. Why? I have no clue. I had to use 327.23 drivers which ran perfect the whole time. Including gaming. I’ll get into that part much later. It seems that after a few driver not responding errors or driver crash errors your 900.00 dollar card wants to now run like an intel 4k GPU. Even stock will not work correctly anymore. You have to go through a whole lot to correct this situation (Only to crash again and have to go through the whole process again) or just use an earlier driver to bypass this nonsense altogether. Now who thought this would be a great idea, huh? Double Facepalm! This must be at least one of the reasons why there is no official 880M driver yet. This was tested across at least 2 machines (The M15X and the M18XR2) and all drivers in the 331 and higher class. With people who know what they are doing. So there are no speculations here.

    So now let’s get to some real world “bench” testing. And before you start with the synthetics this and that line of thinking, just stop! This is not that type of review. We already have these types of reviews floating around already. This is for the people who want to know possibilities, before making the plunge. What to expect when things are working optimal. That goes for stock, over clocked and heavily over clocked. So let’s start with 3Dmark11 GPU testing. This is a very good way to find out a cards potential pretty quick. Why? Well because it’s not “influenced” by the speed or how many cores a CPU is running. And for this line of beginning testing I will be using
    M18xR2
    3940XM@3.7 Ghz
    GTX 880M (Single Card)
    2133 Mhz Ram
    256 GB OCZ Vertex 4
    Drivers used: 331.82 & 327.23 & 320.49
    In this test 331.82 was used while it worked. This was to simulate a 780M, but with 8 GB video memory instead of 4 GB.
    [​IMG]
    Here we run our base clock of 954/1250/954 boost disabled. Over 800 point increase. And how does this make sense? We look at the FPS. Almost a 4 fps gain across the board. And no I’m not about to go into the percentages game. LOL.
    [​IMG]
    Now we run its max boost clock with boost disabled. We basically gain another 300 points or in other words 1 FPS from our boost clock. So we are now basically 5 FPS faster than the 780M
    [​IMG]
    But wait, how do you know that? That’s not the same as actually running a 780M under the same conditions. Well I’m sorry to say, I have you there as well. And you can’t get any closer than that.
    [​IMG]
    Now even though the numbers look nice that temp was hovering around 75C max. Now this could be contributed to user error or this GPU is just that HOT. We shall investigate this further later.
    Here we run extreme 780M VS 880M. This all seems very standard due to the different core speeds. Considering it’s still the same chip. I’m sure if we over clock the 780M we would get damn near the exact same score. And of course, this goes for all the test ran before this.
    780M
    [​IMG]
    880M
    [​IMG]
    Now let’s take a look at 3Dmark Vantage. As we can see, there is about a 6 to 8 FPS increase with higher clocks, but we “all” already new this.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Now let’s have a look at Fire strike.
    This test was ran while everything was optimal for stock. Meaning, everything works. I am using NVidia’s 327.23 driver. As you can tell from the first run, everything is perfect. No dips or drops in clocks or voltage. This says a lot!
    [​IMG]
    Now we test Catzilla, which is one of the newer benchmark programs for testing. These test are all perfect for anyone to run some side by side comparisons on their own. Starting from the top of the page and work your way down. So feel free to compare and post.
    720P
    [​IMG]
    1080P
    [​IMG]
    1440P
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, with a working stock Vbios your factory clocked card is capable of some nice runs. Although the temps could use some work. (Could be user error on my part) Now to the really fun part. The part where everyone ask. How well does it over clock. Does it over clock better than the 780M? Does it run Cooler when over clocked? What can we expect under optimal conditions? Well I’m glad you asked. Because I’m just the guy who can show you this. If you are like me when it comes to buying new tech you want to know if it works & more importantly. How high can I over clock it. So we tested it to see if it was in fact better than a 780M since this is the “only” way you are going to know. Because stock for stock. They’re the same. And that goes for over clocking on the high end for the 780M and the mid-range level for the 880M. At the time of this the current world record for 3dmark11 Performance (Single card) is held by the 780M.
    3dmark Vantage
    Fire Strike
    Direct compare. And you will get a kick out of this one. One is ran on Windows 7 and the other Windows 8.1.
    780M vs 880M
    All other benchmarks can be found on hwbot.org under 880M

    Now on to some gaming and gaming benchmarks. This part will consist of mostly of 15 to 60 second video clips to show what happens when you do more than just stare at the sky for a gazillion fps. LOL. While playing most of these games. They tended to all crash at some point or another. I think it may have to do with me running the osd, but that is not 100 percent confirmed. All Games are set to the highest they can go. Laptop is sitting on a standard cooler running max fans.
    Batman Arkham City Physics Enabled
    BatmanAC o 2014 02 24 02 30 44 825 - YouTube
    BatmanAC o 2014 02 24 02 52 29 363 - YouTube
    Metro 2033
    metro2033 2014 02 23 23 08 56 245 - YouTube
    Dead Island
    deadislandgame 2014 02 23 23 24 31 787 - YouTube
    Skyrim
    TESV 2014 02 23 23 18 50 870 - YouTube
    The Witcher 2
    witcher2 2014 02 24 00 58 01 817 - YouTube
    Borderlands 2
    Borderlands2 2014 02 24 02 01 19 235 - YouTube

    In closing. What we do know for sure is the 880M is only a slight upgrade to some and appears to perform pretty much just like the 780M. Is this the 780M killer? HAHA, that's a good one. Not even close! Did they use better memory chips? Yes they did. And it would appear that they may have upped the voltage for it as well. (Pure speculation at this point) The card appears to draw around the same watts as the 780M. I was able to get about 324 max watts. Total system draw on a 3dmark11 and vantage run. This card will give a 240W psu a run for it's money if you're numbers chasing. If you're not, then you should be fine. And that's with a better than average moderate over clock. Now, do not think you are going to just get high scaled numbers like this by having your laptop sitting on the desk and fans on normal. It's just not going to end well over time. All my high end test I used an A/C unit. From just using normal fans and sitting on the desk, temps stayed around 75C to 77C. I don't care about "Hey look at me on my desk" (And a week later you're trying to RMA you're video card because of trying to brag. That's your fault!. So take heed.) responses when it comes to taking care of your 900 dollar card. You are more than welcome to run yours anyway you see fit. :) And as of today's date no one knows what damages it could have or not have in the long run. I kept temps below 80C for safety concerns (Heavy Over Clocking). At stock it hovered around 75C. With max fans it hovered around 70C. And gaming, max was 70C. And averaging around 58 to 65 most of the time (Max Fans). This card can run as high as 1.2V if unlocked (As far as we can tell). And no it will not go higher. (So don't ask later) It's factory unlocked to 1.137V now. Work with that first before going off the reservation and looking for a max voltage increase.:D And last but not lease...Yes friends you can under volt this GPU, but of course you'll need to adjust for your own needs.

    I would like to thank Upgrademonkey.com (Lee) for allowing me to review this card. It has been a pleasure.
    And of course special thanks to Marco. (svl7)
    Thanks to Mr Fox for...well....Just being Mr Fox.
    And Brother DumbDumb for pointing me in the 880M direction in the first place.

    Thanks for reading.:hi2:
     
    FrozenSolid, douglaz, jetnis and 37 others like this.
  2. sangemaru

    sangemaru Notebook Deity

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    Nice and detailed analysis bro. I'd just like to take a second to stoke the fires of fanboy-ism and notice how glad it makes me to see that the whole "nvidia can do no wrong" rhetoric certainly doesn't apply. Seems like a decent card (although ridiculously priced), OC's nicely, but sad to hear about the instability and driver support in the beginning.
    +rep.
     
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  3. Johnksss@iBUYPOWER

    Johnksss@iBUYPOWER Company Representative

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    Thanks Sangemaru.
     
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  4. Vitor711

    Vitor711 Notebook Evangelist

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    Well there goes my intention to my upgrade from my current setup (in sig).

    Although, with my 680m hitting 87 degrees yesterday while running at 99% load in Metro: Last Light, at least the cooling seems vaguely better here, even if not great. Sounds like drivers are an issue for now but, even then, I guess waiting for the next refresh is probably a smart move for most.
     
  5. Hackintoshihope

    Hackintoshihope AlienMeetsApple

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    It was exactly as everyone thought an nvidia rebrand with more ram. With better memory but same clock capabilities. The average Joe won't care about the 8GB ram. Just my 2cents. Anyway since that is the case of course, users only need to go with the 880M if the extra VRAM will benefit them.
     
  6. TBoneSan

    TBoneSan Laptop Fiend

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    Bravo!! Great and insightful read Brother Johnksss. Thanks for your hard work buddy :)
     
  7. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Yep same core so this was always going to happen. Slight vram differences of course not worth the price tag.

    Will be interesting which brands of vram we will see used by each manufacturer.
     
  8. sangemaru

    sangemaru Notebook Deity

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    GTX-880MX GM204, we're waiting for ye.
     
  9. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    Nice work, Brother John. Looks like 880M is going to be even more of an overclocking beast than 780M is capable of. I don't really give a rat's butt about stock performance because I don't run my GPUs stock. So for guys like us the only thing that truly matters is what it can do and how far it can go when push beyond the limits NVIDIA intended. In that regard it seems like another extreme performance winner.

    Since the card is not official yet I don't expect full-fledged driver optimization. Even with 780M it seems like the latest NVIDIA drivers have a secret ingredient to try to undo what has been accomplished with the vBIOS tweaks. I suppose they don't appreciate the fact that we are getting 780 Ti results from 780M. :D
     
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  10. DumbDumb

    DumbDumb Notebook Deity

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    wow i feel so special.. i got a credits mention !
     
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