Nvidia outs GeForce 800M GPUs, crowning one as world's fastest

Nvidia GeForce GTX 800M
Look for 800M GPUs in notebooks from MSI, Lenovo and more

Nvidia has unveiled its latest advancement in graphics processing, the 800M series of GeForce GPUs.

The company says the GeForce GTX 800M graphics chips, including the GTX 850M, GTX 860M, GTX 870M, and GTX 880M, the last of which Nvidia calls "the world's fastest" GPU for notebook computers.

In addition to raw power the 800M series is thinner than ever, starting at 21mm for the 850M. The 880M and 870M are based on Nvidia's Kepler architecture, while the 860M runs either Kepler or Maxwell. The 850M is firmly in Maxwell territory.

Each has a memory clock of 2500 MHz, and the 880M stocks memory of up to 4GB. According to Nvidia, the 880M can play games at 1080p or greater with settings locked at ultra and trounces the 780M in performance by 15%.

The new GPUs also include several new features that prime them for gaming notebooks, including Battery Boost, ShadowPlay, and GameStream.

More juice for your juice

The all-new Battery Boost is an automatic setting that aims to optimize battery usage during gameplay to enable notebooks to stay powered up to twice as long.

The feature is being baked into the new notebooks that have the GeForce Experience software pre-installed, and Nvidia will release a new version of GeForce Experience with Battery Boost included in late March.

The new GeForce GPUs also let users set custom battery profiles that act differently during gameplay depending whether gamers are running on battery power or plugged into an outlet. According to Nvidia, tinkering with Battery Boost won't affect other areas of the notebook, such as draining the CPU.

Battery Boost will hit GeForce Experience for 800M-equipped notebooks in early April.

ShadowPlay and GameStream

ShadowPlay performs a function similar to what Microsoft has built into the Xbox One; it's an always-on gameplay recording function that lets users automatically record footage.

Users can tell their machine how much gameplay they want automatically captured (up to 20 minutes), and they'll be relayed info on how much hard drive space it will take up. ShadowPlay will record the last however-many-minutes of gameplay retroactively, meaning gamers don't have to think ahead of what they want captured.

Like Battery Boost, ShadowPlay will come pre-loaded on new notebooks with an 800M GPU and GeForce Experience. An updated version of the software for the 800M and 700M series, as well as the 680M, 675M, 670M, and 660M, will release in late March.

That version of the GeForce Experience software will also feature GameStream, which lets you stream games over Wi-Fi directly to enabled devices that can't run them natively, like the Nvidia Shield and Smart TVs.

Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 800M series chips will launch in notebooks by Razer, Lenovo, Alienware, MSI, Asus, and Gigabyte this year. Asus, Alienware and MSI have notebooks equipped with the 880M ready at launch.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for Playboy.com, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.