The budget video adapter for mobile devices based on the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M chip has grown so legendary that many users can not decide when choosing laptops. Some sources claim that the mobile video card uses a cut-down core of the game class representative, while others impose their own opinion on renaming the chip of the previous generation.
From this article, the reader will learn what the GeForce GT 720M mobile graphics accelerator really is and whether it should be given priority when buying a laptop. The technical characteristics of the chip, testing and feedback from the owners will clarify the topic.
The reason for the inferences of many users about the use of old graphics cores for the creation of the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M chip was the recognition of the manufacturer. Representatives of the company on the official website indicated that the new video adapter, or rather its crystal labeled GK208, was created in the likeness of the graphic core GF117. It was this statement that was the reason for creating rumors that the manufacturer took up the use of written-off products.
But only the availability of GPU Boost 2.0 technology, which is supported by the GeForce GT 720M chip, is for some reason overlooked by many theorists. And support for PhysX, CUDA, Optimus, DirectX 11 is not discussed by anyone. As the professionals note in their reviews, unreasonable excitement spawned within the walls of the company NVIDIA. Apparently, in this way the manufacturer decided to attract buyers to its inexpensive solutions.
For a video adapter on a NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M chip, it is difficult to name the characteristics of high-performance ones. First, the whole picture spoils the memory of GDDR3, which runs on a 64-bit bus. The limitation of the throughput on the hardware level can not be avoided either by the high frequency of the graphics core operation or the overclocking of the memory chips. Whatever one may say, there is a limit beyond which it is impossible to accelerate.
Fermi architecture supports the work of 96 stream processors in NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M. The crystal operates at a frequency of 938 MHz, and the memory supports a speed of 1000 MHz. The maximum amount of video memory is limited to 2048 megabytes. The listed technical characteristics of a discrete video card are uniquely more effective than an integrated solution, however it is very difficult to name them.
Lifebuoy for a demanding buyer
Nevertheless, the reviews on the mobile video adapter on the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M chip are positive. Support for graphics DirectX11 and Shader 5.0 allow the laptop owner to play modern toys, however, at the lowest settings of performance. CUDA technology allows resource-intensive applications to use the power of the graphics core in calculations (an additional processor in the system). Hardware processing of video streams in high quality, decoding and output of images on TV will certainly appeal to fans of multimedia.
Do not forget about the energy-saving features of the graphics accelerator. In Optimus mode, the graphics card can either turn off, transfer control to the integrated device, or reduce the frequency of the crystal to a minimum. This function is in demand in ultrabook, where the main criterion in the work is the battery life on one charge. Boost 2.0 mode, on the contrary, increases the frequency of the kernel at high loads, raising the overall performance of the mobile device.
In the high performance of the video adapter, built on the basis of the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M chip, the driver plays an important role. All owners of laptops who want to use the device for entertainment, professionals recommend that you follow the latest updates of the corporation NVIDIA and timely update the driver for the mobile video adapter. In most cases, new software from the official website of the manufacturer contains optimized sets of commands that improve the performance of applications and modern games.
In the media, there are a lot of instructions for updating the BIOS of the mobile video adapter. Yes, firmware storage of a graphics accelerator can raise performance in games, but there are a lot of problems that can appear as a result of inept user actions. For example, the failure of the video card. The replacement of the crystal soldered into the motherboard is problematic.
Analogs of old sample
Many users try to compare the entry level GeForce GT 540M with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M mobile accelerator. Their characteristics are almost identical, and in the tests they demonstrate the same performance, but in fact they are two completely different devices. First, the comparison takes place in specialized programs that work directly with the graphics core of the device. Naturally, the result will depend on the frequency - the higher it is, the better the indicator. An important factor is the bit capacity (in the GT 540M it is twice as large).
When it comes to testing, it's better to use fair comparison in real games or resource-intensive programs. After all, it is the software that makes the video card reveal its full potential and use technologies at the hardware level. Based on the results of the experiments, we can safely say that the GeForce GT 540M can not compete with the modern GeForce GT 720M video adapter, and all reviews in the media are a fiction.
Marketing progress of the manufacturer
As practice shows, when choosing a laptop with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M chip, the price is an important factor (the cost of the gadget is in the range of 22-35 thousand rubles). Almost identical mobile devices from the same manufacturer with video cards created by the same technology, but having different cores, can have a huge difference in cost. An illustrative example is a graphics accelerator based on the GeForce GT 740M. It differs from the video card in question only by improved memory chips that run on a 128-bit bus using GDDR5 technology.
While testing in games, it can be noted that the performance gain is 12-15%, but the cost of identical laptops with different video adapters differs by 50-60%. Professionals claim that the problem was created by the corporation Apple, which looked after its products for a video game accelerator with an updated memory bus. It turns out that the video card NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M because of the marketing games producer hit the budget niche, and therefore is overlooked by many buyers when choosing laptops.
Reviews of laptop owners
Recommendations of IT professionals and sellers many potential buyers ignore. Most users are interested in feedback from owners. It is in them that one can find the truth. Among the office users who use laptops with NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M graphics accelerator, the reviews are only positive. Most software requires a large amount of memory and the presence of modern technology, and with this the video adapter has full order.
But the fans of computer games broke into two camps. People who prefer to play resource-intensive dynamic applications (Crysis 3, Call of Duty 4, Deus Ex 3, and the like) claim that the performance of the GT 720M is not enough - it's inconvenient to look at pictures with 14 frames per second. This video adapter will only have to appeal to fans of online games World of Tanks, DOTA 2, StarCraft 2 and other less resource-intensive applications.
Summing up, we can make an unambiguous conclusion that the mobile graphics accelerator based on the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M chip is the representative of the initial game class. The placement of the device in the budget segment is a mistake of many sellers. Also, there is no mention of any renaming of the chip of the last generation - it is an independent graphics accelerator that supports all modern technologies, but is limited (for some unknown reason) by the manufacturer in terms of data transfer rate between the crystal and the motherboard.