Nvidia launches MX230 and MX250 mobile GPUs, lists performance as worse than previous...

mongeese

TS Maniac
Staff member

Update: Nvidia has responded with a statement clarifying the performance of the two new GPUs: "GeForce MX250 delivers a minor increase in core clocks and up to 3.5GHz memory clocks (the MX150 was limited to 3GHz memory clocks). The GeForce MX230 brings Pascal architecture to this segment and delivers significantly more performance than the GeForce MX130."

As for why the MX250 is listed as having 3.5x the performance of an Intel 620 integrated GPU while the MX150 has 4x the performance, Nvidia were using an i5-8265U to compare with the MX250 and MX230 while they used an older i5-7200U for testing the MX150 and MX130. The MX250 and MX230 definitely outperform the previous generation, with equivalent power and thermal limitations.

In traditional Nvidia fashion, the GPU's product pages reveal as little as possible about the actual specifications, but it is clear that these parts do not introduce new technologies and are still built on Pascal with GDDR5. That’s not inherently a bad thing, but what is pretty troubling is the performance metrics, which are multiples of the performance of Intel’s UHD 620 integrated GPU. The MX230 is 4% faster than its predecessor, while the MX250 is 12.5% slower.

The power consumption could be a lot lower on the MX250, and that would be highly advantageous. The MX150 comes in two variants, one with a 25W TDP and another with a 10W TDP which has up to 25% worse performance. If the MX250 could deliver 12.5% worse performance than the 25W MX150 while using 10W, that would be pretty good.

  MX250 MX230 MX150 MX130
Performance 3.5x 2.6x 4x 2.5x
Memory GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5/GDDR3
Architecture Pascal Pascal Pascal Maxwell
GPU Boost 3.0 3.0 3.0 2.0
Disappointment Level High Low Medium High

Similarly, if using the MX250 brought the total cost of a laptop down say, $50 from the MX150 then that’s not too bad either. However, surely Nvidia would list these sorts of benefits on its website, or at least not copy and paste the same product description from the MX150.

What could be happening here is that Nvidia wanted to firmly update the MX230 from Maxwell to Pascal and didn’t want customers thinking the MX230 was better than the MX150. They thus rename the MX150 as the MX250 but drop the performance numbers slightly to avoid the backlash they got from having the 10W part perform so much worse than the 25W part. All that would be totally fine, but it would be nice if they stated that on their website.

The bottom line here is that if you’re shopping for a new laptop, don’t be too concerned about getting an MX250 over an MX150.

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dj2017

TS Maniac
I was reading that these are made with Samsung's 14nm process. Has Nvidia made any other chips at Samsung in the past? Could these two be just test chips, to test Samsung's manufacturing? Nvidia could be thinking of using Samsung's 7nm latter, alongside TSMC's 7nm.
 

mongeese

TS Maniac
Staff member
I was reading that these are made with Samsung's 14nm process. Has Nvidia made any other chips at Samsung in the past? Could these two be just test chips, to test Samsung's manufacturing? Nvidia could be thinking of using Samsung's 7nm latter, alongside TSMC's 7nm.
The MX150 uses Samsung 14nm, so some people have concluded that the MX250 also uses Samsung 14nm because what little specs are public seem to be the same.
 

TheHughMan

TS Rookie
I paid $250 for an Acer laptop with the Intel I3-7100u. It has the Intel HD 620 iGPU which is good enough for the price. Paying $50 or more for a Nvidia MX GPU with no performance gain is ridiculous.
 
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azicat

TS Booster
I paid $250 for an Acer laptop with the Intel I3-7100u. It has the Intel HD 620 iGPU which is good enough for the price. Paying $50 or more for a Nvidia MX GPU with no performance gain is ridiculous.
Agreed. Want power efficiency or low end? Go integrated GPU. Any type of editing work or 3D gaming? Better to go 4GB VRAM or more (MX250 is only 2GB).
 
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With the clarification this makes more sense. The MX250 is a definite step up from even the Iris Plus or Vega 8 graphics (nvm the Vega 3 or HD620-class junk) but really if you're going to go discrete GPU, choose at least a GTX 1050.
 

HPEnvyguy

TS Rookie
Agreed. Want power efficiency or low end? Go integrated GPU. Any type of editing work or 3D gaming? Better to go 4GB VRAM or more (MX250 is only 2GB).
Yeah the GPU they compared was not the same revision. My MX250 is easily twice the GPU the MX150 was. And bro... Dedicated DDR5 will run circles around the Virtual Mem which uses the left over HDD drive space to buffer. Maybe if you have bad *** SSD drive to compensate with its gig of drive cache. I mean the North bridge has enough on its plate. You want to ask it to buffer 3D graphics along with manage the southbridge and manage the short term memory too. Negative ghostrider, DDR5 is gonna give the graphics GPU all it needs to be WAY faster, not to mention you wont bottle neck the Vmem on your HDD. So chin up rookie. Everyone can buy the Nvidia MX250 with confidence. my suggestions is to buy one of these new notebooks that has dual video cards. My Envy has Intel HD620 & MX250. ALSO NEVER EVER BUY ANYTHING EXCEPT SOLID STATE HDD. Old drives are like having a 2 barrel Carburetor on your V8.
 

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