With the launch of their GeForce 20 Series parts already well underway, it was only a matter of time until NVIDIA updated their low-end parts as well, and that time has finally arrived. Quietly published on NVIDIA’s website this morning are the product pages for the GeForce MX250 and MX230 graphics processors. The entry-level members of NVIDIA’s laptop lineup, these Pascal parts will eventually replace the current GeForce MX110/130/150 parts.

As has annoyingly become tradition for NVIDIA, they’re officially saying very little about the new parts. The official specifications don’t include anything about clockspeeds, CUDA core counts, ROPs, etc. Instead, NVIDIA only confirms a basic set of features: both parts use GDDR5 memory, both feature GPU boost functionality, and both are based on the company’s Pascal architecture. Taking a stab in the dark here, these are almost certainly cut-down GP108 parts, similar to the previous MX150. So we’re looking at 384 (or fewer) CUDA cores at various frequencies, attached to GDDR5 over a 64-bit memory bus.

Best Guess: NVIDIA Laptop Video Card Specification Comparison
  Typical MX250 Typical MX230
CUDA Cores 384 384?
ROPs 16 16?
Boost Clock Variable (Lower than MX250)
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 64-bit 64-bit
VRAM <=4GB <=2GB
GPU GP108 GP108
Manufacturing Process Samsung 14nm Samsung 14nm
Launch Date 02/21/2019 02/21/2019

NVIDIA’s low-end parts have typically been half a generation or so behind their leading parts, so the MX250 and MX230 are no exception. Despite this, as the previous MX130 was based on Maxwell (GM108) and sometimes paired with DDR3, this is actually a big step up for these parts. Still, clockspeed is going to be everything here as far as performance goes, as these low-end parts tend to ship with a wide variety of clockspeeds depending on what a laptop manufacturer needs.

NVIDIA for its part does once again offer their “GeForce Performance Score”, but since these values are relative to a floating target – in this case the UHD 620 iGPU in Intel’s Whiskey Lake-U i5-8265U, the scores can’t be compared to past NVIDIA parts. Not that it matters for NVIDIA or its customers, as NVIDIA is competing with Intel’s iGPUs as a first-tier performance upgrade, not competing with their own past parts. In this case, NVIDIA is touting their parts as offering 2.6x and 3.5x the performance of the UHD 620 respectively.

Based on NVIDIA's previous release cadences for their low-end laptop parts, xpect to see these new processors show up in laptops in the very near future. Traditionally these parts are paired with Intel U-series processors, and I expect to see the same here.

Source: NVIDIA (via SH SOTN)

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  • ArcadeEngineer - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    Hopefully this includes NVENC support, unlike MX150. It probably won't, but I can hope.
  • Ej24 - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    It won't. The lowest gpu featuring nvenc is gp107. Gp108 lacks the physical hardware AFAIK. This is why quadro p600 is the lowest worthwhile gpu from Nvidia. All the hardware encode and decode blocks as well as 128b memory bus.
  • jeremyshaw - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    My guess is the MX250 is the 25W MX150, the MX130 is the 10W MX150. Maxwell gets axed (940MX = MX130). Slim chance of "11/12nm," so most likely still Samsung 14nm.
  • Phil85 - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    And it will be priced at the low, low price of $599 with a Founder's Edition at $699. I can't wait.
  • oRAirwolf - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    I still don't understand the point of these gpus. They are not fast enough to game with and consume more energy than integrated graphics. I don't understand the use case or value proposition for these.
  • patel21 - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    Man search youtube for gaming reviews of laptops with MX150. In countries like India, the only gpu you can get under 800$ is MX150 or Radeon 540.
  • JoshuasBusiness - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    can't game? au contraire: I game on my mx150(the full version) relatively decently, for a 15", 2.7lb (1.2 kg) laptop (the samsung notebook 9 np900x5t). Albeit, I had to invest some time into finding the absolute lowest voltage I could feed to the CPU and GPU, while keeping them at their fast boost speeds, but after undervolting them both significantly, I can GTA V totally maxed out, everything set highest at ~60fps @ 1080p, and even the latest titles I can run at low or medium usually at 1080p or nearly 1080. So it depends on what you consider "gaming". If you consider gaming to be only 4k maxed settings for latest titles, then you're right, but if you consider gaming to be able to run the latest titles fluidly, albeit at lower settings, then people absolutely can with the MX150 with a bit of tweaking
  • patel21 - Friday, February 22, 2019 - link

    Exactly my point bro.
  • Midwayman - Friday, February 22, 2019 - link

    IE you're better off with a console. Such a low end dGPU just doesn't make a lot of sense. You're better off putting the money towards a dedicated gaming system that doesn't compromise the mobility of your laptop.
  • hfm - Sunday, February 24, 2019 - link

    I guess I'll have to forego a notebook and carry my console around in my bag to get work done just so I don't have to game on an MX250. No, there's definitely no use case for these low power GPUs that can game at 900p/1080p in a lot of titles in 2.5-3lb notebooks. /s

    Bringing consoles into the discussion when talking about these light notebooks is ridiculous., it's not even in the same ballpark.. or even sport for that matter. The only argument you could possibly make is carry a Switch around with you. But then you're carrying two things instead of one, and as well it's not close to the same game library.

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