Friday, March 23rd 2018

NVIDIA Sneaks Less Powerful GeForce MX150 Variant Into Ultrabooks

NVIDIA quietly launched the GeForce MX150 mobile GPU in May of last year. The team at Notebookcheck discovered that there are actually two variants of the GeForce MX150 in the wild - the standard 1D10 variant and the much slower 1D12 variant. Normally, this wouldn't raise any alarms. However, neither NVIDIA or the manufacturer distinguish the two variants from each other. Buyers who purchase an ultrabook or notebook with a GeForce MX150 are basically playing the lottery. They have no idea which variant is inside the product until they run an utility like GPU-Z to find out. But just how significant is the performance difference between the two variants? Let's look at Notebookcheck's findings.

Starting with the GeForce MX150's specifications, the standard 1D10 variant has a 1469 MHz core clock, 1532 MHz boost clock, and 1502 MHz memory clock. Notebookcheck first saw this variant in the MSI PL62 and Asus Zenbook UX430UN. They later discovered the underclocked 1D12 variant in the Lenovo IdeaPad 320S, ZenBook 13 UX331UN, Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3, HP Envy 13, and ZenBook UX331UA notebooks. The 1D12 variant has a 937 MHz core clock, 1038 MHz boost clock, and 1253 MHZ memory clock. Right off the bat, that's a 36 percent reduction in the core clock alone. According to the 3DMark and 3DMark 11 tests, consumers can expect anywhere from a 20 to 25 percent performance hit with the less powerful variant. The charts don't lie. Of the 13 notebooks tested by Notebookcheck, the five models equipped with the 1D12 variant of the GeForce MX150 are at the bottom of the list. Nvidia's move to sneak the 1D12 variant into thin and light notebooks was probably to meet the 10W TDP envelope as opposed to the original variant's 25W. Luckily, the 1D12 variant has only appeared in 13-inch notebooks.
Source: Notebookcheck
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95 Comments on NVIDIA Sneaks Less Powerful GeForce MX150 Variant Into Ultrabooks

#1
silentbogo
The timing of this post couldn't be any better! :toast:
We've ordered an MSI PL62 for work just 2 days ago (the i7-7700QM + MX150 variant). As soon as it gets here I'll check the GPUID.
Posted on Reply
#2
birdie
I wonder why it has suddenly become trendy to criticise whatever NVIDIA does. Unlike Intel, they offer very real, tangible performance increases for each generation of its GPUs.

You are free not to buy their GPUs, since we've got AMD. AMD is not competitive at the very top but again, no one forces you to buy NVIDIA GPUs. Wait a year or two and you'll get the performance of Titan V from AMD.

Speaking of this particular news piece. Let's check some facts, e.g. visit the GeForce MX-150 web page. OMG, there are no specs there. Nothing at all. NVIDIA doesn't promise anything at all. It's not like AMD who recently completely silently downgraded some of its GPUs (RX-550?).

So, what's going on and what's all the fuss about? Or NVIDIA slandering news titles work as a click bait?
Posted on Reply
#3
Vayra86
birdie said:
I wonder why it has suddenly become trendy to criticise whatever NVIDIA does. Unlike Intel, they offer very real, tangible performance increases for each generation of its GPUs.

You are free not to buy their GPUs, since we've got AMD. AMD is not competitive at the very top but again, no one forces you to buy NVIDIA GPUs. Wait a year or two and you'll get the performance of Titan V from AMD.

Speaking of this particular news piece. Let's check some facts, e.g. visit the GeForce MX-150 web page. OMG, there are no specs there. Nothing at all. NVIDIA doesn't promise anything at all. It's not like AMD who recently completely silently downgraded some of its GPUs (RX-550?).

So, what's going on and what's all the fuss about? Or NVIDIA slandering news titles work as a click bait?
Hold on, what the actual fudge?

Here we are, with you defending a company that runs a SINGLE PRODUCT NAME for products with wildly varying performance. No mention of a TDP limited or downclocked variant, not even a single digit difference in the model number, heck it doesn't even say OEM. As far as Nvidia's product info goes, this is an all-time, new low.

Their product page has no stats... ah I see, so its anyone's guess whether you get something that can run Minesweeper or something that can run Crysis? What are you really saying - if anything, the lack of product specs makes this news article all the more interesting. Because not only do they lack specs, they are just putting whatever they like under that MX150 moniker.

We're talking about a product with one name that has a 50% downclock on one version of it. I'm honestly questioning your sanity right now. If this is clickbait, then you might be better off going offline altogether. 'Let's check some facts' he says, as if he's being smart. Holy mackrel
Posted on Reply
#4
kruk
birdie said:
I wonder why it has suddenly become trendy to criticise whatever NVIDIA does. Unlike Intel, they offer very real, tangible performance increases for each generation of its GPUs.

You are free not to buy their GPUs, since we've got AMD. AMD is not competitive at the very top but again, no one forces you to buy NVIDIA GPUs. Wait a year or two and you'll get the performance of Titan V from AMD.

Speaking of this particular news piece. Let's check some facts, e.g. visit the GeForce MX-150 web page. OMG, there are no specs there. Nothing at all. NVIDIA doesn't promise anything at all. It's not like AMD who recently completely silently downgraded some of its GPUs (RX-550?).

So, what's going on and what's all the fuss about? Or NVIDIA slandering news titles work as a click bait?
Both recent silent downgrades RX560 and MX150 are bad for the consumer, no doubts here. This one is really bad, since the performance loss is massive (jJust look at the embeded charts - 40%+ variation, RX 560 variation is ~7%) and you (probably) cannot just exchange the GPU to fix it.



I think it's great consumers can read about this, I don't see why this would be a problem ...
Posted on Reply
#5
Fluffmeister
The product page does read:

Note: The below specifications represent the GPU features available. Actual implementation may vary by OEM model. Please refer to OEM website for actual shipping specifications.
Posted on Reply
#6
Vayra86
Fluffmeister said:
The product page does read:

Note: The below specifications represent the GPU features available. Actual implementation may vary by OEM model. Please refer to OEM website for actual shipping specifications.
Implementation... so cooling capability. The page has no mention of anything though - no core count, no core speeds, nothing. But it's all MX150... Nvidia ships different core counts under that one name too? Or is it just core speed? At the same time, Nvidia also does sell an MX130 and MX110. What should we make of that then?

You see, this is one stinky rabbit hole, one of a similar quality to the 970 'marketing team mistake', just on the opposite end of the spectrum. Now there's just not wrong info, its simply not there.

Fluffmeister said:
Looks like just clock speed changes, which is entirely up to the OEM.
That's what it looks like, but how can you be sure? Just clock speed adaptations in laptops is rather normal to meet TDP criteria but here, it is anyone's guess. And its not like we're talking 10% gaps or even 15%. This is 25-30...
Posted on Reply
#7
Fluffmeister
Looks like just clock speed changes, which is entirely up to the OEM.
Posted on Reply
#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Fluffmeister said:
Looks like just clock speed changes, which is entirely up to the OEM.
It's shitty of them for not just listing the lowest model specs on their product page. Then let the OEMs use the higher clocks if they want. It boggles my mind why companies don't so something so simple that would completely avoid garbage messes like this.

Or if they are going to have two variants, with one clocked lower to fit a lower power envelope, then do it like Intel does and list that there is a low power mode that the OEM can choose to use and list the specs in that low power mode.

I wonder too if the lower clocked version can just be overclocked to match the original?
Posted on Reply
#9
Fluffmeister
newtekie1 said:
It's shitty of them for not just listing the lowest model specs on their product page. Then let the OEMs use the higher clocks if they want. It boggles my mind why companies don't so something so simple that would completely avoid garbage messes like this.
I guess, it would certainly avoid any dramas like this.
Posted on Reply
#10
the54thvoid
This is only relevant if the same laptop was shipping with different GPU's. If lower spec (note processor) and cheaper laptop has a lesser 'same' GPU, this isn't an issue.
This OEM Nvidia GPU is a low level, basic chip. It's designed to fill different roles. If you think a cheaper laptop should perform the same as a more expensive, or with better CPU you are smoking some weird crack.
Posted on Reply
#11
0x4452
Different thermals == different performance. Unlike on the high end, they don't explicitly slap MaxQ at the end of the MX150 and they don't need to as nothing was ever promised. Same for Intel, thin ultrabooks are slower than thicker laptops despite having the same CPU.
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#12
the54thvoid
Quick price comparison. So top scoring MX150 is in the Acer Swift SF315 priced at £850 and the lowest scoring MX150 is in the Ideapad 320S priced at £475.

Gosh - didn't see that coming. They're very different speced systems. C'mon people - open your eyes.
Posted on Reply
#13
Gasaraki
No one gets the MX150 for performance. It's just there to replace the Intel built in graphics.
Posted on Reply
#14
silentbogo
0x4452 said:
Different thermals == different performance. Unlike on the high end, they don't explicitly slap MaxQ at the end of the MX150 and they don't need to as nothing was ever promised. Same for Intel, thin ultrabooks are slower than thicker laptops despite having the same CPU.
Another good example is FX-8800p. Normally it's a fast CPU, but thanks to HP there were some awful 15W-limited ultrabooks and mobile workstations with only half of expected performance.
And just like in this case, the blame is on OEMs.
Posted on Reply
#15
HTC
the54thvoid said:
Quick price comparison. So top scoring MX150 is in the Acer Swift SF315 priced at £850 and the lowest scoring MX150 is in the Ideapad 320S priced at £475.

Gosh - didn't see that coming. They're very different speced systems. C'mon people - open your eyes.
Perhaps i miss understood but i thought the problem here is that they could, using your examples, start selling the Acer Swift SF315 with the lowest scoring MX150 (while keeping the price, ofc) and, since there's no mention of the specs to distinguish both MX150, they could get away with it, legally speaking.
Posted on Reply
#16
evernessince
birdie said:
I wonder why it has suddenly become trendy to criticise whatever NVIDIA does. Unlike Intel, they offer very real, tangible performance increases for each generation of its GPUs.

You are free not to buy their GPUs, since we've got AMD. AMD is not competitive at the very top but again, no one forces you to buy NVIDIA GPUs. Wait a year or two and you'll get the performance of Titan V from AMD.

Speaking of this particular news piece. Let's check some facts, e.g. visit the GeForce MX-150 web page. OMG, there are no specs there. Nothing at all. NVIDIA doesn't promise anything at all. It's not like AMD who recently completely silently downgraded some of its GPUs (RX-550?).

So, what's going on and what's all the fuss about? Or NVIDIA slandering news titles work as a click bait?
The titles have been completely accurate. If they make Nvidia appear scummy, it's because they are.

Fluffmeister said:
The product page does read:

Note: The below specifications represent the GPU features available. Actual implementation may vary by OEM model. Please refer to OEM website for actual shipping specifications.
This isn't a simple variance, it's a large enough downgrade to be called a different chip. It would be like Nvidia releasing a mobile 1080 Ti with 1050 performance.
Posted on Reply
#17
theoneandonlymrk
birdie said:
I wonder why it has suddenly become trendy to criticise whatever NVIDIA does. Unlike Intel, they offer very real, tangible performance increases for each generation of its GPUs.

You are free not to buy their GPUs, since we've got AMD. AMD is not competitive at the very top but again, no one forces you to buy NVIDIA GPUs. Wait a year or two and you'll get the performance of Titan V from AMD.

Speaking of this particular news piece. Let's check some facts, e.g. visit the GeForce MX-150 web page. OMG, there are no specs there. Nothing at all. NVIDIA doesn't promise anything at all. It's not like AMD who recently completely silently downgraded some of its GPUs (RX-550?).

So, what's going on and what's all the fuss about? Or NVIDIA slandering news titles work as a click bait?
Overly sensitive , the only issue is that a consumer could buy one and net considerably less performance then expected ,the same Fair criticism was made about said Amd substitution.
There's always something someone would like to criticize about everything , that's not likely to change.
Posted on Reply
#19
Fluffmeister
evernessince said:
This isn't a simple variance, it's a large enough downgrade to be called a different chip. It would be like Nvidia releasing a mobile 1080 Ti with 1050 performance.
But in this case it is the same chip, an overclockers dream you might say.
Posted on Reply
#20
Xzibit
They are obviously not part of the GPProgram.

Nvidia
The GeForce Partner Program is designed to ensure that gamers have full transparency into the GPU platform and software they’re being sold, and can confidently select products that carry the NVIDIA GeForce promise.
Posted on Reply
#21
deu
birdie said:
I wonder why it has suddenly become trendy to criticise whatever NVIDIA does. Unlike Intel, they offer very real, tangible performance increases for each generation of its GPUs.

You are free not to buy their GPUs, since we've got AMD. AMD is not competitive at the very top but again, no one forces you to buy NVIDIA GPUs. Wait a year or two and you'll get the performance of Titan V from AMD.

Speaking of this particular news piece. Let's check some facts, e.g. visit the GeForce MX-150 web page. OMG, there are no specs there. Nothing at all. NVIDIA doesn't promise anything at all. It's not like AMD who recently completely silently downgraded some of its GPUs (RX-550?).

So, what's going on and what's all the fuss about? Or NVIDIA slandering news titles work as a click bait?
Hey dude here's your new car! Instead of promised speed of 160 kph it runs 80 kph! But your not salty right? You're just like sad that people are picking on the vendor because that definitely not okay! You'll just not drive it on the roads you intended you'll take the train instead to save time. /s
Posted on Reply
#22
Patriot
deu said:
Hey dude here's your new car! Instead of promised speed of 160 kph it runs 80 kph! But your not salty right? You're just like sad that people are picking on the vendor because that definitely not okay! You'll just not drive it on the roads you intended you'll take the train instead to save time. /s
I think his point was that there is no specs and therefore no promised speed.

Except that there is a rough promised speed.
Supposed to be 4x UHD 620 , and the 930mx was 3x ... now with the clock changes the 930mx might actually be faster.
Posted on Reply
#23
John Naylor
Wrong target. Unless you are suggesting that the Ultrabook vendors are unaware which one they are getting, no foiul ... they are makinmg this afor someone else tp THEIR specificsation requirements. Is Seasonic responsible for how Corsair labels a PSU they buy using Seasonic as the OEM. many PSus are built on the same "platform" with specific tweaks as may be requested by the seller. Seasonic doesn't create a new platform name for each mod. We can buy cars / trucks with different engine sizes.

It's the Ultrabook seller's responsibility to accurately report their product's performance capabilities. If Intel has a system builder and wants to use an underclocked CPU to meet thermal and power limitations, isn't it still the same CPU ? If it's an OEM product, not available to the general public, I don't see how or why anyone should expect nVidia to do anything. It's the Ultrabook vendor's responsibility to make this distinction known to customers.

And I'd add, it's the responsibility or sites like this and users to point out and jump on any vendor who does not do so.
Posted on Reply
#24
moproblems99
Typically, you won't see me say anything nice about nVidia, but I don't think they are in the wrong here. If the only thing different is the clocks then nothing was 'snuck' although perhaps it should have a low power moniker or something. Now, if they started jacking with core counts, shaders, or memory specs - we have a problem.
Posted on Reply
#25
evernessince
Fluffmeister said:
But in this case it is the same chip, an overclockers dream you might say.
Very few laptops have that capability. You'd also have to assume that the motherboard/PSU can delivery that extra power. Laptops especially are rated at a specific spec for a reason. Unless it's a gaming oriented system, I wouldn't risk it.
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