NVIDIA Silently Offers Slower MX150 Variant Without Disclosing
Ron Perillo / 4 weeks ago
Remember when AMD pulled a bait-and-switch with the Radeon RX 560 GPU a few months ago? The one where there was a lower-performing variant on OEM systems but there is no distinguishing name informing users of the difference. Now NVIDIA appears to have taken some cues from this shady marketing tactic, something the company usually is a pioneer of. What with the GeForce Partner Program and such.
How Can I Tell The Two MX150 GPUs Apart?
According to Notebookcheck, there are actually two variants of the MX150 GPU for laptops. However, there is no distinguishing information for consumers to discern which is which. One has a 10W TDP while the other has a 25W TDP, and is considerably more powerful. The 25W TDP version is closer in performance to the GeForce 940MX and has a ‘1D10’ Device ID. The 10W TDP version goes by the Device ID ‘1D12’ and has a much lower clock speed (1469MHz vs 937MHz). This is approximately 36% slower. The boost clocks and the memory clocks are much lower too to fit the 10W TDP envelope.
There are no markings on the promotional material that references that there are different MX150. Users have to actually run benchmarks or see the Device ID on the laptop. As you can see from the charts above from Notebook Check’s benchmarks, the gap can be quite considerable. The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3, ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA, UX331UN, HP Envy 13, and Lenovo IdeaPad 320S all have the 10W TDP 1D12 MX150. The ASUS Zenbook UX430UN actually has the 25W TDP 1D10 MX150, but it regularly throttles down, lowering the performance.
While it is not uncommon to see variants of the same silicon, it is shady to not mark it clearly for consumers. Considering how closely NVIDIA wants to control how partners market their GPUs these days with their GeForce Partner Program, this should be at the top of their priority.