This article is a work in progress and explains what to expect from the Nvidia MX150 graphics chips, as well as provide a complete list of portable laptops built on these chips.
There are few details on these new solutions at the time I’m initially putting this together, but I’m constantly adding updates as we find out more.
So far, we know that the Nvidia GeForce MX150 and MX130 are discrete graphics cards based on the Pascal architecture primarily meant for ultrabooks and ultraportable laptops, as alternatives to the integrated Intel HD and Iris/Iris Pro graphics. As solutions for thin-and-light notebooks, they are designed with efficiency in mind and will have low power requirements, but they are also more affordable than the higher tier Pascal graphics, so will also make their way into budget full-size laptops.
The GeForce MX150 chip is the mobile version of the GP108-based GT 1030 desktop chip. It comes with 2 GB of DDR5 memory, a 64 bit memory bus, a core speed of 1468 Mhz (with Turbo up to 1532 Mhz) and Direct X12 support. It’s meant as a successor for the Nvidia 940MX chip, designed to offer a boost in raw performance, corroborated with a low TDP. Nvidia announces the MX150 to be 3x faster per Watt than the 940MX, with improvements in video rendering, image editing and other fields as well.
Update: You should be aware that Nvidia actually offers two different MX150 chips, a more powerful version with 25W TDP and the performance numbers mentioned in the table below, but also a MX150 Max-Q version meant for ultraportable laptops, with a 10 W TDP, lower clock speeds and thus roughly 30% lower scores in benchmarks and games. You’ll find what to expect from this option from our detailed review of the Asus Zenbook UX331UN.
There are very few benchmarks of the GeForce MX150 available for the time being, but notebookcheck has already reviewed a few laptops based on this chip, and here’s what you should expect (we’ll update the numbers over time):
|MX150 2GB||Intel HD 620||GTX 1050 4GB||GT 940MX 2GB||GTX 960M 4GB|
|TDP||25 W||~10 W*||40 W||~23 W**||60 W|
|3D Mark 11||~4800 points||~1630 points||~7600 points||~2600 points||~5250 points|
|3D Mark – Time Spy||~1175 points||~360 points||~1700 points||~630 points||~1200 points|
|3D Mark – Fire Strike||~3250 points||~840 points||~5450 points||~1550 points||~4000 points|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider – 768p Med||~45 fps||~11 fps||~67 fps||~21 fps||~49 fps|
|Doom – 768p Med||~55 fps||~16.5 fps||~77 fps||~28 fps||~58 fps|
|GTA V – 768p Med||~100 fps||~23 fps||~117 fps||~70 fps||~108 fps|
|Witcher 3 – 768p Med||~43 fps||~11 fps||~68 fps||~20 fps||~51 fps|
* the Intel HD 620 graphics is integrated withing the 15W Intel CPUs, so its TDP is hard to quantify
** available in different versions, with TDP’s between 15 and 25 W
Based on these results, the MX150 chip is two times faster than the 940MX in games and benchmarks, with similar TDPs. That’s off from Nvidia prediction of 3x improvement per Watt, but keep in mind drivers are still new and thus the results should get a little better in time. Not by much though, Nvidia won’t cannibalize the GTX 1050 chip, which is roughly three times faster than the 940MX, but with a higher TDP. The MX150 is also nearly as capable as last year’s mid-level chip, the GTX 960M, which needs a lot more energy.
You’ll find a few more details on how the MX150 performs and how it compares to the 940MX with GDDR3 and GDDR5 graphics in this review.
The GeForce MX150 chip will make its way inside a fair amount of ultraportable computers with dedicated graphics and a much greater number of budget and mid-range fullsize laptops with prices between $500 and $800. We’ll gather them all below.
First, there’s the list of 14-inch and smaller options.
|Acer Switch 7 Black Edition||13.5-inch IPS touch||? / max 16 GB RAM||MX150 Max-Q||?||1.15 lbs / 2.53 kg|
|detachable tablet with keyboard folio, aluminum build, automatic AutoStand, fanless cooling, 3:2 ratio 2256 x 1504 px screen with Wacom digitizer and pen support|
|Starting price: $1699 / 1999 EUR (~Dec 2017)|
|Acer Swift 3 SF314-52||14.0-inch IPS FHD glossy non-touch||up to Kaby Lake-R Core U / max 16 GB RAM||MX150||No||3.75 lbs / 1.70 kg|
|detailed review in here, simple design and metallic build; good backlit keyboard and trackpad; glossy non-touch screen with a pretty poor IPS panel; solid performance; Coffee Lake Core U quad-core variants announced for the second half of 2017, runs cool and quiet; 48 Wh battery|
|Starting price: $799 – more details and latest prices|
|Asus VivoBook Slim S410UN||14.0-inch IPS FHD matte||up to Kaby Lake-R Core U / max 16 GB RAM||MX150 Max-Q||No||3.2 lbs / 1.45 kg|
|smaller version of the 15-inch model reviewed here; nice and light build, plastic main chassis, good backlit keyboard and trackpad, average matte screen, solid performance, runs a little noisy under load, 42 Wh battery|
|Starting price: TBA|
|Asus Zenbook 13 UX331UN||13.3-inch IPS FHD matte||Kaby Lake-R Core U / max 16 GB RAM||MX150 Max-Q||No||2.5 lbs / 1.13 kg|
|review available here, compact and light 13-inch laptop, multiple screen options, KabyLake-R quad-core processors, gets a down-clocked version of the Nvidia MX150 graphics chip, 50 Wh battery|
|Starting price: TBA (estimated for Q4 2017)|
|Asus Zenbook UX430UN||14.0-inch IPS FHD matte||Kaby Lake-R Core U / max 16 GB RAM||MX150 Max-Q||No||2.75 lbs / 1.25 kg|
|very similar to the UX430UQ reviewed here, but with a KabyLake-R Core i7-8550U processor and updated graphics; very sleek design, metallic build, good backlit keyboard and trackpad, excellent matte screen, solid performance, gets hot and noisy under load, 50 Wh battery|
|Starting price: $1199 – more details and latest prices|
|HP Envy 13||13.3-inch IPS FHD/UHD touch||up to Kaby Lake-R Core U / max 16 GB RAM||MX150 Max-Q||No||2.95 lbs / 1.33 kg|
|compact, slim and well built, packs an IPS panel with small bezels, available with Intel UHD 620 graphics on the base-level configurations, higher end models get a down-clocked version of the Nvidia MX150 graphics chip, 54 Wh battery|
|Starting price: $1099 – – more details and latest prices|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 720s||14.0-inch IPS glossy non-touch||up to Kaby Lake-R Core U / max 16 GB RAM||MX150 Max-Q||Yes||3.26 lbs / 1.48 kg|
|review here – slim and well built, packs an IPS panel with small bezels, nice keyboard and trackpad, good IO, potential performance and wireless issues (details in the review), 56 Wh battery|
|Starting price: $899 – – more details and latest prices|
|Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air||13.3-inch IPS FHD glossy non-touch||Kaby Lake Core U / max 8 GB RAM||MX150 Max-Q||No||2.86 lbs / 1.30 kg|
|nice aesthetics and metallic build; decent backlit keyboard and trackpad; good IPS screen, but with a glossy layer and no touch; solid performance; runs quite warm; 40 Wh battery; affordable, but needs to be imported from China in most regions; comes with Windows 10 Home Chinese only, so you’ll have to buy and reinstall Windows|
|Starting price: $999|
And then there’s the list of 15.6-inch and larger full-size notebooks with GeForce MX150 graphics. There will be a lot more options in this class, and as a result we’re not getting as in depth here as with the ultraportable ones above.
|Acer Swift 3 SF315-51||Clamshell||15.6-inch FHD matte||up to Kaby Lake-R Core U||48 Wh||4.6 lbs / 2.1 kg||$799|
|Acer Aspire 5 A515||Clamshell||15.6-inch FHD matte||up to Kaby Lake-R Core U||48 Wh||4.75 lbs / 2.1 kg||$599|
|Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G||Clamshell||15.6″ IPS FHD matte||up to Kaby Lake-R Core U||62 Wh (?)||2.4 kg / 5.3 lbs||$599|
|Acer Nitro 5 AN515||Clamshell||15.6-inch FHD matte||up to Kaby Lake Core HQ||48 Wh||5.45 lbs / 2.46 kg||–|
|Asus Vivobook S15 S510UN||Clamshell||15.6-inch FHD matte||Kaby Lake Core U||42 Wh||3.6 lbs / 1.65 kg||TBA|
|Asus Vivobook N705UN||Clamshell||17.3-inch FHD matte||Kaby Lake Core U||42 Wh||4.6 lbs / 2.1 kg||TBA|
|Asus Vivobook X510UN||Clamshell||15.6-inch HD/FHD TN matte||Kaby Lake Core U||42 Wh||3.3 lbs / 1.5 kg||TBA|
|Asus Zenbook Flip UX561UN||Convertible||15.6″ IPS FHD touch||Kaby Lake-R Core U||52 Wh||1.9 kg / 4.2 lbs||–|
|Asus Vivobook Pro N580VN||Clamshell||15.6-inch FHD/UHD matte||Kaby Lake Core HQ||47 Wh||4.18 lbs / 1.9 kg||TBA|
|HP Envy x360 15t||Convertbile||15.6″ IPS FHD touch||Kaby Lake-R Core U||55.8 Wh||2.17 kg / 4.8 lbs||–|
|HP Envy 17||Clamshell||17.3-inch FHD matte||Kaby Lake-R Core U||55.8 Wh||6.7 lbs / 3.05 kg||$1299|
|HP Spectre x360 15||Convertible||15.6″ IPS UHD touch||Kaby Lake-R Core U||79 Wh||2.00 kg / 4.42 lbs||$1279|
|MSI GV62 7RC||Clamshell||15.6-inch eDP-IPS / IPS FHD matte||Kaby Lake Core HQ||41 Wh||4.85 lbs / 2.19 kg||–|
|MSI GL62 7RC||Clamshell||15.6-inch eDP-IPS / IPS FHD matte||Kaby Lake Core HQ||41 Wh||5.2 lbs / 2.35 kg||–|
|MSI PL62 7RC||Clamshell||15.6-inch Tn HD / eDP-IPS FHD matte||Kaby Lake Core HQ||51 Wh||4.85 lbs / 2.19 kg||$799|
|Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro||Clamshell||15.6″ IPS FHD glossy||Core U w/ Nvidia MX150||60 Wh||1.95 kg / 4.3 lbs||$1199|
Here’s a short glossary of the terms mentioned above:
- clamshell: traditional computer whose screen closes on top of the keyboard and does not flip into any sort of tablet mode;
- convertible: 2-in-1 laptop whose screen rotates or converts to a tablet mode (or similar), but cannot be detached from the base;
- Resolutions: HD ( 1366 x 768 px), WXGA+ (1440 x 900 px), HD+ (1600 x 900 px), FHD (1920 x 1080 px), WUXGA (1920 x 1200 px) FHD+ (2160 x 1440 px), retina (2304 x 1440 px), QHD (2560 x 1440 px), WQXGA(2560 x 1600 px), QHD+ (3200 x 1800 px), UHD (3840 x 2160 px) – also see this post.
That’s about it for now, but as I’ve mentioned in the beginning, this article is a work in progress as I’ll be adding new products weekly as they are released.
If the Nvidia GeForce MX150 chip does not offer what you need, you should also check our lists of laptops with Nvidia GeForce MX130 chips (lower tier, more affordable options) or Nvidia GTX 1050/1050Ti and GTX 1060 graphics (higher tier, more powerful).