NVIDIA 940 MX vs MX150 – Battle Of The Budget GPUs

by | Jul 2, 2018

Everyone likes portability.

The freedom to move has been of utmost importance to humanity since time immemorial.

When desktops reigned the industry, we had to sit glued on to the screen – all at the same place, every day, every time.

With the advent of laptops, things changed a bit.

People started carrying this neat little box around and started doing their job on the go.

Laptops have evolved a lot since then. The power, form factor, performance – every single aspect of these machines drastically changed over the course of the time.

At present, there are laptops that surpass even the desktop computers in terms of raw power output.

If you are an avid gamer or let’s say a video content creator – taking the machine with you is of paramount importance.

Gamers seldom like to be AFK (Away from keyboard) so do the content creators who love to do their stuff roaming around frequently.

Ever thought about what makes this all possible in such a small device?

Powerful processors are one hell of a correct answer we’d love to give you the credit for.

But specifically what else?

Well, it’s the graphics chip underneath responsible for that extra oomph by carrying out the graphics calculation on its own.

Are these powerful wonder chips limited to the expensive laptops? No.

Chipset manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD has made affordable yet powerful graphics chips to be used in budget laptops as well.

Today, we’re discussing two of the most popular budget graphic chips used in laptops on sale in the market – the Nvidia 940MX and the Nvidia MX150.

The past and the present

The Nvidia 940MX is the elder of the two, having launched in the first quarter of 2016. It has been since then a favourite choice for various OEMs to be included on their budget laptops.

Even today, certain models in the market comes loaded with the Nvidia 940MX.

The Nvidia MX150, on the other hand, is a relatively new entrant to the market. It was launched to the public on may 2017. The company claimed a performance increment over 30% when compared to the Nvidia 940MX.

To brush off the dust, let’s make things a little more clear.

Geeks may love this part but for the average joe reading this post, we have something for you as well.

Nvidia MX150 is much more powerful and efficient than the 940MX.

Should you buy a budget laptop with discrete GPU, always go for an MX150 over the 940MX.

The Nvidia 940MX

The design of the 940MX GPU is based on the Maxwell architecture from Nvidia.

It is the successor to the Kepler architecture and came with 2x performance/watt as that of its predecessor.

The main hurdle for the engineers at Nvidia was to reduce the power consumption while at the same time extracting more power from the chip.

The Nvidia 940MX is designed and manufactured on a 28nm process.

To simplify things further, the 28nm refers to the fab size.

Or better, consider it as the size of the transistors inside.

The smaller the size, more number of transistors can be included on the die. This also results in decreased power consumption per transistor.

The L2 cache size on these chips are 2MB compared to the 256KB on its kepler counterparts.

So what does this cache does to the performance?

Cache is like a piece of memory built on the chip itself.

In the case of a GPU, this cache stores the frequent requests from the user side programs and anticipates these requests in the future.

When a request comes through, the GPU can process these faster without having the need to fetch it from the slower VRAM.

In short, more the cache size, better will be the performance.

The Nvidia MX150

The MX150 graphics chip is based on the Nvidia’s new pascal architecture.

This new GPU microarchitecture features a 3x boost in memory bandwidth.

Consider bandwidth as a road with lanes on it.

More the bandwidth is, more the number of lanes.

This equates to an increased number of requests that can be sent to the GPU simultaneously.

This significantly increases the performance of the GPU.

Also, the Pascal architecture comes with 16nm FinFET process.

This reduced size increases the number of transistors that can be fitted into the die.

The number of transistors on a Pascal-based chip is almost two-fold of a Maxwell architecture chip.

This ensures better performance of these chips when compared with the Nvidia 940MX.

Face to face

 NVDIA 940 MX GDDR5NVDIA MX 150
Process28nm16nm
GPU Clock1083 MHz1227 MHz
Memory Clock1253 MHz1502 MHz
Boost Clock1189 MHz1468 MHz
Bandwidth16 GB/s48.06 GB/s
CUDA Cores384384

Showdown

The power or capability of a graphics card is measured by its bandwidth.

More the bandwidth a graphics card offers better will be the performance of the laptop.

From the table listed above, it’s clear that the MX150 is far ahead of its counterparts in the competition.

Final verdict

The Nvidia 940MX trails behind the MX150 in every aspects quite significantly.

It is clear from the data that the MX150 offers a major improvement in performance as well as power efficiency on budget laptops currently available in the market.

For content creators, the apps for photo/video editing loads much faster than the 940MX.

The rendering times also shows a significant decrease.

When the MX150 coupled with a capable processor, medium resource intensive games like CS:GO plays with an average 117 fps, DOTA 2 at 65 fps with 1080p at ultra settings.

Much more heavy games like Diablo can be played at a consistent 70+ fps at 1080p high settings and Overwatch at 1080p medium settings with 50+ fps at an average.

For these games to be playable with the 940MX, you will have to tone down the settings to the bare minimum with 720p resolution.

Laptops with MX150 GPUs

The hands down winner definitely is Nvidia MX150!

But remember the fact that the GPU alone won’t do the magic for you.

If we’re to give a tip specifically for the budget laptop consumers confused between a 940MX and MX150, always go for a better CPU + MX150.

For eg., an 8th generation Intel processor with MX150 performs way better than a seventh generation chipset with MX150.

The Nvidia MX150 GPU mostly comes on board with budget laptops priced under Rs.50,000.

Certain devices that we would recommend you to take a closer look are the Acer Aspire 5, Acer Swift 3 as well the Asus Vivobook S15.

Last but not least, thanks for your time on our website, have a fantastic day ahead.