Which Laptop GPU Is Best For Gaming
Ok, so last week we shared an article about the Acer Aspire 5 laptop. And we mentioned the GeForce NVIDIA MX 150, but what exactly is that and how does it differ from the more standard GPUs? Fret no longer, we got you covered.
The MX 150 is the new laptop GPU from NVIDIA and there's a little bit of confusion with this chip because the naming system isn't normal. The whole MX and then a number isn't something they've done in the past. So, I will try and talk about the GPU with more clarity.
This is a laptop GPU that was derived from the same chip as the desktop GT 1030, but it's surprisingly faster. Which is strange because it's a laptop version. Lightweight titles are handled easily on this GPU so first-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), whatever you want you'll comfortably be able to hit 60fps at 1080p on ultra graphics. Even something like Diablo 3 which can get graphically intense will hover above 70fps. However, games like Overwatch it's best to drop the settings to high to get above 60fps. For games that are more demanding you' will have to drop to medium settings at 1080p in order to stay close to 60fps. Remember, you will always have the option to lowering your resolution to keep your frame rate up.
Let's step back for a moment. A lot of these games are Triple-A titles. These are flagship games that are often used to benchmark high-end desktop graphics. Now a $600 laptop can play a lot of them at 60fps, that's tight. The GPU that thing MX 150 replaced is called the 940 MX. And that thing could not handle most of these games at 1080p.
There are limitations though. The heavier games like Witcher 3 and GTA 5 can still run but you have to put it on the lowest resolution and graphic settings just to keep up smooth frame rates. If you are only going to be playing these ultra demanding games then you will need a better GPU. Maybe something like Player Unknown Battle Grounds (PUBG) that aren't well optimized well will need to have a lowered resolution and graphics to make things smooth.
Overall, we are really impressed with the MX150. It's lower-end GPU that's designed to fit into the whole mid-tier laptop segment, but the performance is surprisingly good. It really is twice as good as a 940 MX that it is replacing. It's kind of between the 950 M and 960 M from last year. However, it's not as good as the GTX 1050, and it's not the greatest GPU ever, but these $600 mid-tier laptops are very capable for gaming.
Let's move on to a few other things. First, the CPU and GPU combination that we saw in the Acer Aspire 5, is actually pretty common for this particular GPU. It has a Kaby Lake 7200U CPU and the MX 150. When you look at the internals you'll often see a single heat pipe and at first, you may not think that that's a good idea for both components, but remember this is a 15-watt CPU. A lot of gaming laptops have a quad-core 45-watt CPUs that produce a lot more heat. So, in the end, the thermal management of this Acer is actually very sufficient.
The last notable thing to mention is that this does not have shadow play. In the menu, there is often feature by NVIDIA that allows you to record gameplay while you're playing. That feature seems to be disabled in the MX 150 and not just an aspect of the Acer.
Hopefully, this clears up any questions that you may have had regarding this new MX 150 replacement GPU. The good thing here is that it seems that gaming is getting more affordable every few months.
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