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Nvidia launches three new entry-level laptop GPUs with GDDR5 support

The graphics card industry is a strange one, as we judge it almost entirely by the top-end performance. Yet if hardware surveys like Steam’s are anything to go by, the vast majority of people use CPUs and GPUs that are much closer to the budget end of the spectrum. So it’s good to see Nvidia giving that end some love, with the launch of three new mobile graphics processors.

Named the 920MX, 930MX and 940MX, the new chips aren’t part of the unreleased Pascal architecture – that’s coming later this year. These are Maxwell GM108 parts and are designed to replace their predecessors, the 920M, 930M and 940M respectively.

Although these new chips are available for laptop makers to include in their low-end gaming laptops, Nvidia’s launch was quite stealth,y so not many details have been officially announced. Fortunately the guys at VideoCardz dug up some details for us, letting us know that the new MX chips all support GDDR5 memory, which is a big upgrade from the outgoing M series, which supported the much slower DDR3.

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That doesn’t guarantee that the chips will be paired with the faster memory standard – but the option is there for system builders.

The two more powerful chips, the 940MX and 930MX, both pack 384 CUDA cores and have a 64bit memory bus. The former has a clock speed of 1,176 MHz, while the 930MX sports a clock speed of 967MHz – both however feature bumped clock speeds (by a few tens of MHz) when paired with the weaker memory standard.

In comparison, the 920MX features just 256 CUDA cores and has a 926MHz clock speed for the GDDR5 version, and a 965MHz clock speed for the DDR3 model.

Performance in the models with weaker, lower-powered RAM is expected to be around that of the last generation M parts, though with GDDR5 at their side, these chips are said to offer a decent performance improvement. They will likely appear in budget and mid-range laptops looking to offer a bit more graphical grunt than what Intel Integrated Graphics alone can offer.