Nvidia may be set to debut more than high-end RTX-series graphics for mobile platforms in early 2019. An HP laptop listing looks to have given the game away about an alternative, entry-level GPU called the MX250. It’s likely a successor of the popular and rather capable laptop GPU, the MX150, but we don’t know yet whether this is based on the same Turing architecture found in the RTX-series graphics cards and planned RTX mobile GPUs.
The 2000-series of Nvidia RTX graphics cards debuted in August 2018 to much fanfare. Alongside new features like ray tracing and DLSS, the new cards offered a reasonable performance increase over their predecessors — even if they were rather expensive. Not much has been said about mobile alternatives of these GPUs, but most expect laptops equipped with ray tracing-capable RTX GPUs to make their appearance at CES 2019 in January. Now we have to wonder if the MX250 will join them.
The leaky listing was for an HP Zhan 66 Pro 14 G2 notebook, and was screengrabbed by Twitter user Momomo_us, according to TechRadar. The listing suggests the laptop will have an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, up to 32GB of memory, up to 512GB of SSD storage (or a 1TB hard drive) but most crucially, an MX250 graphics chip. The new GPU would reportedly sport 2GB of GDDR5 — a far cry from the mountains of GDDR6 that the RTX-series graphics cards have — but there is an Intel UHD 620 graphics option as well.
If this does turn out to be a true RTX GPU, it would be the first to sport GDDR5 memory, but as an entry-level GPU, it likely wouldn’t make much use of the additional bandwidth afforded to the newer standard. Using older memory should also keep costs down.
What seems almost certain with this GPU though, is that it will not support ray tracing. That feature has proved to be incredibly taxing on even the most powerful of Turing graphics cards, even with optimizations and patches. For true ray tracing, you’d probably need something like the Titan RTX. At $2,500 each, though, few if any will use them for any sort of gaming build.