There is a possibility that NVIDIA may have quietly released a less powerful version of its GeForce MX150 GPU into the notebook market. So far, there are no official announcement from NVIDIA, but there appears to be proof already in several laptops released in 2017.
This discovery was made byNotebookcheck, which found that notebooks shipping out with an ID tag “N17S-LG-A1” or “1D12” has an MX150 GPU with a performance difference between 20% and 25% lower compared to the original variant, which as a “1D10” ID tag.
Notebookcheck goes on to state that the second variant is “notably slower and less demanding than the ‘standard’ MX150 with underclocked clock rates, Boost rates, and VRAM not unlike a Max-Q GPU.” In addition, notebooks with the 1D12 GPUs are underclocked by 523MHz for the base clock, 494MHz for boost, and 249MHz for its memory clockspeeds.
So far, Notebookcheck has listed down ASUS’ ZenBook 13 UX331UN and ZenBook UX331UA, Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3, and the HP Envy 13 as models using these 1D12 GPUs. Some new ThinkPad users have also noted that the new ThinkPad T480s comes with the “Max-Q” MX 150, but the thicker T480 model comes with the standard MX 150.
NVIDIA has yet to comment on the discovery. It’s also quite clear that the difference in clockspeeds as well as the device ID were applied at a firmware level; something that can only be done by the product’s maker (in this case, NVIDIA).