As we’re all too familiar by now, the gaming PC market is in shambles and there hasn’t been a worse time in history to build a new PC, more specifically get a new graphics card. Both NVIDIA and AMD have tried to combat the situation and present solutions to outweigh the constant peril caused by the pandemic but to little avail. Recently, NVIDIA announced the RTX 2060 12GB to boost the mid-range sector and offer a new entry for eager gamers. Now, the latest in the line of desperation-fueled releases comes the RTX 2050 mobile GPU along with two new MX 500-series mobile GPUs.
Unfortunately, literally hours after these two were unexpectedly announced, their 3DMark Time Spy benchmarks leaked out and, boy oh boy, they do not paint a vivid picture. The benchmarks come from the Chinese-platform Zhihu and give us results for both the RTX 2050 and the MX 500 GPUs. Even though these are entry-level graphic solutions aimed at providing a better alternative to AMD and Intel’s integrated graphics, they’re still disappointing enough performance-wise that it’s worth talking about.
Firstly I should mention that NVIDIA already confirmed to ComputerBase that the RTX 2050 and the MX 570 are essentially the same Ampere-based GA-107 GPU with 2048 CUDA Cores, with the only notable difference being that of the memory. The RTX 2050 has 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM as compared to only 2GB on the MX 570. However, this difference does not translate to discrepancies in real-world gaming performance, aka the Time Spy results for these two SKUs are the same.
The RTX 2050/MX570 post a score of 3,369 in the benchmark. Just to put that in context, the RTX 3050 laptop GPU averages around 4,800 points in the same benchmark. That’s about 40-45% decrease in performance. However, it’s important to note that these are more than likely engineering samples and are paired with a previous-gen CPU that’s not maxing their potential. So, there is room for growth and these results should, thus, be taken with a grain of salt.
Moving over to the MX 550, we see it score 2,510 points in Time Spy. That’s actually lower than the average score of its predecessor, the MX 450 which got around 2,600 points in the same benchmark. Once again, important to emphasize that these are far from the final results representing retail performance, but still. The MX 550 is essentially a cut down version of the GTX 1650 which is based on the Turing TU117 GPU. The CUDA Core count is the same (1048) but the memory bus is halved to only 64-bit in the MX 550, whereas the memory is upgraded to GDDR6.
What This Tells Us
Interestingly enough, it also looks like that the TDP of these new GPUs will determine not only their boost clock but also their memory clock. The memory clocks jumps to 14 Gbps at 40-45W, while staying at only 12Gbps at 25-35W. At the lowest 20W spec, the memory clock will drop down to just 11 Gbps. The RTX 2050 runs at 30-45W giving us a 14 Gbps memory speed which is faster than the MX 570 which runs at just 15-25W, just like its brother the–MX 550.
The RTX 2050 and MX 570, while underwhelming, still offer somewhat respectable performance over an iGPU, similar to GTX 1660. They both also feature ray tracing but don’t expect any miracles as these GPUs will barely be able to handle it. Although, it would be quite interesting to see how they play with DLSS and whether that improves the overall proposition of these SKUs or not.
The MX 550, however, is pretty much dead-on-arrival. The leaked Time Spy score puts it below the leaked AMD Ryzen 6000 “Rembrandt” iGPU which scored ~2,700 points in Time Spy. There may be room for some improvement considering the SKUs in question are far from release so they still need tinkering and drivers need to be updated to take full advantage of them. But, as it stands right now, the MX 550 is quite the disappointer.
Of course, before you gobble up these leaks, make sure to properly salt them. That’s my fancy way of saying don’t take them for face value and wait for more leaks to come out closer to the GPUs’ actual release to get an idea of their actual performance. Both the RTX 2050 and the MX-500 GPUs are launching in Spring 2022 and will be available in a wide variety of laptops from various manufacturers.