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NVIDIA GeForce MX230 vs AMD RX Vega 10 – the NVIDIA GPU is faster but Vega 10 is a decent performer too

NVIDIA has a lot of GPU variants in the lower segment. The MX-based video cards still have a decent market share because they combine lower cost and decent performance. Nevertheless, the bigger models like MX150, MX230, and MX250 are unbeaten by any iGPU and they are the only choice if the performance of Iris Plus G7 or AMD RX Vega 10 isn’t enough for your needs and at the same time, your budget is tight.

However, the integrated graphics solutions already have stolen some amount of customers that need a really basic GPU. For example, the MX110 offers similar performance to Iris Plus G4 and it’s slower than Iris Plus G7 – AMD RX Vega 8 is faster than the least powerful MX GPU as well. In addition to that, we decided that the time has come for the next GPU vs iGPU comparison – MX230 vs AMD RX Vega 10.

See all configurations with GeForce MX230 / AMD RX Vega 10

Contents

Specs overview

The AMD RX Vega 10 can be found in Ryzen 7 APUs such as AMD Ryzen 7 3750H and AMD Ryzen 7 3700U. It’s based on the Vega architecture (5th generation GCN) and it has 640 shader units, 8 CUs, 1300MHz boost clock, and a bit lower TDP values than MX230. Additionally, you can boost this iGPU if you use dual-channel 2400 MHz memory (Vega 10 will not run optimally if your notebook is equipped with a single stick RAM clocked at 2133 MHz).

The GeForce MX230 is something like a cut-down version of MX250 (it has lower shader count and reduced frequencies). More specs – 256 shader units, 16 ROPs, 1519 MHz / 1531 MHz base and boost clocks, 7000 MHz memory frequency, and 64-bit memory bus.

GPU comparison table

 GeForce MX230AMD RX Vega 10
ArchitecturePascaliGPU in Zen+ APUs
GPU chipGP108Vega
Shader units256640
ROPs168
Base Clock (MHz)1519300
Boost clock (MHz)1531 (+28%)1300
Memory clock (MHz)7000depends on RAM frequency
Memory size (MB)2048-4096variable
Memory typeGDDR5DDR4
Memory bus width (bit)64
TGP (Total Graphics Power)TDP: 10-30WTDP: 9W-25W
DirectX version12.112.1
Technology14nm14nm
RTX capabilitiesNoNo
Release date02.201910.2017
Detailed specsLinkLink

It’s time for benchmarks.

Synthetic benchmarks

In terms of synthetic benchmarks, the gap between these iGPUs looks normal – 20%. Don’t forget the fact that Vega 10 is an integrated solution so its performance here is good enough.

Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)

GeForce MX230 over AMD RX Vega 103Dmark Fire Strike (G)Unigine Heaven 3.0Unigine Heaven 4.0Unigine SuperpositionAverage difference %
NVIDIA GeForce MX2303%44%57%20%
AMD RX Vega 1028%

Gaming tests

The gaming tests are the thing that matters the most when it comes to GPU performance.

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GOHD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce MX23073 fps  (+7%)65 fps (+18%)57 fps (+30%)
AMD RX Vega 1068 fps55 fps44 fps

The NVIDIA GPU is always faster here but the Vega 10 isn’t a bad performer and you can play CS:GO at Low settings with 68 FPS on average with it.

 

DOTA 2HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce MX23076 fps (+9%)61 fps (+74%)48 fps
AMD RX Vega 1071 fps35 fps– fps

In DOTA 2, the iGPU show good results at Low settings but above that, it definitely lacks power against MX230.

Performance summary (gaming tests)

The NVIDIA MX230 is more than 42% faster than AMD RX Vega 10, still, the latter is doing a great job for an integrated video card.

GeForce MX230 over AMD RX Vega 10Full HD, LowFull HD, NormalFull HD, HighAverage difference
NVIDIA GeForce MX230+8%+46%+30%+42%
AMD RX Vega 10

Verdict

So, what do you actually need – an affordable gaming machine or just a fast device, which you’ll be occasionally using to play low-demanding games? If you’re on a budget, the MX230 is a better choice than the iGPU – it has more power, while the dedicated memory is certainly an advantage. Sometimes the lack of the latter is a bottleneck for a lot of iGPUs because, for optimal performance, an integrated solution needs a dual-channel memory, and at least 8GB preinstalled RAM with a higher clock – unfortunately, not every laptop with an iGPU only can meet all these requirements. For gaming, the MX230 is better, no matter the game, no matter the load. Оf course, you can have a look at the MX250-based devices since they aren’t much more expensive and for a small increase of the price you can have an even faster laptop.

Nevertheless, the AMD RX Vega 10 is a decent iGPU that supports quite a lot of games at 1080p, low settings. Its biggest advantage is that it’s fitted in Zen+ CPUs which are fast and efficient at the same time. In most cases, the Zen+ laptops are better-priced than the Intel ones. The lack of a dedicated video card and the battery-friendly CPUs lead to decent performance combined with longer battery life. Moreover, the iGPU doesn’t take additional space inside of the laptop and that means cooler innards compared to an MX230-based laptop.

All laptops equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce MX230

All laptops equipped with the AMD RX Vega 10