Hey there! If you‘re researching gaming laptops from 2017 and 2018, chances are you‘ve come across the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile graphics card. This popular chip powered affordable 1080p gaming in many notebooks and brands for a couple of years.
In this detailed guide, we‘ll dive into everything you need to know about the GTX 1050 Mobile:
- How it compared to desktop cards and AMD‘s offerings
- Real-world gaming performance in the latest titles
- Its place in Nvidia‘s ecosystem and product evolution
- Specs, benchmarks, and capabilities
- Which laptops utilized this GPU
- And most importantly – is it still a good purchase today?
Let‘s get started!
An Introduction to the GTX 1050 Series
The GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti were Nvidia‘s first budget gaming GPUs based on the new Pascal architecture that launched in 2016. Pascal delivered major efficiency improvements over the older Maxwell design.
The GTX 1050 series catered to the entry-level 1080p gaming segment. They were powered by the new GP107 chip, which offered 640 CUDA cores, 48 texture units and 32 raster operators.
Nvidia positioned these cards as successors to the GTX 750 and 950 series from previous generations. They performed roughly on par with the GTX 960 from Maxwell.
The GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti retailed between $109 to $139, making 1080p gaming accessible to masses with lower budgets. They lacked the horsepower for maxed out settings but delivered smooth frame rates with some compromises.
The GTX 1050 Series Goes Mobile
Nvidia followed up the desktop GTX 1050 cards with mobile versions designed for gaming laptops. They carried the same "GTX 1050" branding but with lower specs optimized for the thermal and power constraints of notebooks.
The mobile variants utilized the same GP107 core but with lower clock speeds. VRAM options were 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5 memory. The cut-down specs allowed the mobile chips to fit into thin and light notebooks not possible earlier.
The GTX 1050 Mobile arrived in January 2017 with the 2GB model starting at $799. It served as an upgrade over the previous GTX 950M GPU. Nvidia claimed up to 3X faster performance over mainstream laptops with integrated graphics.
Key Specs and Technical Details
Let‘s see how the mobile GTX 1050 differs from the desktop variant:
Nvidia GTX 1050 Mobile
- GPU: GP107
- CUDA Cores: 640
- Base Clock: 1354 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1493 MHz
- VRAM: 2GB GDDR5
- Memory Speed: 7000 MHz
- Memory Bandwidth: 112 GB/s
- TDP: 50-75W
Nvidia GTX 1050 (Desktop)
- GPU: GP107
- CUDA Cores: 640
- Base Clock: 1354 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1455 MHz
- VRAM: 2GB GDDR5
- Memory Speed: 7008 MHz
- Memory Bandwidth: 112.16 GB/s
- TDP: 75W
As you can see, the mobile GTX 1050 is almost identical to the desktop. It has the same number of CUDA cores and VRAM capacity.
The main difference is having lower boost clocks (1493 MHz vs 1455 MHz) and slower memory (7000 MHz vs 7008 MHz). This results in around 10% lower gaming performance compared to the desktop GTX 1050.
But considering the power limitations, the mobile GTX 1050 punches above its weight! It retains most of the desktop‘s gaming capabilities without guzzling energy.
Gaming Benchmarks and Performance
Let‘s see how the GTX 1050 Mobile fares in games using data compiled from Notebookcheck and TechSpot‘s evaluations:
GTX 1050 Mobile FPS in Popular Titles @ 1080p:
|Game Settings||FPS Average|
|DOTA 2 – High||49 fps|
|Overwatch – High||63 fps|
|GTA V – Very High||38 fps|
|The Witcher 3 – High||43 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider – Medium||44 fps|
|Battlefield 1 – Medium||49 fps|
The GTX 1050 Mobile provides very playable framerates in competitive online games like DOTA 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, and CS:GO. You can expect 60+ fps in these titles at high settings.
In AAA games, you‘ll need to lower some graphics settings to achieve a smooth 40-60 fps experience. The Witcher 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider run at 50+ fps if you choose the "High" preset instead of "Ultra."
Comparing the GTX 1050 Mobile against the desktop variant and competing AMD card:
|1080p Game FPS||GTX 1050 Mobile||GTX 1050 Desktop||RX 460 Mobile|
|Far Cry Primal||48 fps||56 fps||41 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider||44 fps||53 fps||40 fps|
|The Witcher 3||43 fps||45 fps||37 fps|
The desktop GTX 1050 is about 15-20% faster, but the mobile version still outpaces AMD‘s RX 460M. It was the fastest mobile GPU under $150 at launch.
Overall, if you temper your expectations, the GTX 1050 Mobile delivers very playable framerates in any modern title. It‘s not built for ultra graphics quality but it will handle 1080p gaming with some compromises.
Real World Gaming Experience
The GTX 1050 Mobile provided a noticeable bump in gaming capability over integrated graphics when it debuted.
Notebooks like the Asus FX503VM and Acer Aspire VX15 could play popular titles like GTA V and Battlefield 1 at 30-60 fps on high settings – easily outperforming their specs.
According to Notebookcheck‘s review of the Acer Aspire VX5-591G, the GTX 1050 Mobile allowed Battlefield 1 to run at "a smooth and fluid 55 frames per second" on 1080p medium settings. This was praised as a "huge step above integrated graphics" offered in budget laptops earlier.
In games like Overwatch, DOTA 2, Rocket League and CS:GO, users reported getting 60+ fps consistently on high settings. This allowed them to fully enjoy fast multiplayer action on a laptop display. The GTX 1050 Mobile proved itself as a genuine entry-level gaming GPU.
It did have limitations though – intense AAA games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided struggled to maintain 30 fps unless settings were turned down. But overall, the GTX 1050M delivered the 1080p gaming experience it promised for the price.
Heat and noise levels were acceptable for a gaming laptop due to the modest power consumption. The GTX 1050M peaked around 75C in long sessions – warm but not concerning. Fan noise was muted unless running very intensive titles. Battery life ranged from 3-5 hours for basic use thanks to Nvidia‘s BatteryBoost technology.
Product Evolution: What Came After GTX 1050 Mobile
The Pascal-based GTX 1050 series remained Nvidia‘s budget offering through 2017 before an improved successor arrived.
In August 2017, Nvidia refreshed it with the GTX 1050 Max-Q edition. This variant had lower clock speeds but fit into super thin and light chassis like the 14-inch MSI Prestige. It focused more on portability than power.
Rounding up the 10-series family, Nvidia launched the GTX 1050 Ti Mobile in January 2018. It utilized the improved GP107 chip with 768 CUDA cores instead of 640. This delivered around 20% faster gaming performance versus the regular GTX 1050 Mobile.
In November 2018, Nvidia moved the budget segment over to the new Turing architecture that powered its RTX 2000 series. The GeForce GTX 1650 superseded the Pascal cards with performance improvements from Turing‘s shaders. It delivered 60-75% better frame rates in games, cementing its place as the new 1080p entry-level mobile GPU.
Laptops Housing the GTX 1050 Mobile
The GTX 1050 Mobile was widely adopted across gaming and multimedia laptops from leading brands:
- Acer Nitro 5 – 2018 model with 8th gen Core i5 CPU
- Asus TUF Gaming FX503 – Budget gaming series from 2017
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000 – 2018 redesigned gaming model
- HP Pavilion 15 – Affordable Pavilion line since 2017
- Lenovo Legion Y520 – Entry-level Legion gaming laptop
- MSI GL62M – MSI‘s affordable GL gaming line
Nvidia claimed the GTX 1050 Mobile was available in over 140 gaming notebook models from every major OEM. It clearly met an eager demand for 1080p mobile gaming in the Pascal era from 2016-2018.
Should You Still Buy It in 2022?
If you chance upon an older gaming laptop with the GTX 1050 Mobile 2GB, use these tips to guide your purchase:
1. Under $500 – $600
- Worth buying solely for esports and indie games if the CPU, RAM, display and storage are decent
- Will play most AAA games at 768p low settings
2. $600 – $800 range
- Fair deal if laptop is well-configured and you get 2+ years of use from 1080p medium gaming
- Look for models with SSD, 8GB RAM, good cooling
3. Over $800
- Avoid! Better to get a used GTX 1060 6GB laptop at this budget
- If RAM and storage are upgradeable, can extend useful life substantially
- But the GPU itself cannot be replaced in most laptops
5. Target 1080p esports gaming
- DOTA, LOL, CSGO – easily 60+ fps on high settings
- Overwatch, Apex Legends – 60 fps on medium
- Forget about Cyberpunk, Elden Ring – these will struggle!
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile delivered genuine 1080p gaming to budget notebooks when it launched. It met expectations for playable framerates in most titles by turning down demanding settings. The GTX 1050M was a practical choice that powered affordable multimedia laptops for several years.
It is now superseded by faster GPUs with more advanced architectures. But if you can pick up a well-maintained GTX 1050M laptop at a good price, it can still deliver smooth gameplay for esports and online multiplayer titles. This once capable budget mobile GPU filled an important gap in Nvidia‘s lineup, making PC gaming on the go accessible to the masses. And for that, it deserves our respect!