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nVidia GeForce 9500M (9200MGS + 9400MG)


Muhon

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Hello everyone,

I bought a couple of months ago the Dell Studio XPS 13, with the 9500M nvidia card. Or so that is what I read, in fact, the 9500M offered by Dell in the Studio XPS is in fact a combination of 9200MGS and 9400MG in Hybrid SLI mode, so that the user has to choose in switching between them (can be done automatically depending on power management profiles).

Anyway, my questions regard on what is the most efficient thing to do for different scenarios, and how to overclock correctly. I'll present now the specs (stock) for 3D and 2D applications.

Readings go as this: Core Clock (MHz) / Shader Clock (MHz) / Memory Type - Memory Clock (MHz)

nVidia 9400MG (nVidia Save Power option).

3D - 450/1100/DDR 2128

2D - 350/700/DDR 2128

nVidia 9200MGS (nVidia Boost Performance option).

3D - 529/1300/GDDR3 702

2D - 500/1000/GDDR3 450

I'd like also to note that the nVidia 9400MG operates with 128-bit instructions while the 9200MGS only with 64-bit (or so I've read). My first doubt was the reading of Memory Readings. Since the 9400MG is a mGPU (motherboard GPU), I assumed it uses the FSB of the system memory, and because the Dell's RAM is DDR3 1066, I guess the reading shoud be high. HOWEVER, nVidia control panel shows that the actual Data Rate is 4256 MHz (because it's Dual Data Rate), and I have no idea where that number (even the 2128) comes from, and why does it have so much difference with the GDDR3 Dedicated 256MB speed from the 9200MGS (702 MHZ, actual data rate 1404 MHz). If anyone could clear this up for me (and all the others who purchased this laptop), it would be really appreciated.

Question 1.

Since the 9400MG has more speed in memory (or so it seems), plus nVidia advertises it as having optimized instructions for h.264 and HDTV decoding, would it be better for normal usage to stay with the Save Power mode (only 9400MG) even while plugged for desktop applications? Theoretically, when in Boost Performance mode, BOTH cards should be in use. However, using HWMonitor one can clearly see that the active card is the 9200MGS in that mode... so I don't think it's a 9400+9200 for 2D desktop applications, rather than a 9200MGS only mode. Will the 128-bit thing be significantly better than the 9200's 64-bit?

For 3D applications, benchmarking shows 9200MGS to excel over the 9400MG, as expected (did 3Dmark06). However, I don't know if this program actually uses both cards for SLI, but the other games I've tested, including Guild Wars (which is supposed to work in SLI) only show temperature rise in the 9200MGS and not in the 9400MG.

Question 2.

Well, because I like gaming, I'd like to see a way to overclock this baby, or get Guild Wars and other applications to correctly use SLI (or at least, find a way to check if they are actually using SLI). As for overclocking, I tried RivaTuner (I'm using Win7RC x64), and I can't get info at all for the 9400 (No supported drivers, and I'm using DOX's 185.85). The 9200 also shows No supported drivers, but using the RivaTuner Fix as power user allows the program to driver-level overclock. However, when detecting frequencies, it shows the specs of the 9400 (350/700/2128) and for 2D and not 3D applications. If anyone has had success in overclocking this card, please let us know.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Georgios

Hello, I have a Dell XPS with a NVidia GeForce 9500M graphics card with 256MB of RAM, my question is: Can I add more memory to this card or not?

Thanks

Georgios

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