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I've just built a new desktop - Core 2 Quad with a GeForce 210 graphics card, the Windows 7 Experience Index is: Graphics 3.8, Gaming Graphics 5.3.

However on my 2009 13" MacBook Pro, with GeForce 9400m running Windows 7 via Bootcamp the index is: Graphics 5.0, Gaming graphics 5.4.

Surely that is the wrong way round, the 210 should outperform the 9400m according to

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Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 210 a budget card? The 9400m is, I believe, a mid end card, so it's possible these values are correct, low end cards tend to focus on power conservation and low heat emissions over raw power. However - have you installed the latest drivers for both? – Phoshi Nov 12 '10 at 13:10
Yes the the 210 is a budget card - I was after a fanless card and this looked OK for my needs. From a comparison chart the 210 out ranks the 9400m so this is why I was wondering – davivid Nov 12 '10 at 13:40
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is mainly guesswork, but it might happen that MacBook Pro has a graphics card with DDR3 memory. That would be considerably faster. Also, the site you linked does not indicate if the version tested has DDR2 or DDR3 RAM.

For example, my GeForce 9500M GS with 512 MiB of DDR2 has a graphics score of 4.4 and a games score of 5.7. Also, the newest nVidia drivers increased my games score by 0.2.

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The Geforce 9500M is a midrange card while the 210 is basically the absolute lowest budget card in the 200 series, I'm not surprised the 9500 gets a higher score to be honest.

Nvidia basically differentiate their graphics card on the following basis:


Where (S) is the series, (M) is the effective placement within that series, (V) is the variant (generally updated cores with similar performance) and (X) is generally 0 for all older cards and is missing on newer cards. M denotes a mobile card which is generally more power efficient.

So 9500M gives you a 9 series card, with midrange (5) performance. 210 will be a 2xx series card with absolutely basic performance (1). 295 would be 2xx series with bleeding edge performance (9).

While it is not unlikely that a midrange of a new series will outperform the high end of the previous series it is not set in stone and I would well expect that a budget card of a newer range to be put to shame by the midrange of the previous generation. Newer is not always an upgrade, sometimes for performance it is better to go back a series of card and buy the high end of that series, which may well cost the same as a midrange of the new series.

From the Wikipedia page I would expect that the 210 would be quite similar to the 9500M as the memory bandwith and processing power sections are quite similar, but I can't say I'm entirely suprised that the 9400M scores slightly better.

The other thing to note that the Windows Experience benchmark may be testing the card in different ways to get to the score it ends up with so results will vary.

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The two categories are scored differently. here is an excert from an article found here: It is entirely possible to have a card with Gaming Graphics higher than (conventional / Aero) Graphics

Graphics subscore. This subscore indicates how well a computer will run Windows Aeroand play videos. This measurement is based on video memory bandwidth (megabytes per second), so the higher the dedicated graphics memory in your video card, the better this score is likely to be. A 256-megabyte (MB) video card, for example, is almost certain to get a higher score than a 128-MB card.

Any graphics card that doesn't support Microsoft‌ DirectX 9 automatically receives a score of 1.0, regardless of other factors. Also note that a video card using a driver that doesn't support Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM) can't receive a score higher than 1.9. (DirectX 9 and WDDM are requirements for Windows Aero.)

Gaming graphics subscore. This subscore is based upon the frames per second at which the video card can handle different textures. If the video card doesn't support Microsoft‌ Direct3D 9, it automatically receives a score of 1.0. A card that supports Direct3D 9, DirectX 9, and WDDM automatically receives a score of at least 2.0.

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The question is on why the mobile card is faster than the desktop card. Not about what's the difference of Graphics and Gaming Graphics scores. – Daniel Beck Nov 12 '10 at 13:59
I need to start reading questions properly :-( – Joe Taylor Nov 12 '10 at 14:19

Try installing the newest NVidia drivers, that should help with the performance. Don't expect too much tough, the GeForce 210 is a pretty low-end card.

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