MXM Graphics Cards are removable graphics cards that are designed for gaming laptops or notebooks, All-in-one PCs, mobile workstations, embedded systems and small form factor PCs. MXM or Mobile PCI Express Module is a standard developed by MXM-SIG for MXM GPUs or graphics cards. The main motive to develop MXM Socket is to provide an easy way to upgrade graphics cards on laptops, all-in-one PC (AIO PC) and other mobile systems. Not much information is there on the MXM graphics cards and MXM standard, so here in this post I am going tell you all about the MXM graphics module and clear all your doubts on it.
Note: Not all laptops with discrete graphics cards have MXM modules because in most of the laptops discrete graphics card is non-removable and is soldered permanently to the motherboard.
Where to Find MXM Graphics Cards?
You cannot buy MXM Graphics Cards just like regular graphics cards because they are not available to retailers or hardware vendors. MXM graphics cards are only sold in bulk to the manufacturer who makes laptops or other mobile or porttable computers. However, you can find MXM graphics cards on some of the online shopping sites like ebay and amazon. The MXM graphics cards on these online ecommerce sites are ripped or pulled out from other laptops for sale. You can find some MXM graphics cards online on the link given below.
MXM Types / Specifications
Here are the various generations, specifications and types of MXM graphics cards.
MXM (First Generation)
1st generation MXM graphics modules and thermal solutions are backward compatible. All the first generation graphics card modules come with 230 pins but MXM Type III may come with 232 pins also.
|MXM Type||Width||Length||Max. Power||Max. GPU Size|
|MXM-III (HE)||82mm||100mm||75W||40 mm²|
MXM 3.0 (Second Generation)
2nd generation MXM graphics modules and thermal solutions are also backward compatible.
|MXM Type||Width||Length||Max. Power||GPU Memory Bus|
|MXM-A||82mm||70mm||55W||64-bit or 128-bit|
Below you can see the MXM 3.0 Type A and Type B Graphics Cards.
Here width is the length of the MXM connector which is 82mm in the MXM 3.0 cards. Some MXM 3.0 cards PCB can be both wider and longer but the connector length will only be 82mm.
MXM 3.1 revision was released in the year 2012 for added support for PCIe 3.0 bus.
MXM Video Card Compatibility & Upgrade
The compatibility of MXM modules with one another is a bit of concern because first generation MXM modules are not compatible with second generation modules and vice versa. Also MXM graphics cards may differ slightly in the arrangement of GPU, components and mounting holes on the PCB. This can pose problems during mounting of the heat sink on the new MXM graphics card, that you have purchase for your laptop. Also your BIOS should also support the new MXM GPU for your MXM graphics card to work. So before upgrading to a new MXM graphics card for your laptop, you should be aware of the following things:
- New MXM Graphics Card should be of same generation and type
- New MXM card should have the same dimensions of the older card
- Your heat sink should be able to fit the new MXM card properly
- It should be from the same manufacturer if possible
- Your Laptop BIOS should support the new MXM card
- You can use an MXM 3.0 Type A card in a computer or laptop with Type B support, but the reverse is not always possible because of cooling, clearnace and power restriction.
Popular Manufacturers that use MXM Graphics Cards for their Laptops include Clevo, MSI, Alienware, Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Toshiba, Apple. Not all of them use standard MXM modules as some of them use their own proprietary MXM modules that are not compatible with other standard MXM cards. Below you can see the latest GeForce 10 series MXM video cards that include GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and GTX 1060.
If your laptop is not MXM compatible but got a Thunderbolt port then you can use eGPU Box to upgrade your laptop graphics for playing latest games and for professional graphics work. This eGPU box lets you to connect a full sized external graphics card (desktop graphics card) to your laptop.
Advantage of MXM Graphics Module
The main advantage of MXM graphics module is that you can easily upgrade your laptop or other mobile computer graphics card to a higher one for playing latest games or for running professional graphics applications. Also, if your MXM Video Card has gone bad then it can be easily replaced without any soldering and going through too much trouble.
List of MXM Graphics Cards
Here are some of the latest and powerful MXM graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. These graphics cards include MXM Workstation Graphics Cards and MXM Gaming Graphics Cards.
Nvidia MXM Graphics Cards
- GeForce GTX 1080
- GeForce GTX 1070
- GeForce GTX 1060
- GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1050
- GeForce GTX 1030
- GeForce GTX 980
- GeForce GTX 980M
- GeForce GTX 970M
- GeForce GTX 960M
- GeForce GTX 950M
- GeForce GTX 940M
- GeForce GTX 930M
- Tesla M6
- Quadro M620 Mobile
- Quadro M1200 Mobile
- Quadro M2200 Mobile
- Quadro P3000 Mobile
- Quadro P4000 Mobile
- Quadro P5000 Mobile
AMD MXM Graphics Cards
- Radeon RX 480
- Radeon R9 M295X
- FirePro W5170M
- FirePro W7170M
- FirePro S4000X
- FirePro S7100X
- Radeon Embedded E9260
- Radeon Embedded E9550
If you have any queries regarding MXM graphics cards then please leave a comment below, and I will try my best to answer it and clear your doubts.