Nvidia Geforce MX 250 and darktable

I am thinking of buying a new laptop since darktable is quite slow on my present one. I saw a device with a Nvidia Geforce MX 250 that would fit into my budget. Is this GPU any good for darktable on Linux (Debian/MX)? Will darktable run significantly faster?
Thanks in advance

edit: My current laptop has an Intel HD 520


Does it have to be a laptop? It is easier to find much more power in a non-portable computer.

I believe that Alessandro has a good laptop, but I cannot remember what graphics it has (ping @aadm).

Claes in Lund, Schweden

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I agree with @Claes here, a desktop computer would be cheaper/more powerful.

However, I have indeed bought last year a laptop because I needed something to bring along and still be able to perform well during weekends away from home. At home it’s more or less permanently hooked to a good 27" monitor, but if I unplug it then I can carry on working on my photos wherever I go.

It is a Dell XPS 15 model 9560 (I believe it’s a 2017 model), bought second-hand for around ~1300 euros in September 2018. The GPU is a Geforce GTX1050; no comparison with my previous laptop which was a Thinkpad with the onboard Intel GPU (similar to Anna’s HD520 I think). The cpu is a Kabylake i7-7700HQ@2.8Ghz, 16Gb of ram, fast 512 GB ssd.

I have had plenty of things to tinker around using Linux/Ubuntu but overall I’m happy now with the performances. Especially after having installed yesterday Darktable 3.0rc, wow – superfast!


Well, yes, I kind of need a laptop. But a device such as aadm’s is not in my budget unfortunately.

having worked with a 2080Ti the specs of the MX250 make me sad. that said, it seems it still achieves like 10% of the performance and supports moderately decent amounts of memory and all the api standards you would want going forward. it’s pascal though, so previous gen design. clear step up from your intel.

Thanks for the answer. However, 10% of that 1300-Euro-GPU does not tell me much.

Speaking of the desktop, I lugged one to university everyday for 2 years. Kind of fun but then it was tedious and difficult in the icy winters.

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Well it is a difficult decision. I need a laptop beacause I like to write sitting on my bed with my laptop on my lap. If I buy a new one, I will give the old one to my parents whose computer is about 12 years old and barely working.

Look at used laptops! As I said, mine is a 2017 model bought in 2018. I would guess that if you were to look for one now, you would pay much less than my 1300 euros! And you can always look for a lesser spec-d version e.g. with an i5 or 250Gb of ssd etc. For example mine has a normal 1080p display, that makes it faster (and cheaper too).

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I used to have a laptop with a real GPU many years ago. It had an ATI video card with 256 MB RAM which was a lot at that time. It was some new experimentalhigh performance mobile video card when I bought it. But I sold it to a transwoman some years ago for 50 Euros. Its ventilator was really loud. I don’t know how I could write my master’s thesis with it.
edit: I think I am the only woman who is reagularly posting here.

Amazing nobody ever jumped you for it. Good to hear you got away with doing that.

Well, it was awkward insisting that I use it for a presentation. Normally, they just want you to transfer it to their system ahead of time. :cold_sweat::rofl: That is the cost of using non-standard software. That and my laptop was dead.

… so what’s your budget? approximately? if you want to use the GPU i’d go at least for something with a GTX 1650 (found a random notebook with it for like 700 EUR).

GTX 1650 is not good because the smallest device is 15" which is too large, but shouldn’t you know that?
I clicked on display 14" max and GPU Nvidia on Geizhals and this is what I found that fits into my budget:

The more details you can provide, the more helpful people can be. You’ve been relatively light on details so far.

My current laptop is an Acer V3-372. 13", Intel GPU, white, pretty, slim and light. I am looking for something similarbut with a better GPU and not too expensive.
I meant that hanatos has actually seen my laptop, so that’s why he should have an idea about my taste. Hm, maybe he doesn’t know or remember afterall. Well he certainly remembers that my laptop is slow.
Well, apparently computersand cameras/lenses are the only things in my life that actually can change.

Some things do not fit together here. The egg-laying, milk-bearing woolly sow has not found its way into the shop shelfs until today. So, we need plan B.

I’m just :thinking: out loud

  1. Keep this thiny laptop and/or get a used one for your parents to carry around.
  2. Get a desktop computer which fits your budget. The recently launched Ryzen CPUs seem to be interesting from budget/performance point of view. Linux support must be checked for the motherboards as they are quite new. Getting a desktop would also offer the possibility to add a GPU later. GPU wise I would not start below a GTX 1660 or the older GTX 1060. Especially, profiled denoise NLM tears down slower cards while editing.

btw. I would freak out on an Acer V3-372. 13" with darktable and RAW editing. :crazy_face:

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A laptop should not sear your jeans, burn your wrists or make you breakfast. That is why powerful GPUs aren’t found in thin and lights.

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Please keep in mind that a better GPU is not all that is needed to make darktable work faster. The CPU is also important. See these clockings (where lower numbers = faster execution). The same benchmark has been used on all combinations:


Claes in Lund, Schweden

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With the caveat that I don’t use noise reduction often, I edit on a four year old i5 desktop and raw files from the d850 don’t seem that slow to edit to me. Sure, CPU only isn’t blazing fast, but it is way more than acceptable.

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