The 3 Geforce 2 MX GPU's
nVidia over the last year and a half has expanded their offerings for the value market. nVidia's first offering was the original Geforce2 MX chipset. The Geforce2 MX original (we will call it MX1 in our review from now on) was introduced to the public in Q3 of 2000. The whole tech community was anxious to see if nVidia could actually bring a fast yet cost effective solution to the value market. When details of the GF2-MX1 were released, many of the tech media were starting to look down of the GF2-MX1. This was mostly due to the fact that it was a cut down version of the GF2 GTS GPU and most of us remembered the TNT2M64 and TNT2 Vanta failures.
After testing samples were released from major manafacturers, the GF2-MX1 won many appraisals and awards as the best value market product ever, and so it should. Outperforming the original Geforce256 DDR cards and still holding 60FPS in Q3A @ 1024x768 was nothing to be overlooked. Things looked pretty good for nVidia at this point. With the only competition being the G400 and ATi's All-in-Wonder performing rather poorly compared to the GF2-MX1, we seemed to be in for a one horse race. However, things change...they always do.
After ATi saw that they needed a new chip to compete with the nVidia line, the ATi Radeon was born and so was the ATi Radeon LE. This took the crown away from nVidia, but only just. But the introduction of the Kryo II was the last straw. nVidia needed a new baby to win the market back.
When we and other medias got our hands on the GF2-MX1 cards, we noted the remarkable overclockability of the GPU and memory. nVidia decided to take use this to its advantage. First, nVidia needed a new, cheaper card than ATi's Radeon LE and Kryo II cards, so in Q2 2001 the Geforce2 MX200 was born.
The GF2 MX200 is a further cut-down version of the GF2-MX1 chipset, supporting a maximum 32MB of 128bit SDRAM or 64bit DDR memory, making this card the super low-cost solution. To take the crown away from Kryo II and Radeon LE, nVidia took the existing GF2-MX1 and increased the core clock and memory clocks, added a passive cooling system to the chipset, and in Q2 2001 the GF2 MX400 was born.
- Second Generation Transform and Lighting (T&L)
Two separate engines on the GPU provide for a powerful, balanced PC platform and enable extremely high polygon count scenes. Transform performance determines how complex objects can be and how many can appear in a scene without sacrificing frame rate. Lighting techniques add to a scene's realism by changing the appearance of objects based on light sources.
- Digital Vibrance Control (DVC)
This allows the user to adjust color controls digitally to compensate for the lighting conditions of their workspace in order to achieve accurate, bright colors in all conditions. Currently this feature is not available on Mac systems.
- High Definition Video Processor (HDVP)
Turns your PC into a fully functional DVD player and an HDTV player with the purchase of an additional third-party decoder.
- TwinView Dual-Display Architecture
nVidia's multiple display technology, TwinView boosts productivity by enabling the user to have two simultaneous displays without a second graphics board.
- nVidia Shading Rasterizer
Brings natural material properties (smoke, clouds, water, cloth, plastic, etc) to life via advanced per pixel shading capabilities in a single pass.
- Unified Driver Architecture
Guarantees forward and backward compatibility with software drivers. This simplifies upgrading to a new nVidia product because all nVidia products work with the same driver software.
- AGP 2X/4X with AGP Texturing and Fast Writes
Takes advantage of new methods for transferring information more efficiently and allows content developers to use high quality 32-bit color textures and high polygon count scenes.
- Microsoft DirectX 7 and OpenGL Optimizations and Support
Delivers the best performance and guarantees compatibility with all current and future applications and games.
- TV-Out Module
Easy viewing for professionals creating games for consoles such as the Microsoft Xbox.
- Digital Visual Interface (DVI) Support
Broad TMDS transmitter support for maximum flat panel compatibility.