For the past two years nVidia has been the leader in 3D graphics card technologies. Coming to fame with the TNT line of video cards, with 128bit interface and the largest frame buffer available of 16MB of memory, nVidia soon took the 3D crown away from the then 3DFX; producers of the Voodoo and Voodoo 2 video card, which at its peak were the only true 3D rendering cards available. Since this time, nVidia as kept ahead of ATI with their Rage line, S3 with the Savage and SiS with their 3xx line.
Recently, nVidia was beaten to the punch in obtaining the first available 8x GPU, SiS took this with the Xabre video card. This card was designed to take on the nVidia GeForce4 MX line of cards, and did it very well with 8x AGP support and adding a Hardware Pixel Shader to its GPU, something the GeForce 4 MX does not include.
While nVidia didn't consider SiS a threat to their market share, the introduction of the ATI Readon 9000 GPU saw nVidia sweating a little. ATI added 8x AGP support plus Hardware Pixel and Vertex Shaders. In turn, this allowed the ATI Readon 9000 to blaze past the GeForce 4 MX line. nVidia only recently added AGP 8x support to the MX video cards (440 and 460 only) to try and combat ATI's gain over the nVidia empire.
Like all third party nVidia manufactures, it didn't take long for companies to start producing video cards based on this chipset. Today, thanks to the folks over at MSI Australia, we have our hands on the MX440 8x from MSI.