Overclocking capabilities of the MX440 board were respectable, but not spectacular. The 4ns DDR memory helps out here a good bit. From the stock settings of 275/400, I was able to get it running smoothly at 300/450. Anything higher started creating graphical artifacts on the screen. This was mostly a breakdown of the colors around lighting features (numerous white spots being seen). 300/450 ran perfectly with no visual glitches at all. So while the memory is set to a slower speed than the GeForce3 cards, the core is faster.
As I stated earlier, this chipset represents nVidia's attempt at making a solid budget graphics adapter. It is a GPU that is full of compromises. The overall quality is better than any past nVidia based card, but there is no hardware support for DirectX 8. It handles high-polygon scenes better than previous chipsets, but it can't do per-pixel shading. 3d animations flows wonderfully, but it can't do a number of other tasks that were capable of being accomplished with a GeForce3 based board.
It really makes you have to ask: "Is this just a hyped-up GeForce2?" Kudos go out to Prolink for making the best of a mediocre GPU, but you can still only do what the chipset will allow you to.
So, does this card represent a fair trade-off between performance and capabilities? The answer is a resounding YES. While the chipset doesn't allow for some of the newer technologies to run, the low entry fee does a very respectable job at offsetting this. When was the last time that a brand new GPU came out for just over US$100?
Bottom line...If you're looking for a quality video card while on a budget (approx. US$130), and don't have a need for the hardware DirectX 8 support, then take a good look at this board. It is faster in 3d applications than the GeForce3, and has better visual quality as well. But if your wanting a card that can handle both today's and tomorrow's gaming engines, then you may want to save up your dollars for the high-end GeForce4 Ti series boards.
Very good general 3d capabilities
Impressive visual quality
No hardware support for DirectX 8
Unable to meet the demands of upcoming gaming titles
Rating - 8.5/10
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