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January 2002 3Digest - NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 32 MBytes PCI

By Andrey Vorobiev

This chip is presented by Inno3D Tornado GeForce2 MX 32 MBytes PCI videocard.


  • NVIDIA GeForce2 MX chip, 175 MHz clock rate;
  • 32 MBytes SDR SDRAM memory in four Samsung 6ns microchips, 166 (333) MHz clock rate , 128-bit bus;
  • Peak fill rate in the multitexturing mode is 350 megapixels/sec and 700 megatexels/sec.

Wasn't overclocked.

After the release of GeForce256 cards, NVIDIA representatives have began to understand that following releases wouldn't replace previous cards due to the short period between the new releases. Therefore it has been decided to build a so-called 'ladder' of the market niches, so that every accelerator would have belonged to one of them according its price and perfomance. The release of GeForce2 GTS has been marked by a much higher price for them than for any other of the previous cards. It has been meant that a cheap solution named GeForce2 MX would follow the release of more expensive variants to occupy a low cost niche and to replace more expensive and less faster GeForce256 cards. So, the Summer'2000 has brought us GeForce2 MX that is very popular today. And though this exact GPU is the lowest, its speed and perfomance features very well correspond to the low price for such cards. We should approve the releases of PCI variants for people who use systems without AGP slot. But we should also have in mind that this won't remove the upgrade reasons for the users of old slow Socket7 systems, as the low CPU clock rate won't allow the card to show even half of it's perfomance. Moreover, the perfomance falloff of PCI cards is very deep comparing to their AGP brothers, so I advise to read reviews and 3Digest before buying a PCI card and think about changing platforms.

For the 20th of January 2002 the latest drivers from NVIDIA are 16.30, 23.12, 27.00 and 27.20. As the drivers differences are equal for all MX/MX400 cards, there's no sense in comparing drivers separately for each of these cards. See NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 32 MBytes section for more information about drivers.

You can compare screenshots with reference ones (NVIDIA GeForce3).

Games / Cards 1 2 3 4 5 6

Games / Cards 7 8 9 10 11 12

Games / Cards 13 14 15 16 17 18
NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX -

Games / Cards 19 20 21 22 23 24
NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX - -

Games / Cards 25 26 27 28

Game list:

  • 1. Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • 2. Unreal2 - for GeForce cards, Unreal - for all other
  • 3. Comanche4
  • 4. No One Lives Forever
  • 5. Serious Sam
  • 6. Colin McRAE Rally2
  • 7. Red Faction
  • 8. Rally Trophy
  • 9. Sacrifice
  • 10. Venom
  • 11. Need For Speed V (Porshe 2000)
  • 12. Real MYST
  • 13. Blade of Darkness
  • 14. Giants
  • 15. 3DMark2001: Game1
  • 16. 3DMark2001: Game2
  • 17. 3DMark2001: Game3
  • 18. 3DMark2001: Game4
  • 19. 3DMark2001: Dot3
  • 20. 3DMark2001: EMBM
  • 21. 3DMark2001: Vertex Shaders
  • 22. 3DMark2001: Pixel Shaders
  • 23. Black & White
  • 24. Undying
  • 25. Anachronox
  • 26. Max Payne
  • 27. AquaNox
  • 28. Serious Sam II

There are some games that require something more powerful than this card. Look at Rally Trophy screenshot - we've had to lower quality, but the game was very slow even at medium settings and disabled reflections. And there was no gameplay, but a slideshow with the PCI card.

I shall mark that these cards sometimes have Z-buffer working incorrectly in 32-bit mode when Z-buffer itself is 16-bit, what causes artefacts. Such problems were noticed on some games with Unreal Tournament engine. Thus I recommend you to use utilities like Riva Tuner for fine tuning, and pay attention to Direct3D settings of such games.

2D quality is bad. The clearness is fine, like in GeForce2 level cards. But 1.5cm vertical stripes, that are shown on the screen, spoil everything else. But this can also be a specificial defective card.

And I shall mark that 6.* version drivers are not compatible with the software for sound cards based on Yamaha processor, as well as with SoftXG100 software synthesizer. Start or Close Window buttons can be spoiled by some "garbage" in 2D mode.

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