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September 2002 3Digest -
NVIDIA GeForce2 MX400 64MB AGP

This chip is presented by Leadtek WinFast GeForce2 MX400 DH Pro 64MB, AGP videocard.


Wasn't overclocked.

Already in 1999 3D accelerator brands understood that it's unprofitable to release only one top model as it would cost much, and to reduce its price to the mainstream level ($100-150) means deprive yourself of superprofits. Therefore they decided to release a whole line of products with different capabilities and prices. After the release of GeForce2 GTS in the spring of the year 2000 for about $350 in the beginning, it as necessary to release something new for the mainstream market as well. So the summer brought GeForce2 MX, being a pared-down GeForce2 GTS. We've written many reviews about these cards, and everybody can find them in the video section.

Soon after GeForce2 GTS has turned into a line of similar products itself (GeForce2 Pro, Ultra), the question about GeForce2 MX development has arisen. Especially, as there appeared many pared-down cards on the latter with 64-bit memory bus. So, GeForce2 MX has tranformed into a line of GeForce2 MX200/MX400. The first is a pared-down GeForce2 MX ("double-castrated" so to say), the second is slightly better, operating at 200 MHz instead of 175 MHz. Yielding to users and makers, NVIDIA let them use 183 MHz memory with it. So, GeForce2 MX400 is a slightly faster GeForce2 MX. As you know, in these cards not GPU, but memory throughput plays the main role, so this heavily advertised clock rate boost is just a marketing trick. Especially, as very many MX400 cards have been still supplied with 6ns memory, operating at 166 MHz. Moreover, a number of companies decided to double the memory amount to 64MB. Naturally, the clock rate remained the same, and they've used the cheapest memory available. This has been a purely marketing trick for users, attracted by the memory amount.

Now, after the release of GeForce4 MX and with GeForce2 Ti prices reduction, the destiny of GeForce2 MX cards is predetermined. We now see as the price of the former gets close to that of the latter.

On the 10th of September 2002 the latest drivers from NVIDIA are 30.20, 31.00, 40.41 for Windows XP.

Windows XP

All monthly test results prove that 21.* and newer drivers are useless for such cards.

I shall mark that overlay settings tab is disabled in a number of 14.*, 21.88, and 22.* versions. It may be enabled with RivaTuner utility.

You can get more information about problems of various NVIDIA drivers at the NVIDIA World web-site.

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

Games / Cards 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


Games / Cards 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24





Games / Cards 25 26 27 28 29 30


Game list:

  • 1. Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • 2. Unreal2 (alpha version)
  • 3. Comanche4
  • 4. Jedi Knight II Outcast
  • 5. Morrowind
  • 6. Colin McRAE Rally2
  • 7. Red Faction
  • 8. Rally Trophy
  • 9. Sacrifice
  • 10. Venom
  • 11. Unreal Tournament 2003 DEMO
  • 12. Real MYST
  • 13. Blade of Darkness
  • 14. Neverwinter Nights
  • 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. Warcraft III
  • 24. Soldier of Fortune II
  • 25. Command and Conquer: Renegade
  • 26. No One Lives Forever 2 Demo
  • 27. AquaNox
  • 28. Serious Sam: The Second Encounter
  • 29. IL2: Shturmovik
  • 30. MoHAA

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.

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 Comanche4 engine. Thus I recommend you to use utilities like Riva Tuner for fine tuning, and pay attention to Direct3D settings of such games.

And 6.* 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 might be spoiled by some "garbage" in 2D mode. One solution is in the iXBT forum.

Andrew Worobyew (Anvakams@ixbt.com)
Alexander Kondakov (kondalex@ixbt.com)
Evgeniy Zaycev (eightn@ixbt.com)
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