Date Posted: January 22, 2002
This past winter, I was in search of a cheap, 3D video card to replace the GeForce DDR in my LAN box. I was looking at the Ti200 series, but they were still to expensive for my liking, especially for a PC I'm only going to use once a week at most. Therefore, I settled on the next best thing, A GeForce 2 MX. I would have gotten a Pro or GTS, but they're pretty much impossible to find nowadays. My options were limited, but given their reputation, I settled with the Asus V7100 MX-400 Pure.
Far from being the latest thing, I'm guessing a lot of you are wondering why I'm bothering to waste hours writing up an article on such an old (old in computer time) piece of equipment. Well, since the benchmarks are done, so is half the work. I get emails once in awhile about a decent video card for everyday use, and for occasional gaming. Most of the time, they'll add "But my budget is limited to about 50$ - 75$". Considering that nVidia is pimping the GeForce 3 Titanium, and with the GeForce 4 so close to RTM, I usually say if you're looking for a minor upgrade (pre-GF2), with a small budget in mind, it's hard to go wrong with the GeForce 2 MX series. Also, since most LAN parties I go to, everyone is still playing Starcraft and Counter-Strike, so any 300$ video card will be wasted here.
Saying that, people who are interested in the MX are those who don't have the 300$, give or take 50$, for the GF3 Titaniums, and who are looking for something that can at least give playable framerates to todays popular titles. I say today, 'cause any game that uses Direct X 8+, will likely crawl. Don't get me wrong. The card isn't the best choice out there, but it certainly is not the worst. Let's get on with it, shall we?
64/32MB Frame Buffer
64/32MB Frame Buffer
NVIDIA® GeForce2 MX-400 GPU
Integrated 350MHz RAMDAC supporting from 640x480 up to 2048x1536 in true color
2nd Generation Transform & Lighting Engine
Up to 23 million triangles per second at peak rates
Up to 2.9GB per second
Fully 1.2 Compliant OpenGL Support
Double, triple, and quad buffering for smooth animation and vibrant playback
Vertical refresh rate
Full VIP 1.1 interface
Full AGP 4X/2X with Fast Writes
Multiple Video Windows
Hardware color space conversion and filtering (YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0)
Support Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function
For Direct Show and MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and Indeo.
Optimized for 3D Acceleration
With complex support for DirectX features, such as multi-texturing, bump mapping, light maps, reflection maps, full scene anti-aliasing, trilinear and 8-tap anisotropic filtering (better than trilinear mipmapping)
15-pin D-sub VGA connector
In order to keep things cheap, I opted for an OEM version of the card. As you may know, unlike a retail version, the OEM version does not include a fancy box, software or even a manual. Since I'm guessing most of you will likely download the reference drivers (drivers are also available from the Asus website), this shouldn't be an issue.