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GeForce2 MX Roundup

Company: VisionTek, eVga, Gainward
GeForce2 MX Video Card
Street Price: ~$120 + S&H
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2001
Reviewed By: Jason


GF2MX Background:

The GeForce2 MX, as the name implies, is based on the GeForce2 GTS core. The main difference being that this .18-micron chip only features two rendering pipelines whereas the GeForce2 GTS features a total of four. However with the new Geforce2 core, each of its two rendering pipelines are capable of processing two textures each in a single clock. So two pipelines times two textures per clock equals four textures per clock, this is the same amount as the original GeForce 256 which had four pipelines but could only process one texture in each per single clock. The more powerful Geforce2 GTS has four pipelines and thus can process eight, or double the GF2MX, per single clock. To sum this up in a table along with some features of the MX, check out the table below:

GeForce Specification Comparison
  GeForce256 GeForce2 MX GeForce2 GTS
Process Technology .22 micron .18 micron
Clock Speed 120Mhz 175Mhz 200Mhz
Texels / Clock 4 4 8
Texels / Second 480M 700M 1600M
Polygons / Second 15M 20M 25M
Memory Bus 128-bit SDR/DDR 128-bit SDR or 64-bit SDR/DDR 128-bit SDR/DDR
Memory Clock 166MHz SDR/300MHz DDR 166MHz SDR 333MHz DDR
Memory Bandwidth 2.7/4.8 GB/s 2.7 GB/s 5.3 GB/s
TwinView No Yes No
Digital Vibrance Control No Yes No

Staying focused on the GeForce2 MX, you can see that its default clock speed is supposed to be 175Mhz, and its memory speed 166Mhz. When examining each of the cards in this roundup, we noticed that not all manufacturers followed this spec. Memory speed is the biggest issue, as it is the main bottleneck which has been plaguing the entire GeForce line of video cards. After looking at the table, you might be asking yourself what the TwinView and Digital Vibrance Control are, well let's take a look at that in depth shall we?



TwinView is basically the ability to have multiple displays being supported on a single GPU. This technology in NVIDIA's lineup is currently unique to the GeForce2 MX & the Quadro2 MXR. NVIDIA's unified driver architecture offers several different modes for using your display setup.

  • Standard Windows 98 multimonitor support, which spreads the desktop across both displays. You determine the refresh rate, color depth, and resolution for each monitor, given its capabilities. This mode allows you to stretch your desktop horizontally or stack it vertically -- an optimal solution for financial trackers.
  • Application exclusive, in which an application may be dedicated to one or both monitors. This mode is excellent for entertainment applications, such as DVD playback, and digital video editing.
  • Clone mode, in which monitors show the same output. This mode is useful for presentations. A presenter may use the smaller monitor on the podium, while a projector conveys the data to the audience.
  • Application zone mode, in which a zoomed-in section of the primary display's image is shown on a secondary display. With the graphic artist in mind, this mode is perfect for image editing and modeling in CAD applications, image processing/mapping applications.
  • Virtual desktop, which supports full pan-and-scan mode, can be configured for one or both displays.


NVIDIA TwinView supports a variety of output combinations* including:

  • Two digital flat panels
  • Two RGB monitors (with second RAMDAC)
  • Two analog flat panels
  • One digital flat panel and one analog flat panel
  • One digital flat panel and one RGB monitor
  • One digital flat panel and one TV
  • One RGB monitor and one TV
  • One RGB monitor and one analog flat panel (with second RAMDAC)
  • One analog flat panel and one TV

*Actual combinations supported on a given board-level implementation will vary.


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