In the Forums...
Posted: September 24, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
After the bunch of GeForce2 GTS reviews I did, I thought it was about time to target something else. A different product for a different sector of the market. Today Iíll be taking a look at the Asus V7100T. If you missed our review on Asusí higher end V7700 model, please read it here.
Almost everyone knows that the GeForce2 GTS is NVIDIAís flagship GPU (other than the GeForce2 Ultra. that isnít available in stores yet) and thus would be the best performing. But what about the GeForce2 MX? Is it simply a value version of the GTS? Or is there something more? Or rather, less?
The MX is still based on the GeForce2 card and shares the same features as the GTS. However, the core speed of the GPU has been reduced from 200MHz to 175MHz. But thatís not where the reduction ends. The memory bandwidth has also been reduced. The original GTS cards uses DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAM to help keep data flowing without congestion. With the MX series, NVIDIA has declared that they will use SDR (Single Data Rate) SDRAM to save money. However, this dramatically reduces overall performance of board.
The difference between DDR and SDR is that SDR sends information on only the rising point of each clock cycle and DDR sends data on both the rising and falling peaks. This effectively gives you a double performance improvement in memory bandwidth.
Letís move on to the actual V7100T...
The first thing youíll notice about MX cards compared to GTS cards is the size of the cards. The MX is substantially smaller than the GTS and most MX cards come only with a heatsink onboard... yep, no fan here.
The front side (click on the image to view an actual size snapshot):
Here we see that ASUS has done a great job in designing the card. All of the video-out connectors are already embedded onto the card and this reduces cost to the end-user because there is no module that has to be attached. You have your s-video and composite video connectors right there, all ready to pipe out your favorite games or spreadsheets to a big screen.
The back side (click on the image to view an actual size snapshot):
There really isnít anything special about the back. Youíll notice that there are no RAM chips on the back like GTS cards. If you didnít know, the regular GeForce2 GTS cards have RAM modules on the back. If weíre comparing the V7100T to its older brother, the V7700, then we notice that ASUS hasnít included a hardware-monitoring chip on the V7100T. On the V7700, there is a hardware monitoring ASIC that tells you fan speed, and core temperature.
The memory on the V7100T comes from Micron Technologies and is rated at 6ns. Now, this is hardly enough for the GeForce2 architecture but since it is a MX card, itíll have to suffice. We might see 5ns RAM on other cards.
Letís take a look at the specs.