In the Forums...
Posted: October 4, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
Well, it looks like Iím back again with more video card reviews. Donít these companies ever send anything else? Anyhow, today weíll be taking a look at a video card from the company that was first to introduce a GeForce2 GTS card. Thatís right, Elsa. Considering that NVIDIA has partnered up with Elsa for strategic plans, itís a no brainer that Elsa will get first dibs on the (still) upcoming GeForce2 Ultra. Anyhow, the card weíre after today isnít an Ultra card, but rather the affordable GeForce2 MX.
Before you start booing, let me tell you that the GeForce2 MX cards perform admirably and is really only second to cards with DDR SDRAM.
If you havenít read our reviews on the Leadtek WinFast MX and the ASUS V7100 MX, please do so now as they contain important background information on the GeForce2 MX. Keep in mind that since all three MX reviews (including this one) are basically the same, they will naturally contain redundant information. So please keep that in mind before flaming my inbox. ;)
The MX is still based on the GeForce2 care and share 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. 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 take a look at Elsaís Gladiac MX
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 passive heatsink onboard.
The front side (click on the image to view an actual size snapshot):
The Gladiac MX looks like most other GeForce2 MX cards and youíll notice that itís very small compared to its older brother, the Gladiac (GeForce2 GTS).
One thing youíll notice is that our card doesnít contain any option for video out. This is a sample we received from Elsa and is different from the shipping sample. Elsa assures us that video out will be available on the retail versions of the Gladiac MX. So donít fret!
The back side (click on the image to view an actual size snapshot):
Once again, backsides of cards are relatively unexciting to say the least. The Gladiac MX looks like all the other MX cards out there basically.