GeForce2 MX 200 and GeForce2 MX 400 – new chips from Nvidia
A year later, Nvidia announced its new GeForce2 MX graphics chip, which gained wide popularity due to its excellent price / performance ratio. Even today, graphics cards based on this chip are quite modern. However, in 2000, the GeForce2 MX had several serious competitors.
First of all, it is ATI Radeon SDR, which, thanks to the new HyperZ technology, which optimizes work with graphic memory, outperforms the GeForce2 MX in 32-bit color mode.
Another competitor is the mysterious Radeon LE, which is close in price to the GeForce2 MX, but is equipped with faster DDR memory.
And finally, the recently launched STM Kyro II, which could be the biggest nuisance for Nvidia.
To maintain the pace of competition with competitors until the advent of its new developments, Nvidia took a fairly simple, but nonetheless quite effective move – released two versions of the GeForce2 MX. That is how the GeForce2 MX 400 appeared – essentially “overclocked”, which means the more productive GeForce2 MX, and the GeForce2 MX 200 – “stripped down”, which means a slower and cheaper version of the GeForce2 MX. Nvidia’s intentions are obvious. The new chips should expand the market niche previously held by the GeForce2 MX and provide Nvidia a competitive edge. Will the GeForce2 MX 400 have the same good price / performance ratio as its predecessor GeForce2 MX, will the GeForce2 MX 200 be able to repeat the success of TNT2, the near future will show.
In this review, we conducted only a brief comparative analysis of the characteristics of the new chips. Of course, such an analysis, unlike testing, gives a less complete picture, but it is very useful for understanding the positioning of new chips and for planning purchases of new boards. In the near future we will conduct a comparative testing of motherboards based on chips from Nvidia and ATI, which will be able to answer some controversial questions that arose during this brief analysis.
GeForce2 MX 400
According to the conclusions, the new chip is fully compatible with the GeForce2 MX, which means that it will not cause any trouble to video card manufacturers when redesigning. The only innovation is the BIOS, which supports higher chip clock speeds. The fact is that Nvidia no longer determines the operating frequency of the chip for graphics card manufacturers hard. So, in the GeForce2 MX 400 only the core should work at a frequency of 200 MHz, and for memory, board manufacturers can set a clock frequency of 166, 175 or 200 MHz. Of course, manufacturers will use memory with different speeds. Nvidia’s only requirement is that 128-bit SDRAM or 64-bit DDR memory with a capacity of 32 or 64 MB should be used.
There will be no problems with overheating, since the GeForce2 MX reached 200 MHz back in the summer of 2000, and during this time the manufacturing technology was improved so much that, according to Nvidia, the GeForce2 MX 400 now works stably at a frequency of 200 MHz even without active cooling.
Compare the GeForce2 MX 400 chip with the GeForce2 MX and GeForce2 GTS in terms of main characteristics.
It’s easy to see that the GeForce2 MX 400 is just a slightly overclocked GeForce2 MX, so theoretically its performance should be closer to the GeForce2 MX than to the GeForce2 GTS.