GeForce2 MX Shootout


In our initial reviews, we were unable to test TwinView, as the driver had no support until the Detonator 3. I planned on extensively testing this feature as soon as the driver and release products were available. That time is now and the results of my testing are a bit startling.

The TwinView feature promised to offer the similar functionality that Matrox users have been enjoying for some time now, but GeForce2 MX has the advantage of offering much better 3D performance. I went into this roundup expecting just that and I was sadly mistaken. The TwinView property window (seen here ) offers three modes: Standard Mode (TwinView disabled), Spanning Mode (virtual desktop) and Clone mode (same visuals on both outputs). I was hoping that with these three modes I would be able to do things like work on a spreadsheet for work while a DVD movie played on my second output or play my DVD movie on both outputs. I was denied in both cases.

When I enabled Spanning mode to use the second output for DVD playback, the DVD window was purple with no video. This was the case with ALL the cards in the roundup so it was not a limitation with the given output. VGA out or video-out, it still failed. If I dragged the video window back onto the CRT, the movie would be playing fine.

Immediately I was concerned and decided to test this in clone mode. This time things were actually worse as the program crashed when I started the DVD movie. I was annoyed to say the least. One of the best features of the card was failing in my eyes.

Please note that there were no problems with DVD playback on the secondary output when TwinView was not used. I'll address the quality of TwinView output with each card as the second video-output varies on each card.

I would also like to note that while TwinView had failed in my experiments, I had no problems installing a Matrox G400 and completing these tasks. Obviously the G400 isn't in the same class when it comes to 3D performance but its DualHead feature made me realize that TwinView has some growing up to do.