The GeForce2 MX400: NVIDIA's Hold On The Mainstream

The Newcomers: MX200 And MX400

As I already mentioned, there is no technical innovation to announce this time. The GeForce2 MX will remain unchanged. Instead the two new versions will simply be added to the MX lineup.

The GeForce2 MX200 will be the low-cost version. Running at the same core and memory clock speed as the MX (175 MHz core, 166 MHz memory), and the memory interface has been cut down to 64 Bit (Single Data memory only). That makes graphics cards with only two memory chips possible - this is a very good approach to saving costs for price-conscious buyers. Budget buyers will get a graphics card that carries a GeForce2 chip including desired features like T&L and NVIDIA's Shading Rasterizer, as well as 32 MB memory.

Here I can see some confusion arising, a fact which will certainly be taken advantage by computer marketing people. You could possibly run across a high-end computer with an ultra-fast CPUs and GeForce2 chips, but it might only be high-end in marketing speak. Actually, lots of these types of systems could be equipped with a low-end MX200.

There is better news from the MX400. I guess the strong competition from the Kyro II is the main reason NVIDIA has opted to release this faster version of the MX. The memory interface remains 64 or 128 Bit wide and can operate Single Data or Double Data SDRAM memory. Unfortunately, DDR memory can only be operated at 64 Bit, making it no faster than a 128 Bit Single Data rate setup. 'MX400' is an allusion to the maximum pixel fill rate of 400 MPixels/s. Some of you might have already realized that the chip has to run at 200 MHz core clock to achieve that.

As a result, this accelerated MX has one disadvantage which limits its attraction to some OEMs: besides a heat sink, it definitely requires a fan to keep the chip temperature down.

For more information about the features of the GeForce2 MX, please read the initial review published in June 2000.

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ChipMemory BandwidthCore ClockFill RateMemory Setups
GeForce2 MX 4002.7 GB/sec200 MHz400M pixels/sec800M texels/sec64/32 MB
GeForce2 MX2.7 GB/sec175 MHz350M pixels/sec700M texels/sec64/32 MB
GeForce2 MX2001.3 GB/sec175 MHz350M pixels/sec700M texels/sec32 MB