To meet the requirements of 'competitor' the given card had to be priced at less than $200 and have performance that would be within reason of the GF2 MX chipset. The final selections were the following: ATi Rage Fury MAXX, NVIDIA GeForce SDR/DDR and the S3 Savage 2000. Each of these boards is available on the market right now and the prices vary, as will the performance. Specific board configurations were used to keep the pricing down in this comparison. I've created a table for you to quickly compare some of each board's basic offerings.
|Memory||HW T&L||Video||Software DVD||Price|
|Gladiac MX||32 MB SDR||Y||Optional "VIVO" module (in and out)||Y||$179|
|ATi Rage Fury MAXX||64 MB SDR||N||N||Y||$149|
|GeForce DDR||32 MB DDR||Y||N||Y||$199|
|GeForce SDR||32 MB SDR||Y||N||Y||$149|
|S3 S2000||32 MB SDR||Y*||Video-out||Y||$129|
There are a few interesting notes to make here. First, you'll notice that the Ati Rage Fury MAXX is one damn cheap card for having 64 MB of memory and two core chips. This is mainly due to the fact that ATi is probably just making way for the Radeon series. The only DDR based board in the group ended up being the most expensive for obvious reasons. Almost all of our cards have hardware T&L and although S3 implementation isn't as good as the GeForce/2 series, it has it nonetheless. Video options are rather rare in this group due to the added costs involved in supporting such an option. The Gladiac has video-in/out for about $32 more and the S2000 come standard with video-out. All of the competitors come standard with some type of software DVD player in case you have a DVD drive. The final comparison is the pricing within this group. The Gladiac should be more competitive here as its closer to the price of the GeForce DDR and that's a bad thing. S3 appears to be begging people to take the S2000 as their best product is selling for s lower cost than most of our other solutions.
Some upcoming competition in this market segment will be from ATi, who hasn't fallen asleep on the job. They've managed to put together a low cost answer to the MX chipset based on the Radeon core. This little powerhouse is to be released in the near future at the cost of about $200 and the performance 15% shy of the Radeon, claims ATi. We'll have to wait and see for ourselves.