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The Tests

D3D Tests

Video Card
3DMark2K
UTBench "N"
UTBench "H"
WT98
GF2 MX PCI
2925 3DMarks
27.4 FPS
15.2 FPS
266 MP/s
CLA GF GTS
7500 3DMarks
45.1 FPS
40.4 FPS
428 MP/s

The blue 3DMark score is a reminder that T&L was turned off for the tests due to the PCI bus limitation. With it enabled this score dropped to under 1600 which was totally useless. What was disappointing was that Unreal Tournament ended up being completely unplayable. The lowest VGA resolution, 640x480 proved annoyingly slow. And what's more is that this took place with a processor kissing the 1GHz mark. Based on this poor D3D performance, I wouldn't count on newer games being playable at all with this PCI MX version.

OpenGL Tests

Video Card
Q3A "N"
Q3A "H"
WT98
GF2 MX PCI
82.5 FPS
47.5 FPS
211 MP/s
CLA GF GTS
135 FPS
104 FPS
355 MP/s

Taking me complete surprise was the OpenGL Q3 performance. While 1024x768@32bpp was slightly stuttery, it was useable and 640x480@16bpp was 100% smooth. I can see where Glide based cards get their incredible FPS power from and all without saturating the PCI bus!

2D Video Speed & Quality

Video Card
WT98
800x600
1280x1024
GF2 MX PCI
155 MP/s
Excellent
Moderate
CLA GF GTS
185 MP/s
Excellent
Moderate

What? Does anybody check 2D stuff these days? Since I do moderately complex graphics and of course web pages now and then ;-), I gave the MX a close eyeballing. I honestly couldn't tell the GTS and MX apart. The Nvidia 350MHz RAMDAC appears to be the very same in both cards, so this wasn't some kind of revelation but it was great to see excellent 800x600 jpegs and moderately clear 1280x1024 plain ol' text. Both cards don't look the best at 1600x1200 and skywards but then again, would you really buy a $100-$200 card for your $2000 21"-24" monitor?

Conclusion

The PCI version leaves me slightly bewildered at its market intent. Only usable for 3D games (apparently not D3D based) when ultra fast processors are used and for dual monitor setups, the AGP version is better suited for the buget-based 3D gamer. However, if you have an old bomb 233-400MHz box lying around with an open PCI slot, the MX may indeed be your best choice for a relatively high-end video solution.

William Yaple
09/18/00

 





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