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The Inno3D Tornado GeForce2 MX PCI Video Card


Technically, I think the name for this latest MX card is the InnoVision Inno3d Tornado GeForce2 MX 32MB PCI card. I also think it's the longest in recent history for a peripheral. Does the long name imply a long list of features and high quality? The MX series, based on Nvidia's chipsets have been sweeping the world not only due to low prices but also for the sometimes near big brother GTS's performance. However, that's with the AGP version. How about the PCI version? Does anyone own a motherboard less than 3 years old that doesn't have an AGP slot? For more info and current benchmarks on this highly unusual video card, peruse further oh intrigued computerphile.

Factory Specifications
The Card
  • 32MB Memory
  • 350MHz RAMDAC
  • PCI Bus version 2.1
  • 700 MTexels/s fill rate
  • 175 MHz Core/166 MHz Mem
  • Resolutions to 2048x1536@32bpp
  • P2 233MHz & 64MB RAM required minimum
  • Web price: $100 USD


7/10 Rating

Description & Specifications

I must say that when InnoVision informed me that a brand spanking new GeForce 2 MX card was in the mail from Hong Kong, I was excited. Efficient technology always intrigues me as the always sought after "bang for the buck" characteristic is not immediate evident in the seemingly outrageous $300-$600 megabuck GTS and Voodoo 5/6 series cards. When I opened the box, I wondered what a PCI version was doing in there. I must confess that I had no clue that a PCI version was even available. As of this writing, the list price for the Tornado is $149, but I am unable to locate any wholesale quotes on this version. Now, the AGP versions, some from InnoVision and some from other manufacturers, are available nearly everywhere and for about $100 USD. Do you see a need for a high end non Voodoo3 card in your future? Maybe so...

Since the PCI bus maxes out at 133MHz while AGP 2X & 4X peaks at 133MHz and 266MHz respectively, you can understand how the Voodoo3 PCI cards did so well. The one major caveat is T&L. Don't enable it. If it's enabled, your FPS will plummet to nearly half of its present rate. The is due to the PCI bus limitation, not a limitation of the card itself.

So what's is good for? If you're like me, you have working systems ranging from 33MHz 486's to 1GHz P3's. Some of these wonders (including an old AMD DX4 120MHz VL bus job) simply didn't exist in 1997, when the AGP slot took a firm hold on the graphics market. PCI slots still abound in usable socket-7 MB's in the 233-350MHz range. Also, what about that cool "dual head" technology? Have a killer new AGP MB and are seeking a high quality 2D PCI solution? InnoVision has brought to the market what may very well be the last hope for die hard PCI video card fans: the GF2 MX.

This card is the first I've tested that has the ultra dense 8MB 6nS chips. Even the high end GF GTS has it's 32MB solution in 4MB density silicon. Do I smell a 64MB GF2 MX solution or even a 128MB GTS ultra solution? Drool...

Of very honorable mention is the included software package. This is absolutely the most extensive package I've laid eyes on and is so large (scanner-wise), that I've refrained from posting my usual pictures because of bandwidth usage. So I'll just enumerate them here:

1) Nvidia's 3D Experience
2) Rage Rally
3) Inno3D's Midnight GT
4) Adobe's PhotoDeluxe Home Edition
5) WinDVD2000 DVD software player
6) 3DMark2000 Pro & Drivers

If I had to put a price on purchasing these titles separately, I'd estimate something in the $50-$100 range. The most useful software in my opinion are the 3DMark2000 Pro & WinDVD2000 CD's as I have and use these regularly.


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