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Prolink PixelView GeForce4 MX440-8X Review

Prolink PixelView GeForce4 MX440-8X Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Considering the number of times I've heard it, AGP 8X is certainly the new catch phrase when it comes to motherboards and videocards these days.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Prolink Oct 16 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Prolink PixelView MX440-8X

GeForce4 MX440-8X (NV18) Tech

Originally, the GeForce4 MX core was not that well received by the hardware community, with the biggest qualm resting on its name. Since the GeForce4 MX is based on GeForce2 MX technology, the GeForce4 MX doesn't really deserve the 4 in GeForce4 MX name. In fact it's not even worthy of a GeForce3 MX title, since the GF4 MX core doesn't have any DirectX8 features.

Since the GeForce2 MX is usually on par with a GeForce DDR in terms of performance, it's too easy to assume that the GeForce4 MX is close to the performance of GeForce3 line of cards which is very far from the truth. That being said, it's a shame that the GeForce4 MX got off to such a bad start since it's quite powerful in today's games.

One of the biggest upgrades the GeForce4 MX received was Lightspeed Memory Architecture II (LMA II). This is very similar to what's found on the GeForce4 Ti line of cards. The MX400 also has the same multisampling AA engine, nView, and nVidia has upgraded the Visibility sub system as well

LMA II on the GeForce4 MX is setup a little differently from the LMA II on the GeForce4 Ti. Instead of having four 32bit independent memory controllers (4x32=128bit DDR) the GeForce4 MX has two 64bit independent memory controllers (2x64=128bit DDR).

From looking at this, it's obvious that the GeForce4 MX LMA II isn't as efficient as the one found on the GeForce4 Ti, but it's a very nice upgrade over the memory controller found in the GeForce2 line of cards. If you're interested on how LMA works, please read this.

Accuview AA is only available in Direct3D games at the moment, and it tackles one of the major problems found with AA enabled blurry images. Accuview AA solves this problem by moving the subpixel taken for reference to inside the actual pixel, instead of on the edge like in Quincunx AA. This gives the videocard a more accurate read on colour, and when AA is enabled should produce an image that is sharper with less colour error. For more info on how Accuview AA works please look at this.

With 8X AGP, the bandwidth between the computer and videocard has been doubled from 1.06 GB/s (4x AGP) to 2.1 GB/s. This essentially allows various data (shaders, 3D models, textures, etc) can travel to to the GPU and back potentially twice as fast. Hopefully 8X AGP will do more for performance then the jump from 2x AGP to 4x AGP did.

Cooling and Overclocking:

The stock MX440/MX440-8X is already quite powerful so I was quite interested to see just how high this little card could would go when overclocked. After all more performance= happy :)

The heatsinik is attached to the MX440-8X core with thermal paste, and the ramsinks with frag tape, not the best method but better then nothing. Anyway, I began to up the core speed slowly since the core is factory overclocked already; 310 MHz, 320 MHz, and 330 MHz saw no problems what so ever. At 350 MHz, 360 MHz and 370 MHz and the card still ran smoothly. It finally hit the limit at 387 MHz core speed. Anything higher and 3DMark would lock up!

In the past, we've had some pretty good luck overclocking Samsung memory and were really hoping for a bit more this time. Clocked at its maximum of 550 MHz (1000MHz / 3.6ns x 2 DDR = 555 MHz) we started raising the memory frequency. To keep thinks short, the maximum speed we were able to hit with the memory was 613 MHz. Anything higher and artifact tester (found here) would start registering artifacts.

As you'll see in the benchmarks on the following pages (check out UT2003 especially) with a clock speed of 387 MHz and 613 MHz memory speed, the Prolink PixelView GeForce4 MX440-8X is a pretty formidable opponent, even for newer videocards!

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Contents of Article: Prolink PixelView MX440-8X
 Pg 1.  Prolink PixelView GeForce4 MX440-8X Review
 Pg 2.  — GeForce4 MX440-8X (NV18) Tech
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: System specs and 3DMark2001
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: AquaMark 2.3
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001 AA
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena AA
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, QIII Arena AA & AF
 Pg 11.  The final word

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