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ProLink Pixelview GeForce 2 MX400 review

The competition is tight in the entry level 3d card market, and the Geforce2 MX seems to be the hot ticket. Many manufacturers have released their own renditions of this NVIDIA based board, which makes it a little difficult in selecting a new video card. Geforce2 MX cards have recently been replaced by Geforce2 MX 200 and MX 400 cards, so what does all this mean? Well, the latest batch of cards carrying the MX200 and MX400 label are similar in architecture, but they are “cranked up” thanks to some extra cooling and faster ram. I can’t tell you which card will be right for your system, but I can give you a little insight on PixelView’s very own, Geforce2 MX400 AGP.

Software & Installation

Don’t get too hyped up about the included software, because there really isn’t much. What you get is drivers, and that’s it. The drivers did install pretty easy with an executable, but I opted to upgrade to NVIDIA’s latest detonator for my review. Overall, installation was quick and painless, without any problems.

TwinView Display

This card does support TwinView display, through the TV out function. Some GeForce cards offer addition DVI adaptors on the back of the card, this one did not. If you are looking for that feature, PixelView does offer a similar card with an optional DVI connector on back, and includes the DVI/VGA adaptor. The TV out feature offers either an s-video out or a standard TV-out, and worked flawlessly. Just remember that there is a possibility your motherboard might not support it. I have heard of a few cases that some motherboards do not supply enough voltage to the card to support this feature.

Overclocking

This was a little bit of a disappointment. The difference between the different Geforce2 MX cards (MX, MX200, and MX400) is the speed at which the clock and ram run at. This card comes standard with the core running at 200MHz and the clock running at 200MHz.The core comes with a nice little heat sink/fan combination, but the ram is naked, without heat sinks. I initially cranked the ram up to 220 MHz, and clicked on “test”. I have always wondered why NVIDIA bothered putting that button there, since I have never actually failed the test with any other card while trying to overclock on a reasonable level. This time I did. The card locked up when I cranked the memory to 220 MHz. I tried 215 MHz, and observed some visual impurities. The card did seem stable at 210 MHz, but the performance gains were not substantial enough to include additional overclocked benchmarks. The graphics chip itself was solid at 220 MHz, but anything more than that was a bit unstable. These cards don’t really obtain significant gains when overclocking the chip; the key is to cranking up the ram. Overall, I really thought I would have been able to hit 220mhz/220mhz without any problems, but as you know, that was not the case.

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