Abit Siluro GeForce 2 MX400 review

Abit has become something of a brand name, and has built up a lot of respect from computer enthusiasts. Although mainly known for their motherboards, Abit have started to push out GeForce graphics cards, under the name of "Siluro". Today at 3D Spotlight, we are looking at the MX400 version of this product line.

nVidia's rapid product cycles have resulted in a restructuring of the GeForce 2 family. The MX is now replaced with the MX400, the GTS has been replaced with the Pro, and nVidia have also released another budget chip in the MX200. The MX200 and the MX400 would theoretically straddle the original MX. nVidia hopes to emulate the success of the original MX card in these two new versions of the budget line. The MX 200 is a "budget budget" 3D gaming card, reminiscent of the TNT2 vanta card (but much more powerful of course), in direct competition to ATI's Radeon VE and Matrox's G450. The MX400 is more of a "performance budget" 3D gaming card. Both of the new MX chips use the same MX chipset, which only uses two pipelines to process textures, unlike the four which all other GeForce2 cards have.

The card

The MX400 is almost identical to the original MX, apart from the chip speed which has been upped from 175 MHz to 200 MHz the VRAM has been doubled in size. This means you can now get a 64 Mb card on a low budget, which is quite amazing seeing as some computers being sold today have that amount of system memory. The main advantage of the MX400 over the MX is the increased Texel rate, which has increased by 14% to 800 Million per second. However memory bandwidth, the main bottleneck on GeForce cards, is unchanged at 2.7 Gb per second. The MX400 chip is the same 0.18 micron that is found on the original MX. MX400 cards can either be fitted with 128 bit SDR memory or the slightly slower 64 bit DDR memory. Its good to see that Abit has gone with the former, unlike Creative have done. 128 bit adds to the price slightly, but it is worth having it for an extra performance boost. Be aware though that Abit's MX200 cards only come with 64 bit memory though.

The Specifications

  • AGP 2X /4X Support, AGP texturing, Fast Writes Support.

  • Integrated 350 MHz RAMDAC, resolution up to 2048 x 1536 @ 75 Hz

  • 200 MHz core clock, 400 million pixels/sec, 800 million texel/sec fill rate, Over 20 million triangles/sec

  • 2.7Gb/sec memory bandwidth

  • Second generation transform and lighting T&L engines

  • DirectX, OpenGL Optimisations support and S3 texture compression

  • 32-bit Z-stencil buffer

  • High-Definition Video Professor (HDTV) for Full-screen Video playback of 720p and DVD resolution.

  • Advanced support for DirectDraw

  • Hardware colour space conversion (YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0)

  • 5-tap horizontal by 3-tap vertical filtering

  • 8:1 up scaling and downscaling

  • Per-pixel colour keying

  • 0.18 micron

  • Multiple video windows with hardware colour space conversion and filtering

  • DVD sub-picture alpha blended composition

  • Optional TV-Out (T200 model only)

  • Video acceleration for DirectShow, MPEG-1, MPEG-2

  • Complete implementation of DX5/6/7 hardware and meets all the requirements of mainstream PC graphics, including Microsoft's PC00, PC99 and PC99a initiatives.


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