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GEForce4 MX420 slower than GEForce Ultra 2

By zangin · 18 replies
Mar 3, 2003
  1. I have a Dell Dimension 8100, which is a 1.5GHz Pentium 4 system with 256MB ram, and a NVidea Geforce Ultra2 card, with 256MB RAM on it.

    At work, we bought a new Dell that had a GeForce4 MX420 card in it. Since this machine was mainly to be used as a workstation for somebody who will mainly be using it for email and word processing, I thought I might switch the video cards in the two machines and upgrade my video card.

    I ran 3dMark2001 SE benchmark on both cards in my system.

    The Nvidea GeForce4 MX 420 benchmarked at 3708
    and my NVidea Geforce2 Ultra benchmarked at 4237 (ish).....

    Thinking something must be wrong, I made sure that I had no extra programs running, and upgraded the BIOS of the motherboard, but I still received the same results?

    Is this right?

    I'm running Windows XP, Service Pack 1 with all the latest patches. Is the Geforce2 Ultra a better card?? I didnt think it was, but the benchmark doesn't lie (I think???).

    Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    Actually, that's probably about right. ;) The Geforce 2 really is a better card, quality wise. The GF4 is a bit of a mockery in nVidia's lineup.

    Try updating your video card drivers if you have not already and look for diffrence in settings.. The GF2 may have lower quality settings than the GF4 by default... Maybe even FSAA is turned on.
  3. zangin

    zangin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am using the latest drivers from NVIDEA ... Actually it's the same driver for both cards, which made it easier when switching the cards out.

    What's FSAA?

  4. HerbsPirate

    HerbsPirate TS Rookie


    Do you mean all you did is switched the card?
    I did this at first when I upped from my G2 to a G4.
    The G4 worked but not as well as I thought it should.

    Later I switched to VGA mode.
    Uninstalled the Nvidia drivers from add/remove programs.
    Ran Detonator Destroyer (I have a W98 system, is there a similar utility for XP?)
    Then re-installed the Nvidia drivers.

    My 3D Mark score went up 1500.
  5. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 660

    The Geforce 2 Ultra was the top end card in the GF2 Range i.e:-

    GF2GTS Pro
    (GF2 Ti)
    GF2 Ultra

    All cards in brackets, were manufactured later, with the Ti being a cost-reduced redesign of the GTS Pro.

    The Geforce 4 MX Range are nothing but souped up GF2s, with the 420 being the slowest, which is roughly equivalent to the GF2 GTS. A Geforce 3 is a far better card, since it is a DirectX 8 card, whereas the Geforce 4MX cards are still only DirectX 7 cards (i.e. they use software to emulate certain DirectX 8 & 9 effects)
  6. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,677   +416

    yeah... I really hated Nvidia for that naming convention. They must have made loads off of selling that slow upgraded GF2 as GF4MX...
    Plus you don't have a GF2 Ultra with 256mb ram as there was never a model released with 256mb of ram as far as I can remember. Considering the latest cards are only just moving onto having 128mb ram onboard.
  7. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 509   +12

    Full Screen Antialiasing;). The GeForce4 MX series is a joke; the only good GeForce4 cards are the TI’s, which run at least three times the speed of the GF4 MX420. You should check out NVIDIA’s site, you will find everything you're looking for:grinthumb.
  8. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 509   +12

    Ahh yes, found it; the specs of both cards are:

    GeForce4 MX 420 Fill Rate: 1 Billion Texels/Sec.
    Triangles per Second: 31 Million
    Memory Bandwidth: 2.7GB/Sec.
    Maximum Memory: 64MB

    GeForce2 Ultra Memory Interface: 128-bit DDR
    Pixels per Second: 1.0 Gigapixels
    Memory Bandwidth: 7.36GB/s
    Triangles per Second: 31 Million

    As you can see, there is a great difference between the GF4 MX and the GF2 Ultra. If I were you, I would stick with the GF2:D.
    (Info taken from NVIDIA)
  9. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,677   +416

    Don't you just love the way that Nvidia seem to constantly change the list of information that they provide for the card. Sure things change but they should keep the same information as before and have additional information so you can compare their products....!
  10. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 509   +12

    I agree, it can be very frustrating sometimes:giddy:, the memory bandwidth is practically the only spec that Nvidia list on most of their cards! They should pay a little more attention to their site (although I quite like the layout ;))
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 4,909   +8

    I had a Geforce 2 Ultra for some time, and I think it was one of the best graphics cards I ever had.

    Now I have a Geforce 4 MX 420 and I will admit that I think the graphics quality is better. But in terms of pure speed there is very little different that I noticed between these two cards. And they are 2 generations apart.
  12. zangin

    zangin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the info. My bad, yes... the GEForce Ultra2 is only 64MB ram! I'm not sure how I came up with that number of 256MB.

    Anyhow... OK, here's a loaded question.
    What would you all recommend as the best gaming card? I play games like Battlefield 1942. Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Splinter Cell.

    With my GEForce Ultra2, everything seems to run pretty good as it is though. It does lag a bit when I play some of these in very high resolutions ( > 1024X768). Can anyone attest to a video card that they can play games at ultra high resolutions (like 1600 X 1200) without complaints of choppiness? I'm perfectly happy with the performance I get with games at 800 X 600, and usually at 1024 X 768, but if I was able to bump it up a few notches without losing performance, I would consider buying a newer card.
  13. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 660

    Radeon 9700 Pro or Wait for the 9800 which will be even faster.
  14. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    If your on more of a budget I'd reccomned the GF4 Ti4200 (128MB). For high resolutions the 128MB is better, and its only a tad bit underperforming compared to the 9700PRO. Is your RAM DDR?
  15. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 864   +71

    the geforce 2 ultra was the ridiculously priced uber card - £280 at least when it came out.

    as already said the gf4mx isnt anywhere near as good.

    id like to know how well one of the old ultras performs nowadays - anyone tried playing anything new with it?
  16. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Sorry, but I disagree, the Ti4200 isn't even in the same zip-code as the R9700PRO..{In tests that count, where details, resolution, and card settings are increased, the R9700PRO is many times over 300% faster (3x as fast) as the Ti4200...check some UT2K3 benchies}
    Ti4200 still a great card, and an excellent value for the $$ IMO:)
  17. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    I didnt think it was that much better, but I take your word for it. :cool:
  18. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 660

    I also disagree, even the GF4Ti4600 is nowhere near as quick as the Radeon 9700Pro. Add to that the fact that the Radeon 9700PRO is a true DirectX 9 Part, and is therefore more future proof, then the Radeon9700Pro or the budget version (the 9500) are more sensible choices.
  19. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    Yeah you guys are write...sorry about that over statment.
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