Graphics Performance P4-1.7 with GF2 MX100/200

By CREAM · 9 replies
Mar 11, 2002
  1. Graphics Performance P41.7 with Geforce2 MX100/200

    I have recently purchased a new system : With the most up to date drivers :-

    Windows ME
    P4 1.7Ghz 256 DDR RAM - VIA Motherboard P4X266-S
    Geforce2 32mb MX100/200
    Soundblaster Live

    When Playing Return to Castle Wolfenstein I am not entirely
    satisfied with the frame rate and was wondering if this may be due to the graphics card .

    On the Higher quality setting which is 800x600 32bit colour, Open GL driver and all other settings on high, I am getting what I can describe as follows (apologies for the lack of technical terms)

    1) The odd bit of slowdown on the more grahically intesive scenes, generally not silky smooth
    2) A flickering/ Choppyness - (I assume - page update between frames)

    I know I have not the cutting edge graphics card, but I assumed that this is not a bad card and along with the P4 and DDR ram there should not be any game out there just yet that would tax such a system ?
  2. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    Re: Graphics Performance P41.7 with Geforce2 MX100/200

    Even though your rig is technically "new" w/ lastest nVidia drivers, check for Win/Me updates, & patches.

    Gaming tweak guides

    Hardware tweaking

    OS & Software resources
  3. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Since the card you have is bandwidth restricted, it is what will be causing your slow down... Especially with a P4 1.7Ghz and DDR. Your system can feed your graphics card the data at an astounding rate but the card can't process it fast enough. Saying the slow down happens on graphically intensive scenes basically backs this up as your card is being stretched beyond its capabilities. Without going as far back as the original geforce or further to the TNT2, you have the budget card of the Geforce range. Maybe you should try turning some of the settings down from high to get a reasonable framerate.

    I get slow down with a Geforce3 in Medal Of Honor:Allied Assault with all settings to high and some advanced filtering switched on at 1024 resolution. There are games that will tax your system at the moment but this is purely down to the video card.

    I am running an Athlon 1.4Ghz @1.5, 256DDR and Geforce3 and very occasionally get slow down, but this is usually due to me having set the drivers to enforce antialiasing (removing jaggies from diagonal vertices).

    As you can see from the image above (have to click on it cause Toms doesn't seem happy about remote image links), the Geforce2 MX gains no extra performance from 800Mhz to 1200Mhz with an Athlon processor, further proof of your graphics card being the reason things are slowing down. Your options are to:
    • Go back to the shop you purchased your computer in and ask to pay the difference and get a different card installled
    • Drop the detail settings down from the highest in the games you are playing
      Unless you are a hardcore gamer (the main use of your PC is for playing games), worry about frame rates for online play and want everything to look as nice as possible on screen I would go with option B. But since you say that you have recently purchased the system you may be able to pay to get at least an upgrade to a MX400 or maybe something even higher up the graphics ladder.

      Sorry but your graphics card just isn't up to the standard of the rest of your system... ;)
  4. CREAM

    CREAM TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for the quick and informative update, I sort of assumed that this would be the case, at the time of purchase it was a question of keeping costs down, the intention being of upgrading later.

    I have one other question, with my current set-up, would I be OK with something like a GEFORCE 4 MX ? or should I look really at say a GEFORCE 3 TI or maybe The Full GEFORCE 4 ?? What are your views in respect to performance ?

    As regards the choppines of the screen updates, I read on another thread a similiar problem to me, and one of the answers was to turn of the anti-aliasing, (I assume its in properties panel )

    Thanks A
  5. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

    have you checked:
    Are the vid cards worth the money?

    GeForce 4 is the fastest card on the market, hands down. but is it worth your money? then it's a bit hard to answer...
    as for money-wise, some like the radeon 8500, while others prefer the GF3 (which prices have lowered due to the release of the GF4).
    but as carmack says: "Don't buy a GF4MX for DoomIII"!

    but if you ask me, i'd go for a GF3 Ti sth.
  6. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

  7. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    Try playing in 16Bit colour, that will improve your frame rate a bit.

    Failing that, buy a Radeon 8500, as it will beat any GF3.

    & GF4's are far too expensive IHMO
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Your current setup would be ok with a Geforce 4 MX.
    The memory bandwidth of the MX420 is about the same as the Geforce2 MX400. In quite a few ways its like a faster (increased clock speed therefore more instructions) Geforce2 MX400.
    If you look at the Geforce4 info from Nvidia you will see that its a feature cut down Geforce4. From what I have read it supports DirectX7 and not DirectX8 like the Geforce3 and fully featured Geforce4. Since games are just starting to use DirectX8 more fully it would be silly to buy something that doesn't support the latest standards for 3d graphics. I think their description just about sums it up
    That said its a fast card, you'll not get the latest stunning graphic effects in games that require directX8.1 support, but you wouldn't suffer from a lack of bandwidth and stuttering graphics as much as you do with your current card. It really depends on exactly what you want to use your PC for. Personally I would wait and either save up for a geforce4 (non-mx) or get a geforce3 cheap if you can find it. Also the ATI 8500 or even the 7500 give good performance at a more reasonable price. Since you state yourself that you plan to upgrade later I wouldn't advise Geforce2MX200 -> Geforce4MX as a good upgrade.

    For more information about your cards settings (Antialiasing, colour depth etc) check out the 3dspotlight Geforce tweaking guide
  9. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    If you want to get the best performance for your money right now go with a Geforce 3. They have been around for awhile and are very fast. You should be able to get one for under 200.00.

    The problem with the "MX" line of cards from Nvidia is that they are the budget or entry level line. They are good for gaming but not great. The biggest issue with them is that there are always new games coming out that make these card obsolete alot more quickly then other cards. Take MOHAA for instance, on my geforce 3 it runs good but it is still a bit choppy at high resolutions. This is a new game that just came out finally pushing my good ol' Geforce 3. With a Geforce 4 MX you will get the same slow down and choppiness because it is no greater or faster than a GF3. In most cases it is slower than the GF3.

    Sure the MX line is low cost but you get what you pay for. If you want to play games on the computer alot then a top notch video card should be your biggest investment.

    Here is a great card:

    This is a regular Geforce 3. It is not the Ti series. If you want to spend a bit more go for the Ti500 but I wouldnt recommend the Ti200. The Ti200 is a toned down version of the original GF3. At 175.00 the Asus GF3 is a great deal. I wish I waited...I paid 400.00 last year for a similar card. I still use it though and it has proved to be an excellent investment.
  10. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    That is a good card...

    I paid £300 about 8 months ago for it.
    Hurt my bank balance but was nice to my eyes ;)
    I would opt for this too as the full Geforce4 cards will be very expensive. Nice if you have the spare cash but otherwise Gf3 or ATI 8500 (price grabber : $ 154.95)
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