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NVIDIA GeForce2 MX Preview - Introduction

By: Mike Chambers - June 28, 2000

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Introduction

Back on April 26, NVIDIA announced its top-of-the-line graphics chipset - the GeForce2 GTS. Designed with a 2nd generation transform and lighting graphics processor, the GeForce2 GTS is targeted for the hard core 3D gamer. However, consumers are paying a premium price as graphics cards based on the GeForce2 GTS are relatively expensive and currently retail for around $300. In the overall scheme of NVIDIA's business strategy, it's unlikely they would be able to sustain consistent growth serving a niche market.

NVIDIA is continuously looking for new business ventures and being selected by Microsoft to design the graphics chip that will be used in the Xbox game console was a huge win. Although NVIDIA received $200 million from Microsoft for research and development of the chip, the Xbox is not slated to debut until the fall of 2001. With NVIDIA's commitment to a six-month product cycle, expected revenues from the Xbox are at least three product cycles away.

NVIDIA's TNT2 chipset continues to be a major source of revenue in the low-end PC market. But the TNT2 is over a year old and is lacking features in comparison to the GeForce and even among other competing 3D chipsets. To succeed in this market, technological advancement is necessary to maintain a competitive edge. There is a section in NVIDIA's most recent SEC Quarterly Report that touches on this subject:

Our business will depend to a significant extent on our ability to successfully develop new products for the 3D graphics market. Our add-in board manufacturers and major OEM customers typically introduce new system configurations as often as twice per year, typically based on spring and fall design cycles. Accordingly, our existing products must have competitive performance levels or we must timely introduce new products with such performance characteristics in order to be included in new system configurations.

While NVIDIA continues to grow as a company, the graphics chip industry has been rapidly changing and taking on a if you snooze, you lose mentality.

Introducing The GeForce2 MX

Today, NVIDIA is announcing the GeForce2 MX (Multitransmitter) which will be an integral product for NVIDIA's expansion plans. The new chip is based on the core of the GeForce2 and will give NVIDIA a greater presence in the commercial and home PC markets.

The GeForce2 MX is a product which can be categorized as bringing transform and lighting to the masses as the appeal of GeForce2 MX based graphics cards will undoubtedly be price, performance, and features. The suggested retail price for the standard GeForce2 MX based card will be around $119. Of course, add-in board manufacturer's prices will deviate from the suggested retail price as there will be a variety of configurations for their GeForce2 MX based graphics cards.

While the GeForce2 MX was not designed to compete with the GeForce2 GTS in terms of raw speed, it does offer an excellent price/performance ratio. Based on benchmarks provided by NVIDIA, the GeForce2 MX is significantly faster than the TNT2 and its performance should exceed that of the first generation GeForce 256 SDR for applications that make extensive use of transform and lighting.

The GeForce2 MX also boasts a new feature set that even the mighty GeForce2 GTS doesn't have. New to the GeForce2 MX is its TwinView architecture, which will support dual monitor and dual digital display interfaces, and Digital Vibrance Control for clear and crisp 2D.

Next Page: Specifications

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Last Updated on June 28, 2000

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