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NVIDIA GeForce2 MX Preview - Specifications

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Product Overview

The GeForce2 MX brings the benefits of a second generation Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to the mainstream computer. It's based on GeForce technology which includes per-pixel shading, cube environment mapping and texture compression all of which are designed to increase the realism of graphics in 3D games. As for performance, don't expect the GeForce2 MX to blow away the GeForce2 GTS in a leading edge 3D game such as Quake3 Arena, as there's more to the GeForce2 MX than meets the eye.

And while your boss may not appreciate the after hours multi-player deathmatch over the company LAN, there are a host of features that make the GeForce2 MX a solid contender in the corporate market.

Specifications

Let's take a look at the specifications of the GeForce2 MX. Comparisons are made to the GeForce 256, which made it's debut in the fall of 1999, and the GeForce2 GTS.

GeForce2 MX Specifications

  GeForce 256 GeForce2 MX GeForce2 GTS
Process Technology .22 micron .18 micron .18 micron
Texels/Clock 4 4 8
Texels/Second 480 Million 700 Million 1600 Million
Polygons/Second 15 Million 20 Million 25 Million
Shading Processor No Yes Yes
Dual Digital Out No Yes No

NVIDIA has taken the GeForce2 GTS GPU and combined it with less expensive Single Data Rate (SDR) memory. This combination will allow OEMs to manufacture low-cost transform and lighting enabled graphics cards. Memory bandwidth of the GeForce2 MX is 2.7GB/sec which pales in comparison to the GTS's 5.3GB/sec. To keep the cost of the GeForce2 MX at a minimum, NVIDIA has no immediate plans to use the faster and more expensive Dual Data Rate (DDR) memory.

The word from NVIDIA is that the GeForce2 MX offers performance on par with the GeForce 256 GPU. For next generation content, the GeForce2 MX will offer better performance on applications that make extensive use of transform and lighting or per-pixel shading capabilities.

The GeForce2 MX has two rendering pipelines capable of processing two textures in a clock cycle. NVIDIA failed to disclose the core clock speed as they may have felt it's not an important measure of the GeForce2 MX's features. With two pixel and two texture pipelines (four texels or textured pixels) and a fill rate of 700 million texels per second, the clock speed can easily be computed. This can be done by dividing the textured fill rate by the number of rendering pipelines: 700 Megatexels / 2 texels / 2 pixels or 175MHz.

Hardware Options - Clock Frequency Adjustments

Interestingly, you can see references to the code name NV11 in various areas of the latest Detonator driver control panel.

GeForce2 MX Display Properties

The GeForce2 MX supports the PCI bus as well as AGP 1X, 2X, and 4X (including Fast Writes and Execute Mode) and will be available in 16MB and 32MB versions. The RAMDAC runs at 350Hz which provides flicker free display at high resolutions, the highest of which is 2048x1546 @75Hz. The GeForce2 MX runs on the Intel Pentium II, Celeron, Pentium III, AMD K6, and K7 processors.

The GeForce2 MX consumes only 4 watts of power and doesn't require a cooling fan or heatsink.

Features Overview

Certain features of the GeForce2 MX were carried over from the more powerful GeForce2 GTS. However, there are specific features that are exlusive to the GeForce2 MX which are covered on the following page.

GeForce2 MX Features

  • 2 Shading (NSR) Pipelines - 2 textures per pixel w/per-pixel shading


  • 128-bit SDR / 64-bit SDR/DDR memory interface


  • Integrated dual-link LVDS/TMDS


  • 2 independent display pipelines - Primary Max: 2048x1536@60Hz / Secondary Max: 1600x1200@100Hz


  • Vip 2.0, Level II support - 16-bit/75MHz (HDO applications)


  • 720p HDTV processor


  • ~4 Watts power dissipation - no heat sink required


  • 100% software compatible w/GeForce2 GTS & GeForce 256

Already present in the GeForce2 are NVIDIA's shading rasterizer (NSR) and HDTV processor which provides full-screen, full-frame playback of 720p HDTV and DVD resolutions. Combined with a high performance software MPEG-2 decoder and a digital TV receiver, the GeForce2 MX is a cost effective and high quality HDTV solution.

The drivers for the GeForce2 MX are based on NVIDIA's Unified Driver Architecture.

Next Page: Features

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Last Updated on June 28, 2000

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