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eVGA e-GeForce2 MX Review - Installation & OpenGL Performance

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Installation

Installation of the card went without a hitch. Using eVGA's ADM (Automatic Driver reMover) made installing the card a piece of cake and is a welcome addition for the newbie installer. eVGA even has a patent pending on the Automatic Driver reMover software.

The program automatically removes the old video card drivers and shuts down the computer. Once you add the card to your PC, ADM automatically loads the default Windows VGA drivers and reboots the system. After the reboot, ADM automatically installs the proper drivers and goes through a final reboot.

Test System

Let's get to my favorite part of a review - benchmarks of course! But first, take a look at the specifics of my rig:

  • Pentium 3 550-E (@550 and 720)
  • 128 MB PC133 RAM
  • Abit BE6-II Motherboard
  • eVGA e-GeForce2 MX
  • NVIDIA Reference Drivers v6.34
  • Vsync Disabled
  • Sound Blaster Live X-Gamer (High quality sound)
  • Quantum LM 20.5 Gig @ 7200 rpm with ATA/66
  • Windows 98 SE

Benchmark Setup

In the following series of benchmarks, I'll demonstrate the levels at which the e-GeForce2 MX is processor dependent. Results were obtained at the default processor speed of 550MHz and overclocked at 720MHz.

Quake 3 Benchmarks

You all know itís gonna' be Quake 3 Arena that I 'll be starting off with. It's the most demanding OpenGL based game available and is so widely used that a review without it would be useless to allow a comparison of cards. Keep in mind that high quality sound was enabled which provides a true measure of game performace.

Quake 3 - Normal Quality - Demo001

At lower resolutions the eVGA e-GeForce2 MX scales very well with the increased processor speed. At a resolution of 640x480, in both 16 and 32-bit color, frame rates were almost 30% faster on the P3-720MHz. Even at a resolution of 800x600, the e-GeForce2 manages to efficiently use the increased processor speed offering an increase of 27% in 16-bit color and 18% in 32-bit color.

P3-720MHz vs P3-550MHz - % Increase In Frame Rate

At resolutions of 1024x768 and higher, especially in 32-bit color, the additional horsepower provided by the overclocked P3-720MHz isn't as much of a factor. The graphics requirements of Quake 3 outpace the rendering ability of the e-GeForce2 MX which becomes a bottleneck.

Quake 3 - Maximum Quality - Torture

Using maximum graphics quality settings in Quake 3 and combining those settings with the Torture demo places a huge amount of stress on the graphics sub-system. Looking over the results you immediately begin to see a drastic decrease in frame rates when compared to the demo001 benchmarks. These results are indicative of playing Quake 3 under the absolute worst of multi-player conditions.

MDK2

Besides using Quake 3 to compare OpenGL performance, I also used MDK2. MDK2 is an excellent third person shooter game with impressive graphics, and the best part about it is that it supports the GeForce's hardware assisted transform and lighting engine.

MDK2 - Default Settings - T&L Enabled

As with Quake 3, we see a similar pattern in MDK2 but not as severe. At higher resolutions, processor speed is not a factor, but at resolutions of 640x480 and 800x600 the extra horsepower definitely pays off.

P3-720MHz vs P3-550MHz - % Increase In Frame Rate

Next Page: Direct3D Performance

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Last Updated on October 26, 2000

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