Unfortunately Sat is correct. The GeForce4 MX (NV17 & 18) line is basically the same performance as a GeForce2 GTS/Ultra (NV15). You need a GeForce3 core (NV20) before you see noticable performance improvements.
The NV1x core (GF2 and GF4MX) lacks some of the pixel shaders and all of the vertex shaders (or vice versa; I never remember) that were added to the NV2x (GF3 and GF4Ti) core. In spring of 2002, NVIDIA took some serious maligning from reviewers and pundits for marketing the NV17 as a GeForce "4", and rightfully so.