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NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 – Basic Overview

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NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 – Basic Overview

I was looking under my bed in my parent”s house and found out my first Graphics Card, the nVidia GeForce2 MX 400. A transparent plastic 40 mm fan screwed on top of small heat-sink which is blued on a Navy Blue PCB, an ugly red and black wire protrudes from the fan. This might not be best thing you’ll imagine about a Graphics Card, but this card has served me very well back in 2004-5.

Back when I bought it, it wasn’t the best card either. It was based on NVIDIA’s second generation GPU design, code name NV15. It was launched back in 2000 and it’s successor was “The GeForce 256”. The GeForce 2 family comprised a number of models: GeForce 2 GTS, GeForce 2 Pro, GeForce 2 Ultra, GeForce 2 Ti, GeForce 2 Go and the GeForce 2 MX series.

According to the website, the Ultra, Pro, Ti and GTS were focused towards performance, they were called “The world’s first shading GPU”. The ideal solutions for:

  • 3D gaming applications
  • HDTV and DVD playback
  • 3D multimedia applications

The MX Series, which I had, was more targeted towards the mainstream market. The ideal solutions for:

  • Business applications
  • Video conferencing
  • Multiple display flexibility

On the other hand, the Go Series is the mobile lineup of this generation and the GPU was also used as an integrated graphics processor in the nForce chipset line. It was probably the world’s first mobile GPU. It is also the ideal solutions for:

  • Business applications
  • Video conferencing
  • Multiple display flexibility

Some key features of this generation are:

Second Generation Transform and Lighting (T&L)
Two separate engines on the GPU that provide for a powerful, balanced PC platform and enable extremely high polygon count scenes. Transform performance determines how complex objects can be and how many can appear in a scene without sacrificing frame rate. Lighting techniques add to a scene’s realism by changing the appearance of objects based on light sources.

NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer (NSR)
Brings natural material properties (smoke, clouds, water, cloth, plastic, etc) to life via advanced per-pixel shading capabilities in a single pass.

Now, lets talk about the MX Series. Members of the series include GeForce 2 MX, MX400, MX200, and MX100. I was using the MX 400. This came with three variants, 128/64/32 MB SDRAM (No GDDR or HBM). All of them came with 166-200 MHz Memory Clock and a 128-bit (64-bit) Memory bandwidth. It has a core clock of 350 MHz. They even used a primitive and obsolete AGP 4x/2x/ interface instead of PCI (not PCIe) interface.

 

Specification :  NVIDIA GeForce2 MX400
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Bus Interface:  AGP Bus 4X/2X

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Chipset:  nVidia Geforce2 MX400

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Memory:

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64M SDRAM
* 64bit external memory interface

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Specifications: 

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AGP 4X bus interface W/Fast Writes

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64M 128bit SDRAM memory interface

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Memory clock from 166MHz to 200MHz

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350MHz core speed

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Features:
* 256bit graphic engine
* 350MHz RAMDAC
* Motion compensation for full speed DVD playback
* New Geometry QuadEngine™
* Transform/Lighting/Setup/Rendering
* 700M texel fill rate
* 20M trangles/sec setup
* Integrated 2nd-generation transform & lighting engines
* Cube environment mapping support
* Direct X & S3TC texture compression
* 32bit color with 32bit Z/Stencil buffer
* Two rendering pipelines capable of delivering four texel per clock
* Video acceleration for DirectShow and MPEG I/II
* Fully PC00, PC99, and PC99a compliant

 

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