VisionTek GeForce2 MX

by Matthew Witheiler on August 16, 2000 10:32 AM EST
Card provided by Universal Computer Distributing
Find it now for $108.00

With the introduction of the GeForce2 MX chip from NVIDIA about a month ago came a new era in low price video card performance. Previous low price gaming solutions have been plagued with problems as a result of the method of price cutting. Take the TNT2 M64 for example. The extremely crippled 64-bit memory bus plagued the card from the start, resulting in poor performance at high resolutions and colors. Not too much time passed before the crippled memory bus proved to be more than just a nagging bug: it began to be a major stumbling block for many users. With TNT2 prices dropping, many budget users opted to skip the whole M64 route and jump on the non-crippled TNT2 band wagon; and this was almost a year ago.

Until the release of the GeForce2 MX, budget users were still facing the same video card opportunities as before. On the NVIDIA front, many users opted to get a relatively cheap TNT2 Ultra, whose prices prices have fallen drastically ever since the introduction of the GeForce256. The problem was that the performance gap between the old TNT2 product line, whose prices were more attractive to budget users, and the GeForce256 product line, whose prices were still out of range for most, was large. Nothing was available to win a place in budget sytems; nothing until the GeForce2 MX was released.

Like the TNT2 M64, the lower price in GeForce2 MX cards is a result of a crippled memory bus and a slightly crippled core. As we discussed extensively in our GeForce2 MX review, the GeForce2 MX utilizes slower and cheaper SDR memory. While the core may be almost the same as the GeForce2 GTS, the use of SDR memory and the relatively plain reference design make the GeForce2 MX a budget version of the GeForce2 GTS, similar to how the TNT2 M64 was a budget version of the popular TNT2. Unlike the TNT2 M64, however, performance of the "budget" GeForce 2 MX is still very respectable, especially when overclocking. This fact placed users, who may have previously considered upgrading out of reach, in a unique position. No longer would they be stuck with the same card with no way out; the GeForce2 MX provided a way.

Luckily, manufacturers know the appeal of a low priced video card so many steped up production of GeForce2 MX based cards, making them their top priority. Unlike the competition that exists on the GeForce2 GTS level, many manufacturers are not trying to make their card more attractive than another by including advanced features; rather they are duking it out over price. One such manufacturer is VisionTek, who's GeForce2 MX card is not feature full but rather budget priced.

Finding the VisionTek GeForce2 MX online is not a challenge at all and with some web sites actually selling the card for $108, the VisionTek GeForce2 MX is quite a bargain indeed. The question is, is it the best GeForce2 MX for you to spend your money on?

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