First impressions of MX440 pci

Mloot

Diamond Member
Aug 24, 2002
3,036
19
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Finally broke down and went to Amamax's (they are the only ones on pricewatch selling this card, for the moment) office here in Houston today and bought the OEM 440 (Inno3D) for $88, plus tax. It came with what looks like a RCA cable, some kind of cable adapter, I think (I'm not too sure what it's for), Win2000DVD software, some kind of video editing software (which I'll probably never use, but it's nice to have the option), the driver CD and the card itself. Probably not a bad deal, when you consider that Best Buy is still selling the MX 420 pci for $99, plus tax. I really wanted the 9000 pci, but got tired of waiting for it.
I bought my first pc 3 months ago, not knowing anything about them. Turns out it only has 2 pci slots, no AGP. It took me a couple of weeks to find out that integrated video really bites. I wanted to play Dungeon Siege, so I purchased the Radeon 7000 32mb ddr at Best Buy for about $60 (no TV/out, only card and driver CD. Not such a good purchase, looking back on it). Now, the 7000 would run DS, but only at low resolution, low quality, and even then, it often dropped to 8-10 fps, which made for really choppy gaming. BTW, I am only a very casual gamer, as DS is still my only game.
The first thing I noticed when I booted up windows, was a slight difference in the color. I had read many places that ATI cards have better 2D quality than Nvidia's cards. I couldn't really tell a difference in the resolution (focus?) between the two, but the 440's picture seemed somehow a little paler than the 7000's. Almost like the 7000 had a slightly warmer and more vibrant picture. Nothing off-putting enough to complain about. I'll play around the the monitor's color adjustments later. I only really play two games, DS and Continuum (or Subspace, a free on-line multiplayer 2D space ship shooter). I tried Continuum first, and could not tell a difference between the 2 cards' performance. One thing I did notice, however, was that the 440 has given me a few more available resolution settings. I have a 15" CRT, and the 7000 only let me use 800x600 or 1024x768. The 440 let me "up" the resolution a couple more settings. Now, I checked DS and found that my FPS had gone up a bit, to about 25-30 (the 7000's average was about 15-18). Character and background renderings looked the same. I had stopped playing DS a couple of weeks ago when I ran into a problem. At one point in the game, I hit a brick wall. The terrain stopped and became a gray area and I could not advance any further into the game. I tried using ATI's new drivers, but they didn't help. Today, however, I was able to continue onward (big smiley face). I can only guess that perhaps the 7000's 32mb of RAM was full and the 440's 64mb was the turning point? Just my best guess.
Too sum it up, I think I got a pretty good deal with the 440. If you are only a casual gamer and have no AGP slot, then this is probably the best PCI card you can buy, until the 9000 is released. This is only my 2nd vid card purchase, and my 1st Nvidia, but I'm very satisfied with it. Maybe this will be useful to someone. Later.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
2,112
0
0
:D Yeah the GF4MX440 is by far the best PCI gfx card at the moment, it has much better '2D' image quality, dual display, DVD playback and TVout than the GF2 and GF3 cards and also has better than GF2TI/Rad7500 perf. The Rad7000 is still a very decent card, although the Rad7500 is a fair deal faster and not a whole lot more pricey. Another decent PCI gfx card is GF4MX420 which gives about GF2GTS/Rad7500 perf levels, although MX440 is certainly better and not a whole lot more. Of course this is mostly based upon AGP reviews of these cards and you have to bear in mind that the perf hit going from AGP to PCI is a good 20% or so. For the more experienced users stuck with only PCI it is well worth considering a mobo upgrade to gain AGP (among other things), as you say Mloot the MX420 PCI costs about $100 for which you can get the vastly better AGP versions of GF3, Rad8500, Rad9000PRO and even a GF4TI4200 (if you're lucky), most of which will be 128MB too! In PCI it is certainly vital to have at least 64MB gfx RAM as AGP copes HUGELY better when the RAM limit is breached. Of course Rad9000 in PCI should wipe the floor with all current PCI offerings, but when will it come?

:eek: I estimate Rad9000 is about 20% slower than Rad9000PRO, here's a review of how that fairs: Tech Report

;) The Rad7000 is also known as the RadVE and here's how that perfs: TomsHW

:) The Rad7500 is much better and here's how that fairs: AnAndTech (inc 3 diff CPU speeds)

:D Here's an idea of how the GF4MX420 and MX440 fair Bjorn3D

;) And finaly a list of a load of gfx cards: TomsHW
 

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