Which is better performance? GF4 MX or GF2 Pro?

robo555

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Jun 26, 2001
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I currently have a MSI GeForce 2 Pro 64MB DDR TV-Out, getting some new hardware soon, one of which is a Gainward GeForce 4 MX420 64MB DDR TV-Out

I knew the GF4 MX is a faster version of the GF2 MX, so which of these cards is better? The GF2 Pro or GF4 MX?
 

nemesismk2

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Sep 29, 2001
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Between the 2 video cards mentioned it's going to be very close, if the MX420 you mentioned was using SDR instead of DDR memory then the PRO would win by miles. As you already have the Pro then getting a MX420 wouldn't give much (if any) performance increase.
 

Mem

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
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The GF4 MX 440 is faster but the 420 version is not (close to GF2 Pro speed),however if you don`t mind paying a little more ,then the GF4 Ti4200 is a lot faster,btw read the Anandtech GPU shootout here ,from page 6 to 16, lots of good info on most video cards with benchmarks.

My advice is if you want a decent upgrade for your GF2 Pro, go for the GF4 Ti4200 .
 

Confused

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Nov 13, 2000
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Originally posted by: Mem
The GF4 MX 440 is faster but the 420 version is not (close to GF2 Pro speed),however if you don`t mind paying a little more ,then the GF4 Ti4200 is a lot faster,btw read the Anandtech GPU shootout here ,from page 6 to 16, lots of good info on most video cards with benchmarks.

My advice is if you want a decent upgrade for your GF2 Pro, go for the GF4 Ti4200 .
What he said. I was considering a GF4MX but am now able to (in a few minutes when delivery comes in) get a GF4Ti4200 for about the same money, just a little more, which will be a VERY nice upgrade to my GF2MX :)

Confused
 

robo555

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Jun 26, 2001
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Well I won't be upgrading it, instead I'm building a new computer, and the current computer is gonna be a semi test box / linux server kinda thing, so it doesn't need a very good card.

I just want the new computer to have the better of the two cards, sounds like it doesn't really matter that much which card goes in which box.

Over here in local currency, the GF4MX is a little above $200, while the minimum price for a 4200Ti is a little over $400, so there is quite a margin between them.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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;) To keep it simple gfx card perf breaks down like this in groups slowest to fastest (ie GF2MX400 is about equal in 3D speed to a GF4MX420):

GF2MX200 = GF2o/b
GF2MX400 = GF4MX420
GF2TI = GF2Pro = Rad7500 = GF4MX440 = Xabre400
GF4MX460 = Rad9000
GF3TI200 = Rad8500LE
GF3TI500 = Rad8500
GF4TI4200

:eek: The GF4MX cards are 97% the same as GF2 cards, just sport better AA, image quality, dual display and TVout. The Rad cards offer better image quality, DVD playback, dual display and TVout than the GF2 and GF3 cards. The GF3 and GF4 cards have the best AA. Hope this helps to clear things up.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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:eek: Precise gains do depend upon your CPU etc, but here's a general idea using Athlon1ghz in 3Dmark2001 (card: total, games1-3 low, games1-3 high and game4 is DX8):

1024x768x32x:
GF2Pro: 4300, 78, 75, 78, 28, 34, 39, na
GF4MX420: 4000, 75, 66, 68, 24, 33, 34, na
Rad9000: 4700, 66, 82, 69, 22, 45, 30, 29
GF3TI200: 6700, 105, 105, 107, 33, 59, 48, 37

;) The GF4MX420 should o/c very well though, apparently to GF4MX440 speeds. But then the GF2Pro should o/c to about GF2ultra speeds, so it would still be faster. With AA the GF4MX420 may be slightly faster than GF2Pro.
 

nemesismk2

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Sep 29, 2001
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Originally posted by: AnAndAustin
;) To keep it simple gfx card perf breaks down like this in groups slowest to fastest (ie GF2MX400 is about equal in 3D speed to a GF4MX420):

GF2MX200 = GF2o/b
GF2MX400 = GF4MX420
GF2TI = GF2Pro = Rad7500 = GF4MX440 = Xabre400
GF4MX460 = Rad9000
GF3TI200 = Rad8500LE
GF3TI500 = Rad8500
GF4TI4200

:eek: The GF4MX cards are 97% the same as GF2 cards, just sport better AA, image quality, dual display and TVout. The Rad cards offer better image quality, DVD playback, dual display and TVout than the GF2 and GF3 cards. The GF3 and GF4 cards have the best AA. Hope this helps to clear things up.
You have to be careful saying the GF4MX420 gives similar performance as the GF2MX400 because the DDR version of the MX420 is much much faster than the SDR version which IS almost a GF2MX400.

Another bonus the GF4MX440 has over the GF2 is a cut down version of Lightspeed Memory Architecture (LMA) II found in the GF4 which improves performance alot.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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:D 3Dmark2001 (gfx card: total, games1-3 high detail FPS):

GF4MX420: 4300, 34, 35, 40
GF2MX400: 4000, 32, 33, 36

GF4MX440: 5600, 40, 47, 47
GF2TI/Pro: 5400, 40, 42, 49

GF4MX460: 6000, 39, 51, 47
GF3TI200: 8100, 46, 66, 60

;) nemesismk2, I don't have to be careful when I know what I'm talking about, respect. The LMA and AA does help the GF4MX cards, but the diff is minimal (5%ish), essentially the GF4MX420 is nothing more than a slightly enhanced GF2MX400, and the same for GF4MX440 vs GF2TI.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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:eek: I wasn't aware any GF4MX420 cards used DDR, if so I would expect it would be like the GF2MX incident where it was a matter of 64bit DDR vs 128bit SDR ... essentially no benefit at all. If you can find any info on GF4MX420 using 128bit DDR RAM it would be very informative. The nVidia standards are:

GF4MX420 clocked at 250/166 (SDR, 1x166=166) Memory Bandwidth 2.7gb/s
GF4MX440 clocked at 270/400 (DDR, 200x2=400) Memory Bandwidth 6.4gb/s
GF4MX460 clocked at 300/550 (DDR, 275x2=550) Memory Bandwidth 8.8gb/s

:D Memory bandwidth is everything in GF2/GF4MX designs, even if a GF4MX420 used 128bit DDR it would still lose 20% bandwidth to the GF4MX440 which is only a tiny bit faster than the GF2Pro/TI.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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:D JFYI:

GF2MX400 clocked at 200/166 (SDR )Memory Bandwidth 2.7gb/s
GF2TI is clocked at 250/400 (DDR) Memory Bandwidth 6.4gb/s
GF3TI200 clocked at 175/400 (DDR) Memory Bandwidth 6.4gb/s

;) Incidently the GF2Pro uses 200/400 (DDR) Memory Bandwidth 6.4gb/s and performs within about 2% of the GF2TI as the core makes little diff on GF2/GF4MX cards, again it is the Memory Bandwidth which hugely impacts perf.
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
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Originally posted by: AnAndAustin
:D 3Dmark2001 (gfx card: total, games1-3 high detail FPS):

GF4MX420: 4300, 34, 35, 40
GF2MX400: 4000, 32, 33, 36

GF4MX440: 5600, 40, 47, 47
GF2TI/Pro: 5400, 40, 42, 49

GF4MX460: 6000, 39, 51, 47
GF3TI200: 8100, 46, 66, 60
I don't have to be careful when I know what I'm talking about, respect. The LMA and AA does help the GF4MX cards, but the diff is minimal (5%ish), essentially the GF4MX420 is nothing more than a slightly enhanced GF2MX400, and the same for GF4MX440 vs GF2TI.
I'm going to have to agree with Nemesismk2 on this one, the GF4 MX420 is definitely superior to the GF2 MX400, and LMA is nothing to laugh at. In my experience most real world benchmarks put the GF4 MX420 performs barely reasonably similarly to the GF2 GTS-V which is essentially an underclocked GF2 GTS.

I think in this case your putting way to much faith in 3DMark as an accurate reproduction of real world gaming performance... though even still, in my own experience the GF4 MX420 usually beats the GF2 MX400 by a larger amount then that in 3DM2001 if not quite as much as the rather respectable difference in real world games.

On average, I've found the GF4 MX420 to be a good 20% faster then the GF2 MX400... which is no small performance difference.

In any case, the GF2 Pro is certainly faster then the GF4 MX420 in 99% of cases.
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
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I wasn't aware any GF4MX420 cards used DDR, if so I would expect it would be like the GF2MX incident where it was a matter of 64bit DDR vs 128bit SDR ... essentially no benefit at all. If you can find any info on GF4MX420 using 128bit DDR RAM it would be very informative.
Gainward's GF4 MX420 uses DDR SDRAM. It's little more then marketing hype though, because as you mentioned it uses a 64bit memory bus which effectively limits it to the same theoretical bandwidth as SDR SDRAM at the same clockspeed. Plus, given that DDR SDRAM is not 100% efficient it actually tends to be a bit slower then 128bit SDR SDRAM.

Gainward's "Golden Sample" MX420's do run at 250MHz core clock and 400MHz DDR mem clock though if you run it in it's 'enhanced' mode. Naturally in it's default "Safe" mode it runs at the same clockspeeds at any other GF4 MX420.

If any GF4 MX420's use a 128bit DDR memory controller then I'm unaware of them. Which is not to categorically say they don't exist, but I'm reasonably confident I would have heard of them were they available.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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;) After all guys I did say, "To keep it simple". I think what I stated was very accurate and concise and summed up the complex and confusing subject of where the GF4MX cards sit.

:) I admit that the GF4MX cards are about 10% faster than the equivilent GF2 card, thanks to the enhancements like LMA-II (albeit cut-down) which should really help the GF4MX420 vs GF2MX400 due to the huge bandwidth problem associated with the SDR they use, efficiency is everything. However I believe the perf bands I gave were still pretty accurate, esp considering I was 'keeping it simple'.
 

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