RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [10.13.00]
Manufactured by: Leadtek
MSRP: $150


Candidate A or Candidate A?

It is pretty well established now, that if you are going to buy a new video card, and want to spend less than $200 or so, GeForce 2 MX is the way to go.  Sure, you could get a used video card, or you could always go for the Voodoo4 4000, but if you want the same features the high rollers get when they spend $500 and more, look no further than the GeForce 2 MX.

The problem lies in picking from the dozens of brands who make basically the same product! As we stated in our MSI StarForce 816 GF2MX Review, there really isn't much to set these GF2MX's apart from one another.  Beyond choosing from having TV out on your card, they are all pretty much the same (this one does ship with TV-Out).  It kind of reminds me of the upcoming US election... It doesn't matter which one you choose, the end result will be pretty much the same.

Reference Ram

One thing that sets some GF2MX cards from the others may be the ram used.  The default memory clock speed specified by NVidia is 166 Mhz.  That calls for 6.0 ns ram.. Let's see what the Winfast uses...

If you look really carefully, you can see that Leadtek is using 6 ns. ram.  This is just right for the specified 166 Mhz clock speed.  Why bother mentioning it then? Some manufacturers are using 7 ns. ram, which will run just fine when factory-overclocked at 166 Mhz, but who knows how much further it will go if it is already overclocked? As you'll see, the Winfast did quite well in that department :)

Two Differences

There is one thing that sets the Winfast apart from the others (besides having good ram).  Take a look at the picture at the top of this page.  What do you see? A regular GeForce 2 MX, right? Well there is one thing.. Look closely...

Besides the fact that it has TV-Out (many GF2MX's do), you'll see that the heatsink has a fan on it! These things do tend to get hot, but the default specs call for a passive cooling heatsink, with no fan.  Leadtek spared no expense by including a solid heatsink/fan unit as part of the Winfast package.  It isn't quite as big as the one that ships with their GeForce 2 GTS, but hey, it's better than most GF2MX's! This presents a small problem though:

Because NVidia's default spec didn't call for a fan to be installed, it also didn't call for a fan power supply.  Leadtek found a way around this by soldering the power cords to the board itself.  This isn't a problem to most people, especially if you're going to leave the original heatsink/fan on anyway, but for those who want to try other units, and perhaps replace the original, you'll have to break out the soldering iron and put it back on yourself.

Next Page: (2)