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Leadtek GeForce2 MX DH Pro

Let's be brutally honest. For the average consumer a $400 GeForce2 GTS is simply out of reach. That can be a real problem since the GeForce2 offers so many great features. Luckily, nVidia has made a less expensive alternative to the GTS, namely the MX. The MX offers the same great GPU design coupled with slower SDRAM memory. DDR memory can yield impressive gains in performance but 32 MB of SDRAM brings the price down considerably. nVidia designed the MX to be a competitor in not only the budget gaming market but also the business market where cards such as the Matrox Millennium G450 are the big sellers. Leadtek was kind enough to send their GeForce2 MX DH Pro (DualHead Pro) for testing.

Features
The Board
  • 0.18 micron technology
  • AGP 2X/4X with Fast Writes Support
  • 350 MHz RAMDAC
  • 32MB 6ns SDRAM memory
  • S-video/RCA TV-out up to 800x600 resolution
  • 3 LEDs are embedded onboard for troubleshooting
  • Special Designed Active Cooling Module
  • 2048 x 1536 max resolution


(click for larger image)

Leadtek MX DH Pro website
Approx $150 USD

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.5 9 10
8.5/10

First Impressions

A couple of things stand out immediately when you take a look at the GeForce2 MX DH Pro. The card comes equipped with 32 MB of 6ns SDRAM. This is certainly one reason why this MX card can be had for such an affordable price. The 64 MB of DDR SDRAM certainly drove the price of the Leadtek GTS I tested recently.

Once I had the card out of the box one of the first things that struck me about it was its heatsink. Click on the image above to get an idea what I am talking about. Leadtek could have very easily installed a small heatsink like other manufacturers have been doing. Instead, we have a large gold-tone heatsink with a fan sitting squarely in the middle. I looked at it from the side and noticed that there is heatsink grease coming out from under the heatsink. Way to go Leadtek. I don't know how many times I've pried the heatsinks off of videocards in order to put better aftermarket units in with heatsink grease. Does the MX really need these cooling features? I'd say yes. Heat is the leading cause of instability. I've seen some cards produce less visual artifacts once their cooling package was revised.

The other thing that is immediately obvious is that this card has two outputs for a monitor/LCD panel and an S-Video out. I reviewed the Matrox Millenium G450 recently and it required a special dongle cable that plugged into its second output to enable S-Video output. This isn't a major issue since Matrox included the correct cable but it just shows to me that nVidia designed the MX to be less reliant on special dongle cables. Included with the card were the adapters to convert S-Video to regular RCA video, a two foot S-Video extension cable, and a one foot RCA extension cable.

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