NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX440 Roundup!

NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX440 Roundup! - Page 2

NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX 440 Round-up
Abit, Chaintech, eVGA, Gainward, Leadtek,
 Visiontek and X-Micro Do Battle!

By - Marco Chiappetta
April 25, 2002

Before we got around to installing each of these cards into our test system, we gave them all a thorough physical inspection and evaluated their bundled software and accessories.  As you'll see later, because all of these products performed similarly, distinguishing them from one another turned out to be rather difficult.

The Abit Siluro GF4 MX 440
Blue Baddie...



The first card we'll be looking at is Abit's Siluro GeForce 4 MX 440.  Abit has long been a favorite amongst enthusiasts with their innovative motherboards, but it's only been in the last year or so that their video cards have made a splash onto the scene.  Besides the cool, blue PCB, and the inclusion of S-Video and composite video cables, as well as an S-Video to Composite adapter (for using the TV-Out feature), there isn't too much to comment on the Siluro MX 440.  The software bundled with the card included the obligatory drivers, 3Deep, True Internet Color and Abit's own Siluro DVD playback software.  Unfortunately, no games were included.  The GPU cooler was similar to what Abit has used on their line of GeForce 2 MX cards, and while not very exciting, is more than adequate to keep the MX 440 chilly.  The Siluro GeForce 4 MX's price as of this morning on Pricewatch.Com was $91.00, which places it right about in the middle of the pack.

The Chaintech A-G441 GF4 MX 440
Black and Gold...



The A-G441 GeForce 4 MX 440 was the first product from Chaintech to arrive in the Hot Hardware Labs, and based on our initial impression of this product, we'll be hoping to see more of what they have to offer in the future.  There were quite a few interesting aspects to point out with the A-G441.  The most obvious being the black PCB.  Then the oversized gold cooler and gold external plate caught our eye.  As we delved deeper into the packing, we were very pleased to find two complete games included as well!  The Chaintech A-G441 ships with the underwater shooter, Aquanox, and the very fun (I loved this game) third person shooter MDK 2.  Also included was a comprehensive user's manual, a driver CD, Intervideo's WinDVD software and an S-Video cable.  The only thing we thought were "missing" from the bundle was an S-Video to Composite adapter.  At $95.00, the Chaintech A-G441 is a little more expensive than most of the other cards in this round-up, but finding Aquanox and MDK 2 in the box make spending those couple of extra dollars well worth it, in our opinion.

The eVGA GeForce 4 MX 440
"Swoopy" Cooler...



Another company making their debut appearance on Hot Hardware today is eVGA with their GeForce 4 MX 440.  With one very obvious exception, the oblong shaped cooler, the eVGA GeForce 4 MX 440 is rather non-descript.    The PCB is the common green, we've all grown so fond of over the years. :) Included with the card was a user's manual, S-Video Cable, a driver CD and a copy of PowerDVD 4 XP.  Another interesting find was a coupon to save a few dollars on Novalogic's Comanche 4 combat helicopter sim. 

Let's go back and explore the GPU cooler for a bit.  eVGA's custom design is very efficient.  Underneath the shroud, directly over the GPU is a long, finned heatsink.  The fan sucks air into the shroud and directs it across the fins, and out the opposite end of the cooler.  With this type of design, there is no "dead spot" in the center of the cooler, like there is under the fan on a conventional design.  Also, instead of a flat, heat plate directly over the GPU there is a finned heatsink, which is far more desirable.  This type of practical thinking and design bodes well with us.  If this kind of thought is put into the other products in their lineup, with a little support, we expect eVGA to do very well.  At $89.00, the eVGA board was one of the lest expensive boards in the lab.

The Gainward GF4 MX Pro 600 TV Golden Sample
Shaq in the Box...




We have had very good experiences with Gainward's "Golden Samples" in the past, so we had high expectations when their GeForce4 PowerPack! Pro/600TV Golden Sample arrived.  The card itself is of very high quality.  The bright, red PCB stood out among the other products, and we were satisfied with it's "orb" type cooler.  It had heavy fins, and happened to have a nice even layer of thermal paste spread between it and the GPU.  If you're the type who likes to mod your video card, the extra 3-Pin fan header found at the front of the card would be of some use.  We thought the bundle was a little thin though.  Included with the GeForce4 PowerPack! Pro/600TV Golden Sample was a user's manual, an S-Video to Composite adapter, a driver CD and a copy of WinDVD, but that's it.  Finding a game or two and video cables would have left us feeling mroe satisfied, but unfortunately this was not the case.

The Gainward GeForce4 PowerPack ! Pro/600TV Golden Sample does have one other distinguishing "feature".  Using the included ExperTool to put the card in "Enhanced Mode", effectively overclocks the card from it's stock 270MHz.core, to 290MHz.  Gainward guarantees their cards to work properly at the faster clockspeed, and coming it at $85.00 makes this card the second least expensive in the round-up.

More Cards and the Test Rig...


Tags:  Nvidia, GeForce, X4, force, Up!, id

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