Testing For testing purposes, I've included a Gainward Geforce 4 Ti4200 64mb as well as a Gainward Geforce 3 Ti200 64mb to compare the results. I also included results of the XFX MX440-8X running in AGP 4X mode.
As you can see, I have a Thermaltake Geforce 4 cooler on my Gainward Ti4200. That little thing is a beast. I love the cooler and it does a great job. One thing to note is that there have been faulty Gainward Ti4200s found everywhere. Unfortunately, I own one. The results shown for the Gainward Ti4200 will be based on the ones it was capable of running without showing glitches.
Note:The latest Detonator 41.09 was used for all three video cards tested
AGP 4x Mode The main purpose of the review here today is to see whether or not the new AGP 8x would improve the Geforce 4 MX440's performance. SPeeD wrote an excellent article on the theories of AGP 4x and AGP 8x and the theoretical performance increases. Check it out HERE for further details. The motherboard I was using was the Asus A7V8X. I encountered trouble while trying to set the AGP mode to 4x. It just wouldn't allow me to run the card at AGP 4x. I made contacts with Ryan at XFX and he was kind enough to help me with the problem. Apparently, if the card has AGP 3.0 specifications and the board is able to recognize it, it will force the card to run at the specification. In order to run the card at AGP 4x mode, you would have to "mod" the card with some small pieces of scotch tape. I tried with electrical tape and it didn't work.
All you have to do is tape the third and eleventh contacts and that will make the motherboard unable to recognize the AGP 3.0 specification. This will make the video card to run at AGP 4x.
Overclocking The MX440-8x overclocked exceptionally well. With the stock heat sink, I was able to achieve a stable core speed of 375mhz. That is an incredible 100mhz over stock speed. With a little better contact with the heat sink, the core should be able to achieve higher stable overclock. As mentioned before, the memory is rated to run at 3.3ns, allowing the memory to run at at least 606mhz. I was able to push the BGA ram to at least 675mhz before artifacts started showing up. I was able to push the core and memory even higher and run 3DMark01 SE but the pictures would tear and artifact so I backed it down. With a little better cooling, i.e. Thermaltake GeForce 4 cooler and some Tweakmonster ramsinks, I'm sure that the card can reach higher stable overclock.
Dungeon Seige by Microsoft is one of the better action RPG games available and has graphics and sounds that haven't been matched by many other games in it's genre at this point. Lets see how well the XFX GF4 MX440 handles the game.
80+FPS is certainly playable on any game and Dungeon Siege runs very well at this rate. My old GF3 would drop below 30 frames per second at certain points in the game, so an average of 83+ is certainly respectable for a card of this sort.
Conclusion What can be said about the XFX Geforce 4 MX440-8x? It is a pretty impressive budget card. I have to admit that when I first received it, I had my doubts and I was ready to dismiss it as a stripped down card not necessarily deserving of your hard earned cash. After testing and benchmarking, I've come to like this card quite a bit however. From the tests conducted, you can pretty much see that there is not much if any at all an increase in performance with overclocking. Coming at around the 50$ price mark, this card makes a good business/office use as well as some casual gaming if your simply strapped for cash. Hardcore gamers must stay away from this card as it has no native DX 8.1 support. If you're just playing some Counterstrike, Quake 3, etc. like the majority, then this card will be fine. With all that said, does this card get my recommendation? It would be tough to choice. With the price of this card, there are other choices out there such as the ATI Radeon 9000. I would and wouldn't recommend this card. It's basically dependent on what you plan to use the card for. However, given that nVidia can always be counted on for updated drivers and and support, coupled with a nearly bottom of the barrel price, this card would make a great buy for nearly anyone, and certainly those out there that simply do not have 100 to 200$ to drop on a higher end video card. Even as a card in your spare box or LAN party box, this would be a great option.
Good performance for the price
Includes DVI to CRT converter
AGP 8X ready
Nice black PCB
Great stock cooling
Disappointing bundled software
NO DirectX 8.1 Support!
Not enough quite enough thermal grease to make full contact with heat sink
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