The first swell
We were beginning to feel as if the waters were finally receding after wading through the flood of GeForce and GeForce 2 GTS based video cards that have been introduced into the market in the past year. Now, with the introduction of the GeForce MX, the first trickles of the next storm are beginning to fall.
Not too long after seeing the GeForce MX reference card arrive on our doorstep, we have our first look at a shipping GeForce MX based video card, the Hercules 3D Prophet II MX. Guillemot was kind enough to send over the new GeForce MX based "3D Prophet II MX" for us to review. As expected, the new MX card sports Guillemot's Hercules brand name.
In the past, it has been shown that performance differences between cards based on the same video processor have been rather small. You could claim that all GeForce cards perfomed exactly the same as long as they had the same memory and core settings (which they almost always did). Most third party cards tend to stick very closely to the reference design, but as we have said in the past, this is not a bad thing. However, sticking to the reference design does not leave too much room for the manufacturer to "personalize" the performance and features of the product.
Performance on a budget
GeForce and GeForce 2 GTS based video cards have been selling very well, but there are quite a few gamers that have scoffed at upgrading because of the fairly high ($250-$350) price tags. These prices placed NVIDIA's newest cards far outside of the budget market. The GeForce MX seeks to fill in this budget market gap, by providing GeForce DDR level performance at a low-end price point.