Gainward CardExpert GeForce2 MX TwinView/Vivo Golden Sample

WHAT'S HOT: A sterling implementation of NVidia's new MX-400 chip set yielded impressive results in all of our tests, including a Very Good rating for overall image quality and an improvement on the image scores of older GeForce2 MX-based cards. Textures looked vivid, and lighting effects were well defined in all of the test games. The board reproduces highly contrasting areas, such as very light subjects juxtaposed with deep shadows, very well; the light areas aren't blown out, and the elements in the shadows don't disappear, providing just the right atmosphere in our test games.

WHAT'S NOT: This card's frame rates didn't improve much over the scores of older GeForce2 MX-based cards. Like the GeForce2 MX-based cards, this card was unable to run the game Test Drive 6 at 1600 by 1200 resolution in 32-bit color.

WHAT ELSE: Gainward bundles Ulead VideoStudio 4 for editing video, as well as DVD playback software. The TwinView feature lets you display two desktops side by side, with the second image on a TV or an analog or digital monitor. You can also play games on a connected TV, although at a maximum resolution of only 800 by 600.

UPSHOT: A winning combination of performance and features at a low price makes this an outstanding choice for those looking for gaming and general-use performance on a limited budget.

By Richard Baguley

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