Date: September 14th, 2002
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Albatron
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GRAPHIC BENCHMARKS & OVERCLOCKING
The benchmarks in this particular review will be done on:
Intel P4 2.4Ghz 533FSB
256 Megs Samsung PC2700 DDR
VIA P4X333 Motherboard
Samsung ATA-100 40Gb Hard Drive
Albatron Geforce 4 MX440 64 Meg DDR (Review would kinda suck without it)
All benchmarks were done using the exact same test rig using Nvidia's latest beta Detonator 40.41 drivers. The Intel CPU was not overclocked for this test and the DDR system ram was set at DDR333 to reflect maximum performance. Driver properties were de-tuned to "Best performance" settings of v-sync disabled, anisotropic filtering off, antialiasing off, and the Mip-Map Level of Detail Bias set to "Best Performance". I boiled down the benchmarks to the three "important" benchmarks that really mean anything to the consumer and are excellent performance comparison tools. What benchmarks am I talking about, one would have to be 3DMark2001se which is an excellent Direct3d based benchmark, the second is GLExcess which benchmarks OpenGL better than anyone, and the third reflect the all important "Gaming" benchmark which would have to be the Quake 3 Demo benchmark. Now, I realize that people will be emailing me complaining that I don't test the card with every damn video benchmarking suite on the net. But really, some of the new benchmarks spit out relatively meaningless numbers that really can't be understood by anyone other than the elite user or hardware reviewers like myself. I subscribe to the KISS philosophy which stands for "Keep It Simple Stupid" which always works well and the average consumer can understand.
One thing that I can stand behind is the fact that this card is an impressive overclocker. Even though it does not overclock to the same high levels as its bigger brothers, its mere overclock over stock levels is really impressive. For instance, the stock level for this card is 270Mhz core frequency and 400Mhz memory clock. I could pump the card up to 360Mhz core and 515Mhz. 90Mhz core overclock and 115Mhz memory are some pretty good numbers. I did not test the card quite at that level due to some artifacts, although very minor during benchmarking. Some benchmarks were more friendly to overclocking, let's see how the results made out....
This is always my first benchmark to pull out when installing a new card. It is always consistent. Testing was undertaken using default parameters at 1024x768.
First let's see how we did with the stock values of 270 Mhz core/400 Mhz memory.
Not too shabby, actually pretty impressive for a low end card. A definite plus is the fact that I am testing with a 2.4 Ghz P4 which will help the benchmark a bit. Remember to note that DirectX is highly CPU dependent when compared to OpenGL and is greatly influenced by the CPU speed rather than the actually videocard itself. Why do you think you see the competition for the highest 3Dmark fought over buy people with the same card, but higher speed CPU's.
Now, the videocard overclock of 310/500 was the maximum that 3dmark could handle without having allot of artifacts but indeed 7433 3dmarks for a MX440 is great and represents a good performance per dollar purchase.
Representing the best OpenGL benchmarks is indeed GL Excess. I found that this benchmark handled the high overclocks I was punishing this card with when compared to 3Mark2001se. The maximum I could benchmark in this program was 320/515 and represented a very decent increase of approximately 1000 XSMARKS.
A reference point was taken with a benchmark at stock speeds of 270core/400memory.
Now, why don't we cut to the chase and push the core up to 310Mhz and for added enjoyment, slam the memory up 100Mhz to 500Mhz and this is what y'all shall receive (I cannot believe I just used the word "y'all", dammit, I'm Canadian. =D) Now let's see if we can push it up somemore.
Being all manly, I gave the card it's final "Who's your Daddy" at a speed of 320/515 and was again impressed with the performance improvement.
One more benchmark to go, the all-knowing Quake3 Benchmark