Asus 7100 Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Asus 7100 Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • N/A

Publisher

  • ASUS

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • Hardware

rating

Something for Everyone!

How many of us have friends that would like to game on their PC but just can’t

afford the processor, motherboard and graphic card upgrades? I was one of those

“friends” for a long time, until I cashed in my fortune of crushed RC cans and

purchased my current super rig.

However, for those of you without the strength and might to crush an empty

RC can, those who are still trying to play Unreal

Tournament
on your PII 333MHz with that 8MB ATI card, and those who just

want to add a little more speed and power to your setup, NVIDIA may have everyone’s

answer in their new GeForce 2 MX series. Continuing our foray into this new

line of cards, GR takes a look at ASUS’s AGP-V7100 GeForce 2 MX board.



The Asus AGP V7100

Let’s deal with the nerdy jargon first. The ASUS AGP-V7100 GeForce 2 MX

is a 2D/3D graphic processing unit. This version runs on 32 MB of video memory

(a 16MB version is also available). More memory is always good for higher resolution

and color depth.

The NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX graphics engine sports similar but muted features to

the GTS engine. The dual pipeline architecture (2 pipelines down from GTS models)

prevents the card from taking full advantage of the boasted 700 million texels

per second. It will process all 700 million just fine; the result is just a

little bottlenecking. Frankly, you just can’t beat the 4-pipeline architecture

of the GTS.

However, textures look fabulous with this card. I ran our early copy of Hitman:

Codename 47
and the final version of Heavy

Metal F.A.K.K. 2
(both are OpenGL heavyweights). The NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer

and a 2nd generation transforming and lighting engine help produce the most

amazing textures on the MX chipset.

Want more nerdy stuff? Click here to view the 3dWinbench

results
of the Elsa Gladiac versus the V7100.

One of the more notable features unique to the MX series of boards is NVIDIA’s

TwinView functionality. This feature is very similar to Matrox’s Dual Head

capable G400 series of boards. Both allow you to have simultaneous and independent dual display control. You should be able to view a DVD on one monitor and surf the Internet on another. Both monitors could display the same content or you could split your monitor’s content over two displays. This has long been a prized feature for Matrox that NVIDIA hopes to cash in on.

The model we received came equipped with TV-Out, one of my personal favorites.

I’m pleased to report that the TV-Out quality is very much on par with that

of the Matrox G400 Dual Head. However, I was unable to utilize the TwinView.

When switching from VGA monitor to TV, my monitor would go black. I saw no option

for twin viewing. The vaunted Detonator 3 drivers are supposed to offer TwinView

options, but as of yet I have been unable to successfully load the Detonator

3 drivers with this card. Not a big problem, since the ASUS utilities so far

are fine.



Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 – Click to enlarge!

Tweaking these features is handled very well via an icon on your taskbar. This

allows easy access to all your display adapter-tweaking needs. Everything from

simple resolution changes to full-scene anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering

options (anisotropic filtering is the blending of different objects in different

directions) are easy to reach. ASUS has even included an option to set hot keys

that permit one-key access to the D3D and OpenGL options. Nice and simple!

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the phrase “Don’t buy any piece of

hardware based on the merits of its software bundle.” For the most part, these

are words to live by. Yet thankfully, ASUS has put together a better than average

software bundle.

You get, of course, drivers for Windows 98, NT and 2000 (still no Linux and

Redhat. Muahah!). ASUS also supplies the great FPS game Soldier

of Fortune
and 3Deep, a lighting and shading software utility for

3D games. But so far this card has not needed any help in the visual arena.

Quite frankly, this card is for those who are not hardcore, die-hard gaming

enthusiasts. This is for those of you who want more out of a card than hours

of mindless fragging. With a quality DVD player, TV-Out and a possible TwinView,

all chaperoned by NVIDIA and their GeForce 2 architecture, this card just has

hell of a lot to offer.

Plus, this semi-heavy-weight weighs in at about $175 dollars – nearly half the price of a GeForce 2 GTS for a little more than half the performance and a lot more functionality. It’s just one more option for your video stimuli.

 

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

0
Rating
GeForce 2 Engine
Incredible graphic quality
Good TV-Out
Very affordable
Possible TwinView
Possible TwinView
Dual pipeline structure
Well-paid hardcore gamers need not apply.