It seems Gigabyte has two similar models of their GeForce2 MX400; the GA-GF 1280 and the GV-GF 1280. The difference between the two is that the GV-GF 1280 comes with a TV-out and the memory is rated higher than the GA-GF 1280. Overall you could expect a higher grade from the GV-GF 1280. Then theirs also another version of the GA-GF 1280 with the TV-out as well. I'm not too sure why Gigabyte has this discrepancy with the same board; we'll find this out soon.
The GA-GF 1280 we received from Gigabyte does not include a TV-out. Not that most of us use this feature anyway, nevertheless I'm still trying to figure out what's the reason for this. The only drawback of the lack of this feature is that you won't be able to make use of the Twin-View feature of the GeForce2MX400.
The Gigabyte GA-GF 1280 includes 32MB of Hyundai SDRAM rated at 6ns. There were early versions of this board with 5ns EliteMT memory, so if you're lucky you might come across one.
The card supports AGP 2x as well as 4x fast write interfaces. The GA-GF 1280 comes equipped with a black stock heat sink. The architecture of the GF2 MX boards have been designed to produce the least amount of heat, and as a result does not require any heat sinks by default. We even managed to crank up our nVidia GF2 MX reference board to 200/180 with no active cooling at all. Nevertheless it's always better to have some kind of active cooling for absolute stability. We installed a separate cooling fan onto the heat sink so that we could test how far the card could reach when overclocked.
OverclockingBy default the card is clocked at 200/166 (Core/memory).
A quick run of NVMAX and we were ready for the overclocking. First we tried the most extreme overclocking rates ever tried by us on a GF2MX chip. We increased the core to 280MHz and the Memory to 270MHz. Sadly no luck here, the system just crashed. After many more system halts we finally rested at 240/200 (Core/memory). We did manage for once to get the memory to 240MHz as well, however it did not remain for long. Anything above 200MHz (memory Frequency) for the card is out of the question.
We performed the same tests of our nVidia GF2 MX reference board, and all it could do was reach 230/195. (Core/memory). Of course the high scores achieved by the GF2MX 400 was no doubt attributed to its fast memory and a chipset working at higher ratings than the GF2MX.
Software Bundle and InstallationThe GA-GF 1280 we received from Gigabyte was one of their retail boards and it includes a very detailed user manual, two CD's (one containing the drivers and the other containing a few utilities such as Power DVD v3.0, 3 Deep 3.3, Future cop, Super bike, Populous, Final Reality, and a cool looking VCD player called PowerPlayer SE.
Installation of the card was simply a breeze. The auto installation procedure of the driver CD did all the work, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy.
Time to test how this baby performs.