The GeForce2 MX memory shuffle

— 12:00 AM on October 6, 2000

This sort of thing has been a concern for video card buyers lately. Geoff writes:

Greetings ;)

I've been reading your stuff since late '98 on Ars Technica ;). I finally have a bit of news..

I have put together a number of computers for myself and my friends.

Earlier this month I put together three systems with eVGA GF2 MX cards. As advertised ( they had 6ns memory.

Last week I put together two more systems which had eVGA GF2 MX cards in them. Both of those cards have 7ns memory in them (as designated by the -7 at the end of the memory "serial number").

I contacted my supplier and he checked and confirmed that the last batch he received does in fact have 7ns memory.

Don't buy eVGA cards ;). At least not without checking the memory. Although they have promised to replace TwinView cards with 7ns memory, they haven't made any statements about 7ns non-TwinView cards.

Take care,

Kyle at the (increasingly hard to type its name) [H]ard|OCP has been following this issue and some others like it with diligence recently. Not only are memory types and timing not always what the spec says, but some OEM video cards are also showing up with different clock rates than the retail versions of the same cards. (ATI Radeons, for one.)

The long and the short of it is, you'd best be careful that you know what you're getting when you buy. However, in some cases, memory ratings may not matter; it depends on how the RAM actually performs on the card, not what's printed on the chips. I'll see if we can get eVGA to explain themselves on this one...

Big-time update: Hooz from 2CPU comes through with word of an eVGA exchange program for owners of MX cards with 7ns memory. Go fill out their form, and you can swap your card for one with 6ns RAM. Looks like a very nice effort from eVGA to keep their customers' good faith on this issue. But hurry; it's over on October 15th.

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