View Full Version : Improve GeForce2 2D image quality?
Has anyone heard of this hack for GeForce2 MX (and other GeForce2 flavors) or had any experience with it?
Basically it involves removing several capacitors and inductors, thereby disabling the filters that exist between the actual RAMDAC and the video signal pins.
I understand what it does in theory, but I wonder if that will really be of any benefit. I have an old 20" monitor that I run at 1600x1200 (0.31 dot pitch) - I always attributed the fuzzy text to either the huge dot pitch or the really cheap spliced video cable, but maybe it is the video card's fault. (Hercules 3D Prophet II MX) I don't have any reference cards (Matrox, or even ATI) that can also do 1600x1200, so I can't compare.
Maybe this filter should be removed on cheap cards, and enabled on expensive cards with the feature name "full screen analog hardware anti-aliasing"
I don't recommend tinkering with anything on the video card... if you need 2d quality, that's why Matrox exists. If you want gaming, that's why Geforce cards exist. If you want decent quality in both, see Radeon.
My geforce 3 is a little bit fuzzy, but the FPS in games would floor you and be well worth a miniscule amount of fuzziness...
Try settings everything to 32 bit, it slows things down only a little but increases image clarity a lot.
Thanks for the warning against tinkering, but I already did the Quadro mod (in hardware)
This card exists only for me to tinker. I'm not that big a gamer, and I do any real work on my laptop with a nice LCD screen. If I toast the card, I'll be upset, but I won't lose any sleep over it. I just wanna make sure something I try is not blatently stupid.
Oh yeah, I do run at 1600x1200x32 (mmm.....23 fps of Quake 3 goodness...he he he...clearly I am not a gamer)
Okay, so it appears that not many people in the forums have experience with this particular mod, so I figured I would be as good a guniea pig as anyone.
My card: Hercules GeForce2 MX - based on NVidia reference design (not MX200 or MX400, just plain old-school MX)
My monitor: IBM Powerdisplay 20 - .31 dot pitch, 19" visible
First off, compared to the hardware Quadro mod, this is very simple, since it really only involves removing some parts (namely soldering out 9 capacitors) and shorting others (namely 3 inductors). If you are comfortable with a soldering iron, you should have little to no difficulty with this mod.
As for the actual improvements. Well, the desktop font does look slightly sharper at 1600x1200x32 than before. It isn't as sharp as I would like it to be, but I can clearly see the monitor pixels, so I have to say it is my monitor holding me back, not my video card. I can't afford a digi-cam, however should anyone else try this mod and has access to a cam it would be nice to post before and after zoomed in photos of the monitor.
As the mod page says, this will only help you if you have a large monitor and run at resolutions of 1280x1024 or above. Is it worth the time? To me it was, but maybe you thing your image is sharp enough. Is it worth the risk? Again, if and only if you are comfortable with a soldering iron, the actual operation itself is very low risk, so yeah, it is worth it.
Can I guarantee this mod will not completely destroy your card, cause your cat to shred the curtains, give you a flat tire, make you lose the winning lotto ticket, and otherwise give you a really bad day? No, but the modification itself is based on valid principles of electronics and it worked for me (as well as the person who dreamed it up and published it) so maybe it will work for you.
Do post your results if you tried it. This may give the GeForce users of the world some more smack-down talk when their Matrox buddies start getting all uppity over image quality.
07-30-01, 09:42 PM
Nope. I ruined a plain Geforce DDR card doing this mod. I accidentally pulled one of the capacitors off too quickly and ripped up some traces. Now my card didn't have any blue to it. Sucked. Oh well, the good news was that it was a fried card in the first place, and I was tinkering.
Sorry to hear about your card. I have a monitor which is missing the blue gun. Maybe the two of them will get along together?
Depending on which capacitor you ripped out, it may be possible to fix. If it is the middle one, just short the far sides of both inductors together. Or if you can find some other splice point, you may be able to get that GeForce DDR up and kicking again (not that it should stop you from buying a good video card anyway)
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