VisionTek XTasy GeForce4 Ti4400 - HotHardware

VisionTek XTasy GeForce4 Ti4400

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The VisionTek XTasy GeForce4 Ti 4400
Compelling performance without the price tag

By -Dave Altavilla
April 9, 2002

 

If variety is the "spice of life", then it is safe to say that NVIDIA is cooking up some "Three Alarm Chili" these  days and it's guaaaaraaaanteed (insert thick Cajun Bayou accent here), to make you thirsty for a cool drink of 3D polygon pushing refreshment.  There are so many flavors of GeForce4 product in the retail channel, the unsuspecting consumer could get down right befuddled at the myriad of choices and performance levels, offered by the various incarnations of NVIDIA's GeForce4.  Mind you, we're not complaining about this situation with NVIDIA product.  After all, that's what keeps on line publications, like HotHardware.com, in business.  We're here to sort things out for you, tell it like it is and hopefully, as a result, you'll be able to make a somewhat informed decision on your next graphics card purchase, or any new system upgrade for that matter.  On the flip side however, just think what it might be like in our shoes, trying to sort out all the features, specifications and target markets for each of these new products.  You think you're confused?  Pass the pitcher of Margaritas please.  I just got singed by some of life's spice, if you know what I mean.

Now let's think of this from a manufacturing perspective.  For NVIDIA, as a chip supplier, speed bins and branding are as simple as changing a silk screen on a part marking, before boxing a part up for shipment.  Perhaps that scenario is a bit of over an simplification but with today's fully automated assembly and test environments, it's not too far off the mark.  On the other hand, from a third party OEM like VisionTek's perspective, keeping track of all those SKU codes in the channel and more importantly, finished goods inventory levels, can be a bit of a juggling act, one that will drive the corporate "Bean Counters" crazy.  Regardless, in today's competitive environment at the retail level, if you can gain an edge by having a price point that will catch the end user's eye, then it's "game, set and match", you won. 

That's what this next product on the HotHardware.com test bench, is all about.  The VisionTek XTasy GeForce4 Ti4400 comes in at a price point well below the average Ti4600 card, yet utilizes the same GeForce4 graphics chip, with the exception of a lower core clock speed and slower speed bin DDR SDRAM chips.  So, just where does this spicy addition to NVIDIA's pot of Three Alarm Graphics Chili fit in?  We'll show you the detail and numbers and then let you make the call.

Specifications and Features of the XTasy GeForce4 Ti 4400
A card and some drivers, nothing too exciting but the focus is on value

   

VisionTek XTasy GeForce4 Ti 4400
  • 275MHz GeForce 4 Ti GPU
  • VGA, TV In/Out, DV
  • 256-bit Graphics Accelerator

Nvidia nfiniteFX II Engine:

  • Dual programmable Vertex Shaders, faster Pixel Shaders

Lightspeed Memory Architecture II:

  • With 128-bit DDR Lightspeed Memory Architecture II provides nearly double the memory bandwidth of GeForce3.

Accuview Antialiasing Engine:

  • High-performance and stunning visual quality at high frame rates.

TV Out Jack:

  • On-board TV-out supports both RCA and S-video up to 1024x768 resolution.

Cooling solution:

  • on-board active heat-sink cooling fan
Specifications:
  • Controller: NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600
  • Bus Type AGP
  • Memory 128MB DDR
  • Core Clock 275MHz
  • Memory Clock 550MHz DDR memory
  • RAMDAC 350MHz
  • API Support Direct-X, Open GL ICD for Windows
  • Connectors VGA, DVI, TV In/Out
  • 1.12 Trillion operations/sec.
  • 125 Million triangles/sec
  • 8.8GB/sec memory bandwidth

Features at a Glance:

  • AGP 4x compatible with fast writes
  • 256-bit 3D and 2D graphics accelerator
  • NVIDIA nView display technologies
  • Lightspeed Memory Architecture II
  • Accuview Antialiasing
  • High Definition Video Processing Engine
  • TV Out connector
  • DVI connector

Package Contains:

  • XTasy GeForce4 Ti 4400 Graphics Card
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Installation CD and NVIDIA Drivers
  • Cyberlink Power DVD
  • Cyberlink PowerDirector
     

In a word, "spartan".  This would best describe the bundle that comes with the VisionTek XTasy GeForce4 Ti 4400.  There are two CDs in the box, one for the drivers and manuals and another for Cyberlink's Power DVD and Power Director.  Power DVD, as you may already be aware, is one of the best Software DVD Player packages for the PC on the market.  Power Director is Cyberlink's video desktop editing software bundle.  It too is very adept at what it does and is very easy to use.  Other than that, the XTasy Ti4400 is all by itself in the box.  However, that is plenty in our opinion.  The hardware is where it is at with this package.

    

 

NVIDIA's reference design was utilized in almost every facet of this product.  Even the Heat Sink and Fan assembly is the NVIDIA design that we've seen on GeForce4 MX products.  This cooler does an excellent job at keeping the GPU cool as well as blowing air across the RAM chips, keeping them cool in the process, without the need for individual sinks on the RAM components.  Speaking of the RAM chips, the Samsung DDR SDRAM chips that VisionTek used on this board, are rated at 3.6ns or 550MHz.  However, they could be capable of a little better than that and we'll show you more in our overclocking section, as well as what the GPU can handle.

Finally, the Conexant line of Video Encoders have also been in production with NVIDIA boards for quite a while.  These chips provide all of the TV-Out interface logic that the GeForce4 needs to support this function.  A standard TV display, driven off this card, works fairly well.  However, the quality is best suited for gaming versus business work, like Power Point presentations and such.

Let's fire things up.

 Setup, Overclocking and Screen Shots 

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