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| Quality and Setup of the Abit Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES |
| Looking Good... |
When we opened the box of the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES, our first impression was "what the...?" Abit has implemented a unique cooling system like nothing we've seen before. With the goal of the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES being to offer a cost effective video card with the muscle to give more powerful cards some competition, they needed to do three things. The first was the easy part, increase the GPU and memory speed to give the video card an edge over an equivalent model. The second, and more complicated task, was to develop a viable cooling solution for the GPU to handle the increased heat generated from overclocking. The third was to ensure that not only would the cooling package handle the overclocked GPU off the assembly line, but also give the user some head room to do a little overclocking of their own. The answer to the cooling problem lies within the Outside Thermal Exhaust System, otherwise known as OTES.
OTES incorporates a liquid filled heat-pipe design that absorbs the heat away from the GPU. As the heat is absorbed from the GPU, the internal liquid of the heat pipe vaporizes and is then carried to the rear end of the card where a 7200RPM fan blows the heat out of the system. The fan is wrapped in an enclosure which directs the airflow out of the system through a rear exhaust port, preventing recirculation of warm air within the case. This is an effective, proven process that we've seen implemented in a number of various ways, from cooling video GPUs to Pentium and Athlon CPUs. Abit has simply taken the process and molded it to fit their needs. In order to accomplish this, some extreme measures needed to be taken.
In order to accommodate the unique design of the OTES on a standard Ti4200, there was one problem, the card would need to be modified to make room for the oversized cooler. Paying special attention not to sacrifice features in order to apply the OTES system, Abit had to alter the card in a way that would give everyone the best solution. To do this, the video card was designed to reposition the VGA and TV-Out connectors to an add-on component. With the placement of these ports lower than standard Ti4200s, there was now room for the OTES to fit comfortably on the card. One side affect of this process was the card's width was doubled, requiring two spaces be used in the case rather than one. This may be OK for some and not for others, but if this card performs on the level of a Ti4600, then it may all be worth it.
Before we started benchmarking the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES, we thought we should remove the cooling components from the card to see how well it made contact with the GPU. With the removal of four screws on the back side of the card, the cross shaped retention clip was removed and the OTES system slid out easily. We were please to see the unit made solid contact with the GPU and an even application of thermal compound was applied to aid in proper heat transfer. The only concern that we had was while Abit spent a lot of time addressing the temperature needs of the GPU, virtually no effort was made to cool the RAM on the card. The majority of the performance gained with the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES is going to be from the GPU anyway, so this may not be a major issue. Perhaps now would be a good time to take a look at how well the card overclocked to see just how much this card was capable of putting out.
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| Overclocking the Abit Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES |
| Turning Up The Juice! |
Back when Rob reviewed the original Siluro Ti4200, he was able to overclock the card to a nice 305MHz core clockspeed, with a 610MHz memory clock. When it came to overclocking the Abit Siluro Ti4200 with OTES, we weren't sure what to expect. Since the card was already clocked higher than standard Ti4200s, it was tough to guess where the card would top out. So we applied the Coolbits registry tweak to the system and got down to business. Starting off at the the GPU, we were able to increase the clock from 275MHz to a stable 310MHz. This was a significant increase that put the Siluro past the 300MHz stock speed of a Ti4600, but only 5MHz higher than Rob's results. The total gain averaged out to an increase of 12.72% or 35MHz. Next we tackled the DDR memory to see if it could keep up with the GPU's showing. Starting out at the stock 550MHz DDR, we reached a peak of 600MHz, anything higher and artifacts would begin to appear. We were disappointed that the card wasn't able to keep up with the original Siluro, falling 10Mhz shy of its top memory speed. In the end, the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES held its own when overclocked, but with such an impressive cooling design, we would've expected better performance versus the original Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200.
Next we'll take a look at the Siluro in the benchmarking arena and see how the card compared to the best that nVidia currently has to offer, the GeForce4 Ti4600. We were eager to see how this card stacked up. So let's get to it!
DirectX Benchmarking with 3DMark2001SE