The Albatron GeForce4 Ti4800SE Up Close &
The Basic Package
The Ti4800SE is powered by an
nVidia GeForce4 GPU with AGP8X support and 128MB of DDR RAM.
The Ti4800's core clock speed is 25MHz slower than the
Ti4600, running at 275MHz. Complimenting the GPU is 128MB of
3.3 nanosecond DDR memory clocked at 550MHz compared to the
Ti4600's which can range from 650-700MHz depending on the
model. Take one look at the card though, and it
becomes clear that this card was designed with overclocking in
mind. As you'll see later, we were easily able to
overclock this card into true Ti4600 territory...
The GPU is fitted with an
excellent copper based cooling package backed with a
relatively quiet fan. Releasing the two retention pins
allowed the removal of the cooler assembly, revealing an even
layer of thermal paste to insure optimal heat transfer from the
the cooler. One way to gauge a manufacturer's
standards is to see what type of thermal interface material
is used between the GPU and cooler. All too often,
cheap, inefficient thermal pads are used that diminish a
heatsink's ability to properly cool a GPU. We were
glad to see Albatron take the "extra step" and properly
apply thermal paste to the GPU on their Ti4800SE.
Aluminum heat sinks were fitted
to the RAM chips on both sides of the card to help insure that the RAM
is kept cool under load. The sinks were applied firmly
with some form of thermal adhesive that held the sinks
securely in place. One thing to watch out for if you
purchase a card like this, is that trying to remove the sinks
can damage the card irreversibly. The BGA packaged
memory could actually come off if too much pressure is
applied in an attempt to remove the heatsinks. The best
thing to do in our opinion it to leave well enough alone, Albatron has done a fine job at tackling the heat issue and
it is doubtful any modifications short of water-cooling would make much of a
What is clear is that while
this card is sold as an economic alternative to the Ti4600
model card, the Ti4800SE is certainly prepared to be pushed
just as hard. This is a card that is designed with the overclocker in mind and if all goes as planned, this should
prove to be a fruitful experience for all.
Let's give it a try...
We Want More!
Before we get started with
the benchmarks, we like to get a feel for how fast a card
will overclock. With the card
outfitted with a
top quality GPU cooler and RAM sinks, we thought it would
be sure to please. In the end, the Ti4800SE overclocked "pretty well." Using the
Coolbits registry tweak
included on the installation CD, we reached a maximum core
speed of 328MHz, anything higher resulted in random pauses
during testing. With the RAM, the scale of the Coolbits slider
allowed us to go up to 690MHz and no higher, preventing us
from truly pushing the RAM beyond its limits. In an
effort to try to get more performance out of the RAM, we did try to use the latest version of Powerstrip, but that didn't go too well. For some
reason, Powerstrip detected the GPU speed at 137MHz.
rather than the default 275MHz. We didn't trust
Powerstrip this time around, so we stuck with
Coolbits. With that said, we managed to
increase the clock speed of the GPU 19.27% and 25.45% on the RAM, a
fair increase overall.
In the end, the card easily entered Ti4600 territory.
Next we'll throw some
benchmarks your way to see how the Albatron Ti4800SE
stacked up against the tried and true Ti4600.
The HotHardware Test System & Testing
AthlonXP + nForce2=Snappy
Athlon XP 2100+
Asus A7N8X Deluxe (AGP 8X)
512MB Geil PC3200 (CAS 2.5)
Western Digital 7200RPM 30GB HD
Creative 52X CD-ROM
Standard Floppy Drive
Windows XP Professional SP1 (DirectX 8.1)
nForce Chipset Drivers v2.03
NVIDIA Detonators v41.09 Drivers
VIDEO CARDS TESTED:
Albatron GeForce4 Ti4800SE
eVGA GeForce4 Ti4600 (128MB) 300/650
We have seen significant
variations in benchmark scores from one site to the
next. Therefore, we feel it is necessary to explain how
we configure each test system before running any
benchmarks. We chose to test these video boards on the
Asus A7N8X Deluxe (AGP 8X), with an
Athlon XP 2100+.
The first thing we did when configuring this system
was enter the BIOS and "Load Optimized Defaults".
We then configured the Memory CAS Latency and other
memory timings to be set by the SPD. The hard drive was then
formatted, and Windows XP Professional w/ SP1 was
installed. After the Windows installation was
complete, we installed the nForce chipset drivers and then
hit the Windows Update site. We downloaded all of the
available updates, with the exception of the ones
related to Windows Messenger. Then we installed all of
the necessary drivers for the rest of our components,
disabling and removing Windows Messenger.
Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled,
and we set up a 768MB permanent page file.
Lastly, we set Windows XP?s Visual Effects to "best
performance", installed all of the benchmarking
software, defragged the hard drive and ran all of the
tests at the CPU's default clock speed. For
comparison, the scores of the Albatron Ti4800SE were
compared to those of an eVGA Geforce4 Ti4600.