More OpenGL Benchmarks with Serious Sam: TSE
"Serious" OpenGL Performance.
benchmarking favorite in the HH labs is Croteam's Serious
Sam - The Second Encounter. We ran the same three
resolutions as we did with the other tests and configured
the game quality to "Normal".
As we've seen
through out the review, the difference in scores between
the MSI Ti4600 VT2D8X and the eVGA card were negligible.
While the MSI card carries increased AGP bandwidth that is
double that of the older eVGA model, there are few games
on the market capable of saturating the bus enough to show
a performance difference. Regardless, these games
are coming and when they arrive, we are sure to see a more
significant shift in scores, when compared to AGP 4X
Issued - 2/19/03
As we bring
this review to a close, we find ourselves in a bit of a
rating quandary. The MSI VT2D8X brought high-end
features and performance to the table, proving it to be
one of the most impressive Ti4600 cards we've reviewed to
date. From a quality and performance perspective, we
would give this card the highest of ratings. Let us not
overlook the fact that it is one of the few Ti4600s on the
market to offer Dual-Head DVI connectors too. The
bundle that accompanied the card was equally impressive,
leaving us feeling like we had a lot of things to enjoy
and explore. The addition of MSI's "T.O.P." cooling
device was wonderful and the proper application of thermal
compound was a true sign of quality. While there was
little gain in performance versus the AGP4X capable eVGA
card, the MSI VT2D8X should have a longer life span as
newer, more complex games, capable of taxing the AGP8X
bus, reach the market. In the end, we have nothing
but positives to report about this card, except for its
wrapping things up, we paid a visit to a few online search
engines, to see the best price we could find on the
VT2D8X. We were surprised to find that the lowest we
found was $295. We then did a search for the best
Radeon 9700 price we could find and the price was
significantly lower at $225. Keep in mind that these
prices are for an OEM or "bulk" card, so these Radeons
will come with no bundle whatsoever and a lesser warranty.
Retail boxed Radeon 9700s (not the "Pro" versions but
standard) can be had for around $250 these days.
So, while the VT2D8X is an overall impressive package, it
seems that all of the extras come with an added cost.
Because of this, we find it difficult to conscionably
recommend this card over the the competitively priced
9700s. Perhaps the new 9700s will not have all the
extra software or inventive cooling, but that should not
be the focus of a video card purchase anyway. What it will
have is more power and DirectX 9 compatibility. The
only saving grace for the VT2D8X would be for users who
demand Dual-DVI capability, which we believe is a more
niche' market for now. In the end, most user's would
do better by purchasing the newer, cheaper ATI card.
While we were
impressed with the MSI VT2D8X from a quality and
performance standpoint, we find it difficult to recommend
to the masses, at its current price point. Before we
investigated the price, we were thoroughly impressed with
this card, but when we compared the price to the latest
ATi 9700s, we were left a little flat. The added
cost of the additional software, T.O.P cooling package and
Dual Head DVI capability, pushes the price of the MSI
VT2D8X too high in our opinion. There is no doubt
that there will be a select few who require the support
for the VT2D8X's Dual-DVI capabilities, and those users
should be happy with this card's performance.
However, the rest of us needing a decent card with good
performance and features, can easily find a better deal
out there, with a Radeon 9700 or even the Radeon 9500 Pro.
Having said that, as GeForce 4 Ti4600 cards go, the MSI
VT2D8X is everything a GeForce 4 Ti 4600 should be and
We'll give the
MSI VT2D8X with T.O.P a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of
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