MSI's VT2D8X GeForce4 Ti4600

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MSI's VT2D8X GeForce4 Ti4600 - Page 5

MSI's VT2D8X GeForce4 Ti4600
More Bandwidth, More Cooling, More Goodies!

By - Jeff Bouton
February 16, 2003

More OpenGL Benchmarks with Serious Sam: TSE
"Serious" OpenGL Performance.

Another OpenGL 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 capable models.

 

Conclusion Update 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 price.

Before 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 more.

We'll give the MSI VT2D8X with T.O.P a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of  7.5.

 


 

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Tags:  MSI, GeForce, MS, 460, force, 2D

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