NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti4200 Roundup!

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NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti4200 Roundup! - Page 2

NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti 4200 Shoot-Out
64MB or 128MB?  We Report, You Decide...

By - Marco Chiappetta
August 15, 2002

GF4 TI4200 64MB or GF4 TI4200 128MB?

So you're looking for a GeForce 4 Ti4200, but can't decide between a 64MB or 128MB card.  Well, we'll make your decision an easy one.  The 64MB cards generally ship with faster memory than the 128MB models.  However, the 128MB cards obviously have double the memory capacity.  As you'll see a little later in the benchmarks, with most of the games shipping TODAY, the extra memory on the 128MB cards has no impact on performance at all.  If you're the type of person who upgrades his video card every few months, save the money and go with a 64MB card.  In general, the 64MB cards are faster and overclock to higher speeds.  On the other hand, if you're looking to buy a card to keep installed in your system for the next year and a half or so, a 128MB model would suit you better.  Some next generation games will be using upwards of 80MB of textures in some scenes.  The 64MB cards will have to cache textures in system memory, significantly impacting performance, while the 128MB cards will be able to store all of the textures locally.  In the long run, this will give the 128MB cards a performance advantage.

The MSI G4 Ti 4200 - 64MB
Fully Loaded..and Red!

  • Default Core / Memory Clock Speeds:  250MHz / 500MHz

  • Dual-Monitor Support = Yes

  • TV-Out = Yes

  • Video-In / Video Out (ViVo) = No

We were immediately impressed when we opened the box to our MSI G4 Ti4200.  This is a 64MB GeForce 4 Ti4200 with 3.6ns RAM, that sells for about $135 US, which makes it the least expensive card in the shoot-out.  It's equipped with a clear topped version of the the NVIDIA designed reference cooler, but is missing any sort of heatsinks on the RAM.  Inside the box, we found a wide assortment of software that adds to the overall value of this product.  Included with the MSI G4 Ti4200 were full versions of three games, No One Lives Forever, AquaNox and Sacrifice.  There were also some useful utilities like WinProducer and WinDVD, as well as a driver CD and another disk with assorted game demos.  Not only was there a plethora of software, but MSI has also provided all of the necessary cables and adapters to connect the card to a second monitor or television.  How MSI can include all of this software and still keep the price so low is anybody's guess!

The VisionTek XTasy GeForce 4 Ti 4200 - 128MB
Plain Jane

  • Default Core / Memory Clock Speeds:  250MHz / 444MHz

  • Dual-Monitor Support = Yes

  • TV-Out = Yes

  • Video-In / Video Out (ViVo) = No

Out of the box, we thought the 128MB Visiontek XTasy GeForce 4 Ti4200 was just a run-of-the-mill reference design, but that's not necessarily a bad thing when you see how well this card overclocked a little later in the review.  There was no flashy colored PCB, and the memory was comprised of the standard 4ns Samsung modules we've seen on other Ti4200s.  The cooler was mounted to the GPU with thermal epoxy, something we usually don't like to see, and there were no heatsinks installed on the RAM.  The bundle was also thin, with only drivers, PowerDVD and a "Quick Installation" guide included.  The 128MB XTasy GeForce 4 Ti4200 was also the most expensive card in the shoot-out at $185.  VisionTek is known for building top-notch products, not flashy products though, which became apparent to us when we pushed this card way beyond its stock speeds.

The X-Micro Impact T4200 - 128MB
Covering All the Bases

  • Default Core / Memory Clock Speeds:  250MHz / 444MHz

  • Dual-Monitor Support = Yes

  • TV-Out = Yes

  • Video-In / Video Out (ViVo) = Yes

X-Micro is not as well known as some of the other manufactures whose cards we're looking at today, but our experience with their products, so far, has been very good.  The X-Micro Impact T4200 is a 128MB GeForce 4 Ti4200 with ViVo capabilities.  This card is populated by 4ns memory, and with some persistent searching can be found for around $170 US.  The GPU cooler was fairly large and had an almost perfect application of thermal paste.  The bundle was fairly complete with full versions of Serious Sam, Intervideo WinDVD and WinProducer included, along with a driver CD and a Users manual.  Cables were also included to handle S-Video or Composite video in and out duties.  The only thing missing is a DVI-to-Analog adapter, but if you're not planning on using dual-monitors, you probably won't miss it.

The Gainward GeForce4 PowerPack ! Ultra/650XP Golden Sample - 64MB
The Golden Boy!

 

  • Default Core / Memory Clock Speeds:  250MHz / 500MHz

  • Dual-Monitor Support = Yes

  • TV-Out = Yes

  • Video-In / Video Out (ViVo) = No

Over the last year, collectively we have reviewed about seven Gainward "Golden Samples" video cards, and every last one of them has impressed us.  The 64MB Gainward GeForce 4 PowerPack! Ultra/650XP Golden Sample, continues that tradition.  This card is equipped with the fastest memory in the group at 3.3ns, and was the second least expensive at $137 US.  It had the most impressive cooling solution, with a huge "orb type" cooler over the GPU and larger than average heatsinks on the RAM, especially on the front.  The bundle was a little light though.  Inside the box we found a simple Users manual, a driver CD and a full version of WinDVD.  There was also a DVI-to-Analog adapter, an S-Video to composite adapter and a "Powered by Gainward" case badge.

The Test Rig & Some Numbers...

 
Tags:  Nvidia, GeForce, force, Up!, id

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