Next up, we
have some tests with Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.
We configured the game to use OpenGL and ran the "Little
Trouble" demo using the "Extreme Quality" script, created
by the folks at Beyond3D, to max out the texture and
OpenGL Benchmarks with Serious Sam: TSE
Ok, Time to Get
The GeForce 4 Ti4200s surged
past the Radeons and MX440 at every resolution in the
Serious Sam benchmarks. The 64MB cards from Gainward
and MSI were again the fastest of the bunch, proving
Serious Sam benefits more from the faster memory on the
64MB cards, rather than the increased available memory on
the 128MB cards.
Overclocking Benchmarks with 3D Mark 2001 SE
More Synthetic Gaming.
We also spent some time
overclocking each of the GeForce 4 Ti4200s in this
roundup. To demonstrate the performance gained by
overclocking the cards, we ran 3DMark2001's default
benchmark at 1024x768 again, and compared the new scores
to the originals. The Gainward card, with its 3.3ns
memory, was able to hit the highest overall clock speeds, 310MHz
core and 608MHz memory. The MSI card also overclocked well, but the VisionTek card was the real
killer. The VisionTek card hit a stable 310MHz core,
with 583MHz memory! Overall the 64MB cards were able
to hit higher memory speeds, but those boards were using
faster memory to begin with. For example, we were
able to increase the memory on the Gainward card by "only"
108MHz, but with the VisionTek card the memory ran a full
139MHz over its default clock speed! The X-Micro card
used the same 4ns memory as the Visiontek but was only
able to hit a maximum of 553MHz, with a 308MHz core clock
AND THE WINNER
The time has
come to evaluate the benchmarks and declare an overall
winner. Clearly, the GeForce 4 Ti4200 is one heck of
a 3D accelerator, posting "Best of Class" performance in
every test we ran except for Jedi Knight II, and the Quake
3 Anisotropic tests. Even in the benchmarks where
the Ti4200 didn't come out on top, the performance deltas
were so small that in "real world" scenarios users would
not be able to tell the difference. We were
impressed by all four for of the GeForce 4 Ti4200s we
looked at, especially considering the most expensive card
in the pack can be found for under $190.
Our top pick
has to be the X-Micro Impact T4200.
While the 64MB cards from Gainward and MSI were the
fastest overall, we feel buying a 128MB card is the
smarter choice in the long run. As newer games like
Unreal Tournament: 2003 and Doom 3, that use upwards of
80MB of textures in some scenes ship, the extra memory on
the 128MB cards will yield higher performance, making them
the better choice if you plan to get any mileage out of
your investment. The X-Micro card in particular was
less expensive than VisionTek's offering, shipped with DVD
playback software, a full version game and had ViVo
capabilities included. We give the X-Micro Impact
T4200 a HotHardware Heat Meter rating of 9
and a coveted Editors Choice award!
choosing any of the four GeForce 4 Ti4200s we looked at
today would be a wise decision though. The
VisionTek GeForce 4 Ti4200 is obviously a well crafted
product. There is a reason VisionTek makes NVIDIA's
reference cards, and that reason is quality.
Being able to overclock the GPU on this card by 60MHz and
the memory by 139MHz is awesome. If you're an
enthusiast looking for the utmost in quality and don't
want or need ViVo capabilities, the VisionTek GeForce 4
Ti4200 would make a fine upgrade. We give this card
an 8.5 on the Heat Meter.
considered giving the nod to the MSI GeForce 4 Ti4200,
but felt strongly that going with a 128MB card was the
better choice. The MSI GeForce 4 Ti4200
shipped with the most impressive software bundle we had
ever seen, bar none. MSI has also built quite a
reputation for manufacturing high quality products over
the years, so you know you'd be buying a card that was
meant to last. It wasn't the best overclocker, but
you can hardly fault a product because it won't run as far
out of spec as you'd like! The MSI GeForce 4 Ti4200
has earned itself an 8 on the Heat Meter
based on its excellent bundle and low price.
certainly not least we have the Gainward GeForce4
PowerPack ! Ultra/650XP Golden Sample. Gainward
has proven time and again that they manufacture some of
the best video cards in the world. Their "Golden
Samples" have impressed reviewers all across the internet.
This card had the best cooler and memory heatsinks of the
bunch, and was the best overclocker and overall
performer. The bundle was a bit sparse though,
which ultimately cost it a few points. The Gainward
GeForce4 PowerPack ! Ultra/650XP Golden Sample is still a
great card, and walks away with an 8 on the Heat
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