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64MB GeForce4 Ti4200 Roundup
By: Justifier
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    Table of Contents:
  • 64MB GeForce4 Ti4200 Roundup
  • More Cards
  • And yet another card
  • Benchmarking

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    64MB GeForce4 Ti4200 Roundup

    (Page 1 of 4 )

    Today we're going to take a look at the current "go to" card in the value performance market of graphics boards, the nVidia GeForce4 Ti4200. These cards were released with their sight set on the "I want lots of speed but not because my wallets lighter" crowd. The Ti4200 was designed to combine speed, an extensive feature list, and affordability and we plan to determine just how close to the mark they came.


       MSI, Gainward, Leadtek, Abit, OCSystems
      Product:   nVidia GeForce4 Ti4200's


       USD$128 - $189



    Reviewed By:

       Jim Miller

    Review Date:



    Today we're going to take a look at the current "go to" card in the value performance market of graphics boards, the nVidia GeForce4 Ti4200.  These cards were released with their sight set on the "I want lots of speed but not because my wallets lighter" crowd.  The Ti4200 was designed to combine speed, an extensive feature list, and affordability and we plan to determine just how close to the mark they came.  

    With offerings from most of the top graphics board manufacturers today we are going to take an industry sample of what is available and if these cards truly live up to the "best bang for your buck" title that so many people are giving this card.  Whether you're already set on buying a Ti4200 and just want to know the best name brand to go after, or if you are still undecided on if a card in the 4200 series is even for you, this is the write up you've been waiting for.


    Ti4200 INFO:

    Before we start launching the contenders at you full speed, let's take a very brief look at what the Ti4200 from nVidia is, and where it stands in the scheme of things in nVidia's current offerings.  We won't delve hip deep into this stuff for two reasons, the main being that technical jargon bores the hell out of us, and the second being that unless you've been under a rock the last several months, you're already up to speed on the Ti series of the GeForce4.

    The GeForce4 Ti series brought a few new features in the fold, as well as improve some existing ones.  Everything from pixel shading to improved performance on FSAA has been touched on and it's obvious in the cards.  With the 4200 being the third and final (we can only assume ) version of the GeForce4 Ti(x) most of this has been covered on this site and many others so I won't drone on with it here.

    Here is the gist of where the 4200 falls in line with the current nVidia product line.

    Specs and Performance

    GeForce4 Ti 4600              Vertices per Second:
    Memory Speed                    Fill Rate:
    650MHz DDR                       Operations per Second:
                                           Memory Bandwidth:
                                           Maximum Memory:
    136 Million
    4.8 Billion AA Samples/Sec.
    1.23 Trillion
    GeForce4 Ti 4400              Vertices per Second:
    Memory Speed                    Fill Rate:
    550MHz DDR                       Operations per Second:
                                           Memory Bandwidth:
                                           Maximum Memory:
    125 Million
    4.4 Billion AA Samples/Sec.
    1.12 Trillion
    GeForce4 Ti 4200              Vertices per Second:
    Memory Speed                    Fill Rate:
    444/500MHz DDR                 Operations per Second:
                                           Memory Bandwidth:
                                           Maximum Memory:
    113 Million
    4 Billion AA Samples/Sec.
    1.03 Trillion
    up to 8GB/Sec.

    So basically what we're looking at here is the same thing nVidia has been doing since the original TNT, taking the same chipset and offering different performance level cards based on the same chipset.  The thing that is most important here is that as the chipsets get more and more powerful and the price difference between the top and bottom (4600 vs 4200) a lot of people are opting for the lower end of the scale.  The 4200 has already earned a stellar reputation as the "best bang for the buck" board on the market today, so we wanted to show you what's available out there in the Ti4200 flavor.

    All of the cards offer multi video outputs allowing you to use nVidia's own nView.  nView simply put allows you to run more than one monitor, or a monitor and a TV (great for DVD watching!) with a single card.  I used this feature to run multiple desktops with different applications on each.  This not only simplified my life but looked hella cool in the process.  I would run my chat programs, Motherboard Monitor, and Norton's Utility dashboard on my 2nd monitor, while surfing or gaming on my main screen.  This allowed me to check system stats and see who's online even when I was running NASCAR Racing 2002 in full screen mode.  Maybe not a "necessity" yet by today's standards, but a VERY nice option that if used correctly can actually increase productivity.

    We've gathered the GeForce4 Ti4200 offering from the majority of the "big hitter" manufacturers in one place and are going to pit them head to head against each other, on common ground, to see which 4200 card offers the best "bang for the buck" among the best "bang for the buck" cards.  We plan to show you raw performance in several applications, overclocking potential, and goodies that come with the cards.  With this information you'll be armed with the knowledge you need to make the best decision on who gets your jack, and in the end, that's what the question always is.  Which company has done the most to earn the sweat from your brow and money from your wallet.

    We'll give ya a quickie on each card, put em head to head in benchmarks that matter, then tell ya what we think and where each stands in the grand scheme of things.  Let's get on with the contenders...



    Here is a basic look at each card, what it comes with, what we were able to overclock it to, and our general thoughts on each of them.  Notice by the overclocked speeds it says "Max STABLE Overclock" Stable means just that, stable.  These are the highest speeds we could get the cards to run and suffer no visual anomalies even after 30 minutes of hardcore gaming.  These cards can all truck thru 3dMark at higher speeds, but not without looking like ass, and that's just not acceptable.

    MSI G4Ti4200 64MB DDR 

    Street Price:$134.95



    MSI has a reputation of including a lot of extras with their boards and the G4Ti4200 doesn't change that rep.  In the box with this red devil comes the following.

    No One Lives Forever
    Ballistics Demo
    Rogue Spear - Black Thorn
    Ghost Recon
    Comanche 4
    Fallout - Tactics Demo
    Swat 3: Close Quatters Battle
    Serious Sam - First Encounter
    3D! Turbo Experience
    Live Update Series

    I was more than impressed with this bundle of software, and the card wasn't exactly a slouch either.  The one thing about this card that left me wanting for more was that it had no cooling solution on the memory itself.  This is something several of the other contenders did that made me think they were going the extra mile for me.  That said, it doesn't appear to have slowed this card down at all with VERY respectable overclocking capacity.

    Max STABLE Overclock322629



    This 4200 from MSI has 3.6ns memory which is pretty nice compared to the 4ns memory on some of the other cards in this roundup.  The chipset cooling on this card is the nVidia reference cooler, leading me to believe that with some modifications this card could be even more of a screamer. I will give this card a few points for the cooler though, because as you can see in the photo's it has the clear Plexiglas top which looks hella cool.  The card offers the standard VGA, DVI-I, and S-Video outputs leaving your options wide open with this card.

    One thing that really impressed me was that MSI threw in a DVI to D-Sub VGA converter.  In a nutshell this allows you to run another analog monitor off the card enabling you to take full advantage of nVidia's nView without a flat panel monitor or TV near by.

    Overall this card was solid.  Not overachieving in any one category, just a rock in all of em, which when you're looking for a video card is never a bad thing.


    Continue to see the rest of the cards....


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