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ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
and Gainward PowerPack GeForce4 Ti 4200 64

June 26, 2002



Contents

  1. Peculiarities of the NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 based video cards from ABIT, Prolink, Palit and Gainward
  2. Information on performance of video cards of the GeForce4 Ti 4200 class

Today we continue examining new solutions of video cards based on the super-popular GeForce4 Ti 4200. Or I'd rather say that we finish doing it because it seems that the flow of such cards has become very thin. Maybe we will get one-two more such cards. Besides, RADEON 8500 card reviews are just around the corner.

The GeForce4 Ti 4200 was much spoken about already. Just want to say that it is the same GeForce4 Ti only working at a lower frequency. Besides, there are two types of Ti 4200 based cards: with 64 and with 128 MBytes memory.

As usual, first of all take a look at the list of the already reviewed cards based on the GeForce4 Ti.

Theoretical materials and reviews of video cards which concern functional properties of the NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti GPU

So, as you understand, today we are dealing with four graphics solutions produced by ABIT, Prolink, Palit and Gainward. The Ti 4200 cards from Gainward was already examined some time ago, but that time it was a card with 128 MBytes of memory, and today we have a 64 MBytes model.

Cards


ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes



ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes
The card has an AGP x2/x4 interface, 64 MBytes DDR SDRAM located in 8 chips on both sides of the PCB.
This card comes with Hynex memory modules of 4ns access time which corresponds 250 (500) MHz, but the memory works at 256 (513) MHz. The GPU operates at 250 MHz which is a rated mode for the Ti 4200.
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
The card has an AGP x2/x4 interface, 128 MBytes DDR SDRAM located in 8 chips on both sides of the PCB.
This card comes with Samsung memory modules of 4ns access time which corresponds 250 (500) MHz, but the memory works at 230 (460) MHz. The GPU operates at 250 MHz.
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
The card has an AGP x2/x4 interface, 128 MBytes DDR SDRAM located in 8 chips on both sides of the PCB.
This card comes with Samsung memory modules of 4ns access time which corresponds 250 (500) MHz, but the memory works at 265 (530) MHz. The GPU operates at 250 MHz.
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes
The card has an AGP x2/x4 interface, 64 MBytes DDR SDRAM located in 8 chips on both sides of the PCB.
This card comes with EtronTech memory modules of 3.5ns access time which corresponds 285 (570) MHz, but the memory works at 256 (513) MHz. The GPU operates at 250 MHz.



Comparison with the reference design, front view
ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes Reference card NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes



Comparison with the reference design, back view
ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes Reference card NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes


None of cards deviates from the reference design. Note that for some time now all 64 MBytes cards have been working at a frequency higher by 6 (13) MHz than it was before (probably due to the new BIOS from NVIDIA, because all the models in question come with the reference BIOS). That is why all video cards based on the GeForce4 Ti 4200 with 64 MBytes memory have frequencies of 250/256 (513) MHz.

As far as the 128 MBytes cards are concerned, we have come across an official overclocking in case of the Prolink and Palit cards. Palit has also increased a memory speed (for the 4ns memory the rated frequency is 250 MHz, but they have lifted it up to 265 MHz). Besides, both 64 MBytes and 128 MBytes cards are based on a single design. The differences are only in the memory chips' size.

Now let's look at peculiarities of each card. As you can see, apart from the memory size they differ in the PCB color and in design of their coolers. It is the first time we come across a golden color which is used by Palit for its card. The Gainward card is traditionally red, and the Prolink is traditionally yellow. Only ABIT ships an unusually sky-blue card.

Below are the cooling devices:


ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes
For 1.5 years already ABIT has been equipping its cards with the same cooler. Even the fact that on GeForce4 Ti based cards mounting holes are shifted further from the chip (because the NVIDIA recommended heatsink is quite big) didn't make the company change the cooler.
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
The cooler installed on this card is a very beautiful solution. Some time ago we saw something similar on the Chaintech models. Note that all such beautiful heatsinks are produced by the well-known companies ThermalTake or Titan.
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Palit didn't look for anything original and used a reference cooler. Besides, it is the first time Palit shows its name on the video card! Let it be just a cooler, but now we know definitely that we have a Palit's solution.
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes
Gainward uses a typical cooling device which consists of a round flat platform with numerous vertical fins. Above, it has a circle with the company's name.



Under the coolers we have discovered the GPU - GeForce4 Ti 4200:

All the cards have a Philips 7108 chip, but it doesn't mean VIVO support (Video-In Video-Out) in all cases. In particular, the Gainward and Palit cards use this codec only for a TV-out. Unfortunately, we received the ABIT card in the OEM package, that is why it didn't have a respective adapter-splitter with it.

Now let's take a gander at the accessories:


ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes
User manual, CD with drivers and utilities, DVI-to-VGA adapter, adapter-splitter for VIVO, S-Video extender. -
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
User manual, CD with drivers and utilities, CD with Ballistics and Venom games, WinDVD, PowerDirector 2.0ME (for VIVO), DVI-to-VGA adapter, adapter-splitter for VIVO, S-Video extender.
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
Although the card ships in a package, a set of accessories is very scanty, that is why we can consider it an OEM one. No adapters are provided. -
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes
This card ships in an OEM package, but it has come with a user manual, a CD with drivers and an S-Video-to-RCA adapter.



Three cards (except Gainward) ship in the retail packages, but in our case the ABIT solution was received in an OEM one, and the Gainward's model has an original OEM package.


Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
The package is quite big, the design and the contents are very attractive.
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes
The box looks like a chess board, which is typical of Palit.
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes
Gainward uses an interesting method to distinguish the Retail and OEM packages: they differ not only in a set of accessories but also in a box size. It's well seen on the previous photo that this card has very small dimensions.



That's all we have to say about peculiarities of the cards in question.

Overclocking


ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes 250/513 -> 310/610 MHz, a very good potential of the card.
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes 250/460 -> 310/560 MHz, a very good potential of the core, and the Samsung's memory shows good results for 4ns.
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes 250/530 -> 316/566 MHz: the core's overclocking is impressive, and again the Samsung's memory shows good results for 4ns.
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes 250/513 -> 310/580 MHz, despite the 3.5ns memory the overclocking is quite bad because of the memory.


The overclocking results mean that it's quite easy to turn all the cards into Ti 4400, and some are coming very close to the Ti 4600. Besides, the chips easily exceed 300 MHz.

Note:

  • in course of overclocking you must provide additional cooling, in particular, for the card (first of all, for its memory):

  • overclocking depends on a definite sample, and you shouldn't generalize the results of one card to all video cards of this mark or series. The overclocking results are not the obligatory characteristics of a video card.

Test system and drivers

Taking into account that we have already studied all peculiarities of operation of the NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200/4400/4600, there is no need to repeat them again. Besides, our 3Digest widely covers performance of such cards in comparison with many others. That is why I recommend that you go to the above review, and later I will give you definite links.

Testbeds:

  • Pentium 4 2200 MHz based computer:
    • Intel Pentium 4 2200 (L2=512K);
    • ASUS P4T-E (i850);
    • 512 MBytes RDRAM PC800;
    • Quantum FB AS 20 GBytes;
    • Windows XP.

  • Athlon XP 1666 MHz (2000+) based computer:
    • AMD Athlon XP 2000+
    • EPoX 8KHA+ (VIA KT266A);
    • 512 MBytes DDR SDRAM PC2100;
    • Fujutsu 20 GBytes;
    • Windows XP.

The test system was coupled with ViewSonic P810 (21") and ViewSonic P817 (21") monitors.

In the tests we used NVIDIA's drivers of v29.20. VSync was off, S3TC was off.

Test results

Before we start examining 2D quality I should say that there is no a complete technique of objective estimation of this parameter because:

  1. Almost all modern 3D accelerators can have 2D quality much dependent on a certain sample, and it's impossible to trace all cards;
  2. 2D quality depends not only on a video card, but also on a monitor and a cable;
  3. Besides, certain monitors do not get along with certain video cards.

As for the tested samples, together with the ViewSonic P817 monitor and BNC Bargo cable the cards showed excellent quality at the following resolutions and frequencies:


ABIT Siluro GF4 Ti 4200 64 MBytes 1600x1200x75 Hz, 1280x1024x85 Hz, 1024x768x100 Hz
Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes 1600x1200x85 Hz, 1280x1024x85 Hz, 1024x768x100 Hz
Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes 1600x1200x85 Hz, 1280x1024x100 Hz, 1024x768x120 Hz
Gainward Powerpack Ultra/650 XP 64 MBytes 1600x1200x85 Hz, 1280x1024x100 Hz, 1024x768x120 Hz


For estimation of 3D performance we used:

  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein (MultiPlayer) (id Software/Activision) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Checkpoint-demo, test settings - maximum, S3TC OFF, the configurations can be downloaded from here
  • Test order: enable the console with the '~' button and type:

    timedemo 1 (press Enter)
    demo checkpoint (press Enter)

  • 3DMark2001 SE Pro (MadOnion/Remedy), Game2 "Dragothic" - DirectX 8.0, Hardware TCL, multitexturing, LOW Details, DXTC OFF, double buffering, 24-bit Z-buffer
  • Test order:

    through the 3DMark2001 menu of settings using the Batch mode

  • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter v.1.05 (Croteam/GodGames) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Grand Cathedral demo, test settings: quality, S3TC OFF
  • Test order: enable the console with the '~' button and type:

    dem_bProfile=1 (press Enter)
    start up Grand Cathedral demo from the menu

  • Quake3 Arena v.1.17 (id Software/Activision) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Quaver, test settings are maximum: detail level - High, texture detailing level - #4, S3TC OFF, smoothness of curved surfaces is greatly increased with variables r_subdivisions "1" and r_lodCurveError "30000" (at default r_lodCurveError is 250 !), the configurations can be downloaded from here

  • 3DMark2001 Pro (MadOnion/Remedy) - DirectX 8.0, Hardware TCL, Game1, Game2, Game3, Game4, Low, High detail levels

  • Comanche4 Benchmark Demo (NovaLogic) - Direct3D, Shaders, Hardware T&L, Dot3, cube texturing, highest quality
  • Test order: start up the game the following way:

    c4demo.exe /advbench fps.txt 1024 32 noaudio nct dx7 (press Enter)

  • RightMark Video Analyzer v.0.3.2 (Philip Gerasimov) - DirectX 8.1, Dot3, cube texturing, shadow buffers, vertex and pixel shaders (1.1, 1.4).
  • test settings: pixel shaders 1.1, shadow buffers OFF.

The overclocked cards are marked with red color, the sign o/c (overclocked) is followed by the frequencies reached.

Conclusion

Well, all the cards are based on the reference design, but at the same time each card has its own peculiarities.

  1. The Palit's card has an excellent price/speed ratio, besides it works at the increased frequencies (I haven't seen yet 128 MBytes cards based on the Ti 4200 with memory frequencies higher than those of the 64 MBytes analog solutions (except a SE version of SUMA).
  2. The Prolink is a brilliant solution as well, especially taking into account a normal VIVO and games coming with the card (if it has a price so low as the Palit's model, it will be the best choice).
  3. This version of Gainward (earlier we examined a 128 MBytes card) is more modest; it just has traditionally high quality; and I wish the prices were comparable to those of its competitors. Note that the card comes with an S-Video-to-RCA adapter (though it is only an OEM package).
  4. The ABIT's card is of really high quality, supports VIVO, and is, as usual, inexpensive.

In our 3Digest you can find complete comparison characteristics of video cards of this and other classes.

Highs:

  • Excellent performance in 3D games;
  • High quality of the tested samples;
  • Some cards work at increased frequencies, but at the same time they do follow the reference design;
  • Original color of the Palit Daytona GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes, and the company's name is at last written on the cooler, which now distinguishes such cards from noname one;
  • Excellent set of accessories of the Prolink PixelView GeForce4 Ti 4200 128 MBytes;
  • All cards have a TV-out, and the Prolink and ABIT models have also a VIVO;
  • The ABIT, Gainward and Prolink cards have all necessary adapters.

Lows:

  • Scarce set of accessories of the Palit card;
  • Worse 2D quality of the ABIT card (refers to the given sample).

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