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Review: Gainward GF4 Ultra/650 XP Golden Sample

by David Ross on 27 June 2002, 00:00

Tags: Gainward

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qama

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Introduction

We have been seeing Gainward producing high quality nVIDIA GeForce cards for a while now. With nVIDIA releasing a new line of GeForce chipset's Gainward of course step forward to produce their version of the GeForce4 brand.

In a previous review I took a look at ABits effort for the fastest GeForce chipset currently available, named Ti4600. In this review I will look at the youngest brother of the Ti range of GeForce4 GPU's, the Ti4200.

Gainward are never the quickest to market with the latest graphics chipset's but history has shown us that this is because they generally put that bit more effort into whole package, putting them a step ahead of the competition. Hexus.net have already taken a look at a various Ti4200 cards including a review sample from nVIDIA themselves. In this review I will focus on what Gainward offer us in terms of bundle, package and performance.

The Ti4200 is clocked at 250mhz core speed and 500mhz memory speed. This is obviously a step down from the Ti4400 275/550 core and memory speeds and the Ti4600 with a hefty 300/650. The Ti4200 comes in two types the 64mb version and the 128mb version. It has been a point of discussion now through online communities whether the 128mb is really needed or if it indeed offers any sort of performance increase for the majority of gamers or even benchmarkers. I would not like to comment either way until I can see a 64mb version benched on the same machine with the same settings as a 128mb version. Then we can see if the price increase is worth it.

A trademark feature of Gainward (and one or two other manufacturers) is the red PCB. The Ti4200 is no different.

As you can see the look of the card is nothing less than cool. The trademark red PCB makes an appearance along with a very nice looking HSF combo. As usual it looks like Gainward went that extra bit further than most manufacturers and are thinking of all types of users. A red neon light along with a case window would simply look stunning along with this card.

The physical size of this card is somewhat smaller than its bigger brothers, the Ti4400 and the Ti4600. In fact this card is the same size as a GeForce3 making it as convenient to fit as the older cards. The Ti4400/4600 has been known to cause problems for people that have smaller cases or less room inside.

Taking a look at the layout, both front and back, we can see that because of the smaller PCB size offered with the Ti4200 the whole card is thoroughly packed with components.