Introduction and GeForce Cards

NVIDIA Ti4200 and MSI Ti4400 Review

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A while back, NVIDIA sent me their reference board for the GeForce 4 Ti4200 video card in order to compare it to the other options available in the lower cost video card market. Shortly thereafter, the MSI G4Ti4400-VTD video card arrived at my door, powered by the GeForce 4 Ti4400 chipset. These two cards, along with the Ti4600, make up the true GeForce 4 video cards on the market and so a comparison was in order.

For this article, I am not going to go on and on about the new technologies behind this chipset, as there are countless other articles and websites that you can and probably have read it on. I will touch on the important pieces of information that are important to our comparison here today.

ATI’s Radeon line of cards has been out for some time and it is currently the only competition that the NVIDIA cards have on the shelves. I choose to use the top of the line Radeon card available to compare with the NVIDIA GF4 cards, the Radeon 8500 with 128 MB DDR memory.

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This picture above is of the MSI Ti4400 card. I first have to tell you that the retail packaging for this card comes with a staggering amount of goods. It comes jam-packed with 4 full games, including No One Lives Forever and Sacrifice, and 6 demos.

The MSI card also includes a TV-out feature with the S-Video connection and uses the same connection, with an adaptor, to allow for video input as well. The users of LCD monitors will be happy to see a DVI connection on the card as well. While there is no cooling on the 128 MB of memory, there is a fairly good heatsink and fan on the chipset.

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Here we see the simple NVIDIA reference design. There is nothing spectacular about it, but it does include the TV-out and DVI outputs to make it well-rounded example of what features the chipset can handle. The memory is from Hynix and does not come with any heatsinks. The GPU has the standard minimum heatsink/fan combination on it as well.

The interesting difference here is in the length of the card. It is about the same size as the older GeForce 3 video cards, and about 2 full inches shorter than the Ti4400 and Ti4600 cards. NVIDIA can make the Ti4200 shorter because it only has to seat 64 MB of memory and it is not necessary to have as many capacitors: the Ti4200 uses less power. For anyone that was worried that the Ti4400 or Ti4600 cards would cause conflicts in their PCs due to their length, the Ti4200 is here to save you.

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