A GPU for every market
As hardware enthusiasts (and gamers) it’s hard not to get excited about the GeForce4 Titanium. It’s twin vertex shaders, enhanced memory architecture, and Accuview antialiasing are just a few of the features that make the GeForce4 Ti the most powerful graphics core currently available on the desktop PC. However, up to now its price has been much less inviting: $299 for the GeForce4 Ti 4400 and a whopping $399 for the flagship GeForce4 Ti 4600. Clearly these cards are more than most gamers can afford.
Enter the GeForce4 Ti 4200. Armed with the same graphics core as the other GF4 Ti boards, the GeForce4 Ti 4200 is aimed for the masses. However, while the GeForce4 Ti 4400 ships with a 275MHz core and 550MHz configuration, and Ti 4600 pairs a 300MHz core with 650MHz DDR memory, the Ti 4200 is available in two variants -- one with 64MB of DDR memory and a second with 128MB. Both cards will be made available with 250MHz cores but the 64MB core ships with 500MHz DDR memory and is priced at $179, while the 128MB board ships with slower 444MHz memory and will sell for approximately $199.
If you recall our GeForce4 preview, the original Ti 4200 specs called for a 225MHz core paired with 500MHz memory and a $199 price tag. Therefore, we’re effectively getting 64MB less in the case of the 64MB board, but a 25MHz clock speed increase (and a $20 price drop), while the 128MB board gets the clock speed boost, but ships with slower 4.5ns (444MHz) memory.
In an effort to determine which configuration will suit gamers best, we’ve rounded up the complete GeForce4 Titanium line (including the Ti 4200 that was meant to be, but will never see the light of day), as well as the GeForce4 MX 440, GeForce3 Ti 200 & Ti 500, and ATI’s best the RADEON 8500 (64MB), RADEON 8500LE (from Hercules), and the RADEON 7500.
In particular, we’re looking closest at the GeForce4 Titanium scores. We really wanted to examine which configuration was best: high-speed memory at the expense of capacity, or larger capacity at the expense of speed? And with the higher clock speed of the final Ti 4200s, we’re also able to compare the 64MB Ti 4200 to the Ti 4200 that NVIDIA originally planned to release.
Will our suite of benchmarks take advantage of the added memory, or did NVIDIA make the right decision by cutting the memory in half? Read on for the results!