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4-Way GeForce 4 Ti4200 Shootout

By: Cameron Johnson | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 7, 2002 4:00 am

ASUS V8420 Features

 

Kindly loaned to us by Achieva in Australia, we are fortunate enough to be able to give you some lovely pictures of the ASUS V8420, the Ti4200 feature king.

 

Packaging and Contents

 

 

The packaging from ASUS is always eye catching. ASUS has used the same style that has sold a bundle for them in the past. The box conveys all the relevant information that the V8420 supports and is supplied with.

 

 

Once unpacked, there isn't a huge amount of extra packets in there but everything that you need is right there for you. You get the Card (always important), user manual that is the same for all 6 Ti GF4 cards that ASUS currently make which is very well laid out and detailed with enough information to get just about everyone up and running with their new baby. There is a DVI to CRT/DVI adapter, TV in and out adapter board, stereo 3D glasses and a software bundle. The ASUS software bundle gives you two full games (Aquanox and Midnight GT/Rage Rally) and two Demo CD's with over six game demos on them for you to try. You also get ASUS' standard DVD software CD with the drivers for the video card. These drivers are somewhat out of date by the time you get them, so don't worry, the nVidia Detonator XP's work perfect on this card.

 

The Card

 

 

The card itself from ASUS is the largest Ti4200 card we have seen. nVidia specs only require a PCB the size of the original GF3 video card, but ASUS has decided to use the same PCB as the Ti4400 and 4600 cards they produce. In fact, this card is basically a 4600 with 4200 core and memory. This can produce a very large problem for motherboards with DIMM and IDE connectors close to the AGP slot. Some boards won't accept this card at all. Another down side to this is that the large amount of wasted PCB space increases the cost the consumer quite a bit.

 

Cooling the GPU

 

 

ASUS has decided to throw away the nVidia recommended heatsink and go with something a little more flashy. The Orb-style heatsink ASUS uses is gold colored and smaller than the reference heatsink but does just as good, if not better job as the reference heatsinks.

 

Memory

 

 

Unlike most Ti4200 cards, ASUS chooses to do away with the Samsung 4ns TSOP modules and have elected to go with Samsung's 3.3ns TinyBGA modules. The simple reason is that they require less PCB space (though ASUS didn't take this into consideration), they use less voltage and run much cooler than TSOP memory. Using eight modules (four on the front, four on the back) you get a total of 128MB of DDR SDRAM running 445MHz.

 

TV In and Out - Phillips chosen again

 

 

In the past, video cards based on nVidia video chipsets were forced to use substandard TV in and out chips that really were no good for anything but displaying windows on the TV (ok at first its a novelty, but for DVD playback it is a nightmare). With the Ti GF4's, Phillips has been chosen for TV in and out simply because they have the best compatibility and all around quality. Sigma Designs' video encoder chip is the same chip used in Hollywood Plus DVD decoders and the new MPEG-4 decoders so you are guaranteed the best TV experience.

 

The TV Connections - Not your ordinary cable connection

 

 

Normally when we have TV in and out on a video card, we just get a simple dual S-Video splitter cable with S-Video to RCA converter. ASUS has decided to go the full wash with their Ti4200 and included the ASUS Multimedia Box. This box comes with the S-Video and RCA in and out connectors in one neat package that can be placed away from the PC (up to two feet away) so you don't need to have the PC right next to the TV for the cables to reach.

 

Three monitors supported, but only Dual Display

 

 

The DVI to CRT converter supplied with the ASUS V8420 card is somewhat different than any other we have seen before. This connector allows you to connect a CRT and a DVI at the same time to the one DVI port. This allows you to run two monitors off the DVI port and one off the normal CRT port. However, the image sent to the DVI port is synchronous so what shows up on the DVI monitor will show up on the CRT monitor on the DVI port. So two monitors will have the same picture while the 3rd will be totally different. One drawback but it is close to three head technology.

 

3D Glasses - Headache Material

 

 

ASUS first introduced their 3D glasses back in the TNT2 days. These glasses created the old 3D effects that the images are jumping out of the monitor towards you. Great for Quake III Arena or even Jedi Knight 2 (love those light sabers coming out at you), but any more than 20 minutes exposure caused me to have massive headaches. So be careful; use for 10 minutes at a time then take a 5 minute break.

 

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