MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD Review

Everyone has been raving about the GeForce4 Ti4600 cards since they hit the market, but they're EXPENSIVE! So what is a hardcore gamer on a limited budget to do? Come join Asher "Acid" Moses as he takes a look at the MSI GF4Ti4400 Video Card. It's just possible that the question asked above will have a very nice answer, and at about US$100-150 less than the monster Ti4600 too.
Published Thu, May 2 2002 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:25 PM CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: MSI

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - Introduction

IntroductionIt is no secret that nVidia is currently at the top of the high-end graphics card market. Ever since the release of their GeForce256 GPU, nVidia have completely dominated the market, outperforming any products the competition could throw at them. After acquiring 3dfx, nVidia's only competitor in the high-end graphics market has been ATi. Fortunately for nVidia, until recently ATi hasn't been able to produce anything that can compete with nVidia's products because of their continually poor drivers.This, however, all changed with ATi's release of their Radeon 8500 GPU. After a few driver revisions, it performed on-par with, if not higher than nVidia's flagship product at the time, the GeForce3 Ti500. Frightened, nVidia was quick to release their GeForce4 range, which consists of three high-end GPUs (Ti4200, Ti4400 and Ti4600), and three low-end GPUs (MX420, MX440 and MX460). All three of their high-end GeForce4 products quite comfortably outperformed the Radeon 8500, which once again sent ATi back to the drawing board.With ATi's next generation graphics product still quite far away, it seems that nVidia should hold a comfortable lead on the market for some time to come. That brings me to the subject of this review. We have managed to obtain one of MSI's latest graphics cards based on the GeForce4 Ti4400 chipset. This is not the fastest card in the GeForce4 range, however, it looks to be ideal for those who want high-performance at a relatively low price. Read on as we determine if the MSI Ti4400 graphics card is worth your hard-earned dollars.

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - Specifications

Specifications- Chipset Features The nVidia nfiniteFX™ II Engine enables a virtually infinite number of special effects that deliver the next leap in realism to 3D graphics Dual programmable Vertex Shaders Advanced programmable Pixel Shaders nVidia Lightspeed Memory Architecture™ II nVIDIA Accuview™ Antialiasing 3D Textures Shadow Buffers 4 dual-rendering pipelines 8 texels per clock cycle Dual cube environment mapping 128MB high-speed DDR RAM memory High-Definition Video Processor (HDVP) AGP 4X with Fast Writes AGP 4X / 2X and AGP Texturing support 32-bit color with 32-bit Z/stencil buffer Z-correct true, reflective bump mapping High-performance 2D rendering engine Hardware accelerated real-time shadows True-color hardware cursor Integrated hardware transform engine Integrated hardware lighting engine High-quality HDTV/DVD playback TV-Out and Video Modules Multibuffering (double, triple, quad) for smooth animation and video playback Microsoft DirectX and S3TC texture compression nVidia Unified Driver Architecture (UDA) Up to 8.8 GB/sec. memory bandwidth 125 million triangles/sec. setup engine 4.4 billion AA sample/sec. fill rate 1.12 trillion operations/sec. - Compatibility Complete Linux drivers, including full OpenGL Microsoft DirectX optimizations and support Complete OpenGL 1.3 and OpenGL support WHQL-certified Windows XP/2000/NT/ME/98/95 Windows XP/2000/NT/ME/98/95 display drivers Microsoft DirectDraw, Direct3D, Support operation system under Windows XP/2000/NT/ME/98/95 Linux compatible API support OpenGL 1.3 and lower Microsoft DirectX 8.1 and lower

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - Packaging & Software Bundle

Taking A Closer Look- Packaging and Software BundleThe review board we received from MSI was not the retail package, and we only received the card itself. However, The retail card comes with a large assortment of accessories that I feel many of you would like to know about. As far as games are concerned, the MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD is bundled with No One Lives Forever, Aquanox, Sacrifice and a 7 in 1 Games Collection that consists of Ballistics Demo, Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear: Black Thorn Demo, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Demo, Comanche 4 Demo, Fallout Tactics Demo, Swat 3: Close Quarters Battle Demo and Serious Sam: The First Encounter.That is not all the software the comes with the card though. There is also an assortment of applications including WinProducer v2.0 (video editing utility), WinCoder v2.0 (video format transferring utility) and MSI DVD (DVD playback software). Also included with the card is a 1.8m S-Video extension cable and a 9-pin mini-extended connector to 4 port video connector cable.This is the most elaborate software bundle I have ever seen included with a video card and it ensures that you will be able to unleash the full power of your GeForce4 straight out of the box!

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - The Card

- The Card
The first thing I thought I would mention is that, like all GeForce4 cards currently on the market, the MSI Ti4400 is based around nVidia's reference design. The only difference between the MSI card and the reference design is that it features a slightly different cooling solution. The heatsink/fan unit is quite large and features an assortment of fins to increase the surface area, which as some of you may know also increases cooling performance.
The MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD runs at a core clock speed of 275MHz, which can be compared to the 300MHz clock speed of its bigger brother, the Ti4600. It also features 128MB of Samsung DDR SDRAM that runs at 550MHz and is rated at 3.6ns. The card does not feature memory heatsinks, however. This is because it uses MicroBGA chips that do not produce enough heat to justify including them. The memory chips are in an 8x32MB configuration, with four chips placed on the back of the card and four placed on the front.
Along with the standard VGA output, the card also features a DVI output and a TV output. The DVI output and VGA output allow for two displays to be run simultaneously, thanks to nVidia's nView technology. We were not provided with a DVI-to-VGA adapter to allow you to run two VGA monitors at the same time, however, it is my understanding that one will be provided with the retail package.The TV output is provided through a Philips 7108 chip, which is regarded by many as one of the highest quality TV out chips available. Along with TV out support, the Phillips chip also provides Video-In and Video-Out.

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - Benchmarking: Quake 3 Arena

- Test SystemProcessor: Intel Pentium 4 2GHzMotherboard: Abit BD7-RAIDMemory: OCZ 256MB PC2100 DDR SDRAMVideo Card: MSI G4Ti4400-VTD, Abit Siluro MX440, Abit Siluro Ti200Hard Disk: Quantum Fireball Plus LM 15GB 7200RPMDrivers: 27.20 Detonator drivers, DirectX 8.1Operating System: Windows 2000 ProfessionalSoftware Used: Quake III Arena, 3DMark2001 SE and Max PayneResults - Quake III Arena High Quality 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1600x1200 32-bit colorQuake III Arena is a real-world OpenGL benchmark that we have been using here at TweakTown for quite a while now because it has proven itself to be one of the best gaming benchmarks around to compare a range of different products.

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - Benchmarking: 3DMark2001 SE

Results - 3DMark2001 SE 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1600x1200 32-bit color3DMark2001 SE is the latest installment in the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX 8.1 support with completely new graphics (including the GeForce4), it continues to provide benchmark results that empower you to make informed hardware assessments.

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - Benchmarking: Max Payne

Results - Max Payne High Quality 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1600x1200 32-bit colorMax Payne is a very popular, graphics intensive game that features full DirectX 8.0 support. Like Quake III Arena, Max Payne is able to run various time demos that test your system's performance under intense game play.

MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD - Overclocking & Conclusion

OverclockingWe overclocked the card using one of the most popular video card overclocking utilities, PowerStrip. We were able to get the card to run stable at a core/memory clock speed of 303MHz/680MHz using the default cooling that comes stock with the card. This is a very impressive overclock and considering the fact that the Ti4600 runs at 300MHz/650MHz it would be a much wiser decision to purchase a Ti4400 and overclock it to Ti4600 speeds rather than purchasing the more expensive Ti4600 which is already running close to its limit.ConclusionOverall, I was very impressed with the MSI GF4Ti4400-VTD. It features the most elaborate software bundle I have ever seen included with a video card, provides high performance and is feature packed. The DVI and TV outputs were a nice addition for those that like to run dual monitors, an LCD monitor or just display their desktop onto their television. The Video-In and Video-Out (VIVO) functions are also great for the high-end gamer that also likes to do some video editing.The card proved to be a great overclocker, being able to run past Ti4600 speeds with no signs of artifacts or instability. At a price of around US$300, the card is quite expensive and might be out of reach for some of you. However, if you want a feature packed, high performing video card and can't afford a Ti4600, I highly recommend you check out the MSI G4Ti4400-VTD.- Pros High performance Excellent software bundle TV and DVI outputs VIVO Great overclocker- Cons High priceRating - 9.5/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award

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