Abit Ti4200 OTES - IntroductionIntroduction
With the market currently being flooded by graphics cards from a variety of manufacturers, it is often quite difficult to make a decision as to which is the best purchase. This is mainly due to the fact that essentially, the cards don't differ much from manufacturer to manufacturer, as they are based on the same chipset and usually run at the same clock speeds. Thus, manufacturers have been forced to come up with ways they can make their products stand out from the crowd. Some do this by coloring their card's PCB while others include an extravagant software bundle. That said, most of the market has already caught on to this trend and it is rare to see a mediocre brown/green PCB or lack of free software.To differentiate themselves even further, Abit have released their OTES (Outside Thermal Exhaust System) range of cards. Featuring a unique cooling system never before seen on a graphics card, this range is likely to become very popular amongst the enthusiast community.The first card in this range is based on the GeForce4 Ti4200 chipset. Not only did we manage to obtain one of these cards, but we have also prepared a full performance analysis including details on the effectiveness of its cooling system. Were we satisfied? Read on to find out!
Abit Ti4200 OTES - SpecificationsSpecifications
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 256-bit GPU 64/128MB 128-bit DDR memory AGP 2X/4X with fast writes and AGP texturing support NVIDIA nFiniteFX II Engine brings unbelievable 3D visual experience never seen New dual programmable Vertex Shaders Advanced programmable Pixel Shaders 4 dual rendering pipelines, 8 texels per clock cycle NVIDIA Lightspeed Memory Architecture II for outstanding 3D performance NVIDIA Accuview Antialiasing enables high resolution antialiasing game play NVIDIA nView empowers the user with maximum flexibility in display options and control Integrated hardware transforms engine and hardware light engine High-quality HDTV and DVD playback Complete OpenGL and DirectX 8.1 support On-board TV-Out/DVI-I On-board Outside Thermal Exhaust System (O. T. E. S.) cooling unit I/O Interface:- TV-Out connector- D-Sub 15-pin VGA connector- DVI-I connector for LCD monitors System Requirements- Intel/AMD/Other Compatible CPUs- One available AGP Slot- 64MB System Memory- CD-Rom Drive Operating Systems- WindowsXP/2000/NT/ME/98 - ABIT SiluroDVD 4
ABIT SiluroDVD 4 DVD software is jam-packed with over 30 new features to bring your DVDs and video files to life. It combines the best visual and audio effects with advanced features such as time stretching, thumbnailed bookmarks, fully-adjustable zoom and pan, and much more. Take control of video session with ABIT SiluroDVD 4.
Abit Ti4200 OTES - Package Contents & O.T.E.STaking A Closer Look- Package Contents
The board comes packaged in a white and blue box, with the color scheme putting emphasis on the "cool" factor. Inside the box is a detailed User's Manual, a driver CD, an S-Video to RCA converter, an S-video extension cable, an RCA extentsion cable and a DVI-to-VGA converter.On the driver CD you'll find a full version copy of SiluroDVD (rebadge of Intervideo's WinDVD), nVidia's 40.41 drivers and an NVFlash utility for flashing your card's BIOS. This isn't nearly as much free software as we've seen bundled with other cards, however, this is not a big issue for me as I would certainly rather purchase a card that lacks free software (which I would most likely already own), if it means the card will be priced cheaper. Of course, opinions regarding this matter will vary from person to person.- O.T.E.S
Before we move on to the card itself, allow us to explain exactly how Abit's O.T.E.S cooling system works. Firstly, the Outside Thermal Exhaust System features a copper fin heatsink with thin and lengthened fins arranged in a wide array. This aids in the conduction of heat, as the greater the surface area, the lower the temperatures. As well as the fin heatsink, a heatpipe is also used in heat dissipation. Inside the heatpipe is liquid, which, as the heatsink gets hotter, absorbs the heat which then turns into vapor. The heat is then released from the upper part of the cylinder, where the vapor condenses to a liquid. Finally, the liquid returns to the lower part of the cylinder by gravity and the process starts all over again. This is similar to the cooling methods we've seen on vapor-phase cooling systems such as the Vapochill.Cooling down the heatsink is a dual ball-bearing 7200RPM fan, which obviously runs quite a bit louder than the stock heatsink/fan unit usually installed on Ti4200 cards. That said, if you are purchasing this card, chances are you are an overclocker and have already packed your case with plenty of high speed fans. If this is the case, the noise level won't change much.Due to the fact that the O.T.E.S cooling system is extremely large, Abit was forced to double the size of the mounting bracket, which in turn takes up the PCI slot that is directly below the AGP slot. With motherboards currently featuring up to 6 PCI slots as well as plenty of onboard features, the loss of one PCI slot shouldn't be a problem for most of you.
Abit Ti4200 OTES - The Card- The Card
Abit has decided on an all black color scheme for the Ti4200 OTES. The black PCB is complemented nicely by the mostly copper heatsink/fan unit. Unlike most Ti4200 cards currently on the market, the Ti4200 OTES features a core clock speed of 275MHz and a memory clock speed of 554MHz. This is quite a bit higher than the default clock speed of the Ti4200 chipset, however, it would have been foolish for Abit not to sell the card at overclocked speeds with such an extravagant cooling system installed.The card also features 64MB Hynix DDR memory rated at 3.6ns. Something that is quite unusual for Abit is that there were no heatsinks attached to the memory chips. Abit obviously felt that the memory already ran cool enough and the lack of memory heatsinks also means a lower priced card.
As far as onboard features are concerned, the card includes a TV-out controller supporting resolutions up to 1024x768, as well as a DVI output for those of you with digital LCD monitors. As mentioned earlier, a DVI-to-VGA converter is included for those that plan to run dual VGA displays.
Below is a picture of the card installed in our test system. As you can see, it completely covers one of the PCI slots and comes quite close to our SoundBlaster Audigy sound card.
Abit Ti4200 OTES - Test Systems & Unreal Tournament 2003Benchmarking- Test SystemProcessor:
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz (18x133)Motherboard:
Abit SR7-8X (SiS648)Memory:
OCZ 256MB PC2700 Video Card:
Abit Ti4200 OTES, Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 ProSound Card:
Creative Soundblaster Audigy Platinum eXHard Disk:
Seagate 40GB 7200RPMOperating System:
Windows 2000 Professional SP2Drivers:
nVidia DetonatorXP v40.54, DirectX 8.1Software Used:
Unreal Tournament 2003, Comanche 4, 3DMark2001 SE and Quake III Arena.B>Results - Unreal Tournament 2003 1024x768 32-bitUnreal Tournament 2003 is one of the latest additions to TweakTown's long list of benchmarking software. This demo tests your PC's DirectX 8.1 performance under two different conditions. The first test, called "Flyby", is simply a fly-through of two of the games levels, while the second test, called "Botmatch", is a deathmatch between bots.
Abit Ti4200 OTES - Comanche 4, 3DMark 2001 SE & Quake 3 ArenaResults - Comanche 4 1024x768 32-bit
Another new addition to the TweakTown's testing software is Comanche 4 - A relatively new DirectX 8.1 game that also happens to feature a handy benchmarking tool.Results - 3DMark2001 SE 1024x768 32-bit
3DMark2001 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.Results - Quake III Arena 640x480 16-bit
Quake 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.
As expected, in all benchmarks performed the Ti4200 OTES outperformed the Radeon 9000 by quite a significant margin. This is because the R9000 is directed at the budget sector (which it currently dominates), while the Ti4200 is directed at the mid-range sector, and thus, is more expensive.
Abit Ti4200 OTES - Overclocking & ConclusionOverclocking
Due to the fact that the card is already overclocked from its default speeds, we were not expecting much more from the Ti4200 OTES. However, we were very surprised to see that the card still had quite a bit of headroom. Using PowerStrip, we were able to overclock the card's core clock speed all the way up to 310MHz and the memory speed up to 610MHz. This is a very impressive overclock considering the fact that most Ti4200 cards come clocked at default speeds of 250/500MHz. Below is a comparison of 3DMark results between stock and overclocked speeds:Conclusion
Overall, we were very impressed with the Abit Ti4200 OTES. It offers excellent performance, is packed with features, and its innovative cooling system coupled with high yield memory ensures that overclockers will not be disappointed. That said, we did have a few small complaints. Firstly, the large cooling system will render one of your PCI slots useless and its software bundle is nothing to write home about. However, with the current abundance of PCI slots on most motherboards coupled with the fact that most users already own most of the software that usually comes bundled with graphics cards, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.At a price of around US$180, the Ti4200 OTES is not the cheapest Ti4200 card on the market, due to the amount of copper used in its cooling system. However, for many, this extra cost will be well worth it as the card is able to be overclock to Ti4400 speeds and beyond. The bottom line is, if you are an overclocker on a budget and are looking to upgrade your graphics card, you can't get much better than the Abit Ti4200 OTES.- Pros
High performance Innovative cooling system Great overclocking results TV and DVI outputs- Cons
Small software bundle Cooling system takes up one PCI slot LoudRating - 9/10