Certainly we can't finish a review of a performance video card without information in regards to the enthusiast crowd. This is where the Prolink card begins to shine.
After looking around at different reviews of the Ti4200 video cards, I have seen that if you can get anywhere close to 290/600, then you're doing very well for yourself. This seems to be mostly limited by the memory speeds, but if you'll recall I stated earlier that the friendly folks at Prolink had used a little faster memory aboard this model. So what difference does it make?
After playing around a bit with the built-in utility for adjusting the core and memory speeds (looked like Coolbits on Steroids), I was able to run this card at a very solid 305/630. And remember, I only accept the speeds of the card when they can run all tests with no visual artifacts at all. This card will run at considerably higher speeds, but not without suffering from graphical glitches. To give you an idea as to what this equates to in numbers, I ran the 3DMark test at this speed and managed to get a result of 11,921 3DMarks with a Nature test performance of 80.0FPS. Not too shabby for what most are considering a budget-minded video card.
After all the tests had been completed, I can now say that there is a difference between the 4x and 8x AGP cards. Though we were not able to stress them out enough for this difference to be fully shown, the 12% gain in the Nature test in 3DMark says a lot towards how well it can handle the workload at hand. But then, when games such as Doom III hit the market, this situation will be different. The ability to run at 8x AGP will be a huge benefit when these new powerhouse games become available for retail sale.
As far as cost, the Prolink line has always shown itself to be competitive. Shopping online, the price of the 8x version of this card is still well under US$200, and is priced between $20-30 more than the 4x AGP model. And it is always a good thing to keep up with modern technologies as they come out. With more motherboard chipsets natively supporting the AGP 3.0 standard, it becomes even more reasonable to look at the higher bandwidth video boards.
Now don't get me wrong, this card is not the be-all, end-all of video cards. Far from it with the likes of two higher versions of GeForce4, ATi Radeon 9700 series and the soon to be released GeForce FX. But for those who are shopping on a budget, this card deserves a look.
Bottom line...If you happen to want some solid performance, very good overclockability, 8x AGP capabilities, and all at a price that won't leave you short a month's rent, then take a look at the Prolink Ti4200-8x video card. It supports all current standards and will still take you a good ways into the future.
8x AGP capability
No large improvements over the original version
Rating - 9/10
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