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OCsystem O/C Ti 4200

It always amazes me how quickly in this industry yesterday's next big thing becomes today's has-been. While this is a sad moment for the fan boys, it's actually a great time for the consumer. You can buy the, not quite latest and greatest at bargain basement prices. If you shop the price performance ratio this is the time to buy. As you may or may not have guessed already, I am talking about the GeForce 4. Today we are looking specifically at the OCsystem Enhanced GeForce 4 Ti 4200. How exactly does the Ti 4200 differ from a vanilla GeForce 4 Ti 4200? Well here are the specs on the card I received.

Card Specs:

-GeForce4 Ti 4200+ 64MB DDR
-TV & DVI Out Connectors
-Thermaltake Copper GeForce4 GPU Cooler
-Nickel Plated Copper RAM Sinks
-Custom OCsystem BIOS
-320/610 Default Clock Speed

Card Front     Card Rear

If you happen to be curious about the Geforce 4 Ti architecture in general here is a link to Nvidia's product overview.pdf file.

Packaging/Bundle

OCsystem has taken a very minimalist approach here. What that means is that basically the card is all you get. No retail packaging, no software bundles, not even a driver disk. You, the reader, will have to decide how important those items are to you. Personally, I would have liked to at least see a driver disk. Often times if I am building a computer I am looking to load the video card drivers before I have internet access. On the upside, the card is very well-packed in packing peanuts. I would be surprised to hear any stories of shipping damage.

Physical Description

The OCsystem Enhanced Ti 4200 has a striking blue PCB. I really like colored PCB as I think it adds a little visual appeal to the now nearly standard case window. It also features an Thermaltake Copper Cooler and Nickel Plated Copper RAM Sinks. For a stock clocked GeForce 4 Ti 4200 this is probably overkill. For an OCsystem Enhanced Ti 4200 clocked at 320/610 this level of cooling is a necessity. Unlike some other hybrid Ti 4200 cards that use the TI 4600 PCB. The OCsystem Enhanced Ti 4200 uses the regular Ti 4200 PCB. While I am a big fan of the Ti 4600 speed, I am not a big fan of its size. I had no problems with this card blocking access to my first memory slot as I have seen from some other cards. The OCsystem Enhanced Ti 4200 is even shorter than the old Geforce 3 Ti 200 I have laying in the corner.

Internal Differences

The first thing I noticed when booting up the OCsystem Ti 4200 is that the screen reads OCsystems. This means the OCsystem Ti 4200 is running a custom manufactured/modded BIOS. Upon booting into Windows, enabling Coolbits I discovered one of the reasons for the custom BIOS: The OCsystem Enhanced Ti 4200 is clocked at 320/610 default! You aren't expected to overclock it yourself that speed is hard coded into the card. This would suggest the cores have been hand-picked also. Since the memory runs at 610 I would assume the BIOS also contains a few memory tweaks.

The first OCsystem Enhanced Ti 4200 I received for review would not complete 3D Mark 2001, continually locking up my system. When the core speed was reduced from 320 to 310 using Coolbits this behavior disappeared. After notifying OCsystem of this behavior, they overnighted me a replacement card, which completed all the benchmarks at the 320/610 speed. While it's not a good thing that the first card wouldn't run properly at its advertised speed in my system, if the level of customer service I received was the same offered to the normal customer, this would bode very well for those needing it.

System Specs:

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ o/c 2.14GHZ (185X11.5)
EPoX 8K9A2+
256MB Samsung PC2700
Quantum 7200 RPM ATA 100 40GB HDD
I/O Magic 52X CD-ROM
Samsung 48X CDR
OCsystem Enhanced Geforce 4 Ti 4200 320/610
Sound Blaster Live
Thermalright SLK-800
ThermalTake Smart Fan 2: 75 CFM, 48 dba fan
Enermax EG365P-VA 350 W ATX PS
WIN XP Home SP1
DirectX 8.1
Det 41.09 Reference driver

Show Me The Numbers

3DMark2001

Those sure don't look like Ti 4200 numbers to me.

UT 2003 Demo

I would say everything is playable here up to 1280X960. 1600X1200 might be a little slow at spots though.

Quake III

Quake III the old guard here it seems like every time I load up this game I end up playing it for a few hours just for old times sake. The numbers here are not too impressive Intel has always owned this game.

Conclusion:

If you are in the market for a spartan kick-ass 150 dollar video card, look no further. While I do find it a little troubling that the first card I received wouldn't run reliably at its rated speed, OCystem's efforts to resolve my problem were first-rate. If you have really deep pockets OCsystem also sells an enhanced Radeon 9700 Pro. Maybe they will send me a blue one out for my next review?

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Good price
  • After market cooler and ram sinks

Cons:

  • First card wouldn't complete 3DMark without lockups
  • No bundle

Added: December 30th 2002
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 8  
Hits: 2657
Language: english

  

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