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MSI G4Ti4600-VTD GeForce 4 Ti4600 Review
MSI G4Ti4600-VTD GeForce 4 Ti4600 Review - PCSTATS
Based on nVidia's chip we already know that the G4Ti4600-VTD is going to be damn fast, but how does MSI separate itself from the rest?
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI May 29 2002   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > MSI G4Ti4600-VTD

MSI's GeForce 4 & GPU Cooling

Since the Ti4600 is built on the same 0.15 micron technology that build the GeForce3, the 63 million transistor die is large and runs hot. Apparently nVidia realized that they could brand not only the Geforce 4 name, but also the type of heatsink used to cool it down. The heatsink they chose is now as recognizable as the chip underneath it.

MSI use a modified variation of this heatsink and other then a few cosmetic differences, it is the same heatsink found on the Gainward GeForce 4 PowerPack GS Ultra/750XP and half a dozen other cards.

MSI have put a thin piece transparent plastic over the fins on the heatsink to duct the air. The plastic forces the air to flow though the fins and onto the BGA memory which improves cooling efficiency.

This type of cooling solution does generate quite a bit of noise compared to other GPU coolers. While it doesn't bother me, it does produce a higher pitch which may annoy some people. Upon removing the heatsink to check on the core, we were glad to see that MSI used a good amount of thermal paste between the GPU and heatsink - you would be surprised how many manufacturers skip this crucial step with their products!

With the memory naked we see that the MSI G4Ti4600-VTD uses Samsung BGA RAM which has a 2.8 ns rating and is clocked at 660 MHz.

If you do the math 1000 / 2.8 (ns) x 2 (DDR)=714 MHz so that means the memory has been certified to run up to 714 MHz. Assuming all the voltages are correct and heat isn't an issue, we should be able to clock the memory up to at least 714 MHz!

One thing you'll notice here is that MSI clocks the memory 10 MHz higher then other Ti4600's. This doesn't really affect performance since the clock differences are too small.

If you'd like to learn a little more on GeForce 4 technology please read our Gainward GeForce 4 PowerPack GS Ultra/750XP or nVidia GeForce 4 preview.


The core of the MSI G4Ti4600-VTD we tested is based on the A2 stepping so I knew (raises right hand and shakes it wildly) that overclocking would be met with limited success. Still, we were pleasantly surprised to see the nVidia core go up to 325 MHz with just air cooling, and the memory to 770 MHz! The memory did get quite hot during testing, but interestingly there were no artifacts on the screen. It's a good thing.

If you want to get an idea what kind of results you can get with an overclocked GeForce4 Ti4600 and a Thermoelectric device cooled by an Alpha and 7000RPM Delta have a look at this article on FrostyTech.com.

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Contents of Article: MSI G4Ti4600-VTD
 Pg 1.  MSI G4Ti4600-VTD GeForce 4 Ti4600 Review
 Pg 2.  — MSI's GeForce 4 & GPU Cooling
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: Setup & 3DMark
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Aquamark 2.3
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: DroneZ
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: CodeCreatures
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Serious Sam 2
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001 AntiAliasing
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: AquaMark AntiAliasing
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena AntiAliasing
 Pg 13.  GeForce 4 Conclusions

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