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VisionTek Xtasy Geforce 4 Ti 4600

Written By:
Date Posted: April 19, 2002

is earning quite a reputation among enthusiasts. With the announcement of the GeForce 4 GPU a couple months ago, as with the GeForce 3, they're the first to release the Ti4600 to retail in North America. Borrowing heavily on their OEM experience, Visiontek was able to fill out the pre-orders, and many users got their hands on nVidia's next-gen GPU before any other manufacturer released theirs. At the time of this writing, you can count the number of Ti4600 retail cards (that you can buy right now) on one hand, although the MX 440 GeForce 4 are a dime a dozen.

Announced a few months ago, The GeForce 4 isn't as big a jump from the GeForce 3, as the GeForce 3 was to the GeForce 2. The GeForce 4 isn't a completely new technology, when compared to the GeForce 3, but there are plenty of new and upgraded features that allow for it to walk stomp over the competition. Unlike the GeForce 3, where the Ti200 (slower part), and the Ti500 (faster part) were released 6 months later, nVidia is covering all there bases by announcing all their GeForce 4 parts. Granted, the Ti4200 isn't in full retail yet, but it will be soon. The Ti4400 is available from a few manufacturers, but the budget MX family, and the high end Ti4600 are out there.

Promising to "release you bowels", we're going to examine Visiontek's top of the line card. Thankfully, they dropped their strange naming convention used with their GeForce 3 parts, and went with something buyers should immediately recognize. So, putting on our diapers, let's look at what the Xtasy Ti4600 has to offer.


" NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600 GPU
" AGP 4x compatible with fast writes
" 128MB DDR memory
" 300MHz core clock / 650MHz DDR memory clock
" DirectX and OpenGL API support
" VGA, DVI, TV In/Out connectors
" 1.23 trillion operations/sec.
" 136 million triangles/sec. setup
" 10.4GB/sec. memory bandwidth
" 256-bit 3D and 2D graphics accelerator
" NVIDIA nView" display technologies
" Lightspeed Memory Architecture" II
" Accuview Antialiasing"
" High Definition Video Processing Engine

Of note, when compared with the GeForce 3 Ti500, nVidia have added nView capability to all their GeForce 4s. It'll be up to manufactuers to add support, but for designers, or dual screen power users, this is a nice feature to add. Other than that, a few architecture upgrades, and a new antialiasing technique, the GeForce 4 is like a GeForce 3 on steroids. With a 300MHz core clock / 650MHz DDR memory clock, we're inching even closer to true high resolution gaming, without a penalty hit on framerates.

Unlike most cards, Visiontek uses a plastic shell to package the card for shipping. Although it doesn't look like much, this will do a better job at protecting the card than a simple anti-static bag covering it, and secured by a folded piece of cardboard.

In their rush to reach the market first, Visiontek's supplier of the video in/out cable was unable to provide enough cables before packaging, and the shipment. Instead, you'll have to go online and fill out a form for the cable and the video editing software. Although it only takes a few minutes, and shipping is on them, it is a bit of a nuisance, but they'll give your a T-Shirt for your troubles. I, for one, am looking forward to replacing my 1980's Quiet Riot shirt.

By this time though, the supply problem should be resolved, and future shipments will include everything, although I doubt a T-Shirt is going to be included in there.

Other than a driver CD, you get foolproof installation instructions on a fold-out sheet, as well as my personal favorite, PowerDVD software.

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