The 4th generation of GeForce cards, the nVidia GeForce4 is here. Well its been for a while now. With new features delivering new levels of performance and display capabilities to desktop and mobile PCs, it is sure to be another big hit from nVidia. A lot of companies has already released their video cards based on the GeForce 4 GPUs and today we’ll be looking at one of them.
Chaintech has been producing top quality video cards for quite some time now and we have already tested a few of them. The first was their GF4 MX 440 offering and the second was their GeForce 3 Ti200 128Mb. We were amazed with the performance of both cards when compared to the top players in their corresponding category considering the prices of the competition’s graphics cards are more expensive. We were very happy with what it offered the consumers at a relatively cheaper price. Now we’ll be taking a world exclusive look at their GeForce 4 Ti4600 offering, the Chaintech GT61 “Golden Sample” 128Mb DDR.
The GeForce 4 family consist of 3 different categories: PERFORMANCE, MAINSTREAM and MOBILE, making it the most complete family of graphics solution. The GeForce 4 Performance card is the GF4 Ti series, the Mainstream is the GF4 MX series and the Mobile card is the GF4 Go series. The GF4 Ti gives the user ferocious graphics power that is ideal for advanced 3D applications, extreme gaming and HDTV/DVD playback. The GF4 MX on the other hand is ideal for multiple display and desktop flexibility, 2D office applications and web surfing. The geForce 4 Go series is,like what the name suggest, ideal for mobile business presentations, gaming on the go and multiple display flexibility.
The GeForce 4 Ti series is aimed for use by those after ferocious graphics power. The nVidia GeForce 4 Ti Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is the first consumer GPU capable of driving complex geometries and character animations. With its advanced nfiniteFX Engine, superior Accuview AntiAliasing techniques, ajnd flexible nView display technology, the GF4 Ti GPU allows end users to experience radically immersive graphical environments complete with unique visual effects, and the most realistic, life-like images ever experienced on a desktop PC. This is nVidia’s entry to capture the top-end market.
The GeForce 4 Ti is further subdivided into 2 types. The GF4 Ti4600 and the GF4 Ti4400. They all have the same features and design. They only differ in the type of memory used and the memory and core clock they are fixed at. The naming is obviously taken from the fill rate each card is capable of. 4.6 Billion (4600 Million) for the Ti4600 and 4.4 Billion (4400 Million) for the Ti4400. You can correct me here if I am wrong.
With an amazing 128mb frame buffer; a 650Mhz DDR memory- the world’s fastest; a 300Mhz core clock – for unmatched clock speeds; and 63 million transistors- the GeForce 4 Ti 4600 GPU delivers nearly twice the memory bandwidth of the previous high performance GPU, and enables end users to run applications at high resolutions with astonishing fast frame rates.
The GeForce 4 Ti GPU features nVidia’s Lightspeed Memory Architecture (LMA) II, an advanced 128-bit DDR memory interface, delivering double the effective memory bandwidth and improved performance up to 3x more than the previous generation solutions. Some of the GeForce4 Ti memory enhancements include 4:1 lossless Z-compression technology, which saves crucial memory bandwidth; and second-generation Z-occlusion culling, a hardware technique that uses memory bandwidth more efficiently by not rendering pixels that are hidden behind other objects in the scene. And only the GeForce 4 Ti GPU features Quad Cache- four individually dedicated and optimized memory caches allowing for almost instant pipeline access and reuse of bandwidth.
We have been testing quite a few Chaintech products lately and even though they are quite new to the enthusiast scene, their video card products has been showing top quality performance, as seen in this GF4 MX440 roundup we did quite recently where it came out as the most dominant GF4 MX440 card among the crop of well known top video card makers it was pitted against and the most recent one is their GeForce 3 Ti200 with 128Mb of DDR “Golden Sample”. Today we will once again test their consistency by testing their greatest graphics card yet, the GT61 “Golden Sample”, Chaintech’s GeForce 4 Ti4600 offering with 128mb DDR.
The Chaintech GF3 Ti200 128Mb “Golden Sample” card comes packaged in a very nice plastic enclosure on a windowed box. Being a “Golden Sample”, the appealing color would be seen all over the box . One of the best graphics card packaging I’ve seen.
The first GF4 Titanium readily available in the market was the GeForce 4 Ti4600 flavor which is the top of the line in the series. Chaintech came out with their first GF4 Ti4600 card, the Chaintech GT60. The one we are reviewing today is the Chaintech GT61. How is it different and what makes it a special edition? Looking at the two Chaintech GF4 Ti4600 card, the physical difference would be the nice looking golden heatsink design present in the newer GT61 and the black pcb used for the card. The GT61 also has golden ramsinks placed on the memory chips both in the front and back of the card. The aluminum bracket of the card is colored gold as well. The inclusion of 2 full version games is also one of the main selling point of the ‘golden sample’ label.
The active cooling system is made up of a very shiny mirror finish golden heatsink design. The gold color gives it a very elegant look against a black pcb. The base is flat upon inspection and is clearly attached with adequate thermal compound applied. The ramsinks are also well polished and surely adds not only to the total look of the the card but its performance as well. The memory chip used was a Samsung 2.8ns chip, offering 128 MB of blisteringly fast DDR Memory.
It is very obvious by now that the Geforce4 Titaniums is the new desktop graphics king. The above results shows the big difference in performance when compared to any of the GF3 family. It could deliver the fastest performance and the quality you could currently dream of. I know coz the scores posted by this card are the fastest we have ever seen on our testbenchs. Wait till we overclock it!
The Chaintech GT61 GeForce 4 Ti4600 is one hell of a card! nVidia’s GF4 Ti GPU is indeed the fastest GPU in the world. We have posted the highest score we have ever seen on our testbench using this card. The quality of the picture is so clear and crisp that it makes the GeForce 3 cards look very plain. Picture realism is the best you can ask for. Makes gaming for those hardcore gamers truly an ovewhelming experience. Of course all these comes at a price. If you can afford it, the GF4 Titanium 4600s is the best money can buy at the moment.
Chaintech did a very good job at their GF4 Ti4600 offering. The card looks very well made and very elegant. This GF4 Ti4600 “Golden Sample” is one of the nicest looking card you’ll currently see. However, extras such as 3D glasses and optional cables would have been a very good addition to this already very good package. Although, that might be intentionally so as to reduce the total cost of the card itself. This is obvious as the pricing of the Chaintech GT61 here in New Zealand is very competitive that the nearest GF Ti4600 competition is almost US$80-100 more expensive than this card. Personally, I’d take that discount over the accessories anytime.
On the overclocking front, this is ahead of its class. 760mhz DDR memory and 325mhz core, how can I complain? A solid 110mhz overclock on the memory is nothing to laugh at. The scores achieved at that overclocked speed makes your expensive purchase even worth it. The core overclock though is okay but I was actually expecting something more. Perhaps this is the card’s limitation as I have never seen big core overclocks for the GF Ti4600 cards by other manufacturers as well.
Again, Chaintech has proven that they are capable of producing high end graphics card that are physically attractive, well-built, highly overclockable and most importantly cheaper. I only have high praises for their products up to now as their card’s performance has proven that they are top quality. I hope that they will continue to provide this kind of workmanship, for it is the consumers that wins at the end of the day. For serious gamers and extreme users who’s got money to burn, the Chaintech GT61 GeFroce 4 Ti6400 is highly recommended.