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Albatron Medusa Ti4200P Turbo
Author : Wayne Date : 8th November 2002

...Product Medusa Ti4200P Turbo
...Manufacturer Albatron
...Supplier The Overclocking Store
...Price £134.99 + VAT





A Closer Look :

From a purely aesthetic standpoint the 4200P Turbo is very attractive card. The blue PCB and matching blue fan give the card a clean and cool look while the satin finished shroud over the copper GPU sink looks far classier than the usual gaudy designs that make their way onto there. Even the curvy RAM sinks add to the classy look of the card. All things considered this is probably one of the most elegant designs I've seen for a Titanium series card since they were launched and that's no small achievement!

Click for a larger image

The rear of the card features the fairly standard and less efficient flat style ribbed RAM sinks. I wonder if one day we'll see a manufacturer build some type of low profile active cooling (fan) on to the rear of one of these cards?

Click for a larger image

Although Albatron haven't opted to use NVIDIA's proprietary cooler design the principle is exactly the same. Air from the fan is first channeled along the copper cooling fins of the GPU sink before being directed out over the two RAM sinks. The idea's a great one but as I've stated in past reviews there's little point cooling the four memory chips on the front of the card and leaving those on the rear to fend for themselves. That said the design of Albatron's cooler is far more efficient, not to mention elegant, than NVIDIA's design. The only complaint is that I wish Albatron had made it easier to remove the aluminium shroud to facilitate the removal of dust that's bound to start clogging those copper fins over time.


The sink and fan are held on using the usual spring loaded plastic spreading pin design found on most cards. A quick look along the length of the showed that everything was seated properly and was thus unlikely to cause any problems in use.

With the sink off you can see the copper base which wasn't exactly a mirror finish but which is still surprisingly flat and well machined for an area of the card that will never see the light of day in most circumstances. Albatron were a little mean with the the thermal grease but to be honest I wasn't actually expecting to see any at all so I guess it was a bonus. What ever they've used was pretty thin and no doubt some of you would prefer to clean it off slap on a little Nanotherm or Arctic Silver, or failing that some plain old silicone goo. I didn't do that because I wanted to test performance out of the box, not after I've meddled with it.


The Ti4200P Turbo comes complete with the now familiar options of both an analogue and DVI output as well as TV out functionality. I was a little surprised that Albatron decided not to include a dongle in the box to allow you to use the DVI output for a second analogue CRT monitor. TV out is handled by the Philips SAA104E video encoder chip.

The SAA7104 offers a full set of high-performance features, with unique, on-target functionality built in:
• Flexible input bus supports YCbCr and RGB input formats to interface to standard graphics controllers and MPEG decoders
• NTSC-M and PAL TV standard support for worldwide operation
• Widest range of input resolutions available (320 x 200 to 1280 x 1024) allows TV output without changing VGA modes
• Full support of all Macrovision copy-protection standards, including rev. 7.01 and the new rev 1.03 standard for 525p as used in new DVD players. (SAA7104 only)
• On-Chip Hot-Plug Detection allows the system to be informed of TV connection without having to continuously poll the chip
• High resolution output including 1080i (1920 x 1080 interlaced) and 720p (1280 x 720 progressive) with 3-level sync pulses to support new HD-ready TVs
• Fully programmable 5-line Anti-Flicker Filter for image enhancement
• DVO interface for motherboard applications
• On-Chip Hardware Cursor Insert for presentations, logo overlay, and OSD
• Three Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) with adjustable output levels and best-in-class 10-bit conversion


The Bundle :

In the box you'll find the usual installation driver CD, three cables (SVideo, Phone and SVideo-Phono adapter) along with a full version of WinDVD. There's also two full retail games included, Serious Sam (original v1.0 release) which is still fun despite being a bit of a veteran in gaming terms and Motocross Mania which is best described as a fairly average title though it does have a few redeeming features. Its biggest problem is the bike handling which is pretty crap in all honesty. Still, at this price any bundle beats no bundle at all and the inclusion of WinDVD gives me one less thing to moan about!





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