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.
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
Widest range of input resolutions available (320
x 200 to 1280 x 1024) allows TV output without changing
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
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 :
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!