GF4200 RAM speeds

unique1979

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2002
1
0
0
Hey,

I'm looking to upgrade my video card to last for another couple of years and in researching about different GF4 cards, I've come up with several different questions. Currently, I'm running an Athlon 1.2GHz 266FSB (which really makes me wonder if I even have the processor power to take advantage of a GE Force 4 card to begin with), ASUS A7A266 mobo, 512mb PC2100 DDR, and GF2MX 400 64mb video card. I really only want the card for gaming, movies (though I know most processors are capable of handling it alone) and minimal use otherwise. I don't really need the VIVO function or the DVI since my monitor is a refurb 21" Hitachi Superscan 812 (which will also probably be replaced once I graduate in 2yrs time from college). Unless I'm totally off the mark in my understanding of the DVI connection, I just need the standard CRT connection. Also, I'm not in any real need of TV-out either. Even still, I'm rather perplexed about which card I should go with. I've heard a lot of mention of the different types of ram available on the 4200 cards, from the 2.6ns to the 4.0ns and a lot of it varying with the amount of ram on the card. I'd really like to go with a 128mb card for lasting value and I'd like to get a good ram speed. Is there some place that will list this kind of information about the different brand name cards? I've noticed SOME dealers will mention it in product specs, but not all do and I'm having a hard time trying to do comparisons. Also, is it really worth it to spend the extra cash that the 4200 cards with better ram cost or should I spring for a 4400/4600? I've never OC'ed anything in my life, but I have access to several friends who know a fair deal about it. Right now, I'm looking at the ASUS V8420, and products from Gainward. I'd like to keep my purchase price to a minimum, but if it will really last awhile, then I'm willing to go up to $250 (150-200 being more ideal). Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I'm a new user here, so please have some mercy ;)
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
2,112
0
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;) unique1979, obviously dismiss the GF4MX (GF2) cards, GF4TI cards are a significant improvement on GF3, although Athlon1.2ghz won't really bring out the diffs much. But when you do upgrade the CPU GF3/Rad8500 tend to taper out around Ath1.4ghz while the GF4TI cards ALL gain significantly with every extra mhz the CPU has.

:D Most cards now come with CRT+DVI+TVout (or VIVO), having only a DVI is not a thing to worry about, esp with GF4 cards. DVI+TVout add VERY little to the cost, but you may find the odd GF4TI which sports only CRT.

:) GF4TI4200 is certainly a great choice, as for RAM speed it only matters for o/c'ing and most 4200-64MB use 3.6ns while most 4200-128MB use 4.0ns. 128MB with 4.0ns won't o/c as far as 4200-64MB's 3.6ns but tyhe 128MB 4.0ns still often beats 4400 perf! 128MB is defintely a wise purchase. Unfortunately it is nigh on impossible to know what ns RAM a 4200 card uses, but unless you buy a 'Special' 4200 card this rarely changes anyway. Manu matters VERY little for GF4TI cards, certainly go by price first. 4400/4600 make VERY little sense with 4200 being so cheap AND powerful, as for o/c'ing it is VERY EASY, don't worry.

:D So basicly one 4200-128MB will be pretty much identical to another (perf, features and o/c'ing) so go by price, pay a little more for a big brand if you want, but not much. The only 4200 cards which do make a diff are the Asus 4200-128MB Deluxe and Suma 4200-128MB Special Edition, without getting technical these cards are better than GF4TI400 and sometimes even GF4TI4600! If you want to save some cash then any $150ish 4200-128MB gives outstanding perf and so long as it doesn't use 4.5ns/5.0ns RAM (VERY few do) then you are pretty much guaranteed 4400 perf VERY safely. If you want to spend a little more than a 4400 or 'Special' 4200 come in about $200, but you don't get mind-numbing extra perf from them.

;) Whatever card you buy you'll get amazing perf over your existing GF2MX400, I'd rec GF3TI200 or Rad8500LE if you aren't getting a new CPU in the coming months, 4200 is you are. Happy shopping, HTH!
 

jiffylube1024

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2002
7,430
0
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Get a Ti4200, 128MB. Don't waste any more money on getting a 4400 or 4600, it's not worth the price difference. If I'm not mistaken, your motherboard supports the Athlon XP (very handily as well, with DDR support and everything). I'd say the best, cheapest, and most effective upgrade path for you, by far would be to buy a 128 MB GF4 Ti4200, and then sometime down the road upgrade to an Athlon XP. If you get an Athlon right now, get around an 1800+ (very affordable), otherwise wait a month or so for the new ones to come out and get a 2000+ or 2200+.

Edit: by the way, congrats on your first post. I have to say that this is probably the most thorough first post I've read. Most people haven't done their homework and ask very simple questions. I can tell you've done a lot of reading. Bravo!
 

daywalker

Member
Feb 1, 2002
189
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Unique, you will have no problems at all. I have the same motherboard as yours but with SDRAM on it (ASUS A7A133) and our motherboards can upgrade up to an AthlonXP 2100+ with the latest 1011 bios update. Go for it.
 

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