Performance gain from an Ultra GF2 to a GF4 4600 on a PIII?


Junior Member
Jul 21, 2002
I have a XPS B866r Dell with 256 RDRAM running windows ME with a PIII 866 processor with a Elsa GF2 Ultra card.. I need to know the performance gain by installing a GF4 4400 or 4600 card? I know the processor speed will hinder the card's performance, but what kind of gain will be made from the Ultra GF2 card I have now? I have seen the CPU scale chart on this site, but it uses an "Athlon" not a "Pentium", so would the comparison be the same? Thanks for the information..


Feb 25, 2000
The type of performance gain you will get depends on what you are playing. Some games use more of the cpu power to run i.e Unreal Tournament. Some games are more GPU dependant like Quake III. But either way all games will see a boost going to a Geforce 4. As far as the reviews concerned, it doesn't really matter what the processor is you will see a similar gain between a PIII, PIV or an AMD chip when comparing video cards.

Hope this helps


Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
:( Your PIII 866 will certainly kill the potential of GF4Ti cards no doubt about it. However you will still notice a significant improvement over your existing GF2ultra card, esp when enabling AA and Aniso, both of which will help to use up the 'spare' GPU power which your CPU can't tap. If you are thinking of upgrading your CPU in the near future then a GF4TI card is a fine choice. The soon to be available Rad9700 is much faster than the GF4TI4600, but at $400 it will sot you. Not only that but Rad9700 is expected to be VERY heavily reliant upon a fast CPU, we're talking AthlonXP2000+ and P4 2.0ghz levels here, otherwise the card will likely be crippled.

:D If you are unlikely to upgarde the CPU then you will be just as well served in buying a $100 GF3TI200 or Rad8500/8500LE. If prices are about the same the Rad8500 cards are the better buy offering better '2D' image quality, TVout and slightly better overall perf. GF3 are much more consistently priced throughout the world, have much better AA and of course sport the pretty GF branding.

;) If you want a GF4TI card then the 4200 is by far the wisest buy for $150. The 4200 comes in 64MB and 128MB versions, the only difference is the default clocks, 4200-64=250/500 and 4200-128=250/444, even at these defaults the 4200 still beat the GF3TI500 and Rad8500 cards. At default clocks the 4200-64 is about 2% faster than the 4200-128 but gets hit hard when more than 64MB is req, something which will become more and more common. Regardless, you'd be quite mad to have a 4200 and not o/c! How far they o/c depends almost entirely on the type of RAM implimented, 4.0ns is the standard for both 64MB and 128MB and reaches o/c of about 300/550 (TI4400 speeds). However 3.6ns is not uncommon, esp for the 64MB versions but can easily be found on 128MB too, 3.6ns reaches 300/620 (VERY near 4600 speeds). If you want perf without losing too much cash the 4200 is clearly the way to go. If you don't mind spending the cash then the 4600 is the clear GF4TI choice, although prices for them should drop since the Rad9700 totally kicks their ass!

:D As you mention AnAnd do some evry informative CPU scaling articles. They use an unlocked AthlonXP2000+, keeping a 266FSB and DDR RAM and scale it down to 800mhz type speeds. Basicly, as a rough guide the PIII 866mhz will be about even with the 800mhz shown. As a general rule the PIII is the same speed as the equivilent clock Duron, which are 10% slower than the Athlon CPUs of the same clock.

AnAnd CPU scaling 1

AnAnd CPU scaling 2

FiringSquad showing GF4TI4200

AnAndTech 4200 roundup (excellent for showing limitations of a 64MB)


Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
:D Here's some options and how they effect overall perf in 3Dmark2001SE (card: total marks, games1-4 FPS high detail):

PIII 866mhz:

GF2ultra: 3500, 17, 28, 30, na
Rad8500: 6000, 23, 62, 35, 38
GF4TI4200: 6500, 24, 74, 39, 35

GF2ultra: 2700, 16, 22, 24, na
Rad8500: 3700, 21, 35, 28, 18
GF4TI4200: 4800, 19, 60, 31, 13


GF2ultra: 5600, 40, 44, 49, na
Rad8500: 9600, 54, 88, 63, 54
GF4TI4200: 10700, 55, 112, 69, 49

GF2ultra: 3000, 26, 28, 29, na
Rad8500: 5800, 45, 53, 44, 26
GF4TI4200: 7400, 46, 74, 52, 29

;) JFYI, AthlonXP1800+ $81, SktA KT266 $24, 256MB DDR $56, TOTAL $161
A PIII 1.2ghz on its own costs $121, and that's if your mobo can take it. The above would give your PC a huge boost in everything it does, not just games. Of course your case and PSU may need updating too, and the KT266 isn't quite as fast or o/c'able as the KT266A ($57). You can find some KT266 which would allow you to use your existing PIII RAM (if it's PC133) in the short term whilst still allowing DDR slots for a future upgrade, very cost effective. You'd be much better of with a new CPU and GF3/ Rad8500LE than sticking a GF4TI4600 with your PIII.


Feb 1, 2000
seeing as a 4600 still costs about $300.

you might as well get a new case , power supply, and motherboard and cpu and a card like a ti200 i think that would still cost less than $300.

256mb ddr is $50
gf3 ti200 is around $75
some decent case $50
kt266 board (msi one with raid at compgeeks is like $60)
some athlon cpu (you can probably get an xp1600 for like $75 with fan)

so thats just about $300, and you could sell all theold stuff for like $160 at least.


Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2002
Very nice summary AnandAustin.

Like others have said, get a Ti4200 now, it will be a big improvement without breaking the bank, and save the rest for an upgrade.