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XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 Video Card Review

/ Jun 2nd, 2002 No Comments

 

 

The tag line of XFX Graphics is simple, in your face, and provocative – “Video Cards That Kick Ass.” Don’t believe me? Then check out the box sometime, it’s right on there! XFX recently released their powerful GeForce4 Ti4400 board, and we must admit, this card is one mighty piece of hardware action. To give away a bit of the conclusion right away – I’ve been personally playing the newest PC games such as Grand Theft Auto 3, and am currently beta testing Warcraft III, which looks like the most anticipated game of the year. And to put it simply – if you want to play these games at MAXIMUM resolution levels, the XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 is the card to buy.

The XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 is powered by Nvidia’s NV25 Graphics Processing Unit. Naturally people will compare this card to the 4200 (review coming soon) and the 4600 (also coming soon). For background information, the only significant difference between the Ti4600 and Ti4400 is to be found in the core and memory speeds; the Ti4600 clocks in at a core speed of 300MHz and memory clock of 600MHz while the XFX Ti4400 is set at 275MHz and 550MHz respectively. Is this a huge difference? – well it should be as the cards vary in street price anywhere from $50 to $100. But to put it plainly, this card is perfect for those not wanting to overclock a Ti4200, and for those that want to save some serious money (vs. a Ti4600), and still get jaw-dropping performance – kind of like a best-of-both-worlds scenario.

And for the specifics of the XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 against some other cards…

Core
Clock / RAM MHz
Memory
Bandwidth
Fill
rate Mpixels/sec
Triangles
per second
 

Asus GeForce2 GTS

 

200
/ 333
5.3
GB/s
800
25
Million
 

GeForce3 Ti500

 

240
/ 500
8.0
GB/s
960
40
Million
 

GeForce4 MX420

 

250
/ 332
2.7
GB/s
1000
31
Million
XFX
GeForce4 Ti4400
275
/ 555
8.8
GB/s
1100
131
Million*

We rolled out the Momma-system for this one…

Test System Specifications:
– AMD 1800+XP Processor
– ABIT KR7A Motherboard
– 512 MB RAM- Windows XP
– DirectX 8.1
– nVidia detonator drivers, version 28.32

We used the following benchmarking utilities to the fullest:

– 3D Mark 2001 SE
– Vulpine GLmark
– Comanche 4 Benchmark Demo
– nVidia Chameleon Benchmark Utility
– Quake III (32-bit color, everything maxed out)

The scores around the board were pretty amazing…there’s no doubt that XFX packed in the power with this video card!

3DMark2001 SE SCORES

3DMark2001 SE is the latest installment in the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX8.1 support with completely new graphics, it continues to provide benchmark results to make informed hardware assessments. This is probably the most popular benchmarking program out there, and for good reason. Anyway, the results…

As you can plainly see the the XFX Ti4400 is one hell of a performer. The GeForce4 MX420 isn’t even close to one-half the performance that the Ti4400 is! So I guess the old adage is true – you get what you pay for. Even though the Ti4400 might come with a bit of a price tag (again, $299 MSRP, but if you can find a good retailer, you’ll find it below that number), consumers are definitely getting what they pay for.

Comanche 4 Benchmark Demo

Next we ran through the popular Comanche 4 Benchmark Demo. We ran through three different runs, on 800×600, 1024×768, and 1280×1024 resolution levels. The Benchmark demo is a DirectX 8.1 benchmark that represents a real-world gaming experience. It measures a given system’s performance in frames per second and Tris per second (more is better).

800×600
1024×768
1280×1024
XFX
GF4 4400
32.34
FPS / 

6.441M Tris Per Sec

 

32.02
FPS / 

6.377M Tris Per Sec

 

31.99
FPS / 

6.373M Tris Per Sec

 

GeForce4
MX420
26.51
FPS / 

5.250M Tris Per Sec

 

22.23
FPS / 

4.403M Tris Per Sec

 

16.03
FPS / 

3.174M Tris Per Sec

 

As you can see in this real world gaming test of a Direct X 8.1 environment, the XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 outperforms its counterpart. Most notably impressive about this benchmark is the absolute teeny-tiny and almost insignificant level-off of frame-rate degradation between resolutions in the XFX Ti4400. From 800×600 to 1024×768 we’re looking at a ONE PERCENT difference – simply amazing. And the drop off from 1024×768 to 1280×1024? It’s a minuscule .09%!! Basically this means in a “real world” test of a DirectX 8.1 game, you can juice up the graphics as high as they will go and not worry about performance degradation! How cool is that? Basically this showed us that this card can be seriously taken to the limits and not be slowed down. Cards that kick ass indeed!!

Vulpine GLmark Test

While MadOnion (creators of 3D Mark 2001SE) specializes in DirectX benchmarks, Vulpine has chosen to build its GLMark software package upon the powerful OpenGL platform. The base rendering routine is a custom version of Vulpine’s next-generation game engine known as Vision. We’ve used this benchmark before, as we’re seeing it used more and more across the net. While a current generation video card is recommended, this benchmark only requires an OpenGL card with true ARB_mutlitexturing support according to the minimum specifications. This means most cards produced since the original nVidia TNT or 3dfx Voodoo3 should be capable of running GLMark, though do not expect anything more than a few frames per second with such dated video chipsets. We set the Vulpine GLMark test to an 1024×768 resolution level.

Results of the XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 tests @ 1024×768…

Holy crap! The Ti4400 blew away the the Vulpine tests. For a comparison, we had tested the MX420 using this tests before on this same system and the Average FPS was 23.9! I know I might be comparing apples and oranges, but at least this shows you the raw power of this card.

NVidia Chameleon Benchmark

“Chameleon Mark” is a new benchmarking utility from NVIDIA. The benchmark is based upon the popular “Chameleon” demo released by NVIDIA with the introduction of the GeForce3 line of GPUs. Chameleon Mark is primarily used to measure pixel shader performance for a variety of shaders. Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t work with the old GeForce2 cards.

Glass
Real
Shiny
1024×768
78.149 fps
103.675 fps
77.9661 fps
1280×1024
53.507 fps
72.467 fps
53.3167 fps
1600×1280
40.509 fps
55.1864 fps
40.2965 fps

Again, these are impressive scores. You can see a bit of a drop off between resolutions now, but that’s obviously to be expected in this high-performance benchmarking utility.

Real World experiences

There are a few games on the market you can’t benchmark. Currently my favorite game of choice is Grand Theft Auto 3 from Rockstar Games. With AA off (anti-aliasing, which smoothes all the pixels to make things look cleaner, smoother, better), the game looks absolutely stunning 1600×1200 mode! No slowdown, no choppiness, no problems whatsoever. With anti-aliasing turned on to 2x AA (this is done via RivaTuner or through your “Additional Properties” in the Display Settings for the Ti4400), the game runs just fine in 1024×768. I am also a huge NHL2002 fan, and with the graphics tweaked out to the maximum 1600×1200 resolution level, there is no issues with performance, as the game just screams by.

Another game I’ve been playing the bloody heck out of is the Warcraft 3 beta from Blizzard Entertainment. This game uses a sophisticated and brand new three dimensional graphic engine new to the RTS (Real Time Strategy) world. While using the XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 video card, I was able to maximize Warcraft III to a 1600x1200x32 level of resolution – without any problems in the game whatsoever.

Conclusion

XFX has lived up to their heavy slogan – the XFX GeForce4 Ti4400 is a video card that kicks ass! If you’re looking for a great card that performs, the this is the card you need to buy. If you’re worried about how games like GTA3 and Warcraft 3 perform, then no worries with this bad-boy since those games were tested with this very card to their maximum resolution levels with perfect performance.

Very simply put, you get what you pay for. The generous two year warranty and price should definitely sway people to the Ti4400. This is an editor’s choice product!

SCORE: 98%

The Final Word: This is one of the elite products we’ve ever reviews…a true superior product. This whole site is dedicated to gaming, and this video card will allow you to maximize your fun, no doubt about it.

Editor's Choice Award

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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