Big Little Sister - The GeForce4 Ti4200


A good two months ago, NVIDIA unveiled its GeForce4 line of graphics chips. This fourth generation of the GeForce family is divided into two product lines, each containing three cards, which cover the entire performance spectrum from entry level to the very high end. On the one hand we have the budget GeForce4 MX line, which is based on an optimized GeForce2 core and lacks the newer 3D technology. It encompasses the 420, 440 and 460 models. On the other, there is the GeForce4 Ti series, represented by the 4200, 4400 and 4600 cards, offering the newest technology and consequently carrying a higher price tag.

Speaking of prices - there is a certain degree of overlap between the MX460 and the Ti4200. This made the Ti4200 seem like a very attractive choice from the very beginning, as it offered a theretofore unheard of price/performance ratio. Other than the initial launch information and the preliminary specifications, not much was heard about this card for a while. Not a single company had a product with this chip in the pipeline, and many PR managers knew no more of this chip than what had already been reported.

Naturally, this led to wild speculations and odd rumors based on the information available mixed with just a little (or a lot, in some cases) creative thinking. The most interesting rumors spoke of a complete cancellation of the Ti4200. Another claimed that NVIDIA simply couldn't satisfy the expected high demand for such an attractive card and was therefore delaying it. Lastly there was talk of giving retailers a chance to sell off the remaining inventory of GeForce3 Ti200 cards, which would become obsolete with the introduction of the Ti4200, a card that would offer more performance at a similar, or even lower, price. Of course, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.