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First Sightings: Three Early Samples of the GeForce4 Ti4600

Creative 3D Blaster 4 Titanium 4600

3D Blaster 4 Titanium 4600 - Made by MSI

Creative sent us a GeForce4 Ti4600 board for this test. The company no longer manufactures its own cards, by the way, having outsourced this task to MSI. That explains why these cards look almost identical to MSI's, aside from the logo on the heatsink's fan. In addition to the TV-output (Conexant CX25871-13), the card also features a DVI connector, which is standard fare for GeForce4 Ti boards. Like ASUS, Creative has yet to decide whether it will ship a DVI -> CRT adapter with its card.

Transparent HSF cover

Creative is also adhering to NVIDIA's specifications, setting the card to run at 300 MHz core and 650 MHz memory speed. As on the ASUS board, the eight 2.8ns BGA memory chips receive no additional cooling. The GPU's heatsink/ fan is somewhat of a mixed bag. While it is quite a visual treat and does an excellent job, it is very loud and its sound bears resemblance to that of a blow-drier for your hair. Not exactly something you'd want around you when you're trying to work. Creative/ MSI should rethink their choice of components here and find an alternative. After all, the large heatsink wouldn't even require such a high-speed fan to be effective.

Creative couldn't send us its own set of drivers yet, either. In the past, the company has taken great pains with their display tools and utilities, though, and there is no reason to fear that this should change with the 3D Blaster 3 series.