NVIDIA answers our lingering GF4 Ti 4200 questions

As you know from our recent review of the GeForce4 Ti 4200, these lower-priced GF4 Ti cards have a very different and much smaller PCB design than the GF4 Ti 4400/4600 cards—at least, in NVIDIA's reference design they do, and those reference designs often make it into production virtually unmodified.

NVIDIA's GeForce4 Ti 4200 reference card We had a few lingering questions about the reference card after we finished our review, so we shot them to NVIDIA for answers. Steve Sims, Product Manager at NVIDIA, was kind enough to answer them for us.

TR: What's really different about the 4200 reference design other than size?

Steve: Lots of stuff is different on the 4200. These changes are required to meet the requirements of that market segment. Memory is different (TSOP versus BGA). Power supply is different. 6 layer board versus 8 layer board.

TR: Will the Ti 4200 128MB cards come on the same PCB design, or do you all expect the 128MB cards to use the Ti 4600/4400 reference design?

Steve: We expect the 128MB 4200 to come on the same design you see for 64MB. The board can take 4x16 or 8x16 memories. I would say that a 4200 on the same PCB as the 4400 or 4600 is possible (those two PCBs are different as well), although unlikely at this time.

TR: Also, would you expect to see newer Ti 4400 and 4600 cards coming based on the Ti 4200 64MB reference PCB design? Seems like the more compact cards are better, all other things being equal.

Steve: No. Running as fast as the 4400 and 4600 do takes a different design. Different power as well as different memories (BGA's). These require different routing and layout.

TR: Does NVIDIA sell the RAM and GPU chips to board makers together for the Ti 4200? If so, will most cards come with the 4ns Hynix RAM on the reference card?

Steve: We do not currently plan to bundle memories for the 4200. We have a number of memory vendors lined up for qualification on the 64MB board.

TR: One other thing: do you expect most Ti 4200 cards to come with the DVI-out port and dual display support? Or is that one totally out of your hands?

Steve: This is based on what our partners decide to do. The board is capable of VGA/DVI-I if the AIC desires.

So there you have it. The GF4 Ti 4200 cards are a unique design. We meant to ask why the 128MB cards are slated to receive slower memory clockspeeds, but we forgot to include that one in our initial round of questions. We'll update you on that one once we hear back.

We do have a couple of manufacturers planning on sending us production GF4 Ti 4200 cards for review once they're ready, so we'll give you the full scoop on the real cards at that time.

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