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Albatron's Medusa GeForce4 Ti 4680P graphics card

And now for something completely different

Manufacturer Albatron
Model Medusa GeForce4 Ti 4680P
Price (street) US$210
Availability Now

LATELY, I'VE BEEN COMPLAINING that the graphics card industry has become a commodity market filled with cookie-cutter cards based on ATI and NVIDIA's reference designs. There's certainly nothing wrong with ATI and NVIDIA's reference designs, but a stream of nearly-identical graphics cards isn't all that exciting to cover. It's probably even less exciting to read about. Fortunately, a few manufacturers have made an effort to engineer some truly unique graphics cards. Albatron is one of those manufacturers, and their Medusa GeForce4 Ti 4680P is definitely unique.

Factory-overclocked GeForce4 Ti 4200 8X cards that are bristling with copper and aluminum heat sinks and built on eight-layer GeForce4 Ti 4600-esque PCBs don't exactly come along every day, you know.

Is Albatron, like so many attention-starved teenagers, dressing up its Medusa GeForce4 Ti 4680P just to stand out in a crowd? To be different for the sake of being different? Or have they really built a better GeForce4? Join me as we examine the Medusa GeForce4 Ti 4680P to see what makes this card so different from the throngs of GeForce4 Ti 4200 cards already on the market.

The specs
Without a budget GeForce FX until at least the spring and possibly even later, the GeForce4 Ti 4200 8X is really NVIDIA's most competitive mid-range gaming card. How does it stack up against the competition?

Core clock (MHz) Pixel pipelines Peak fill rate (Mpixels/s) Texture units per pixel pipeline Peak fill rate (Mtexels/s) Memory clock (MHz) Memory bus width (bits) Peak memory bandwidth (GB/s)
GeForce4 MX 440 8X 275 2 550 2 1100 512 128 8.2
GeForce4 Ti 4200 8X 250 4 1000 2 2000 512 128 8.2
Radeon 9500 275 4 1100 1 1100 540 128 8.6
Radeon 9500 Pro 275 8 2200 1 2200 540 128 8.6
Radeon 9000 Pro 275 4 1100 1 1100 550 128 8.8
Medusa GeForce4 Ti 4680P 250 4 1000 2 2000 550 128 8.8
GeForce4 Ti 4400 275 4 1100 2 2200 550 128 8.8
GeForce4 Ti 4600


4 1200 2 2400 650 128 10.4
Radeon 9700 275 8 2200 1 2200 540 256 17.3
Radeon 9700 Pro 325 8 2600 1 2600 620 256 19.8

When it comes to fill rate and memory bandwidth, the Medusa GeForce4 Ti 4680P is right in the middle of the pack. Albatron gives the card an extra 600MB/s of memory bandwidth by clocking its memory at 550MHz rather than the 512MHz prescribed by NVIDIA's GeForce4 Ti 4200 8X reference design. That's not much, but it should give the card a small performance boost right out of the box.

Like all GeForce4 Titanium chips, the GeForce4 Ti 4200 8X doesn't feature DirectX 9-class hardware, but it has been updated to take advantage of the latest AGP 3.0 spec. Other than that, it's identical to the original GeForce4 Ti 4200.

I'd go into more detail regarding the GeForce4 Ti 4200 8X's specifics, but most of us should know what's going on with the chip by now. After all, the GeForce4 Titanium series has been out for nearly a year now. Those unfamiliar with the chip's capabilities should check out our more detailed analysis of NVIDIA's AGP 8X-equipped GeForce4 chips.