Albatron Ti4680P TurboTue, Mar 04, 2003 - 9:00 AM
The first thing we always look at is the warranty. This is the first card that we have reviewed in recent memory that had the warranty right on the box in plain view. I’m not going to mention names, but it annoys the hell out of me when I have to go back to the manufacturer’s website to find out the warranty. Putting the warranty on the box shows me that Albatron is confident in their card. I believe this is a smart move that others will soon follow. The Ti4680P Turbo comes with the standard 3 year Albatron warranty. The card is covered with a three year warranty against defects in workmanship from the date of purchase. The first year labor and parts are both free. In the second year, labor is free while the parts may be charged depending on the severity of the damage. The third and final year of the warranty still includes free labor, but the parts will be charged. Also, the board will not be fixed if the defected parts are no longer available.
The box has not changed much from the original Albatron 128mb Ti4200P Turbo box; it is still the flashy metallic box (above) that helps attract the attention of consumers. As we have said before, the box has no impact on the review, but we always hope the product inside can match the box it comes in.
Bundled with the Albatron Ti4680P Turbo were two games and WinDVD software. The games were Serious Sam: The First Encounter and Motocross Madness. It should be known that the WinDVD software is an OEM version therefore giving only two channel sound. If you recall, this is the identical bundle that came with our Ti4200P Turbo, although we are pleased that Albatron included cables with our review sample this time. =)
Albatron includes a five foot S-Video cable, and for those who do not have an S-Video input, Albatron included a S-Video to RCA converter with a 6′ RCA cable. Although, it seems odd to me that Albatron does not include a DVI to VGA adapter with this deluxe card. I find this odd since they put together a card that has everything under the hood (software bundle and ram heatsinks) but not all the adapters to actually use their card to its fullest potential. I also understand that most people do not use two VGA monitors, and this may be what Albatron was thinking as well.
One of the first things that jumps out at me with the Albatron Turbo cards is the layout. Yes, that is a full 8-layered PCB that is seen on all the Geforce 4 Ti4600’s. This allows for more stable voltage throughout the videocard, therefore on paper this card should perform very well. Pictured above are both the Albatron Ti4200P and Ti4680P Turbo cards. If you take a close look you may notice that the layout has changed quite a bit, so we are looking forward to running some head to head benchmarks to see what the new layout and 8x AGP offers in real life performance.
Albatron has kept the same copper heatsink and fan from the previous card. I really can’t blame them for keeping a heatsink that is above the standard and is pretty silent in operation. If you are worried about a card with a noisy fan, such as the ABIT OTES have no worries when you purchase this card. Since the heatsink is of "regular" shape and size you have full use of the PCI slot located below the AGP slot. The ram heatsinks are right next to the GPU heatsink fins, so the air from the fan blows across the ram heatsinks. This should improve the ram cooling by helping the heatsinks dissipate the heat faster. We will see how well this cooling solution works during our testing.
I questioned the quality of the heatsink on my review of the Albatron Ti4200P Turbo. After some more time looking at the Albatron heatsink, I believe that I jumped too fast to that conclusion. The copper bottom is machined flat with counter-sunk screws. The base piece is made from a solid copper plate and has a good overall feel. The above left photo shows that Albatron applies a nice amount of thermal compound to the GPU. Actually, this is the best applied thermal compound that we have seen to date.
- Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4680 GPU
- 8-layer PCB
- 3.3ns BGA DDR RAM
- 128mb DDR Memory
- Accuview Antialiasing
- Lightspeed Memory Architecture II
- Nvidia nifinteFX II Engine
- Dual programmable Vertex Shaders
- Advanced programmable Pixel Shaders
- 3D Textures Shadow Buffers
- 4 dual-rendering pipelines
- 8 texels per clock cycle
- Dual cube environment mapping
- High-Definition Video Processor (HDVP)
- AGP 4X/2X Support
- High-quality HDTV/DVD playback
- 32-bit color with 32-bit Z/stencil buffer Z-correct true, reflective bump mapping
- High performance 2D rendering engine
- Hardware accelerated real-time shadows
- True color hardware cursor
- Integrated hardware transform engine and lighting engine
- Nvidia Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
- MicrosoftR DirectXR 8.X and OpenGLR 1.3 Optimizations and Support
Now that you have the basic understanding of the card, we can go ahead and see how it performs!