Introduction

Introduction:

ABIT is no new comer to the enthusiast market for computer products. They offer leading edge technology with the one of the best warranty coverage?s I have yet to see. Abit saw months in advance how the market would be dominated by Geforce 4 Ti4200 sales once the Ti4400 is discontinued, so they quickly and wisely devoted their time on developing a Ti4200 card that destroys all others on the market. This is how they came up with the Siluro OTES series video card. OTES? huh? This means the card has an Outside Thermal Exhaust System (OTES). Why do you need this? The most common cause of computer crashes is due to overheating, so by blowing the video card heat out of the computer everything runs cooler not to mention the over clocking abilities are increased. This card comes with the Abit standard warranty, which is 3 years on parts and 1 year on labor. So more than likely you will sell the card under warranty, and get the next latest and greatest OTES before the warranty period ends. Let?s go ahead and look at the features this card has to offer!

Features

Features:

The OTES came with a manual, supporting CDROM (Driver/3Deep, True Internet Color and SiluroDVD 4) and S-video/RCA converter/output cable, S-video extension cable, RCA extension cable, a DVI to D-Sub converter, and lastly a OTES case badge.

The software bundle that accompanied the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES was nothing amazing, but did come with everything needed to get going. Currently no games come bundled with the card. Abit did include a detailed user manual that contained some thorough information. Abit also explained many of the available settings in the video card drivers. There was also full details for each of the additional software packages included on the Installation CD. Abit provided all the necessary cabling to access each of the card's outputs including a TV-Out Y-adapter with a standard RCA connection as well as a S-Video connection for digital output. A DVI to VGA adapter was included for connecting a CRT monitor to the DVI port. So everything needed to use the card is included in the original purchase, which is a plus.

The most interesting feature on the OTES would be the card cooling. The Outside Thermal Exhaust System is not a brand new idea, but Abit incorporated it into the video card market. It works by using a liquid filled heat-pipe that absorbs the heat created by the GPU and then pull its away. As the heat is absorbed from the GPU, the internal liquid of the heat pipe vaporizes and is then carried to the rear end of the card where a 7200RPM fan blows the GPU generated heat out of the system across copper cooling fins. The fan itself is in an enclosure which directs the airflow out of the system through a rear exhaust port, thus removing the warm air out the case alltogether.

Now it should be noted if you are building a silent computer that the cooling fan, which spins at ~7,200rpm, does make quite a noise. On our test system it could not be heard over the other fans running to cool the case, but due to the strong fan and design it lowered the internal case temperature about 5 degrees. Also take note that the fan does use the PCI slot located next to the AGP slot. So if you can not afford to lose a slot this may become an issue. We always advise to leave this slot open so the card cools better, so this was not an issue with our set up.

Key Features:

Next we will see how this card performed on our test system!

Benchmarks & Performance:

Our Test System:

Testing Procedure:

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows XP Professional build 2600. All tests were done on the desktop with no other software programs running. For overclocking the videocard we used the simple and free powerstrip program. During this review the room temperature was 24 degrees Celsius, while the case temperature was 28 degrees Celsius.

3dmark2001 SE 330:

3DMark2001SE build 330 is the latest installment in the 3DMark series by MadOnion. By combining DirectX8 support with completely new graphics, it continues to provide good overall system benchmarks. 3DMark2001SE build 330 was created in cooperation with the major 3D accelerator and processor manufacturers to provide a reliable set of diagnostic tools. It demonstrates 3D gaming performance by using real-world gaming technology to test a system's true performance abilities. All tests were run at 1024x768 at 32 bit color.

The first chart shows the results on our test rig at 133FSB.

This second chart shows the results on our test rig at 166FSB.

Results: 3DMark2001SE build 330 shows the benifits of running at a higher FSB of 166mhz. The gain was 1,342 points just by increasing the FSB. This shows us the performance gains that the Barton and future AMD processors will bring, since they will have a 166mhz FSB standard. Also it was determined by these tests that the 40.72 driver does work the best so the following benchmarks will use this driver. We also believe that a driver upgrade to 40.72 or higher would be a wise choice.

Chameleon Mark:

Chameleon Mark is not a brand new benchmarking utility, but it still shows a video cards true abilities. This benchmark is based upon the popular "Chameleon" demo released by NVIDIA with the introduction of the GeForce3 line of GPUs. Chameleon Mark is primarily used to measure pixel shader performance for a variety of shaders. Lets see how the OTES performs in Chameleon Mark at 1024x768 with the 4072 drivers:

Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo:

The Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo includes a benchmark program that automatically tests two separate modes. One is Flyby, which like the name indicates takes a tour of the UT game map and then offers up a framerate score. This really tests the how well the CPU and video card work. The second is Botmatch, and this is a more game-oriented test than Flyby, and is a far more CPU-oriented test.On this benchmark we tested UT 2003 at 1024x768 x 32-bit.

Results: We found it interesting that overclocking the OTES provided no increase at all in performance on this benchmark at either 133FSB or 166FSB, this shows that the benchmark is putting a heavy toll on the Athlon Processor and the bandwidth allowed for it to run.

That concludes our benchmarks we chose to do on the OTES series card. Let's go on and see what are final thoughts on the card are.

Conclusions:

Abit brings a lot to the table with the OTES. The card chipset is nothing new but the overall quality, performance, and design is nothing more than amazing. Time and time again, Abit flexes their muscle and brings us a product that blows the doors off the competion, the OTES included. Our card was able to overclock to a very healthy 304mhz core and 603mhz ram. This was able to provide us with Ti4600 speeds with a less expensive card and good cooling. We are also happy to hear that Abit is going to be releasing a 8x AGP version of this card in the future, and will also continue the OTES technology to the next generation of Nvidia products.

PROS

CONS (Please note, we had zero gripes about this card, but these may affect you)

IMPROVEMENTS

It also walks away with out highest award!

Editor's Choice Award

BUT WAIT WE ARE NOT DONE!!! WE HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ABIT:

LR: With the success of the otes does Abit plan to carry the otes design over to the next generation nvidia GPU's such as the upcoming NV30?

ABIT: Of course, we will have the same OTES on theNV28 and the upcoming NV30. Also we will be coming out with the OTES 4200 8x AGP 128mb version soon.

LR: When this card was created was it done so with gamers in mind or was Abit thinking of something else?

ABIT: Abit pays close attention to Gamer's feedback and this is what sparked the interest.

LR: Some other brands use passive cooling to increase the ram performance and to make things look pretty, why did Abit not include them and will we see them in the future?

ABIT: We are not sure if we are going to add it on the future NV28 and NV30, but we are LOOKING into it and WORKING on it.

LR: Abit uses Hynix memory chips that are rated to 3.6ns, or 555MHz DDR, and some other companies use 3.3ns Hynix chips which can achieve up to 610mhz DDR on the RAM is Abit looking into changing this feature on the OTES 4200 8x AGP 128mb version

ABIT: Currently the project is using 3.6ns chips, but we may change this on other versions in the future.

Interview Thoughts:

We are impressed by Abit's concern and care for their cutsomers and market. I hope Abit continues to understand and listen to the needs of hardcore gamers and users in the future like they are now. We look forward to reviewing the next OTES, and our hopes are set high for it!