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MSI Ti4200-TD8X64 - getting acquainted
Micro-Star International, more commonly known as MSI have gone about building their reputation in a way that many are now trying to copy. Most famous for their motherboards which feature high attention to detail, good performance and reliability, MSI decided to put their name on a range of VGA cards. Today we will be looking at one of the latest models, the Ti4200-TD8X64.

Based on NVIDIA's latest graphics processing unit, the NV28, the TD8X64 is an important product for MSI and to that end they have put a lot of effort in making this a competitive package in an already saturated market. We've already taken a look at Asus' NV28 based board a few weeks ago, and came to the conclusion that if you already own a Geforce 4 Ti4200 card, it probably isn't worth your while upgrading. The question is, will MSI's version buck this trend?

NVIDIA announced the NV28 along with the NV18 back in September. The NV18 targets the mainstream/budget sector, whilst the NV28 goes for the high-end. Both processing units aren't anything radically new, in fact they are identical to their predecessors with the exception of AGP 3.0, or AGP 8x support. Yesterday we took a look at two NV18 based cards and today we'll look at the flipside, the Ti4200-TD8X64 which has a NV28 chip at it's heart.

We've seen an explosion of Geforce 4 Ti4200 products in the run up to Christmas, all of which has led us to find that they offer some of the best performance-to-cost VGA boards on the market. Initially it started off with factory overclocked Ti4200s (article) and now we see the new wave of Ti4200-8x boards, all of which makes you wonder what is the point of paying an extra 100 for a Geforce 4 Ti4600 which was comprehensively out performed in previous reviews.

MSI have put a great deal of attention and care into the packaging, with vibrant colours and good information regarding the product on the box. You are immediately told that this card has 64Mb of RAM so there's no confusion and on the reverse you get a definitive list of features along with the long list of bundled software. Inside, the card is well packaged, and the large bundle of CDs is thoughtfully held in place by an elasticized piece of cloth.

The supplied manual is well written and gives clear and concise information about installing the card. The installation of this card is generally made easier by it's physical characteristics. Unlike every other Geforce 4 Titanium card we've came to know, the TD8X64 isn't oversized. That is to say, it is only just over half length.

Here it is placed against a full size Albatron Ti4200 Turbo P. By our (not very scientific) measuring methods, the TD8X64 is just over half an inch shorter and that could mean a whole load of easier RAM installations.