Abit has released another graphics card in its Siluro range, but the Siluro Ti4200 OTES is out of the ordinary. The clue is that OTES suffix, which stands for Outside Thermal Exhaust System. Basically, Abit has taken a notebook processor cooling solution and stuck it on an Nvidia GeForce4 Ti4200 graphics chip, and then applied for a patent for the whole shooting match.
The construction of the Siluro OTES means that the back bracket is double height and will cover the PCI 1 slot. That is no bad thing as the slot is always best left empty to allow cooling air to circulate. The VGA port is above the DVI port, and next to them are the heat outlet and TV-Out.
The idea is that Abit can over-clock the graphics chip and memory to get more performance, and the OTES solution will keep everything cool, calm and collected. Naturally Abit covers this over-clocking in its warranty, where it would ordinarily count as unnatural abuse of the product.
Typically a Ti4200 card runs the chip at 250MHz and the memory at 222MHz DDR, which equates to 444MHz. The Siluro OTES runs the chip at 275MHz and the memory at 227MHz DDR, which equates to 554MHz.
Our previous tests have indicated that the memory on a graphics card tends to be a far more significant limit than the speed of the chip. Abit seems to have a similar view as the memory is running 25 percent faster than standard while the Ti4200 chip ‘only’ runs at 10 percent over specification.
We ran a batch of tests and the Ti4200 OTES performed very nearly as well as a standard GeForce4 Ti4600. Just as importantly the card behaved itself impeccably and was completely stable. The cooling fan, which spins at 7,200rpm, does make quite a noise, though. Abit claims it is only as noisy as a regular graphics card but we felt it is more akin to a high flow processor fan.
The performance of this card is impressive, as Abit is only charging a £25 premium for the Siluro OTES over comparable Ti4200 graphics cards. By comparison a GeForce4 Ti4600 will cost £200-£240, although stockists seem to be clearing the shelves in anticipation of the forthcoming Nvidia NV30 chip.
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