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It wasn't too long ago that we crowned NVIDIA's GeForce4 Ti 4200 the best GPU under $200. As impressive as the faster members of NVIDIA's flagship line happen to be, it is the attractive low price of the Ti 4200 that gives it so much attention. And it doesn't look like its price/performance ratio will be threatened anytime soon.

If you've been following any of the news floating around since Computex you will know that NVIDIA is supposed to release NV30 along with AGP 8X versions of their current GPUs towards the end of this year, and nothing more. If this holds true, then it means that the Ti 4200 will go unthreatened by NVIDIA until next Spring when NV31 will replace it.

Competition from ATI has been relatively non-existant, with the Radeon 8500LE unable to hold a candle to the Ti 4200. Soon enough we'll see the introduction of the RV250 core from ATI which will be targeting the same market as the Ti 4200 although we're expecting performance to be equivalent at best at this point. From what we heard at Computex a couple of weeks back, a 300MHz RV250 should offer performance that's marginally better than the stock Radeon 8500. Looking back to our last review that compared the two GPUs, that should put the RV250 pretty close to the Ti 4200.

Our point here is that investing in a Ti 4200 today doesn't pose much of a risk; at worst your card will be slightly outperformed or at best you'll miss out on an AGP 8X version of the card by the end of the year, either way you can't really lose. It's rare that we're able to look what's going on in a particular market and pinpoint the absolute perfect time to jump on a product, but this happens to be one of those cases. If you're looking for anything more expensive however, the best move is definitely to wait; R300 and Parhelia are right around the corner not to mention the elusive NV30.

With all of that said about the Ti 4200 we've been trying to round up boards based on the affordable GPU for a while now. We still haven't received boards from a lot of the manufacturers yet, but we decided to go ahead with an initial roundup to answer a few questions and highlight the cards that we have had for a while now. This is by no means a comprehensive roundup but it should give you an idea of what to expect.

64MB vs. 128MB
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