The ASUS V8460 Ultra
GeForce4 Ti4600 Power and ASUS Quality

By -Chris Angelini
May 10th, 2002

ASUS V8460 Ultra
Plug and play, literally

As previously mentioned, the V8460 Ultra is standard reference card fare with a circular heat sink rather than NVIDIA's own design.  ASUS also mentions an "Immersion Gold Coating" that is said to enhance the card's reliability and circuit connections. 

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Drivers and Utilities
Detonators

NVIDIA's version 28.32 Detonators are the most updated drivers for the reference design, but ASUS has also released a set of 28.80 drivers that are available on the ASUS site.  In our GeForce4 launch piece, we covered the latest series of Detonator drivers more thoroughly, so be sure to check it out this page,  if you'd like to see driver screen shots featuring the Accuview anti-aliasing technology, nView, and the new Transparency feature.

 

Screenshots
AquaNox, in all of it's DX8 glory

The included Aquanox game is one of the first shipping DirectX 8 games capable of utilizing vertex and pixel shaders.  The underwater light-streaming effects and drifting plankton make for an eerily realistic environment, while dynamic lights and shadows further enhance game play.  The game is also capable of setting its own levels of anti-aliasing and detail.  Here is what NVIDIA has to say about AquaNox.

"AquaNox leverages the GeForce3 nfiniteFX engine to deliver photo-realism in real time. Over 160 Vertex Shaders are used to implement special effects such as layered fog, caustics, photo-realistic materials, radiosity lighting, and real-time shadows. Higher order surfaces are used to create organic enemies, and Pixel Shaders are utilized for bump mapping and volumetric lighting effects.

Massive Development has been working closely with NVIDIA to expose the awesome power of GeForce3 in their forthcoming title AquaNox," said Sanford Russell, Senior Director of Partner Management at NVIDIA. "Geforce3's nfiniteFX engine has enabled Massive Development to bring real-time Hollywood quality to their game. Only by using NVIDIA's hardware Vertex Shaders and Pixel Shaders, are they able to achieve their unique lighting solution at great frame rates. AquaNox and its technology, the krassengine impressed us! NVIDIA looks forward to working with Massive Development again in the future to take games and gamers to the next level."

   
Shots taken on the ASUS V8460 Ultra GeForce 4 Ti 4600 Card
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Although the game was originally optimized to run with the GeForce3, you can only imagine how much better it runs on the GeForce4 using parallel Vertex Shaders.  Of course, these screenshots don't look nearly as good as the actual game play...

2D Desktop Image Quality:

NVIDIA has been criticized time and time again for the 2D quality of their graphics processors.  However, the blame doesnt fall entirely upon them.  When third-party manufacturers are making design decisions, component quality is often sacrificed, leading to decreased VGA signal quality as resolutions and refresh rates increase.  The V8460 demonstrated a much clearer image in our labs, especially at high resolutions like 1600x1200.
 

Test Setup, Quake 3 With and Without AA and Anisotropic Filtering