GeForce4 Ti 4200 64mb/128mb

Home | Windows Tweaking Guides | Games Tweaking Guides | NVIDIA Tweaking Guides | Audio Tweaking Guides | Computer Jargons | PC Building Guide | Tech News | BIOS Tweaking Part I | BIOS Tweaking Part II | Case Mod And Cooling | Reviews | Things To Do | Misc. Stuff | PC Protection and Maintenance | Troubleshooting Guide | Rants | Help Push | Pushy's System Specs | Top Downloads | FAQ's & STC's | What's New? | Sign my Guestbook | Links

***This tweaking guide will give you a detailed information on how to use "Rivatuner" to further enhance ur GF4 Ti 4200 64mb/128mb's performance. Although this tweaking guide was only fully tested with the 128mb version of GF4 Ti 4200, the 64mb version (or 4400/4600) should have no probs with the tweaks/settings that will be discussed below due to their similarity.

**Why Rivatuner? B'coz I have already tried using other tweaking progs but I found Rivatuner to be the most stable and hassle free.
*This guide was tested using the specified Rivatuner Version below, Detonator 40.19 under Win98se with DX 9b, and detonator 43.45 under WinXP with DX 9b. Your Rivatuner may have more/less options to choose from depending on your Rivatuner, Windows and DX version combination.
Update: I have already tried using the newer versions of Rivatuner and Detonator drivers. But there are really no additional tweaks available on Rivatuner that is worth mentioning here. Same goes with the latest version of detonator drivers, it only made my Win98 (gaming OS/partition) unstable with some games.
Updated Note (071005): If ur looking for a more "general" approach in tweaking ur NVIDIA videocard ... try and visit my NVIDIA Videocards section.

=Rivatuner ver.2 RC12.3=
 =Low Level System Settings=
Overclocking Tab:
How far u can overclock ur card depends on many things. The card brand, amount of cooling ur computer have etc.

A typical 'fairly' branded GF4 Ti 4200 128mb card can handle 280core/500mem w/o probs (except "maybe" Inno3d cards 'coz I've heard lots of bad feedbacks from Inno3d GF4 Ti card owners).

-Apply overclocking at start-up: I recommend enabling this option. But if u prefer to only enable o/c'ing b4 playing games, then disable the said option.

***The trick is that u increase the core/mem slider 5 increments at a time and play for at least an hour, and if graphics corruption or falling white dots (looks like snow) etc arise, set it back to ur usual setting. If no graphics corruption or instability occurs then juz repeat the process up to the time that u reached the max setting that ur card can handle.

**If u have a 'cheap' vidcard w/c can't handle high clock and core settings at the same time. Just leave the core clock setting at default and increase the memory clock to its max (and stable) setting. Afterwards, u can raise the core clock setting 5 increments at a time (if ur card still can handle it).

More Button:
Clock Frequency Generation Accuracy: Select "Normal"
**Selecting this option will give u more precise numbers. Selecting "Low (Safest)" will cause the numbers to bounce once you applied ur preferred setting and will only cause confusion.
Fake DDR Workaround: Select "Auto"
** Selecting "Force On" will cause Rivatuner to improperly detect ur Mem Clock default setting.
AGP Tab:
Better leave the settings here at their default settings since the values there are the ones detected from your BIOS settings and/or videocard capabilities.
NVStrap Driver:
U can use the options here to convert ur GeFore to a Quadro card. I haven't tried it myself b'coz its a known fact that doing the said mod will only decrease ur videocards "gaming" performance. But is theoretically going to increase ur videocards graphics quality ang rendering capability. So if ur into video editing/rendering, u may enable the said options. If ur into gaming, leave the said settings alone.
=System Settings=
Compatibility Tab:
I recommend enabling the "Enable Chipset Compatibility Mode" option. B'coz it can increase the videocards performance. There's no guarantee that the same result will apply with all systems though, so it is recommended that u benchmark ur system with and w/o the said setting to verify if u did gain a speed increase or not. It should however result in a more stable gaming experience even if it didn't give u any speed increase/gain.

Mipmap LOD Bias Adjustment:
-Default Value is zero (balance between speed and graphics quality)

-Move the slider to the left for sharper images but more aliased (jagged) textures. I recommend setting this to -3.0. Lower values are said to cause the textures to flicker or shimmer. If ur not experiencing any probs setting this at a lower value and ur system can handle the performance drop, then set it at a lower value for better graphics quality.
**There is an issue with detonator drivers 23.10 (or higher) that is said to cause Rivatuner to not properly set "negative" LOD Bias settings. More info and instruction on how to fix it will be discussed later (under the "Misc Tips" header)

-Set to a number higher than 0 (zero) for better performance at the expense of graphics quality (blurry textures).

Enable user mipmaps:
-Enables programs/games to produce mipmaps. I recommend leaving this setting at its default value (enabled). Disabling this option 'might' increase the games texture sharpness but will drastically pull its performance down. So I recommend that u leave it enabled and use the LOD Bias Adjustment (above) to improve ur games texture sharpness. 

=Depth Buffering=
Enable 24-bit Z-buffer: I recommend that u leave this setting enabled. Disable if experiencing font related problems (eg. blurry and/or unreadable texts). 

Enable W-buffer: Leave this setting enabled.

**Both settings above are ignored by DX8 games.
Enable Losless Z-buffer compression: no reason to disable this option!
Enable Early Z-Oclusion Culling: Better left enabled for better performance (option not available with some driver versions)

-I recommend that u do not put a check mark on any of the boxes cause they will slow down ur d3d games/apps. But if u experience some difficulty running d3d games, enabling them 'might' fix ur probs.

Syncronization with vertical retrace:
-Set to "always off" for better performance (recommended)

-Set to either "auto" (and enable/disable vsync from within the game) or "always on" (to force vsync to become enabled even if it is disabled from within the game) if ur experiencing tearing with ur d3d apps/games.

Pre-render limit: Set to "5" (or higher) for better performance. If u experience lags with a high value, then give it a setting that is lower than 5.

Texture Memory Settings: Set to the lowest possible number. They are only used by PCI graphics card.

Texture Format Settings: Leave them as they are with the default settings.

Texture Filtering Settings:
-Set to "Force Level 8" for better graphics quality. (recommended)

-Set to "Force Level 2 or 4" for faster performance. The "Determined by D3D application" option is also a good choice if u want the program to be the one who will set the filtering method and might even cause some games to run faster if they only run in Trilinear filtering and don't support "anisotropic filtering".

Allow D3D to optimize filter Stage 0-3: I recommend enabling the said boxes by adding a tick mark. Same goes with the "always optimize selected stages" box to force the driver to always apply ur selected values.
-Optimization Strategy: I recommend setting this to 4 or lower (lower number = better performance).
-Disable Trilinear Filtering for optimized stages: I also recommend enabling this option.

Enable Fog Togle Emulation: Leave this setting enabled.

-I highly recommend that u enable FSAA 2x or 4x (if ur system/game can still handle it). GF4 Ti is still up to now fast enough to run games with FSAA enabled. U may also use the Quincunx option, its quality is comparable to 4x FSAA but the performance drop/hit is only about the same as 2x FSAA.
**Enabling FSAA on D3D games sometimes makes the game's texture look blurry ... specially if ur using Quincunx and 4x-9tap. The only way to combat this is lowering the LOD Bias value (shown above). But as u decrease its value ... performance will start to become a problem. So if u can't stand how blurry the game looks, I recommend that u use a higher resolution instead.
Force AntiAliasing in all Direct3D applications: Select this option to enable FSAA for all D3D games. If graphics corruption becomes a prob ... disable this setting.
Enable Texture Sharpening: Another way to combat blurry looking images when using FSAA. It is NOT however recommended to use in conjunction with 40.xx detonator drivers.
Enable Multisample Masking: This setting is said to increase D3D FSAA performance, but may cause DX7 games to run slower. Only enable the said option with DX8 (and above) games.
**Same with my D3D explanation
Syncronization with vertical retrace:
-Set to "off by default" for better performance (recommended)

-Set to "on by default" if ur experiencing tearing with ur OGL apps/games that doesn't have the option to enable Vsync.

Pre-render limit: Set to "5" (or higher) for better performance. If u experience lags then give it a value lower than 5.
=Back/Depth Buffering=
Better leave this at its default setting of "auto select".
=Rendering Quality=
Texture and S3TC Quality settings: Leave them with their default values. (both boxes un-ticked)
Anisotropic Filtering Quality Preferences: Set to "performance optimization" for better performance with very slight to unoticeable decrease in graphics quality. If ur sensitive enough to notice the decrease in graphics quality then switch to "quality optimization"
Default Degree of Anisotropy: Set to "Level 8". "Level 4 and lower" produces lower quality graphics but increases performance.
OpenGL Hardware Acceleration Mode: Set to "max acceleration mode" for better performance.

Disable support for CPU enhanced instruction sets: disable!

Amount of memory for PCI textures: set to the lowest setting possible. Only used by PCI videocards.
**Same as my D3D explanation
**But unlike DX, OpenGL FSAA doesn't have the blurry side-effect when enabling Quincunx or 4x-9tap. You might notice that there is still a slight blurry effect (specially if u have ur LOD Bias set at zero and Texture Sharpening disabled) but it doesn't ruin the games graphics or might even be unoticeable for some.
=Misc. Tips / Info=
Recommended driver versions:
**I am aware that there is no single correct answer for "what is the best driver for my videocard?" question. But seeing peeps w/ me included having the same luck with the ff driver versions, makes them worthy of a recommendation:
Win98/se: Try Omega 43.45 or NVIDIA's 43.45 (both perform approx the same)
Win2k: Try Omega 44.03
WinXP: Try 44.67 Beta (yes its Beta)
=LOD Bias +/- 15=
There is a way to break the +/- 3 value for LOD Bias Adjustment. Go to > power user (tab) > Click on Rivatuner\Detonator\Global > Give the LODBiasRange line a value of "15".
*Note that any value higher than 15 is ignored by the drivers. And the performance hit of giving the LOD Bias a value of -15 is quite drastic ... but the graphics quality increase is noticeable. 
=Enable Digital Vibrance=
I recommend that u enable Digital Vibrance and give it a "low" value for more rich and vibrant looking colors!
=Rivatuner LOD Bias Fix=
As mentioned above. 23.10 drivers "are said" to cause Rivatuner to set improper "negative" LOD settings. To fix this, u have to head into Rivatuners folder: \Rivatuner\PatchScripts\NVIDIA. And head into the LODBiasFix folder and open the file with the win9x (for win98/ME) and win2k (for winNT/2000/XP). The description will be given before the patch is applied. If u really want to update ur file, simply hit the "continue" button and browse ur hard drive where the indicated file is located (u can use windows search function for this).  The patch will automatically create a file with an ."old" file extension after the patch application, so if something goes wrong, u can always revert back to ur original file.
**There are also other patches located inside Rivatuner's PatchScripts folder. The explanations will be automatically given when u click on them. Installing them will be the users decision. good luck!
=Omega Drivers=
This driver is said to increase NVIDIA cards performance and/or graphics quality. I tried it myself and I got a pretty impressive performance boost with it.
I recommend that u guys try all the available drivers available for ur OS and try installing and benchmarking ur system with both the "Performance" and "Quality" setting/installation. Then compare ur score/s with NVIDIA's "default" driver setting (against Omega's "performance" installation) and with LOD Bias set at -.8 and AF set at 8x (against Omega's "quality" installation).
Be reminded however that it is not recommended that u use a 3rd party tweaking software (like rivatuner) when ur using Omega drivers. That is b'coz the extra coding that the author applied to the drivers is not recognized by 3rd party tweaking programs. So opening up or using tweaking progs will simply revert some of its tweaked settings to NVIDIA's default coding and will render the tweaked drivers useless. The only settings that will not have any bad effect on this driver (Omega) when altered is FSAA, overclocked settings, and V-sync. That is according to the author, but IMO u can change the LOD Bias w/ no harmful effect on its performance (unless of course u set it to low <negative> w/c will lower ur card's performance and vice-versa).
Additional notes: don't be alarmed if ur goin to use Rivatuner to view the "Textures" tab (under D3D) or "Compatibility" tab (under OGL) and the program displays an error. Simply close the error msg box and press "CANCEL" (for closing the program) instead of "ok". Pressing "ok" will only force the driver to use NVIDIA's default setting or ur tweaking progs settings.
According to the author of the driver, the diff between Performance and Quality installation is/are..
-Performance: same graphics quality as NVIDIA's driver, but contains additional features and has a slight speed advantage.
-Quality: slightly slower than NVIDIA's driver but contains better quality textures (I'm using this setting myself, and I can't notice any difference when compared to NVIDIA's 8x AF setting ... but the bench score on this one is approx 3k higher!)
Version 1.4523 is said to only run in performance mode under d3d due to coding problems. I do believe him but I think he forgot to revert the LOD Bias setting at "zero" instead of -.8 (w/c is the default setting for Quality based installation).

=Starforce Drivers=
Yet another "tweaked" NVIDIA drivers. This one only works for Win2k/XP OS. Its effectiveness IMO is a couple of notches lower than Omega's, but on the bright side this one gets newer versions A LOT faster than Omega. So if ur looking for a wider range of tweaked 5x.xx drivers, u can try and check this one out.
Official forum can be found on Guru3d's website:
DL site featuring lots of Starstorm drivers:
Last Updated: 050704


***I will not be held responsible to any damage this tweaking guide might cause your graphics card.

**What do you think about my Geforce4 Ti 4200 tweaking guide? Please sign my guestbook before leaving, it's the least you can do to thank me, and the only way for me to know that someone did visit my site!

**Any errors/corrections, comments, and/or additions to my Geforce4 Ti 4200 tweaking guide are welcome and will be greatly appreciated

*Email me if u have comments and/or suggestions. Tnx!