The GeForce 4 is the fourth-generation Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) from Nvidia. There are two different GeForce 4 families, each of which contains numerous models.

Table of contents
1 Key
2 GeForce 4 TI
3 GeForce 4 MX


NV17 - GeForce 4 MX (AGP-4X)

NV18 - GeForce 4 MX (AGP-8X)

NV25 - GeForce 4 TI (AGP-4X)

NV28 - GeForce 4 TI (AGP-8X)

GeForce 4 TI

The GeForce 4 TI (NV25) GPUs were launched in April 2002. They were very similar to the GeForce3 GPUs, mainly differing by higher core and memory speeds, a revised memory controller, improved Vertex and Pixel Shaders, and hardware Anti-Aliasing and DVD playback. In spite of the similarities, the GeForce 4 TI outperformed the GeForce 3 line considerably.

The initial two models were the Ti4400 and Ti4600. However, a later model was added (the Ti4200), due to the fact that the inevitable price drops on the GeForce 3 Ti200 would undercut the GeForce 4 line, and Nvidia didn't have any real competitor to ATI's Radeon 8500LE. This badly hurt sales of the Ti4400, with the result that many manufacturers chose to underclock them and sell them as Ti4200s.

In late 2002 the NV25 core was replaced by the NV28 core, which differed only by addition of AGP-8X support.

Performance-wise, the Ti4600 easily beat the Radeon 8500, as did the Ti4200 and Ti4400. The Ti4200 remained the best balance between price and performance until the launch of the Radeon 9500 Pro later in the year, and the Ti4600 generally got beaten by the Radeon 9700, but maintained an advantage in OpenGL software.


GeForce 4 MX

The GeForce 4 MX (NV17) was originally intended to be the value equivalent to the GeForce 3, but since sales of the GeForce 3 never gained momentum, it was decided to hold back the chip, and update it with new core technologies from the GeForce 4 TI. The main difference between the TI and MX chips was that the MX didn't have Vertex and Pixel shaders, and appeared to be simply a GeForce2 MX with a better memory controller, the result being that it was harshly criticised by hardware enthusiasts. Nevertheless it gained a momentum in the PC OEM sector that GeForce 3 never had, and quickly became the top-selling OEM GPU.

There were 3 initial models - the MX420, the MX440 and the MX460. The MX420 was designed for very low end PCs, and the MX440 was a mass-market OEM solution. However, the MX460 was priced the same as the GeForce 4 TI4200, the GeForce 3 TI200 and the Radeon 8500LE (even the full 8500 in some cases), all of which outpeformed it. The end result being that the MX460 never had anywhere to go in the market, and flopped in sales.

Like the TI series, the MX was also updated to support AGP-8X with the NV18 core.

In terms of performance, the MX420 performed only slightly better than the GeForce 2 MX cards, but this was never really much of a problem, considering its target audience. The MX440 performed reasonably well for it's intended audience, but the MX460, while not slow by any means, simply didn't peform good enough compared to the TI4200/TI200/8500LE. When ATI launched it's Radeon 9000 Pro in September 2002, it performed about the same as the MX440, but had crucial advantages with better single-texturing performance and proper support of Vertex and Pixel shaders.