As a relative newcomer to the U.S market, EK Computers is attempting to bring something new to the graphics industry. Initially focused on the Spanish market, EK Computers has steadily built-up a name for themselves as a low-cost/high-performance graphics vendor. Given their relatively small company size, it is not always possible for EK Computers to manufacture the typical run of 1000 PCB boards on their own. Like most graphics card vendors, EK Computers is sometimes forced to look to larger vendors to provide them with PCBís. Make no mistake, the cards coming from EK Computer are anything but a "cookie-cutter" clone of another vendorís product. Rather, EK Computer makes a number of changes in the cardís BIOS and hardware itself in order to maximize performance, stability, and overclocking ability.
Upon receiving the card, the first thing I noticed about this product was the relatively simple packaging. It became quite obvious that EK Computers was striving to provide the user with the bare-essentials in order to keep the overall cost of the product to a minimum. Opening the box, my assumption proved to be correct. Here, the user is provided with a DVI/D-Sub adapter, a Composite/S-Video adapter, and a driver CD. At this point, one might begin to wonder where the bulk of the cardís cost has gone if the packaging is so minimal. Taking the card out of the anti-static bag, the answer became quite clear.
From front to back, the Argos GeForce4 Ti 4200 Special Edition is anything but your typical GeForce4 Ti 4200. The first thing one notices is the extra length inherent to the card. Here, EK Computers has opted to utilize the same 8-layer PCB found on the GeForce4 Ti 4400 and 4600. In similar fashion, the card also uses 128 MB of 3.3ns BGA memory. High quality heatsinks reside on the memory modules on both sides of the card, a feature that is surprisingly overlooked by some vendors.
I must admit, I was initially skeptical as to the overall quality of the card prior to seeing it in person. However, upon further inspection I must admit that I am especially impressed with the quality of the card. It is obvious EK Computers intended the vast majority of the productís cost to go directly into the cardís design. Hopefully, this effort will result in some additional overclocking headroom.