I'm happy to report that we will introduce another manufacturer into our long line of companies who allow us to review their products. Some of you may or may not have heard of them though. We mentioned the company Compro a few times in our news section, the company has been actibe in the technology sector ever since 1989 already.
I think it was a year or two ago that they announced their first NVIDIA based Personal Cinema products, and at that particular moment they caught my eye. Until recently they where very active in the OEM/ODM market. In 2002, Compro started to sell VGA and multimedia hardware on their own brand name, they are going retail with their products in America. Let's face it, NVIDIA has lost a lot of resellers recently thus Compro will be an excellent addition to their distribution channel. And luckily for us they do a little more then producing 'just a graphics card' Some of their products can be upgraded and bought as VideoMate Cinema, VideoMate Studio and VideoMate TV which are feature rich A/V targeted multimedia products.
Founded in 1989, Compro initially focused on the OEM business by using its engineering and manufacturing skills to produce high quality products for major OEM customers including HP, Compaq and Visiontek. Compro is now co-developing Internet appliances with major consumer electronics companies. In 2001, Compro released its first self-branded product, Personal Cinema. Jointly developed with NVIDIA, Inc., Personal Cinema is a complete digital entertainment solution, providing 3D gaming; live TV viewing; video recording, editing, and timeshifting; DVD playback; and video capture. In the last two years, NVIDIA has been the undisputed market leader in the 3D gaming graphics market, but its rival ATI has been the leader in the TV/video capture market. Personal Cinema marks NVIDIAs debut in the latter market.
In 2002, Compro is launching a new look and new products. In addition to a new logo, we introduce VideoMate PC graphics products, a complete line of 3D video cards with integrated video features including TV tuner, TV-out, Video In/out, DVD playback, Digital VCR and video editing. Looking at their product-stock it is clear that they care a lot about Video-features (which isnt surprising since they co-developed the Personal Cinema together with NVIDIA). Not only do they offer the Personal Cinema (and not only a measly GeForce 4MX version but coupled with different cards from the MX up to a Ti4600) and the VideoMate Cinema, their regular gfx cards, the Poladyne Ti and Poladyne OCs, both are upgradeable with a Personal Cinema AV/Tuner box making it easy to upgrade to full video-capabilities afterwards. They also got a TV Tuner card as well as an external USB2 TV Tuner coming up later in May.
The first product we'll review from them is unfortunately not a new DX 9 product, we will stay one silicon generation before that. It's the still very popular GeForce 4 Ti 4200. It's easy to talk about more expensive DX9 products yet most people can't afford them. The day they are fully available in the stores the GeForce4 range will get severely cheaper which makes this product a very interesting buy.
The product is called Poladyne GeForce 4 Ti 4200. This particular model has an exquisite own design black PCB which I believe is 8 layers, 128 MB BGA DDR Memory from Samsung which rates 3.3 NS (should be very overclockable), is covered with a nice yet silent cooling solution from Sunon and is equipped with ramsinks. Furthermore, the poladyne has been equipped with TV in and outputs.
When we take a look at the package we can see that Compro is not some sort of cheapo distributor, it includes 4 CD-ROM's with software like:
Drivers 41.04 and WDM capure driver software
PowerDirector 2.1 (OEM thus has some functions missing) to edit movies.
Compro's Coach utility (The COACH Utility can help you optimize the performance of your Compro Poladyne OC video cards) and one CD with ComproPVR, ComproDVD.
ComproDVD, Compro branded PowerDVD 4 software
ComproPVR 1.3, personal video recorder software. It can do features such as timeshifting, as well as recording and playback facilities.
Furthermore we'll see a manual, a cable with Composite in, composite out, svideo in and svideo output out that is connected to your Svideo output on the graphics card.
Compro is one of very few companies that includes a CRT to DVI-I gender changer/dongle/adapter. Another advantage of this VIVO product is that it can be easily upgraded towards Compro's VideoMate Cinema or Personal Cinema product.
Compro GeForce 4 Ti 4200 OC The product is called Poladyne GeForce 4 Ti 4200. This particular model has an exquisite black PCB which I believe is 6 layer, 128 MB BGA DDR Memory from Samung which rates 3.3 NS (should be very overclockable), is covered with a nice yet silent cooling solution from Sunon and is equipped with ramsinks. Furthermore, the poladyne has been equipped with TV in and outputs.