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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.

Appeared on: Friday, September 23, 2005

1. Introduction

Before a couple of months, CDRinfo released a review about the capabilities of the ASUS 6800 GT VGA card. Since NVidia has already released the new 7800 chipset, ASUS introduces its flagship VGA adaptor, the N7800 GTX TOP edition. This is an overclocked GeForce 7800 GTX, with a very effective cooling system. ASUS is well known for its reliable and high quality products, and with this release aims for top performance.

The ASUS EN7800GTX TOP Limited Edition features the state-of-the-art technology, performance and reliability. Equipped with an over-clocked GeForce™ 7800 GTX GPU and fastest –1.6ns DDR3, users can fully exploit innovative graphics technologies such as NVIDIA® CineFX™ 4.0 engine, nView™, UltraShadow™ II technologies from NVIDIA™ and raise today's hottest new games to a whole new level.

According to ASUS, the GeForce™ 7800 GTX includes an on-chip video processor to meet today's demanding top notch DVD playback, television encoding and decoding, and support for high-definition television formats. Not only does the EN7800GTX TOP Limited Edition come with the world's most powerful graphics processor in its class, it also features the latest ASUS-exclusive ASUS Splendid Video Enhancing Technology, ASUS GameFace™ Messenger , ASUS GameLiveShow, ASUS GameReplay, ASUS Video Security Online ™, ASUS OSD technologies to fully take advantage of EN7800GTX TOP's power.

Chipset Features

Powered by the world's most powerful GPU
- overclocked nVidia® GeForce ™ 7800 GTX

NVIDIA SLI™ Technology
Delivers up to 2x the performance of a single GPU configuration for unparalleled gaming experiences by allowing two graphics cards to run in parallel. The must-have feature for performance PCI Express graphics, SLI dramatically scales performance on over 60 top PC games.

NVIDIA UltraShadow™ II technology
Enhances the performance of bleeding-edge games

NVIDIA® CineFX™ 4.0 engine
Delivers advanced visual effects at unimaginable speeds. Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture with new texture unit design streamlines texture processing for faster and smoother gameplay.

NVIDIA® Intellisample™ 4.0 technology (HCT)
The industry's fastest antialiasing delivers ultrarealistic visuals, with no jagged edges, at lightning-fast speeds. Visual quality is taken to new heights through a new rotated grid sampling pattern, advanced 128 Tap sample coverage, 16x anisotropic filtering, and support for transparent supersampling and multisampling.

NVIDIA® nView™ multi-display technology
Provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors

Digital Vibrance Control 3.0 Technology
Allows the user to adjust color controls digitally to compensate for the lighting conditions of their workspace, in order to achieve accurate, bright colors in all conditions.

On-Chip Video Processor
Delivers unmatched video performance, features, and quality

combination of high-definition video processor and video decode software delivers unprecedented HD video, stunning picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater.

Microsoft ® DirectX 9, Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0 support

Graphics Engine
GeForce™ 7800 GTX
Video Memory
256 MB DDR3 –1.6
Engine Clock
486 MHz
Memory Clock
1.35 GHz (675 MHz DDR3)
Bus Standard
Memory Interface
Max Resolution
With DVI-VGA adaptors
VGA Output
TV Output
Video-in & Video-out (VIVO) with HDTV-out support
DVI Output
Dual DVI-I
2nd VGA Output
Adaptor/Cable bundled
VIVO cable, DVI adaptors, power cord
Software Bundled
Project Snow Blind
Xpand Rally
Second Sight
Power Drome
Chaos League
Media & Show
Power Director 3
ASUS Driver & Utilities
Leather CD case

The default clocks for a 7800GTX is 430MHz for the GPU and 1.2GHz for the memories. The ASUS N7800GTX TOP, as you can see from the graph above, is overclocked at 486MHz and 1.35GHz for the GPU and memories respectively.

- Packaging/Bundle

Impressive and stylish, as always, the retail box includes the ASUS Driver & Utilities disc as well as the following:

Project Snow Blind Second Sight
Xpand Rally Power Drome
Chaos League ASUS DVD
Media & Show Power Director 3

A leather CD case is also included in the retail package.

The multilanguage coloured manual is quite helpful, with step by step guide on how to install the adaptor and the drivers.

There are also some more accessories included in the retail package :
- VIVO cable
- DVI-CRT converter
- Power cord

2. A closer look

The largest part of the card's surface is occupied by the large heatsink bearing the manufacturer's name. The cooling system is designed by Arctic Cooling and is known as the NV Silencer. In another review we did featuring the 7800GTX, we noticed that the temperatures are increased in comparison with the previous NVidia 6800 chipset, over 50°C in idle state and the need for a more efficient cooling system is highly necessary.

As you can see, the ASUS N7800GTX TOP is SLI enabled, which means that with a second card, it can operate in SLI mode offering even higher performance.

Underneath the cooler and the metal plate, there is a set of 8 modules of 32MB GDD3 memory, resulting in 256MB capacity. There is an aluminium cooling system for the memory chipsets on both sides, something much more efficient for thermal dissipation.

The picture below demonstrates the "heart" of the card, the 0.11 micron G70 GPU:


The ASUS N7800 GTX TOP provides dual DVI-I connections.

Now lets move to the next page covering in detail our graphics card's testbed.

3. Test System

Benchmarking Software
Codecreatures Benchmark Pro
AquaMark3 v3.0
Farcry v1.3
Doom 3
Thief 3
Ground Control II
Colin McRae '05

For comparison reasons, we will be posting the results of the ASUS N7800 GTX TOP along with those of the Aopen Aeolus 6800 Ultra and Sapphire X850XT graphics cards. All cards are considered Heavy Duty, sufficient for most heavy, 3D intensive jobs.

4. Advanced Features

nVidia added Rotated Grid Multisampling in their Nv4x chipsets, increasing image and color quality in AntiAliasing modes. This new feature was introduced with the 6800 product series. Now, nVidia had to push things a little further, adding some new AntiAliasing methods. These are Gamma Correct Antialiasing and Transparency Antialiasing, and are parts of the Intellisample 4.0 technology. It is very interesting to see how the new G70 chipset performs under these antialiasing modes, and if they actually make a difference in image and color quality.

- Gamma Correct Antialiasing

Gamma-adjusted rotated-grid antialiasing removes jagged edges, promising incredible image quality. You will find the option to enable Gamma Correct Antialiasing under the "performance and quality settings" tab. You should enable the "advance settings", and there it is:

In order to check the quality improvement gained with this new feature, we used Far Cry and HL2. Below you can see the results we got. Clicking on the images will reveal a higher resolution image:

Far Cry - Gamma Correction
NoAA 8x AA / Gamma Correction
HL2 - Gamma Correction
NoAA 8x AA / Gamma Correction

As you can see, differences can be easily seen on vegetation, smoothing the edges of leaves. In HL2 you can notice that the fence seems more realistic. Differences in lighting effects have to do with simple AntiAliasing and not with Gamma corrected antialiasing.

- Transparency Antialiasing

Both new antialiasing modes—transparency adaptive supersampling and transparency adaptive multisampling—are ideal for outdoor environments, scenes with vegetation, chain link fences, and any situation where the models are seen as very thin from the angle of viewing. The graphic processor will take additional texel samples and antialiasing passes to enhance the quality of thin-lined objects. According to nVidia: Transparency adaptive multisampling also improves antialiasing quality—with even higher levels of performance because one texel sample is used to calculate surrounding subpixel values. Although transparency adaptive multisampling is not as high quality as the supersampling method, its increased efficiency balances improved image quality and high levels of performance. The visual improvements of adaptive supersampling are obvious when compared to generic supersampling/multisampling approaches.

Again, the settings to change Transparency Antialiasing are hidden in the "performance and quality settings" tab.

Below you can see the results we got with FarCry and HL2. Again, clicking on images will open a larger picture:

Far Cry - Transparency Antialiasing modes
MultiSampling SuperSampling
HL2 - Transparency Antialiasing modes
MultiSampling SuperSampling

As you can see, there is a major boost in image quality. Fences and vegetation are generally rendered on very simple polygon models. However, Transparency antialiasing makes a step forward in image quality.

Someone might say that these new antialiasing modes might reduce the performance of the graphics card. nVidia proved this statement wrong. We were amazed to see that there is no significant difference between 4xAA, 8xAA and Supersampling Transparency AA.

There is, however, a known bug with the latest 78.01 and 77.77 graphics drivers that makes fences disappear under certain circumstances. nVidia will look into this issue and release a new device driver soon, correcting this problem.

5. 3DMark05

With 3DMark05, Futuremark continues the tradition in its benchmarking software by providing a state-of-the-art Microsoft ® DirectX ® 9 3D performance benchmark.
3DMark05 is an all new 3DMark version making the most of Microsoft's DirectX 9. The previous version 3DMark03, did a nice introduction into this level of technology. However 3DMark03 used DirectX 9 specific features in a limited manner, because fully supporting hardware was rare at the time of its launch. In contrast, 3DMark05 requires DirectX 9 hardware with full support for at least Shader Model 2, and takes shader usage to never before seen levels.

Just like its predecessors, 3DMark05's point system is set so that at the moment of release, the high-end VGA cards available in stores can only score around 5000 3DMarks, whereas the worst card that meets the programs requirements yields a score of 1000.

Game Test 1 -Return to Proxycon

Click to enlargeBeing the sequel to the "Battle of Proxycon" from 3DMark03, in "Return to Proxycon" we're once again set in space and the battle continues as space pirates invade a cargo ship in order to take control of its valuable cargo.

This test, tries to simulate a future first-person shooter game with all the high details that entails. The dynamic shadows, high-detailed environment and advanced lighting techniques ensure that under normal circumstances, no recent card can run it with decent frame rates.


Game Test 2 - Firefly Forest

Click to enlargeA forest gets filled with magic fireflies in the night. The moon is nearly full, illuminating the forest with a bluish faint light. The magic fireflies have flickering bright green lights that playfully move around the forest.

This scene is a nice example of a smaller scale outdoor scene with rich vegetation. Immediate visibility is not so far, and there is a skybox surrounding the whole scene.

A large number of trees with their branches swinging separately, and dense vegetation being dynamically distributed according to the camera movements, make this test the most demanding of the three.

Game Test 3 - Canyon Flight

Click to enlargeA Jules Verne type airship flies through a canyon guarded by a dangerous sea monster. The airmen defend their ship using heavy cannons, but these seem to have no effect on the huge sea monster. Finally the crew manages a narrow escape using the "last resort" afterburners of the airship.

This scene is fairly complex with large areas of water reflecting the high canyon walls. The water actually is one of the key points of interest in this scene. The water not only does realistic looking reflections and refractions, it has a depth fog, making the sea monster swimming under the airship actually look deep down in the water. The air in this scene also uses a volumetric fog, making distant cliffs of the canyon really look far away.


Let's take a look at the test results for each "game" in this benchmark. Until now we knew that the X850 was the absolute card with the highest frame rates in this test, as a single card. Now we have a new winner, the 7800GTX, that has raised performance to new heights in all of the above games. At least 40% higher framerates in 3DMark05.

Final Score

 3DMarks on 3DMark05 are now calculated by the following formula:

(Game Test 1 * Game Test 2 * Game Test 3)^0.33 * 250

That's basically the geometric mean of the total frames in each game multiplied by 250. This means that all game tests are now equal.

As we expected, from the previous framerates, the total 3DMark05 score should be much higher. Indeed, the 8508 3DMarks is amazing for a single card while it confirmed the manufacturer's specifications for the 3DMark score. According to Asus, the score in 3DMark with this card should be 8697 3DMarks. Since we ran the tests with an AMD 3500+ we knew that we would get a slightly lower score, but we still believe that this kind of processor is more popular, than an FX-57 for example. Notice that the CPU is very important in order to achieve such a high score. Just for reference reasons, if you have a P4 530 3.0GHz you'll see something close to 6831.

6. 3DMark03

3D Mark is a widely used and accepted benchmark that stresses the DirectX performance of a VGA card. A very strong point of 3DMark is that it's VGA card measuring is does not require any CPU power. So the resulting fps are a good reference a VGA card's rendering performance. For testing the performance of each card we used the 4 game benchmarks 3DMark has.

3Dmark03 also includes sound and CPU tests as well as some other feature tests.

- Game Test 1 - Wings of Fury (DX7)

This test is a combat flight simulator written for older hardware (DirectX 7). Particles are used a lot in this test - smoke and vapor trails, flak and gunfire, and explosions are produced using point sprites and quads.

- Game Test 2 - Battle of Proxycon (DX8)

This test is a simulation of first person shooter game types. 1.1 and 1.4 Vertex shaders are widely used since all character models are skinned using vertex shaders.This makes this test a good vertex shader comparison for VGA cards.

- Game Test 3 - Trolls' Lair (DX8)

This test should be the favorite of all RPG lovers. It is a cut scene of a female warrior facing two malicious trolls. Again the same vertex and pixel processing is used as in game test 2.

This test also uses post-processing effects, such as Depth of Field and Bloom effects which are widely used in today's game cut scene sequences.

- Game Test 4 - Mother Nature (DX9)

Mother nature represents the level of effects and realism that are possible using 2.0 vertex and pixel shaders, plus some other features that DirectX 9 offers.

In the first game the 6800Ultra produced a higher framerate than the 7800GTX while the X850 was left far behind. The scene totally changed with the following test games. The Asus card managed to leave behind previous generation, but still expensive, cards.

- 3DMark Official score

If you test your machine with 3DMark, you can post the results at 3DMark's online result browser. For more information visit futuremark.com.

Once again, the total score for the ASUS N7800GTX TOP is extremely high for a single card, remembering that the 7800GTX is SLI ready.

7. Codecreatures

CodeCreatures is a synthetic 3D benchmark that is a good reference for VGA performance comparison. This is a high-end 3D benchmark that also requires DirectX 8 hardware, making a good tool for measuring the potential of DirectX 8 game performance.

The Codecreatures benchmark is written with Microsoft's DirectX 8.1 API and incorporates the use of Vertex and PixelShaders popular on next generation 3D accelerators.

The benchmark plays a photo-realistic nature scene and calculates the performance of the graphics adapter by measuring the fps that it can display at 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 resolutions.

-Codecreatures number

The codecreatures number is the resulting score of the total benchmarking process and is basically the geometric mean of the three frame rates multiplied by 100.

There's no doubt who's the winner. Over 2100 points higher score than the X850 and 1600 more than the 6800Ultra.

8. Aquamark3 / 3DMark 2001

Since the majority of today's applications and games are compatible with DirectX 9, the need of benchmark applications that use DX 9 has been brought up. The benchmark uses the 3D engine (Krass engine) of the Aquanox game.


Aquamark Triscore

The Aquamark Triscore comprises 3 values: the overall system performance, the performance of the graphics system and the CPU performance. Keep in mind that this is not the total result of the tests, but the result of the whole benchmark process including all 9 chapters.


3DMark 2001

is the predecessor to 3DMark03. It's mainly a directx8.1 benchmark and the score depends a lot on the CPU power of your computer. However for reference use only we decided it'd be best to just leave it in our benchmark list so you can compare the next generation cards with the possibly outdated you have at home.

Both Sapphire and AOpen reported similar performance, with the 6800Ultra having a slightly better score. The Asus 7800GTX is once again far ahead though. The 25051 3DMarks total score could be higher but we believe that somewhere here are the limits of this benchmark.

9. Half life 2

Half life 2 is no doubt the most anticipated PC game of all time.

Characters - Advanced facial animation system delivers the most sophisticated in-game characters ever seen. With 40 distinct facial "muscles," human characters convey the full array of human emotion, and respond to the player with fluidity and intelligence.

Physics - From pebbles to water to 2-ton trucks respond as expected, as they obey the laws of mass, friction, gravity, and buoyancy.

Graphics - Source's shader-based renderer, like the one used at Pixar to create movies such as Toy Story® and Monster's, Inc.®, creates the most beautiful and realistic environments ever seen in a video game.

AI - Neither friends nor enemies charge blindly into the fray. They can assess threats, navigate tricky terrain, and fashion weapons from whatever is at hand.

To measure performance we used the Video Stress Test(VST) that is available in the CounterStrike:Source beta available through Steam. We set all the details to the highest level and each time changed the resolution from 800x600 up to 1600x1200.

With AA and AF settings off, all cards reported extremely high framerates, with the ASUS N7800GTX TOP slightly better.

With AA and AF set at 4x and 8x respectively, the ASUS N7800GTX TOP seems not to be affected. 135fps at 1600X1200 is quite impressive, 40fps more in comparison to the 6800Ultra and the X850.

10. Doom 3

A massive demonic invasion has overwhelmed the Union Aerospace Corporations? (UAC) Mars Research Facility leaving only chaos and horror in its wake. As one of the few survivors, you struggle with shock and fear as you fight your way to Hell and back, in an epic clash against pure evil.

Activision made it's miracle again with Doom 3 which is said to be the best-looking game ever, thanks to the brand-new OpenGL graphics engine used to generate its convincingly lifelike, densely atmospheric, and surprisingly expansive environments. If you are a fan of the previous Doom games then you will get many flashbacks with this revision, since you will find reimagined versions of almost every monster from both Doom and Doom II.

To measure performance on the game we used the timedemo demo1 command from the console (Alt+Ctrl+~).
Enabling the high quality setting and executing the timedemo demo1 command twice for each resolution, we witnessed the following:

First, without the Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering settings enabled, we got the following results:

As the introductory logo display informs us while launching Doom3, Nvidia based cards perform better with this specific test. Notice the fps differences between the NVidia cards and the X850.

Although the framerate was reduced at higher resolutions, the N7800GTX TOP reported much better performance.

11. FarCry

You are Jack Carver running your own boat charter business in beautiful Micronesia. With a past best left behind you, you'll be focusing on your present assignment: escorting an ambitious journalist named Valerie Cortez to the Island of Cabatu. It seems like a piece of cake, but you'll soon learn: paradise can be hell.

Farcry is an awesome First Person Shooter (FPS) based on a last generation 3D engine named as CryEngine. Real-time editing, bump-mapping, static lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features that the CryEngine offers.

A great advantage and strong point of the CryEngine is its physics system which supports character inverse kinematics, vehicles, rigid bodies, liquid, rag doll, cloth and body effects. All physics seem to be very realistic and you never get bored when facing enemies, since character models have multiple animations that blend in believable ways.

With an integrated shader system and a massive terrain which maximizes the view distance to 2km, these features make Farcry a perfect action game and also a referable benchmark to speak of.

- Benchmark Settings

For this game we recorded a custom demo from the start of the Rebellion stage. We chose an indoor scene in order to avoid getting the CPU bound effect. This will result in slightly higher results since it is also less GPU intensive, but we can't afford being stuck at 40-50 fps because of our CPU.

The latest patch (1.3) was used for our tests which updates the game's graphics engine to use the 3.0 shader model. This option is only supported for the 6800 series.

The resolutions we ran the demo under are the following:1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200.

Once again, the game seems to like mostly the NVidia chipsets. Same performance for the 6800Ultra and 7800GTX.

The good thing with the X850 is that it is not affected by the filtering in this game, reporting similar framerates no matter whether filtering is enabled or not. The 7800GTX on the other hand seems to reduce its framerates at the highest resolutions but still achieves high frame rates.

12. Thief 3

Instead of Deus Ex from now on we'll be testing our cards using Thief 3. It's based on the same engine but it's much less GPU intensive and playable by more VGA cards than Deus.

The game makes severe use of Pixel Shader 1.1 instructions, the bloom effect and stencil shadows to achieve a wonderful result in your screen.

In the game you play the part of Master Thief Garrett who is back to rule out any evil forces using his unique stealth abilities. Deadly Shadows shows what stealth gameplay is all about. This game really gives you the feel of sneaking around and holding your breath when stuck in a sticky situation.

Since there is no official benchmark for the game, we'll do our tests using a GPU intensive scene from the tutorial-level which we believe that represents the average fps you'll get when playing the game.

Thief 3 is a torture test for graphics cards. All lower class cards fail to provide stable performance in this benchmark when selecting full details from the settings menu.

If you have Antialiasing and Anisitropic Filtering disabled, the ASUS N7800GTX TOP will perform the same no matter how high the resolution. See the difference between the ASUS and the previous 6800Ultra.

Even if you enable AA and AF filtering up to 4X and 8X respectively, the framerate of the ASUS N7800GTX TOP remains the same up to 1024X768. At higher resolutions, there will be a significant reduction but you'll still be able to play, without problems, this most demanding game.

13. Colin McRae 05

For all you racing fans out there, this test is for you and will represent the Racing game category in our benchmarks.

From the graphics point of view the first thing you'll notice in the game is the excellent amount detail of your racing car. High resolution textures on the car and lighting make it quite impressive. All the eye candy such as the sun reflection in the virtual camera are still the same as the older CM versions but motion blur has been added when your card hits something hard which will happen most often if you're new to the racing simulation world.

To measure performance on the game we used fraps to get the average fps of the whole 8th stage of UK which is actually the only stage you get to play on the demo.

Of course, there will be no problem running this game, no matter which of the above cards you have or which resolution you set it to, but the ASUS N7800GTX TOP makes a difference.

By enabling AA and AF and increasing image quality, the ASUS N7800GTX TOP is still far superior.

14. Ground Control II

Ground Control 2 is an action-oriented game of tactics and warfare. As Captain Jacob Angelus of the Northern Star Alliance, you will command squads of infantry, artillery, and air power against the might of the Empire of Terra. Base building and resource-collecting are replaced with unit control and combat tactics where your knowledge of the battlefield maneuvers will make the difference in your fight against a ruthless enemy. Position your troops on hilltops for better aim or inside buildings and forests for protection as you'll need to use every inch of terrain to your advantage.

For our benchmarks, we used the highest possible settings on the first mission of the single player game and moved around the camera to get an average frame rate using fraps.

Ground Control II offers really impressive graphics without requiring much GPU power. Click on the picture above to view a screenshot from the game. Check out these excellent water effects!

Once again it seems that high resolutions are not a problem for the ASUS N7800GTX TOP. Excellent performance.

With AA and AF enabled, the ASUS N7800GTX TOP reported around twice the framerate of the X850 at 1600X1200.

15. Overclocking

No matter your graphics card, there comes a time in your computer's life when it can no longer cope with the latest technology the ever so popular games use. This is one of the main reasons for overclocking your graphics card. Gamers are always looking forward for a little extra boost in terms of framerate. Even though most of the times the boost is far from noticeable, overclocking remains the last resort when you can't afford to buy a brand new VGA card.

Increasing the memory clock too much,
produces the so-called "artifacts".

The stock clock speeds for the ASUS N7800GTX TOP are 486MHz for the GPU and 1.35GHz for the memory modules. Notice that the default clock speeds for NVidia's 7800GTX chipset are 430MHz and 1.2GHz for for the GPU and the memory modules respectively. So knowing that the ASUS N7800GTX TOP is already overclocked, we shouldn't expect a lot.

With the participation of RivaTuner, we managed to set the Core clock to 500MHz and the Memory clock frequency to 1.37GHz. Theoretically, this is not a great difference, but still, the already overclocked ASUS N7800GTX TOP has gone even higher. It seems that ASUS has chosen not to reach the limits of the card opting for higher stability and reliability.

With the extra overclocking, the difference in 3DMark05 and 03 while not negligible, the actual performance in games is almost at the same framerates at all resolutions. We believe there's no reason to further overclock the ASUS N7800GTX TOP, it is already very good.

16. Conclusion

The ASUS N7800GTX TOP is a great card, using the powerful and most recent nVidia G70. The largest part of the card's surface is occupied by the large cooling system from Arctic-Cooling, the NV Silencer which is a much more efficient cooling system keeping the temperatures close to 42°C in idle and 50°C while running 3DMark05. With NVidia's stock cooling system, the temperatures are approximately 50°C and 65°C for idle and 3DMark05 loads respectively.

The ASUS N7800GTX TOP dominates in all tests, and no other card can compete with its outstanding performance. The 3DMark05 score of 8508 is the highest we have ever seen from a single card. Moreover, this could be even higher but we chose to use the AMD 3500+ instead of an FX-55 or FX-57, due to its popularity. Otherwise, the score could reach around 8700 3DMarks for example. The actual performance, meaning in games, of the ASUS N7800GTX TOP was higher in framerates than the already excellent 6800Ultra and X850XT. Filters such as Antialiasing, Anisotropic Filtering and Transparency Antialiasing are not a problem for the card. You won't notice any drop in framerates even at 1024X768 with all those enabled. However, even at 1600X1200 the performance remains awesome.

The overclocking capabilities of the ASUS N7800GTX TOP are limited, something logical since the card already has increased clock speeds from the manufacturer, 486MHz for the Core Clock Frequency and 1.35GHz for the Memory Clock Frequency instead of the default 430MHz and 1.2GHz that a normal 7800GTX has. However, you can still go a little higher, 500MHz and 1.37GHz, something that indicates that the manufacturer has chosen the clock speeds not only for highest performance but also for reliability and stability. Although we rated as low the "Overclocking" capabilities, we strongly believe that this is something you should ignore.

The retail package has everything users will need to get started, including a DVI adapter and power cables. As for software, there is not only the Driver & Utilities disc but also Project Snow Blind, Xpand Rally, Chaos League, Second Sight and Power Drome games as well as ASUS DVD, Media & Show and Power Director 3. However, the games don't take advantage of the full capabilities of the card and this is mainly the reason we didn't rate the "Bundle" as 5 star at the bottom of this page.

At this point, we will explain why we decided to compare the performance of the ASUS N7800GTX TOP with that of the 6800Ultra and X850XT. At the time of this review, the price of the ASUS was close to $550 on the e-market while the 6800Ultra costs approximately $400~550, $400 for our AOpen, and the X850XT close to $350~550, $400 for our Sapphire. This makes the ASUS N7800GTX TOP a very tempting offer, despite the extra cost, since you get the most recent in technology and the highest performance in a single card.

- Awesome performance in all tests
- Excellent cooling system
- Rather low noise levels
- Great nVidia features for unique image quality
- Very good retail package

- Highly priced, aiming PC enthusiasts


Value for money:

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