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Appeared on: Thursday, August 17, 2006
ASUS EN7800GT TOP SILENT


1. Introduction

Today we will be reviewing a graphics card from ASUS, the EN7800 GT TOP SILENT. This card uses the 7800 GT graphics engine, which has slightly lower performance and price than the GTX series. The EN7800 GT TOP SILENT is suited to gamers that demand top performance but also want a zero noise PC, since most of the high-end or mid-level cards tend to be noisy, due to the high speed fan cooling system they are equipped with.

-Features and specs according to ASUS

Graphics Engine GeForce 7800GT

Video Memory

256 M DDR3, -1.6ns

Engine Clock 420MHz

RAMDAC

400MHz

Bus Standard

PCI-Express

Memory Interface

256-bit

Max Resolution

2048x1536

VGA Output

Standard 15-pin D-sub

TV Output

HDTV-out

DVI Output

DVI-I

Video Input

Yes

2nd VGA Output Yes
Adaptor/Cable bundled HDTV out adaptor
DVI-to-2nd VGA adaptor
Software Bundled King Kong
Asus GamePack1
Asus Game Pack 2
ASUS DVD XP
Media Show
ASUS Utilities & Driver
Memory Clock 1.24GHz(620MHz DDR3)

The ASUS EN7800 GT TOP SILENT is one of the highest stock overclocked 7800 GT cards on the market. The default core speed for the 7800 GT is 400MHz for core and 1.0GHz for the memory, but ASUS has successfully overclocked the EN7800 GT despite using a passive cooling system.

- Chipset Features

NVIDIA offers a complete top-to-bottom line up of NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics processing units (GPUs) that will take full advantage of the new Windows Vista™ features and functionality when the final OS is released.

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® PureVideo™ Technology
The combination of high-definition video processors and NVIDIA DVD decoder software delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater. (Feature requires supported video software.)

NVIDIA® UltraShadow™ II Technology
The GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 Series GPUs feature the advanced UltraShadow technology, for the acceleration of complex shadows in immersive 3D games and applications.


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
The industry's fastest antialiasing delivers ultra-realistic 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.


PCI Express™ Support

Designed to run perfectly with the next-generation PCI Express bus architecture. This new bus doubles the bandwidth of AGP 8X delivering over 4 GB/sec. in both upstream and downstream data transfers.



NVIDIA® nView™ multi-display technology

Provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors.

Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support
Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all DirectX® 9 applications, including Shader Model 3.0 titles.

OpenGL™ 2.0 Optimizations and Support
Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all OpenGL applications. NVIDIA® nView® Multi-display Advanced technology provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors.

High-Speed GDDR3 memory interface
Support for the world's fastest GDDR3 memory delivers fluid frame rates for even the most advanced games and applications.

- Packaging/Bundle

The retail box contains a VIVO cable, DVI to VGA adaptor, user manual, quick install guide, CD Wallet, PCI-E power cable, drivers and utilities. Unfortunately, it does not include a second DVI2VGA adaptor or any S-Video or Composite cables...

Bundled games:

Bundled Software:

ASUS CD Wallet...

Quick Installation Guide...

Drivers and utilities installation guide...

VIVO cable...

DVI to VGA adaptor ...

PCI Express power cable...

Now that we have covered the card's features, let's move on and have a closer look at the card itself.


2. Features

The ASUS EN7800 GT TOP SILENT is SLI enabled, which means that if you add a second card, it can work in SLI mode, giving even higher gaming performance.

Click on the image for a larger photograph

Click on the image for a larger photograph

On the top there is a rather large heatsink that covers the GPU and the memory modules, with a heatpipe running from the GPU to an array of fins, which transfers the heat away from the GPU.

The fins can be rotated 90° up or down, and according to ASUS, if the combined height of the CPU and CPU fan is not be greater than 11cm, you rotate the fins so that they lie above the CPU fan, in which case the SilentCool uses the CPU's cooler to draw away any generated heat.

 

The card is equipped with two DVI-I connectors and a VIVO/HDTV-out connector.

On the far end of the card, along with the capacitors and transistors, is the standard PCI-E power connector, which requires at least a 400-Watt power supply.

On the VIVO cable, you will find the S-Video in/out, Composite in/out and the HDTV-out connections. Unfortunately, as we have already said, no S-Video, HDTV or Composite cables are included in the retail package...

TV-OUT

TV-IN

HDTV-OUT

OK, let's move on to the testbed system and tests.


3. Testbed

For our review, we setup the following testbed:

Benchmarking Software:

- 3DMark06,05,03,01
- Codecreatures Benchmark Pro
- AquaMark3 v3.0
- Half Life 2
- Quake 4
- Ground Control II
- F.E.A.R.
- Need For Speed: Most Wanted

For comparison, we will be posting the results of the ASUS EN7800 GT TOP SILENT along with the results of the PowerColor X1900 GT and XFX 7800 GTX


4. Benchmarks - 1

The 3DMark06 raises the bar for DirectX performance analysis with new and improved graphics tests relying on more complex shaders, all new CPU tests with demanding physics and AI that support single or multiple core and multiple processor systems.

3D Mark06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.

SM2.0 Graphics Test 1 -Return to Proxycon

Using an updated game engine, this 3rd person shooter emulation makes use of very complex SM2.0 shaders. Large interior spaces accommodate more characters for lots of action. With 26 total lights, 2 are directional with one casting CSM (Cascading Shadow Maps), 12 point lights provide fill, most cast shadows using 1024x1924x6 cube depth maps and hardware shadows, some are masked and animated, and finally 12 small spot lights with non-overlapping shadow-maps produce a richly lit and shadowed game scene. Blinn-Phong reflections using lookups are applied to the ship surfaces.

SM2.0 Graphics Test 2 - Firefly Forest

Again, an updated game engine plays critically in this SM2.0 shader rich fantasy game scene. The large outdoor scene is dense with vegetation and grass is dynamically distributed and altered according to the camera's location. Surrounded by a skybox, multiple glowing, illuminated fireflies flit about among animated trees, branches and leaves. This test dramatically highlights the benefits of Cascading Shadow Maps and high resolution shadow-mapped point lights. The scene is lit with 1 directional light casting CSM to create a moonlight effect. The 2 illuminated fireflies are shadow-mapped point lights with cube-map masks. A procedural light scattering shader is used for the humid night time sky. Materials have Blinn-Phong reflections using lookups for materials. The ground material has diffuse, diffuse detail, normal and normal details maps added. Rock surfaces have an added specular map. Tree branches are similar to the rock materials but with an added diffuse cube map and no specular or bump map.

HDR/SM3.0 Graphics Test 1 - Canyon Flight

The updated game engine supports extremely complex SM3.0 shaders in this test for exquisite HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering effects, as well, highlighting the benefit of dynamic shadows. This period style adventure game scene makes extensive use of smooth shadows. A massively complex outdoor canyon and seascape is rendered in very realistic HDR using floating point calculations. Sky and atmospheric effects rely on a complex atmospheric light scattering algorithm with cloud blending; adding great depth to distant scene elements. A heterogeneous fog effect creates deep humidity throughout the canyon. Water material is a further developed 3DMark05 water shader. Water effects are recreated using HDR reflections and refractions, plus a depth fog is used below the surface, and the water surface is distorted with 2 scrolling maps and Gerstner wave functions. Smoke and fire particle effects emanate from the airship. Subsurface scattering and a Blinn-Phong shading model with 2 normal maps and 1 color map are used for the sea-monster. Strauss shading is used for the captain, crew and airship. The canyon wall material uses 3 color maps, 3 normal maps and Lambertian diffuse shading. One directional light, casting CSM is used to create the bright sunlight, producing dramatic dynamic shadows, while showcasing the challenging effect of dynamic shadows on large round shapes.

HDR/SM3.0 Graphics Test 2 - Deep Freeze

With HDR rendering and SM3.0 shaders, this test emulates a movie-like horror adventure scene and showcases CSM with dynamic long, soft shadows for a striking daytime to nighttime transition. As the sun sets, shadows dynamically increase in length for a very realistic effect. For the snow storm, heterogeneous fog and particles with an added diffuse cube map are used. A simple atmospheric light scattering algorithm is used for the sky. A Blinn-Phong shader with 2 normal maps, 1 color map and subsurface scattering is used for the snow material. Metallic and other surfaces use the Strauss shading model. 1 directional light casting CSM recreates the sunlight. By blending 2 pairs of cube-maps, (1 diffuse, 1 specular) and ambient effect is created. HDR values requiring floating point rendering hover to approximately 11.000.

The ASUS EN7800 GT produced lower framerates than the other two cards.

Final Score

The ASUS EN7800 GT TOP achieved the lowest final score, while the XFX 7800 GTX posted the highest with the X1900GT following close behind. The difference in scores between the ASUS EN7800 and the other two cards is sizeable.


5. Benchmarks - 2

The 3DMark05 is best suited for the latest generation of DirectX®9.0 graphics cards. It is the first benchmark to require a DirectX9.0 compliant hardware with support for Pixel Shaders 2.0 or higher! By combining high quality 3D tests, CPU tests, feature tests, image quality tools, and much more, 3DMark05 is a premium benchmark for evaluating the latest generation of gaming hardware.

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.

A change in the order from what we saw in 3D Mark06, with the PowerColor X1900 GT achieving the best framerates in this series of tests. However, the ASUS EN7800GT remains the slowest of the three.

Final Score

And the final score simply confirms the obvious.


6. Benchmarks - 3

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 3D Mark03, the ASUS EN7800 produces similar framerates with the PowerColor X1900GT in almost all tests.

- 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.

Again though, the EN7800 GT is left behind in the total score.


7. Benchmarks - 4

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.

This is similar to what we saw in 3D Mark03 and 3D Mark06, with the 7800 GTX card achieving the highest framerates and score.


8. Benchmarks - 5

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.

In Aquamark 3, the 7800 GTX produced the highest overall score, but the EN7800 GT was not that far behind and in fact, had slightly better performance than the X1900GT.

particle
vertex
massive

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.

Again, as in Aquamark 3, the EN7800GT's performance is quite good, being not that far behind the XFX 7800GT.


9. Benchmarks - 6

Half life 2 is no doubt the most anticipated pc game of all times.

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.

Since the game is very CPU dependent, we could almost ignore the results for 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions. The true power of the VGA card is best seen at higher resolutions with HL2. That is, at 1280x1024 and at 1600x1200 gaming resolutions.

In general, the X1900 GT produced similar framerates with the XFX 7800 GTX at all tested resolutions, while the EN7800 GT trailed behind by only a few fps, except for 1600x1200 where it simply lacked the horsepower to keep up.

With AA and AF enabled, the lack of horsepower from the EN7800 GT becomes more evident.


10. Benchmarks - 7

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.

Rather mixed results. The 7800 GTX is without doubt the best performer at all the tested resolutions. The EN7800 GT didn't do that badly, trailing the 7800GT by by several frames but simply ran out of steam at 1600x1200.

With AA and AF enabled, the performance from all cards is considerably reduced. Surprisingly though, the N7800 GT card manages to hang in and produce some impressive framerates.


11. Benchmarks - 8

In a desperate war for Earth's survival, against an unrelenting alien enemy, the only way to defeat them is to become one of them. Armed with advanced weaponry and vehicles and aided by an elite squad of marines, you take the battle to the heart of the Strogg home planet and become Earth's only hope for victory.

Quake 4 is a First Person Shooter developed by Ravensoft, based on the Doom 3 engine, and the graphics and gameplay certainly reflect that fact. For those who really hated the one-way corridors of Doom 3, new outdoor areas have been added to the game. The feeling however, still remains the same as these areas are quite small-scale, contrary to what other games have to offer.

 

- Benchmark Settings

As Quake 4 includes no default benchmark, we decided to go with another publicly available demo to measure performance. What we chose is a demo from HWSpirit, which involves a small outdoor scene followed by a long indoor combat. As preloading the stage once again failed miserably and the average framerate varied a lot, we ran it twice every time we restarted the game and measured only the second run.

The resolutions we used are 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200. We measured performance with and without Anti-aliasing.

In Quake 4, the 7800 GTX is a clear leader. The EN7800GT doesn't do that badly, but at the higher resolutions, it's just not in the same league as the 7800GTX.

Same scene here with AA and AF enabled.


12. Benchmarks - 9

Wake up to the smell of burnt rubber as the thrill of illicit street racing permeates into the air.

Combining illicit street racing and tuner customization with the intensity of strategic police pursuit that surpasses any Hollywood-style chase scene, Need for Speed Most Wanted will be on every gamer's 'must-have' list this holiday season. Out-race rivals, evade cops and exploit hundreds of miles of open road as gamers make their way up the Blacklist.

To become the most wanted racer, players must build up their street cred and Rap Sheet with gripping, white knuckle, head-to-head races with the top drivers on the streets, as well as pull daring, evasive moves to out-run and out-fox the cops that patrol the open road. Players can manage their heat or utilize a number of strategic tactics to keep the cops off their tails as they leave their rivals behind to suck their exhaust fumes.

- Benchmark Settings

NFS Most Wanted does not include a default benchmark. To measure the card's performance, we've chosen to record the framerate at the start of a circuit race with end-game cars. The starting point tends to be one of the most graphically demanding sections because of the smoke created by spinning wheels added to the rest of the game's visual effects. If a card can pass this stage with an acceptable framerate, it is a guarantee that it will face no problems with the rest of the game.

The resolutions we used are 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200. We measured performance at the lowest and highest possible settings.

Again, the EN7800 GT doesn't do that badly and it is really only at 1600x1200 that it falls behind although not by much.

With AA and AF enabled, it is evident that the EN7800GT is struggling at the higher resolutions.


13. Benchmarks - 10

You aren't a soldier. You are a weapon. A paramilitary force infiltrates a multi billion dollar aerospace compound taking hostages, but issuing no demands.

The government responds by sending in its best special operations teams, only to have them obliterated. Live footage of the massacre is cut short by an unexpected wave of destruction that leaves military leaders stunned and in disbelief.

First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R.) is one of the new-generation FPS. The graphics are really stunning, the plot behind the whole shooting successfully keeps it interesting and even the A.I. seems to work well.

F.E.A.R. offers a lot to the First Person Shooter world. The graphics are very clear with excellent textures, great new effects that will stress your graphics card and rag-doll physics that are waiting to be exploited as you progress through the game.

- Benchmark Settings

F.E.A.R. allows you to test the video settings with a mini-benchmark involving a lot of weapon firing, explosions and several other effects. After the benchmark is run, you're presented with a screen showing your minimum, average and maximum framerates and also percentages of how often the framerate was below 25fps, between 25 and 40, and finally above 40. For presentation reasons, we're just sticking to the minimum and average framerates.

The resolutions we used are 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200. We measured performance with high and highest details.

In F.E.A.R., the performance of the EN7800 GT is quite respectable. It just lacks the power at the higher resolutions.

With the Highest settings enabled, all cards struggle to produce decent framerates, and while the EN7800 GT is the slowest, it isn't by all that much.


14. Overclocking

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

The ASUS EN7800 GT TOP SILENT comes already stock overclocked. The default running frequencies for the 7800 GT series cards are 400MHz core clock and 1.0GHz memory clock. But the default core and memory clock for the EN7800 GT Edition are set to 420MHz and 1.24GHz respectively.

In order to measure the temperature, we left the PC on, without running any tasks. The temperature reported was 60 °C, which is close to typical temperature that we had seen with other cards, even cards that use a fan cooling system. During the 3DMark05 benchmarks, the temperature rose to 80 °C, with the default clock speeds.

IDLE temperature Gaming temperature

We overclocked the card and ran some tests to see how far we could go, and we managed to get a stable system running at 458MHz core clock and 1.31GHz memory clock. This might not seem like much, but the default frequencies for this card are already high (420MHz/1.24GHz), and it is a significant increase when we consider that this card uses a passive cooling system. You could probably squeeze a few more MHz out of the card with better air-flow in the PC case, but remember, overclocking to the absolute limits also shortens the lifespan of you card.

During gaming, the card reached 80 °C, while overclocking with no artifacts or screen distortions of any kind, the temperature level rose to 92 °C. We do not recommend overclocking this card, unless you have very good air-flow in your system. While we had no problems, even at 92 °C, ours was only a short duration test. Running the card on a daily basis at that temperature is far from ideal.

Overclocked
3D Mark05 temperature

Let's see if we achieved any differences in performance.

The boost after overclocking in both 3D marks was significant...

However, in NFS MW overclocking didn't impact on the game...

Little change here as well.


15. Conclusion

We were very pleased with the performance of the ASUS EN7800 GT TOP SILENT. The card can deal with all the latest games, even at high resolutions with AA and AF enabled, and best of all, it does it silently. The produced framerates for most of the games were not that much lower than the X1900 GT, which currently is a high-end card. The EN7800 GT TOP SILENT comes already overclocked and its performance is higher than the average 7800 GT based card, most of which aren't passively cooled.

The passive cooling system that ASUS used in this card, is innovative and unique, due to the fact that the fins can be rotated so that they can take advantage of any other PC fans. In fact, if they are rotated above the CPU fan, which must be no more than 11 cm high, then the SilentCool uses the CPU cooler to reduce the generated heat from the GPU.

The overclocking capabilities were more than adequate, and despite the fact that the card is already overclocked, we managed to push it even further, achieving a stable system with 458MHz core clock and 1.31GHz memory clock. However, the tested games didn't offer any significant difference in performance, so we do not recommend overclocking this card.

The retail package from ASUS comes with almost all the required utilities, games, drivers, DVD software. However, an extra DVI to VGA adaptor and S-Video or Composite cables would have been great.

At the time of this review, the ASUS EN7800 GT TOP SILENT was priced around US$400, which we think makes it too expensive for a 7800 GT series card. Its performance probably makes it better than the average 7800GT based card although not enough to warrant such a high price tag. However, if you are looking for a silent card with good performance and are prepared to pay a little bit more for it, then this maybe just what you need.

Pros:
- High performance
- Silent
- King Kong game
- DVD Software

Cons:
- High priced
- No bundled S-Video, Composite cables
- No extra DVI to VGA adaptor

Performance:
Overclocking:
Bundle:
Value for money:


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