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Asus EN7600GT SILENT/2DHT/256M Video Card Asus EN7600GT SILENT/2DHT/256M Video Card: HTPC or noise conscious users will be very interested in this solution by Asus that tackles the issue of noise without sacrificing the performance.
Date: October 18, 2006
Manufacturer:
Written By: Mike Hermon
Price:

As much as I personally would like to upgrade my PC to top of the line components every 6 months when new hardware comes out I realize my budget wont allow me to do that. Fortunately for me, and the majority of other computer users the hardware manufacturers realize that the mid range market is where the money is. Sure there will always be those that can spend a grand on 2 vid cards and $1,200 on a CPU, but the majority of folks don't have $1200 to spend on an entire computer, let alone a single component. The mid range market is a manufacturers bread and butter, and some current generation mid range cards perform on par with last generations top end cards.

The card we are reviewing today is the Asus EN7600GT SILENT/2DHT/256M. This card targets two potential markets, those seeking performance but limited by a budget and those looking for quiet , like for an HTPC.

Asus EN7600GT SILENT/2DHT/256M

First the technical specs from the Asus website.

Graphics Engine
GeForce 7600GT
Video Memory
256M -1.4ns DDR3
Engine Clock
560MHz
Memory Clock
1.4GHz(700MHz DDR3)
RAMDAC
400MHz
Bus Standard
PCI-Express
Memory Interface
128-bit
Max Resolution
2048x1536
DVI Output
DVI-I
2nd DVI Output
Yes
HDTV Output
Yes, via HDTV Cable
VGA Output
Yes, via DVI to VGA adapter
2nd VGA Output
Yes, via DVI to VGA adapter
Adapter/Cable bundled
HDTV out adapter*1
DVI-to-2nd VGA adapter*2
Software Bundled
King Kong Full Game
Xpand Rally
ASUS Driver

When this card arrived I really thought it had to be something else, the packaging is enormous.

As in most cases, the box gives some detailed info about the card on the back, but there is also a flap that opens up to provide even MORE.

The "Bundle"
The bundle provided is pretty standard, HDTV out adapter, 2 DVI to VGA adapter, driver disc and a couple of games (King Kong and Xpand Rally) both of which are full versions. I actually played all the way through King Kong and although it was pretty linear it kept my attention and the graphics weren't to bad either.

The Card
The EN7600GT SILENT/2DHT/256M is like no video card I have ever seen, well it's not the card itself it is the cooling that is unique. It is equipped with what Asus calls SilentCool 2 technology.

The cooling is 100% passive meaning it produces zero noise. If quiet is your goal, it just doesn't get any quieter. They have taken the standard heatpipe cooler a step further, not only is there a heatsink on both sides of the card there is a third heatsink along the top edge that you can rotate 90 degrees.

Rotating this heatsink puts it directly over the CPU fan in most cases. The heatpipes wick heat away from the GPU and RAM and transfer it to the third heatsink that is being cooled by the cool air being pulled in by the CPU fan. Additionally in an SLI set up, the bottom card is placed where you will normally find a side panel fan and this fan ends up blowing directly onto the heatsink of the bottom card in an SLI set up.

The EN7600GT SILENT/2DHT/256M provides 256MB of Samsung Memory. Oddly enough the memory isn't covered by the enormous heatsink, being passively cooled I was expecting heatsinks on the memory chips as well.

The connectors offered are two dual link DVI connections and one connector for the HD out cables.

Here are a few shots of the card installed to illustrate how the heatsink along the top edge of the card functions, the 1st couple of pics are with a single card with the heatsink in both positions.

The 7600GT offers 12 pixel pipelines, 5 vertex shaders, built upon the 90nm manufacturing process. It supports DirectX 9c and SMS 3.0. It is also SLI ready as seen in the above pics. The newer G71 GPU that the 7600GT is based off of will run cooler, and consume less power than previous cards within the same class.

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