Asus EAX1800XT Top

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Introduction, Specs. & Bundle

If you're familiar with the computer hardware industry, Asus should be a company that needs no introduction. Whether referring to their motherboards, notebooks, or video cards, Asus' products have consistently ranked amongst the best in their respective classes. We've had a ton of experience here at HotHardware.Com working with products from Asus over the years, and save for a couple of rare aberrations, we've usually come away with favorable impressions. We've actually even handed out a number of rare "Editor's Choice" awards to Asus for some exceptional products like the A8N SLI Premium and V9999 Ultra, among others.

In this article we're going to take a look at an ambitious product from Asus, the EAX1800XT Top. As its name implies, the EAX1800XT Top is based on ATI's powerful Radeon X1800 XT GPU. This isn't simply a reference design with a custom badge though. Asus has taken ATI's Radeon X1800 XT, tweaked the VRM, jacked up the clock speeds, enhanced the cooling, and thrown in a wide assortment of accessories. There is a lot to get cover here, so what do you say we get down to business?


Asus EAX1800XT Top
Features & Specifications
Features - ATI Radeon X1800
• 321 million transistors on a 90nm fabrication process
• Ultra-threaded architecture with fast dynamic branching
• Sixteen pixel shader processors
• Eight vertex shader processors
• 256-bit 8-channel GDDR3/GDDR4 memory interface
• Native PCI Express x16 bus interface
• Dynamic Voltage Control

Ring Bus Memory Controller
• 512-bit internal ring bus for memory reads
• Programmable intelligent arbitration logic
• Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs
• Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test
• Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1)
• Fast Z-Buffer Clear
• Z/stencil cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
• Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions

Ultra-Threaded Shader Engine
• Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
• Full speed 128-bit floating point processing for all shader operations
• Up to 512 simultaneous pixel threads
• Dedicated branch execution units for high performance dynamic branching and flow control
• Dedicated texture address units for improved efficiency
• 3Dc+ texture compression
_o High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and two-channel data formats
_o High quality 2:1 compression for luminance maps and single-channel data formats
• Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
• Render to vertex buffer support
• Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL 2.0

Advanced Image Quality Features
• 64-bit floating point HDR rendering supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
• 32-bit integer HDR (10:10:10:2) format supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
• 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
_o Multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling
_o New Adaptive Anti-Aliasing feature with Performance and Quality modes
_o Temporal Anti-Aliasing mode
_o Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
• 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
_o Up to 128-tap texture filtering
_o Adaptive algorithm with Performance and Quality options
• High resolution texture support (up to 4k x 4k)
• Multi-GPU technology
• Four modes of operation:
_o Alternate Frame Rendering (maximum performance)
_o Supertiling (optimal load-balancing)
_o Scissor (compatibility)
_o Super AA 8x/10x/12x/14x (maximum image quality)
_o Program compliant

Avivo Video and Display Engine
• High performance programmable video processor
_o Accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264 decoding (including DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray playback), encoding & transcoding
_o DXVA support
_o De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
_o Motion compensation, IDCT, DCT and color space conversion
_o Vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
_o 3:2 pulldown (frame rate conversion)
• Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
• HDR tone mapping acceleration
_o Maps any input format to 10 bit per channel output
• Flexible display support
_o Dual integrated dual-link DVI transmitters
_o DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready
_o Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
_o 16 bit per channel floating point HDR and 10 bit per channel DVI output
_o Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
_o Complete, independent color controls and video overlays for each display
_o High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all outputs
_o Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
_o Xilleon™ TV encoder for high quality analog output
_o YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
_o Spatial/temporal dithering enables 10-bit color quality on 8-bit and 6-bit displays
_o Fast, glitch-free mode switching
_o VGA mode support on all outputs
• Compatible with ATI TV/Video encoder products, including Theater 550

Kong & Asus - Quite The Combo



Asus ships the EAX1800XT Top with what has to be the most over-the-top accessory bundle we have seen with any video card to date. Included with the card itself, we found a pair of DVI-to-DB15 adapters, an S-Video cable, a composite video cable, a component output adapter, a Molex-to-6-Pin PCI Express power adapter, and a VIVO cable with S-Video and RCA inputs and outputs.

On top of these items, we also found a couple of user's manuals, and a leather CD pouch loaded with discs. There was an Asus Driver & Utility CD and an Asus DVD XP CD, along with copies of Cyberlink's Power Director 3 and Media Show, and a handful of games like Joint Operations, Snowblind, Xpand Rally, and a "GamePack" CD with lite versions of Second Sight, Chaos League, and PowerDrome. And rounding out the software bundle was a full version DVD of Peter Jackson's King Kong.

If Asus stopped there, we would have been pleased by the EAX1800XT Top's accessory bundle, but there is still more to talk about. Over and above the items we've already mentioned, Asus also included an Asus XitePad USB game pad and an external power adapter. The gamepad is surprisingly comfortable and well-built, and definitely adds value to bundle. It's not a cheaply made item by any means. The power adapter is an interesting item too, but we'll get talk more about that a little later.

Tags:  Asus, x1, XT, EA, 180

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