ASUS EN7800GT TOP Silent - GeForce 7800GT
The ASUS EN7800GT TOP Silent
By now, you are all probably familiar with the 7800 GT, so we won't go into detail about the GPU itself. Instead, we will focus on what ASUS did to make this card special. First off, ASUS bumped up the core clock from 400MHz to 420MHz. Stopping there would be too easy though, so ASUS also decided to use 1.6ns DDR3 chips instead of the standard 2.0ns chips. The 1.6ns Samsung chips are rated at 600MHz, but ASUS went ahead and bumped them up to 620MHz. That means that the EN7800GT TOP Silent's memory runs at an effective speed of 1.24GHz out of the box. Note that the NVIDIA's reference 7800 GT have memory clocked in at 1.0GHz. Now, let's take a look at the second major aspect that makes this card special: the cooler.
A big slab of metal and some heatpipes -- that's what we usually find on a silent card. It's not quite that simple for the EN7800GT TOP Silent, which is currently the most powerful silent card available. While it does employ a heatpipe design, it breaks the typical mold by allowing the user to rotate the top section of the cooler 90 degrees. This is part of ASUS' patented SilentCool technology.
You can see that the heatpipe runs through the top part of the cooler into an array of fins. When rotated, it should hover directly above your CPU cooler, which should help pull heat away from the fins. It's a clever design, but many enthusiast-level CPU coolers will be too tall to allow a full 90 degree rotation. Don't worry though; the card will work fine without rotating the top part at all. Most of our testing was done without rotating the cooler.
The 7800 GT also requires a supplemental connection to system power via a 6-pin PCI Express power connector. When we flip the card around, you can see the dual DVI connectors and the VIVO/HDTV-out connector.
While the cooler is a little bulky due to the top rotating portion, we still think the EN7800GT TOP Silent would be a great candidate for SLI. Rotating the cooler would most likely be out of the question for the second card. Well, you could rotate it some, but there wouldn't be much point. This card (in single and SLI setups) might not be ideal in some systems where space is limited, but it should work fine in most.