Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: We were very pleased with the EN7800GT TOP Silent's performance. The card should outperform all reference 7800 GTs and it can do so silently. The factory overclock definitely helps put it above your average 7800 GT and X1800 XL. Overclocked 7800 GTs and X1800 XLs would be able to hang with the EN7800GT TOP Silent in the performance department, however, but they most likely won't be passively coooled.
We're happy to see such a high-end silent card hit the market, but it seems to be very scarce right now. In fact, it almost seems non-existent. After checking several of the largest online retailers and even some smaller ones too, we didn't find the EN7800GT TOP Silent available anywhere. Part of the reason for lack of availability must be due to the market presence of the superior 7900 GT. It would be great to see ASUS follow up soon with an EN7900GT TOP Silent. We are crossing our fingers for now.
As we mentioned before, while the rotating cooler might be innovative and unique, in many high-end systems, rotation just might not be possible for various reasons. Regardless, the cooler does its job just fine. At idle, the Forceware driver panel reported the GPU temperature at around 53oC. Under load though, the GPU was hitting as high as 95oC. It's hard to imagine the card remaining stable at that hellish temp, but we had absolutely no issues with stability whatsoever. ASUS' 3-year warranty should also help calm any fears you have about the card failing prematurely.
We can't help but think that the EN7800GT TOP Silent is a perfect card for high-end HTPCs that will be used for gaming as well as regular HTPC duties. HTPC users typically go for quiet components, so this card fits quite well on the HTPC system build list of the silent PC enthusiast who also demands performance. There are plenty of passive, 0dB video cards you can choose from, but none currently offer the gaming performance of the EN7800GT TOP Silent.
If you like big bundles, ASUS has you covered there too. The EN7800GT TOP Silent comes surrounded by one of the most well rounded bundles we've seen. It's not all great stuff, but most of it is decent. Add that to the card's factory overclock, VIVO capabilities and unique ASUS features, and it's hard not too like this card. If you want the best silent 3D performance available without watercooling, then this is your card. We're giving the ASUS EN7800GT Top Silent an 8.5 on the Heat Meter.
|• High Performance @ 0dB
• Nice bundle
• Adds no noise to your system
• Factory overclock
|• Poor Availability
• Gets hot!