Asus EN7900GT TOP - GeForce 7900 GT

Article Index

Introduction

The never ending see-saw battle between NVIDIA and ATi has resulted in quicker card releases to the market. Whereas such events were met with much anticipation and speculation from the online community, the onslaught of new releases with their various "flavors" have also perhaps confused the average prospective buyer somewhat in addition to creating a bit of marketing buzz.  Also, it's simply just not feasible for most PC owners to go out and buy the latest card every 3-4 months, and truthfully, there usually isn't a compelling reason to do so.

Much of what we've seen lately are product refreshes: raise the clock speed here, tweak the memory there, maybe throw in some customized cooling apparatus to call attention to the card. The manufacturers in each Graphics camp produce cards that typically run the same as the next companies, although some have started their own niche by pre-overclocking the GPU and memory, with obvious advantages. If you throw in the pricing strategy, with high-end, midstream, and value levels, it all becomes overwhelming to try and keep up with all of the variants out there.

It's the midrange that the most sales will be made in, and where we will focus our attention on today. Asus' latest release in this field is the EN7900GT TOP, based on the NVIDIA 7900GT GPU. As we alluded to earlier, the 7900GT is an updated version of the 7800GTX, formerly NVIDIA's high-end GPU but with a smaller die size and, as result, higher clock speeds. However, the architecture really hasn't changed otherwise. Are some higher speeds and an updated bundle worth a new purchase? Read on and find out...

     
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ASUS EN7900GT TOP
Features & Specifications
NVIDIA CineFX 4.0 Shading Architecture
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_Vertex Shaders
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_Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
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_Displacement mapping
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_Geometry instancing
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_Infinite length vertex programs

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_Pixel Shaders
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_Support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
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_Full pixel branching support
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_Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
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_Infinite length pixel programs

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_Next-Generation Texture Engine
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_Accelerated texture access
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_Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
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_Support for 16-bit floating point format and 32-bit floating point format
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_Support for non-power of two textures
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_Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
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_DirectX and S3TC texture compression

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_Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline with native hardware support for 32bpp, 64bpp, and 128bpp rendering modes

API Support
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_Complete DirectX support, including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0
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_Full OpenGL support, including OpenGL 2.0

64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending
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_Full floating point support throughout entire pipeline
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_Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion
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_Floating point texturing drives new levels of clarity and image detail
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_Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions

NVIDIA Intellisample 4.0 Technology
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_Advanced 16x anisotropic filtering (with up to 128 Taps)
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_Blistering- fast antialiasing and compression performance
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_Gamma-adjusted rotated-grid antialiasing removes jagged edges for incredible image quality
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_Transparent multisampling and transparent supersampling modes boost antialiasing quality to new levels
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_Support for normal map compression
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_Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and z-data at even higher resolutions and frame rates
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_Fast z-clear
NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 Technology
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_DVC color controls
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_DVC image sharpening controls

NVIDIA SLI Technology
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_Patented hardware and software technology allows two GPUs to run in parallel to scale performance
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_Scales performance on over 60 top PC games and applications

NVIDIA UltraShadow II Technology
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_Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games

NVIDIA PureVideo Technology
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_Adaptable programmable video processor
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_High-definition MPEG-2 and WMV9 hardware acceleration
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_Spatial-temporal de- interlacing
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_Inverse 2:2 and 3:2 pull-down (Inverse Telecine)
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_4-tap horizontal, 5-tap vertical scaling
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_Overlay color temperature correction
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_Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window
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_Integrated HDTV output

Composited Desktop Hardware Engine
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_Video post-processing
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_Real-time desktop compositing
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_Accelerated antialiased text rendering
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_Pixel shader-driven special effects and animation

Advanced Display Functionality
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_Dual integrated 400MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including
2048x1536 at 85Hz
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_Dual DVO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders
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_Full NVIDIA nView multi-display technology capability

Advanced Engineering
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_Designed for PCI Express x16
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_Designed for high-speed GDDR3 memory

ASUS EN7900GT TOP:
Graphics Engine: NVIDIA GeForce 7900GT
Video Memory: 256MB GDDR3
Engine Clock: 520MHz
Memory Clock: 1.44GHz
                          

One way to sell a card is to cross-promote it with another product, and in this case it's the scarred face of the CGI-version of King Kong that finds his way unto the package, the cooler, and on a CD as well. Rather than throw in a three-year old clunker of a game as others are wont to do, Asus has dropped in one of the better looking games from last year's holiday season: Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie. The graphics are outright gorgeous, and can make the upgrade process feel all the better after seeing what your card can do.

      

      

Beyond the game, Asus has also provided discs that contain a set of drivers, a PowerDirector 3 CD, two DVI-to-VGA adapters, one component output cable, and a six-pin molex power splitter, for power supplies that do not support PCI-E natively. A nice bundle that adds some extra value other than the card itself.

Tags:  Asus, GeForce, force, GT

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