Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: The ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top proved itself to be the fastest single GeForce 7800GTX-based card we have tested to date. With its beefed-up clock speeds, it managed to average a 5% lead over our next fastest GeForce 7800GTX card, nearly across the board in our suite of benchmarks. From a thermal performance profile standpoint, the ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top was also the coolest running GeForce 7800GTX card we've tested to date, by a long shot.
What is probably the single most impressive attribute of the ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top, its high-performance integrated cooling solution, is also ironically the one thing that stood in the way of us giving this product an Editor's Choice award. Unfortunately, even though the card's cooler is simply fantastic from a performance and noise perspective, due to its dual-slot footprint, you also have to have an ASUS motherboard for the proper spacing between the PCI Express Graphics slots. This spacing restraint will limit the card's market potential dramatically obviously but we also have to consider that the ultra high-end power users who might be running a pair of GeForce 7800GTXs in SLI mode will also be a niche market in and of itself. So perhaps the ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top should be assessed on its merits as a single card solution only? Again we're taken back to one of the key salient points of the new NVIDIA GeForce 7 architecture, SLI. And with this new ASUS GeForce 7800GTX board, the consumer should be wide-eyed aware that you won't be fitting a pair of these cards in any motherboard other than an ASUS product, at least for now.
With all this laid out on the table, however, we certainly cannot diminish what this card was capable of in our testing efforts. The ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top was able to edge out the fastest GeForce 7 card we currently have in house and it no doubt holds an even more commanding lead over all stock GeForce 7800GTX cards based on NVIDIA's reference design clock specifications. Its heatsink and cooler combination was also able to actually lower case temperature in our test system, even in a dual-card SLI configuration while compared to a single-card competitive solution. This is a true testament to what ASUS has brought to market with the Extreme N7800GTX Top, a faster card that runs quieter and with much better thermal performance per square inch, than any GeForce 7800GTX card we've seen to date.
The final thing to consider is price, but it's our opinion that you get what you pay for, relatively speaking versus other GeForce 7800GTX cards. The Extreme N7800GTX Top retails for around $569 currently (last reading taken from ZipZoom Fly but currently out of stock), which is about $40-$70 more than the average GeForce 7800GTX card on the market right now. However, if you're in the market for one of these cards, we think it's well worth the extra dollars spent, once you've crossed that threshold into $500+ Graphics card territory. All told, we're giving the ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top a strong HotHardware Heat Meter rating of 9.
|•_Fastest GeForce 7800GTX we've tested to date!
•_Stock overclock at 486MHz/1.35GHz
•_Ultra quiet cooler
•_Much lower card and system temps
•_Outside exhaust of heat sink thermals
|•_Higher cost at $569 versus standard GeForce 7800GTX
•_Lackluster game bundle
•_SLI capable only in ASUS motherboards