GeForce 7 Series Round-up with Asus & MSI
Asus EN7900GS TOP & EN7950GT
You may wonder why it seems we only have one set of pictures on this page, when two cards, the EN7900GS TOP and EN7950GT are in the title. It's because both cards are identical except for the serial and model number stickers.
Comparisons to the NX7900GT are obvious. Asus' GeForce 7 cards come in the more expected green coloring of NVIDIA based cards and the heatsink is much more compact, with the fan placed to the right rather than the left. This puts the fan more squarely over the GPU as opposed to MSI's design. It also means the airflow is directed more towards the brackets, and hence the outside of the case. The smaller size of the heatsink also leaves the memory uncovered. Whether or not this will come into play during operation, or overclocking, we will have to check in with later.
From there, everything else is as expected. The heatsinks come off easily, exposing the core, which we cleaned off for the sake of the review, but then reapplied some Arctic Silver to form a good bond between the GPU and heatsink. As we mentioned, the Hynix memory sits uncovered in a close array to the GPU. And, as with MSI's card, just about all major circuitry is placed in a small section of the card, with a 6-pin power connector placed in the upper corner.
Differences between the cards from Asus and MSI do not stop with the cards themselves. The cables included with Asus' cards consist of a component out video cable, PCI-e power splitter, and the ubiquitous DVI-VGA adapter. Nothing too different there, although MSI's video cable offers many more connection options. The difference in mindset comes down to the software, as one might have expected from my earlier rant. Sure, there's a driver/utility CD, an online manual and a game, all with a CD wallet. The game, however, is the newly released Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Unlike Serious Sam II, GRAW is a title that will truly show off the potential of the cards, saving the buyer a few bucks in the process.