ATI and Nvidia are both drawing public attention to their graphics card series by pompous launches of top-range products but the developers’ desire to introduce the world’s fastest solution for uncompromising gamers does not mean that affordable mainstream solutions are disregarded. Taking an example from another industry, everyone is excited about Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche, but it is Ford and Toyota that sell the best. The same goes for graphics cards: everyone is talking about $300 and higher products but the manufacturers profit the most from performance-mainstream solutions. It is in this sector where the real competition is.
Right now, the struggle is between ATI’s Radeon HD 3870/3850 and Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GT/9600 GT. Every product of these is a modification of the previous generation of graphics cards rather than something really new, so none of them can attract the customer with a promise of special capabilities.
Realizing how difficult it is to promote their products in such a highly competitive environment, graphics card vendors look for ways to make their products different somehow. The ASUS EN9600GT Top card we are going to review today uses Nvidia’s reference design but has a special feature of its own. Will this be enough to win the customer?