ASUS Computer EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M
Package and Accessories
Traditionally for this company’s products, the graphics card is packed into a huge-sized box with a handle. The package design is the same as we described in our review of ASUS EN7950GT and EN7900GS Top. The only difference is the color of the company logo. It is silver here instead of white. Black is still the main color and the picture on the face side of the box still shows a trooper from Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. The game is included with the card, of course.
As usual, the contents of the box are neatly laid out into separate compartments and the graphics card itself is wrapped into an antistatic pack and lies on a polyurethane-foam tray. The box is so large that even a GeForce 8800 GTX, with all its length, fits into it crosswise. The ASUS card comes with the following accessories:
- 2xMolex -> 6-pin PCI Express power converter
- DVI-I -> D-Sub adapter
- Universal YPbPr/Composite splitter
- Brief SpeedSetup installation guide
- CD holder made of artificial leather
- CD disk with brand name drivers and Asus software
- CD with full multi-lingual user’s manual
- DVD disk with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter game
- DVD disk with GTI Racing game
- CD disk with FutureMark 3DMark06 benchmarking suite
There is only one DVI adapter in the package, but we don’t think it is a problem any more because the user of such an expensive and powerful graphics card surely has an LCD monitor with a digital input. The same goes for power supplies. Most modern PSUs offer at least one 6-pin PCI Express power connector whereas advanced models for enthusiasts are equipped with two to four such connectors. The GeForce 8800 GTX uses two external power connectors – you’ll probably need a splitter. You’ll have a problem only if your PSU does not have a single 6-pin power connector.
The accessories include a handy pouch for your discs and a software bundle that includes the popular benchmark 3DMark06 and two games. We use Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and 3DMark06 in our own tests, while GTI Racing is a top-notch car simulator with modern enough visuals.
We don’t have any gripes about the accompanying documentation. The SpeedSetup guide will help an inexperienced user to install the card. For more details you can refer to the full version of the manual you’ll find on an enclosed CD. ASUS’ exclusive technologies need a special driver to work, but we wouldn’t advise you to install it just because that driver is updated less frequently than the official ForceWare. This is especially important as the driver for the GeForce 8800 series is still not free from errors and bugs. Using an older version of ForceWare increases the risk of your having troubles with certain games (some may not even launch on an out-dated driver).
All in all, the package and accessories of the ASUS EN8800GTX deserves a good word from us. The card comes with two good gaming titles and a Pro version of 3DMark06, and a pouch for carrying optical discs.
PCB Design and Cooling System
This graphics card uses the reference PCB with a black solder mask and a reference cooler.
This is an absolutely standard GeForce 8800 GTX that only differs from the reference model in having a picture of a trooper from Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter on the cooler casing and a holographic ASUS logo on the fan. There is an Nvidia logo in the bottom right of the PCB – it is present on all GeForce 8800 GTX cards irrespective of the color of the PCB.
The EN8800GTX comes with Samsung K4J52324QC-BJ11 memory. Its twelve 512Mb GDDR3 chips have a voltage of 2.0V and a rating frequency of 900 (1800) MHz. This is actually the frequency the memory is clocked at by the card, in full compliance with Nvidia’s official specification. The total amount of memory is 768MB with a 384-bit memory bus. The GPU frequencies are 576MHz and 1350MHz for the main and shader domains, respectively. The GPU is configured just like it must be on a GeForce 8800 GTX: 32 TMUs, 24 ROPs, and 128 unified shader processors.
Just like any other GeForce 8800 GTX, the ASUS EN8800GTX requires that you attach two power plugs to its external power connectors. If one connector is not powered up, the card either emits a warning sound or starts up at greatly reduced frequencies, depending on what particular connector is unattached. The power requirements are high: your PSU must have a wattage of 450W and higher and provide a combined current of 30A and higher on the +12V power rail.
The card is equipped with two universal DVI-I connectors and a 7-pin mini-DIN connector that allows to plug an S-Video cable in directly.