Asus EAX1600XT SILENT passively-cooled graphics card

Gaming performance without the noise?

As you might have noticed on the graphs, some scores are missing at 2,048 x 1,536. This is because of a lack of graphics memory. Using two graphics cards doesn’t mean that you get double the memory. ATI seems to have a better implementation here than Nvidia as at least some applications will run at full quality settings at this extremely high resolution on dual 256MB cards.

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Operating alone, an X1600XT is good enough for anyone using a 1,280 x 1,024 resolution but who doesn’t expect to play the very latest titles with all the image-quality features enabled. In CrossFire mode, the X1600XT turns out to be quite an interesting alternative to SLI - at least as an upgrade path. The problem is that ATI released the X1800 GTO, which doesn't cost much more money yet can on its own outperform two X1600XT’s in just about every test.

The advantage of the Asus EAX1600XT SILENT/TVD/256M over another X1600-based board is the passive cooling and this is the main selling point of these cards. This is something most faster cards don’t seem to be able to deliver, with each new card being noisier than the previous one.

At £118, the Asus board isn't the cheapest X1600XT card around, but then the passive cooling system does increase the manufacturing cost.

Verdict

The Asus EAX1600XT SILENT/TVD/256M is a good enough graphics card in its price class, but it’s not for the performance hungry user. However, if you’re looking for a low-noise gaming solution you could do far worse, and there’s always the option of fitting two cards if you have a CrossFire-compatible motherboard and want a little extra performance. ®

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Asus EAX1600XT SILENT passively-cooled graphics card

A low-noise solution for anyone that doesn't need full-on gaming performance, but still enjoys playing...
Price: £118 inc. VAT RRP