Asus EN8800GT/HTDP/1G 1GB graphics card
Nvidia's 'G92' gets a gig to play with
Review The headline feature of the Asus EN8800GT 1GB is - as the name suggests - the fact that it packs in 1GB of GDDR 3 memory instead of the 512MB that you’ll find on standard GeForce 8800 GT-based graphics cards.
When we unpacked the graphics card from the usual enormous Asus box, the memory did indeed grab our attention but not in the way that we expected. The 1GB is arranged in eight chips manufactured by Qimonda and each chip carries the legend HYB18H1G321A-11. The '1G' in the middle refers to the 1Gb density of each chip and the '11' suffix is presumably the rated speed in nanoseconds as 1.1ns equates to a true clock speed of 900MHz. That’s a DDR rating of 1800MHz which is exactly in line with the specification of the Asus.
Asus' EN8800GT 1GB: double the memory of a typical 8800 GT
The point isn’t that we can cleverly decode the markings on a memory chip but rather that we were able to see the memory chips quite clearly. Asus has chosen an oval aluminium cooler with a large 80mm fan in place of the standard shroud-type cooler on this GT. The cooler is supported on four stand-offs and makes contact with the 'G92' graphics chip but leaves the memory chips bare, hence our ability to read the markings. Unlike an 8800 GTS, the mounting bracket on this card is a single-slot design. However, the height of the cooler means this GT is a double-slot card that blows hot air inside your PC case.
At start-up, the fan on a regular 8800 GT makes one heck of a din until the drivers kick in to slow it down. During operation it is very quiet indeed. The only downside that we can see with the usual 8800 GT design is the heat generated in the casing. We measured the casing temperature as 30°C with the Windows desktop running, rising to 55°C during a gaming session. This was with an open test system laid out on the bench.
By contrast, the Asus 1GB is quieter during start-up as the fan spins at a constant speed. Once Windows is running, the 1GB is the noisier of the two as the fan is audible. The cooler on the 1GB does a better job of keeping the GT under control as it runs at a consistent 25°C even under load.
I tested the Asus 1GB with Windows Vista Ultimate Edition 32-bit Edition with 2GB of system RAM.
As it happens I have subsequently tested a pair of PowerColor HD 2900 XT cards with 1GB of memory on each card using both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and found no difference in 3DMark06 and Crysis.
I'm happy to accept that we're moving towards 64-bit OS and 4GB or more RAM for gaming PCs but I don't feel that we're there yet.
EN8800GT 512Mb heatsink
Asus' new EN8800GT 512Mb cards (Both TOP and Standard) now come with it's "Glaciator" Heatsink, which does keep temperatures nice and cool.
It even allows the vanilla EN8800GT to be clocked at TOP speeds, which is nice.
Which version of SmartDoctor were you using in your tests? Because Asus have played with the Standard BIOS on the 512Mb version, only the latest SmartDoctor can read the GPU temp (but alas, not the fan speed)
Was all the RAM being used?
How much RAM had the test rig? Was it running a 32bit or 64 bit OS?