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ASUS EN8800GT TOP 512MB Graphics Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     April 7, 2008

A Closer Look at the Nvidia Lineup


The current Nvidia lineup is finally beginning to look a bit clearer. Can you hear the sarcasm in that statement? Even though things have become more confusing than one of Steven Hawking’s physics calculations, this orgy of choices only benefits the consumer in the long run…even though that same consumer will be scratching his head over what to buy. Indeed, as Nvidia makes its transition to the 65nm manufacturing process, cards like the 8800GTX, 8800Ultra and 8800GTS 640/320MB cards have been discontinued while other cards have and will be taking their places like the recently-released 9800GTX.

Since our initial 8800GT 512MB review, there has been a literal explosion of cards based off of the G92 core and some of them have been limited production, manufacturer-specific products. The 8800GS came into the market as well as the 8800GT 256MB and both of these cards have been selling reasonably well while playing second fiddle to the 8800GT and 8800GTS 512MB cards. Even the highly anticipated 9-series has made its debut in the guise of the 9600GT and 9800GTX. Yet, all of this is window dressing since the real star of the show is still the 8800GT 512MB. From a price/performance standpoint, it is extremely hard to beat.


ASUS EN8800GT 512MB TOP Specifications


The ASUS 8800GT TOP carries with it a healthy overclock of 100Mhz on the core and 200Mhz (DDR) on the memory over stock speeds. While the memory overclock is in-line with many of the other overclocked cards on the market, the 15% GPU core overclock makes this ASUS card one of the faster 8800GT 512MB cards we have seen. Usually, overclocked cards do not perform much faster than their reference-speed brethren when it comes to actual gameplay and this is because the overclocks are usually quite minor. Thus, the 100Mhz overclock we have with this card may actually translate into some actual gameplay benefits.

Considering the ease of which we can now overclock our own graphics cards with programs such as Rivatuner, pre-overclocking may seem a bit counter-intuitive to some of us. However, there are many consumers out there who prefer to have a pre-overclocked card rather than risk voiding their warranty (modder-friendly warranties aside) by boosting clock speeds themselves. They do not mind paying a slight premium for a product which will perform better than the reference design right out of the box. It is for these people that ASUS has released their TOP editions.
 
 
 

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