ASUS EN8800GT TOP 512MB Graphics Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     April 7, 2008

A Closer Look at the ASUS EN8800GT 512MB TOP

The ASUS 8800GT TOP is based off of the reference PCB design but has the inclusion of the large Glaciator cooler which promises to lower temperatures by as much as 35% over the stock cooling solution. Even though the reference PCB design is used here, it is clad in a blue finish which gives it a bit more unique look than if the standard green PCB was used.

The VRM modules on this card are cooled by a custom gold-painted aluminum heatsink which is installed with plastic push-pins for easy removal. ASUS has designed this heatsink so it takes advantage of the natural airflow within a case in order to cool down most of the modules.

As with all other 8800GT cards, the TOP Edition uses a single SLI connector so it can be linked with another 8800GT 512MB card but is not compatible with the newer Tri-SLI technology that is only reserved for higher-end Nvidia cards. In addition, while some custom 8800GT cards have two 6-pin connectors (the Galaxy 8800GT 512MB card comes to mind) this one makes due with a single 6-pin power connector which is used to bring up to 75W to the card.

The memory modules are set up in an 8x64MB pattern for a grand total of 512MB of GDDR3. These are Qimonda HYB18H512321BF-10 modules which are rated at 1Ghz (2Ghz DDR) operation. Interestingly, these are the same modules we saw in our review of the EVGA 8800GT 512MB Superclocked card and they offered quite limited overclocking headroom due to either limited voltage or tightened timings. Hopefully, the TOP Edition we have here today will be able to overclock a little better that what we achieved with the EVGA card.

You will also notice that these ram modules do not have heatsinks on them. While we can discuss the benefits (or lack thereof) of ramsinks, on this card they would be rendered somewhat pointless since the airflow from the heatsink fan is directed directly towards them.

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