ASUS EN8800GT TOP 512MB Graphics Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     April 7, 2008

ASUS EN8800GT TOP 512MB Graphics Card Review

Manufacturer Product Page: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Product Number: EN8800GT TOP/G/HTDP/512M
Availability: Now
Warranty: 3-Year
Price: Approx. $260

ASUS is a company which has been catering to the enthusiast computer component market for longer than most of us can remember but at the same time they have a presence in nearly every other area of the computer market as well. From laptops to monitors and from barebones units to high-performance motherboards, they have it all and from our experience, every one of their products sticks to the same ideals of quality and performance. While in the past we have reviewed mundane (a DVD drive) and innovative (their ASUS Xonar D2 sound card) gear from them, today we will be looking at a product which is aimed squarely at the high-performance gamer: the ASUS 8800GT 512MB TOP Edition with the optional Glaciator cooler.

While Nvidia and ATI have been battling it out in the trenches with their new graphics cards, their board partners have been forced to come up with innovative ways to distinguish their products from the competition. Some of them forego the reference cooler and add an aftermarket heatsink while others pre-overclock their cards for increased performance over the competition. This is especially true with the 8800GT series since this card is the best selling graphics card in Nvidia’s history and board partners are chomping at the bit to get a piece of the action. Enter ASUS’ 8800GT TOP Edition, and as we will see with this card ASUS has actually gone with the best of both worlds by installing their custom Glaciator cooler while overclocking both the core and memory. As is usual for ASUS graphics cards, the TOP is considered a full retail package-type product and in this case it comes with the game Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts along with quite a few other extras. With the market full of 8800GT cards, it looks like ASUS is putting tons of effort in order to get their card recognized.

As is normal in the graphics card industry, all of these extra features contribute to make the ASUS 8800GT TOP more expensive than most competing reference-based cards. Thus, expect to pay a $30-$40 premium for this card over a standard 8800GT which puts the TOP Edition’s price at around $260. Along with this price, another slight problem presented itself for us: there is literally no way of telling if you will get the TOP Edition with the Glaciator cooler. According to ASUS, the product number EN8800GT TOP/G/HTDP/512M is valid for both (reference cooler and Glaciator) of their TOP edition cards. Indeed, as you can tell by the product page we linked you to above, even ASUS’ website does not make a distinction between the two cards. Buyer beware; try to get confirmation from store you are buying this card from regarding which version they have in stock. You may also notice that we don’t have a price listed on our price compare engine and this is due to the fact that this particular version seems extremely hard to find here in Canada.

With this card, ASUS is looking to make some waves in the graphics card market and without a doubt the 8800GT TOP looks ready to take on the big boys.


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