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Asus EN7800GT TOP Silent 2DHTV/256M Videocard Review

Asus EN7800GT TOP Silent 2DHTV/256M Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: This Geforce 7800GT comes completely silent right out of the box. The nVidia Geforce 7800GT graphics engine runs at 420MHz, and the GDDR3 memory follow suit with a clock speed of 1.24GHz (620MHz DDR3).
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Apr 19 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS EN7800GT TOP Silent 2DHTV/256M

A SilentCool VGA Heatsink that Works

The Asus SilentCool heatsink is actually a dual slot cooling solution, (the silver Asus emblem extends down past the first expansion slot), although it doesn't look like one at first glance. Since the heatsink is passively cooled, it wouldn't be advisable to fit something in just below the card anyhow.

It's comprised of one large extruded aluminum heatsink which comes in contact with GPU core (via a thin copper pad), surrounds an 8mm diameter heatpipe, and extends out towards the videocard memory DRAMs. The SilentCool heatsink is held fast via a plastic mounting plate on the back of the card.

There is nothing on the back of the videocard that requires cooling.

This is all pretty standard stuff, except for the heatpipe, and what it does. The nickel-plated heatpipe is bent at 90 degrees, with a portion nested in the body of the heatsink over the GPU, and a portion extending out to a big stack of nickel-plated copper cooling fins. The entire heatpipe cooling assembly rotates 90 degrees, or when installed in a computer from a horizontal to vertical orientation. An external steel frame gives it added support, and clicks into position at either extreme.

Experts Tip: Radiator Orientation

The rotating portion of the EN7800GT TOP Silent/2DHTV/256M heatsink can be oriented in one of two positions, parallel or perpendicular to the videocard PCB. When the videocard is used by itself or in the top slot in a SLI setup, the radiator is to be set to be perpendicular to the videocard PCB. This way the SilentCool radiator can take advantage of the fan suction from the CPU cooler to draw cool air over its fins. The radiator should only be run in a parallel position to the PCB when it is being used as a secondary card in the bottom slot, say for an SLI set up. In this case there is not enough space for the radiator to be placed in a perpendicular position.

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This arrangement permits the heatpipe's cooling fins to be situated over the CPU fan air intake, or another spot where it can best take advantage of system airflow. The workmanship of the Asus SilentCool heatsink is top notch on the whole. Some of the fins may have sharp edges, so be a little cautious when handling the videocard though.

As the heat travels, the GPU makes contact with a copper heatspreader which transfers the heat energy into the heatpipe. The heatpipe moves the heat energy away from the core towards the assembly of 52 fins. The SilentCool cooling solution found on the Asus EN7800GT TOP Silent/2DHTV/256M is designed to work with system airflow alone, so the computer will have to utilize case fans at the very least. When the radiator is perpendicular to the videocard, it is designed to work with the CPU fan, sucking air through the fins SilentCool radiator fins first before the air is used to cool the processor.

Testing A Silent VGA Heatsink's Effectiveness

To test the effectiveness of the Asus SilentCool passive heatsink, PCSTATS positioned the heatpipe radiator over CPU fan and directed an 80x80mm Sunon fan (~35 CFM) in its general direction (to simulate case airflow).

The temperatures of the copper radiator fins held steady at about 35 degrees Celsius according to a Fluke 54-II digital thermometer. Core temps hovered near the 44C mark according to RivaTuner.

PCSTATS also wanted to test how the Asus EN7800GT TOP Silent/2DHTV/256M would handle minimal airflow, say if it were used in a computer without case fans. The 80mm Sunon case fan was thus disconnected.

The temperature readings on the Fluke digital thermometer started to rise, albeit less than expected! Much to our surprise, the heatsink fin temperature rose to just 45C, and the GeForce 7800GT reported a maximum temperature of 70C.

What is remarkable is that these temperatures are in line with what videocards using reference VGA cooling units will see. Asus' SilentCool heatsink definitely works. It's also reassuring to know that the card won't suffer a catastrophic failure should the case airflow diminish for whatever reason.

Next up, a little overclocking action and then its right into the gaming benchmarks!

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Contents of Article: ASUS EN7800GT TOP Silent 2DHTV/256M
 Pg 1.  Asus EN7800GT TOP Silent 2DHTV/256M Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  Component Output Comes Standard
 Pg 3.  — A SilentCool VGA Heatsink that Works
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Geforce 7800GT Silent Wonder
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SplinterCell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: X3: Reunion
 Pg 13.  Advanced Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3, FEAR
 Pg 14.  Conclusions: Super Silent Asus EN7800GT Top Silent

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