The Asus EAX1600XT Silent/TVD/256M/A is a
prime example of a mainstream videocard adapted to address certain acoustic
concerns which are usually in the realm of much more expensive graphics cards.
What I mean is that on paper it looks like a plain Radeon X1600 XT based
videocard but in action, it is able to impress especially with a relatively low
price of $193 CDN ($175 US, £94 GBP) and totally
For the money you get a videocard that's capable of running the
latest games with the latest features such as Shader Model 3.0 and ATi's
Crossfire compatibility. Not to mention it's completely silent thanks to a
pretty sweet heatpipe-based passive heatsink.
VIVO (Video In/Video Out)
compatibility comes via the ATi Rage Theatre chip. It is a nice option since
more people are connecting video devices to the computer these days, but we find
it disappointing to see Asus not officially support component output. A
completely silent videocard like the Asus EAX1600XT Silent/TVD/256M/A would make
a great HTPC (Home Theatre PC) videocard.
In the benchmarks we saw that ASUS
EAX1600XT Silent/TVD/256M/A performed comparably for its GPU-class. At stock
speeds the card was on par with the PowerColor Radeon X1600 XT Bravo and yielded
benchmark results at about the same level as GeForce 6600GT class videocards.
It's possible that ATi might be able to eek out more performance with
subsequent driver updates but you shouldn't hold your breath on that one. Casual
or light gamers who do not play with antialiasing or anisotropic filtering
enabled will be happy with the EAX1600XT Silent's performance at 1024x768.
If you game at higher resolutions or with AA and AF enabled, this videocard
doesn't have enough GPU power to meet your requirements and you ought to be
looking for gear with a little more "oom paa paa" in it.
The Asus EAX1600XT Silent/TVD/256M/A was up to our
overclocking challenge, hitting 691 MHz core and 765 MHz memory in that test.
Overclocking improve performance by a few percentiles at lower resolutions which
helps make game play smoother too. If you do decide to get a videocard like the
EAX1600XT Silent though, make sure you have adequate cooling in your case, as
inadequate airflow will cause overheating.
All in all the Asus EAX1600XT Silent/TVD/256M/A is a
decent mainstream videocard. If you're not a hardcore gamer and want something
that's completely silent, you should now know where to look.
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