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ASUS EN9400GT-1GB Geforce 9400GT Half-Height Videocard Review

ASUS EN9400GT-1GB Geforce 9400GT Half-Height Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you've been keeping up with PCSTATS you'll know that in the Asus EN9600GT videocard review we mentioned that there are other, more affordable graphics cards better suited to playing movies on a HTPC. As luck would have it, one of them magically appeared in the PCSTATS labs this week.
 70% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Jul 10 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS EN9400GT-1GB

Entry level videocard for all your HDMI needs?

Just to get this out of the way, the Asus EN9400GT is not meant for 3D gaming in any way, shape or form. It might be possible to play Quake 3-era games on it, but anything more taxing than that and the poor thing is likely to cause it to burst into flames worthy of a Michael Bay film.

Of course, gaming is not what the ASUS EN9400GT videocard is realistically designed for. Its primary purpose is to give HDMI output to older PCs with PCI Express x16 slots that can't keep up with the taxing load of HD video decoding. In this regard, the EN9400GT works rather well.

For $50 CDN ($46 USD £28 GBP), you get VGA, DVI and HDMI, the last of which works with audio and also happens to be HDCP compliant. You also get decent video acceleration that makes it possible to watch HD video on pretty much any processor, given proper codec support.

ASUS' EN9400GT can also work in small form factor computer chassis and in slim PC systems, thanks to an optional half-height bracket. Since the selection of videocards for such systems is always limited, having some options with modern amenities like HDMI is always a plus. The overall power draw for the EN9400GT was pleasantly low, total system idle power was only 85W, with peak power usage reaching only 109W. This videocard doesn't need any kind of external power either, running totally off a PCI-Express x16 slot. It was also cool to the touch when operating, and virtually silent when being tested.

When comparing NVIDIA's Geforce 9400GT to AMD's half-height videocards like the Radeon HD 4350 and 3650, it's pretty much a toss-up as to which videocard will be the best for you. Both manufacturers' cards have nearly the same price, the same HD video performance, the same underwhelming 3D gaming benchmark results, and similar power, heat and noise characteristics.

HD playback on the Geforce 9400GT based ASUS EN9400GT was excellent, with no visible artifacts, lagging or anomalies appearing during playback. Having to run audio through an S/PDIF header is a one-time annoyance, but it looks like NVIDIA is in no rush to add an audio codec to their graphics cards so it's something we'll have to live with. Bottom line, the half-height ASUS EN9400GT videocard is a great for High Definition video playback over HDMI, particularly on older compact PCs which lack GPUs or IGPs designed for HD decoding, as a videocard for computers used entirely for desktop work and completely not-recommended for modern 3D gaming at anything but the smallest screen size and least detailed eye candy settings.

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Contents of Article: ASUS EN9400GT-1GB
 Pg 1.  ASUS EN9400GT-1GB Geforce 9400GT Half-Height Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  nVidia Geforce 9400GT - Mainstream Graphics and HD Playback Tests
 Pg 3.  Overclocking, Test Specs & Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 4.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, Stalker Clear Sky
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 10.  AA/AF Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry 2, Crysis
 Pg 11.  — Entry level videocard for all your HDMI needs?

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