capsule review

Asus EN7800GT Top Silent

At a Glance
  • Asus Geforce 7800GT EN7800GT/Top/Silent/2DHTV Video Card

    PCWorld Rating

Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

The Asus EN7800GT Top Silent is one of the best, most innovative graphics cards we've tested. At $399, it's a bit pricey, but silence-seeking buyers who have quieted their PC's other noisy components--including the CPU fan and power supply--will likely find this high-performance card a worthy investment.

Asus combines NVidia's excellent GeForce 7800 GT chip (slightly overclocked to 420 MHz) with a unique, adjustable fanless cooling system to create the EN7800GT, a card that runs both fast and quietly. In our tests, the card competed well against other overclocked, fan-cooled 7800GT cards, including the MSI GeForce 7800 GT ($320) and the XFX GeForce 7800 GT ($300).

For example, in our Battlefield 2 tests, run at 1200 by 1600 resolution with antialiasing turned on, the Asus board reached 47 frames per second, versus 48 fps for the XFX board and 45 fps for the MSI board. In our Quake 4 test, run at the same setting, the Asus notched 51 fps, while the MSI and XFX scored 42 fps and 44 fps respectively. Scores were similarly close in most of our tests.

In addition to excellent and quiet performance, the EN7800GT offers an extensive software bundle, which includes seven games (among them, notably, King Kong). There are also a handful of Asus-branded gaming-related apps including GameFace Messenger, GameLiveShow, and GameReplay. For good measure, Asus also throws in its own DVD software and CyberLink's PowerDirector video editing program.

Bring it all together and you have an impressive package. Is the EN7800GT's passive-cooling design worth the $100 premium it commands over standard fan-cooled 7800 GT cards? That depends on how much you value silence.

Tom Mainelli

Asus EN7800GT Top Silent


Superquiet card offers top-notch performance and a good software bundle, but it's expensive.
List: $399
Current prices (if available)
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At a Glance
  • Asus Geforce 7800GT EN7800GT/Top/Silent/2DHTV Video Card

    PCWorld Rating
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