Asus EN8600GT Silent/HTDP/512M Graphics Card

Graphics Cards
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TEST RESULTS

Before getting to the actual test results, we first offer a baseline for comparison: results from the test system using the integrated video on the motherboard at the same ambient temperature. Note, neither ATITool artifact scanner or RTHDRIBL would run on the integrated graphics chip. We used ATITool's 3D View instead as we know from past experience that it generates a similar amount of power consumption but without the ability to detect artifacts.

VGA Test Bed: Baseline Results (no external VGA card)
System State
CPU Temp
System Power
AC input
DC output (Est.)
Idle
24°C
80W
59W
CPUBurn
50°C
151W
117W
CPUBurn + ATITool
50°C
161W
125W
System fan @ 7V, 21 dBA @ 1m

VGA Test Bed: Asus EN8600GT Silent
System Load
System Fan Speed
GPU
Temp

CPU
Temp

System Power
AC input
DC output (Est.)
Idle
12V
55°C
23°C
100W
76W
CPUBurn
12V
56°C
48°C
171W
134W
CPUBurn + ATITool
12V
91°C
44°C
188W
148W
CPUBurn + ATITool
9V
98°C
45°C
CPUBurn + ATITool
7V
103°C
50°C

With the system fan running at the default 12V, the GPU reached 91°C, which isn't too bad for a passive heatsink. When we dropped the fan to 9V, the temperature rose sharply by 7°C. The fan became inaudible in our test system at 7V and as if on cue, the GPU broke the 100°C mark. It's clear that there's a high price to pay for silence, and system airflow is incredibly important for a passively cooled graphics card. The CPU temperature also rose by 5°C during this final test — the heat rising from the video card obviously affected the processor's temperature.

The good news is that throughout testing, no instability was exhibited and no artifacts detected by either ATITool or visual inspection of RTHDRIBL. Our test system is very tough thermally as the only component providing system cooling airflow is a Nexus 120mm exhaust fan, which does not push a lot of air at any speed. Still, the EN8600GT Silent passed this portion of testing, though at higher temperatures than we'd like. Our tests show that a little bit of airflow goes a long way, so if your system has an extra fan, you likely won't experience as high temperatures as we did.

Graphics Card Thermal Comparison:
Asus EN8600GT Silent vs. EN8600GT OC Gear
Graphics Card
SPL @ 1m
GPU
CPU
EN8600GT Silent
21 dBA
103°C
50°C
EN8600GT OC Gear
(fan @ minimum speed)
22 dBA
70°C
45°C
System fan @ 7V

With a much larger heatsink and no direct airflow, the Silent edition of the EN8600GT ran 30°C hotter than the OC Gear version with only a slightly lower noise level.

Power

A rough idea of the power consumption of the card can be judged by comparing the total system power consumption with and without the card installed. Our results were derived at by assuming:

1. The power consumption of the graphics card at idle was equal to the difference in power demand between the two systems when both were running CPUBurn.

2. The power consumption of the graphics card under load was equal to the difference between the system with the card running CPUBurn and ATITool simultaneously, and the baseline system running CPUBurn only. This ensured that any load on the CPU from ATITool did not skew the results, since the CPU was running at full load in both cases.

Graphics Card Power Consumption Comparison:
Asus EN8600GT Silent vs. EN8600GT OC Gear
GPU State
EN8600GT Silent
EN8600GT OC Gear
Increase (AC)
DC (Est.)
Increase (AC)
DC (Est.)
Idle
+20W
15W
+23W
18W
Load
+37W
29W
+45W
36W

In an odd twist, we found that the Silent edition of Asus' 8600GT consumed significantly less power than the OC Gear even though it sports twice as much memory. We were only expecting a difference of a watt or two because there was no fan being powered by the card this time around. The drivers used were the same, no additional software had been installed and the OC gear unit was not hooked up during its thermal and power testing. It's fantastic that it consumes 7W less at full load than the fan cooled version. This is probably explained as improvements in GPU core efficiency in later production runs, and simple sample variance... but we simply do not have enough experience with big batches of the same GPU core types to say for sure.



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