Asus EN9600GT Silent Edition Graphics Card

Graphics Cards
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FINAL THOUGHTS

Gaming Performance: This is a realm well covered by many other web sites, so there's little point for us to duplicate their efforts. We recommend the 9600GT reviews at TweakTown, [Hard]OCP, X-bit Labs, and AnandTech. The general consensus is that the 9600GT is a good value, midrange graphics card, more or less comparable to the HD 3870, though it isn't quite as adept at rendering games at higher resolutions. Less demanding games such as Unreal Tournament 3 or Call of Duty 4 can be played comfortably with most settings at maximum.

Video Playback: nVidia's PureVideo HD made video playback purely a formality. It rendered all our tests clips easily and with less CPU assistance than ATI's Radeon HD 3850 or 3870.

Cooling: While we feel Asus could have done better, the passive heatsink managed to cool the card adequately, even in our very low airflow test system. If you can put up with a little extra noise, a little extra airflow is recommended, especially during extended high loads.

Power Consumption: On load, the power consumption of the 9600GT is right where it should be, higher than the HD 3850, but lower than the HD 3870. When idle or during low-load such as high-definition video playback however, it was woefully inefficient compared to its ATI-based competitors.

The Asus EN9600GT Silent offers solid performance, both in gaming and in video playback, and generates no noise. Most retail 9600GTs are selling for between $150 and $180 USD at the time of writing; the slight premium for the Silent edition may be worthwhile if minimal noise is important to you. If you are a neophyte to PC modifications and don't want to risk voiding the warranty, few cards equipped with passive coolers are up to the Asus EN9600GT Silent's caliber. For more hands-on users, a cheaper 9600GT card and a DIY installation of an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 VGA heatsink is an obvious alternative.

Asus EN9600GT SILENT/HTDI/512M
PROS

* Good 3D Performance
* Excellent high definition playback
* Low load power consumption
* Fanless and silent
CONS

* Odd cooler design
* High idle power consumption
* HDMI video output needs improvement

Our thanks to ASUSTeK for the video card sample.

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Articles of Related Interest
ATI HD3850 & HD3870: Improved Acoustics & Power Efficiency
Arctic Cooling Accelero S2 VGA Cooler + Turbo Module
Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 VGA Cooler
Updated VGA Card/Cooler Test Platform
Asus EN8600GT Silent/HTDP/512M Graphics Card

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