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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
These recordings were made with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's
own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.
These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!
The recording starts with 5~10 seconds of room ambiance, followed by 5~10 seconds
of the VGA test system without a video card installed, and then the actual product's
noise at various levels. As this particular card did not add any noise the test
system, we have provided only a recording of the test system with its system
fan set to the levels tested. For the most realistic results, set the
volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't
change the volume setting again.
Gaming: Please check out the gaming-oriented reviews of the 9400 GT
and techPowerUp. The general consensus is that the 9400 GT is a slow GPU, unsuitable for playing the majority of today's 3D PC gaming titles, though a few may be bearable if you don't mind low resolution and detail levels.
Video Playback: VC-1 playback was good; very power efficient for a discrete
card. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, H.264 playback was more stressful
on the system than is usual with most GPUs. We hope it was simply a software
or driver bug, though it should be noted that the test system was still good
enough to render H.264 smoothly, despite it being somewhat antiquated. This
shouldn't be an issue unless you have a very slow CPU.
Cooling: As the 9400 GT uses very little power, it was not necessary
to incorporate heatpipes or a fan in the heatsink design. Previous Asus passive
cooler featured fins pointing every which way and attempts to direct air along
guides and other eccentricities. This time around, Asus did not over-think design
and went with something basic which was quite effective. GPU temperatures were excellent,
even in a test system with very low airflow.
Power Consumption: By our estimates, the EN9400GT Silent requires approximately
11W when idle and up to 23W DC when stressed to the limit. The load figure is
the lowest we've measured on a discrete graphics card, though it probably
won't be reached for most users. 11W at idle is also fairly low, but it is
still a long way from the efficiency of an integrated graphics chip.
Overall the EN9400GT Silent is a decent budget graphics card.
It will result in no additional noise, little if any thermal impact, and a small increase in power consumption. We are unsure what this model will go for but other Asus variants of the 9400 GT are currently retailing for around $60. There are several affordable fanless budget graphics cards $40-$50 range, and those willing to pay a little more can get a lot more 3D performance by choosing an ATI HD 4650 / 4670, or even an nVidia 9500 GT.
Asus EN9400GT SILENT/DI/512MD2
* Completely silent and fairly cool
* Low power consumption
* Small size
* Severely lacking in 3D performance
* Possibly too expensive
Our thanks to ASUSTeK
for the video card sample.
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Articles of Related Interest
Asus Radeon HD 4870 Matrix
EN9800GT Matrix Edition
the Gap: ATI Radeon HD 4830
Redefining Budget Gaming Graphics: ATI's
Asus ENGTX260: A Quiet Graphics
Card for Gamers?
Diamond Radeon HD4850
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