Asus EN9400GT Silent Edition

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Asus EN9400GT Silent Edition

Mar. 14, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Asus EN9400GT SILENT/DI/512MD2
PCI-E Graphics Card
Manufacturer
Street Price
~US$60?

Modern integrated graphics platforms have evolved to the point where they possess all of the features of their low-end discrete counterparts with poorer 3D performance being their only failing. However, any informed user seeking good 3D performance for gaming would not consider either option, so that advantage of the budget discrete video card is all but negligible. Budget graphics cards still have some value however, for example, as a cheap upgrade for older systems incapable of decoding HD video or to support additional displays in a multi-monitor environment. There are also enthusiasts with no interest in gaming, who build PCs using ATX motherboards without integrated video. Even if they don't play games, they still need graphics.

For such scenarios, even a bottom of the rung GPU would be acceptable. One candidate is the Asus EN9400GT Silent, a passively cooled card based on nVidia's GeForce 9400 processor. If GeForce 9 was an office hierarchy, the 9400 would be its star mail-boy. To differentiate itself, it really only has to be silent (taken care of already) and power efficient.


Our Asus EN9400GT Silent sample.

At first glance the card has a relatively large heatsink (compared to the size of the PCB) with a good basic design — plenty of surface area for heat dissipation. We should note at this point that although the card's specifications list a HDMI port, the sample we received had a standard TV-out port instead. We suspect that it was simply an early review sample, and that the retail version does have a HDMI port included on the backpane

Asus EN9400GT SILENT/DI/512MD2: Specifications
(from the product web page)


Technical specifications according to GPU-Z.

Our sample was manufactured using a 65nm process, based on nVidia's G96 core. As an entry level card it has only 16 stream processors, a 128-bit memory interface and relatively slow (400MHz) GDDR2 memory.



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