Geared for Speed
Customized coolers from Arctic Cooling seem to be the rage nowadays among graphics card vendors and even DIY enthusiasts. Deservedly so too, if our experience with their products is any gauge. ASUS too has followed the trend by including Arctic Cooling's NV Silencer 5 for the Extreme N7800 GTX TOP. This also means that although the reference design for the GeForce 7800 GTX is a single slot card, the ASUS becomes a two-slot solution like some of the older generation high-end cards. ASUS claims that there would not be any installation problems using the Extreme N7800 GTX in an SLI rig due to its size. The catch is that the SLI motherboard must be an ASUS board too. As our test system is coincidentally based on an ASUS SLI motherboard, we did not encounter any problems with it. However, since double slot cards have been in the market for a while, most SLI motherboards should have the physical allowance for this card (albeit it would be a tight fit other than the ASUS SLI motherboards).
Arctic Cooling has that cool factor, going by the number of vendors using its coolers.
At the back of the card.
So now the burning question: exactly how fast is the ASUS Extreme N7800GTX TOP? The reference design for the GeForce 7800 GTX is clocked at 430/1200MHz but the ASUS tops that with its overclocked speeds of 486/1350MHz. To support these almost unprecedented clock speeds (for air cooling), especially the high memory frequencies, only the best RAMs are used, which are those rated for 1.6ns operation. As we have expected, the cooler does a fantastic job of keeping things cool (relatively speaking) and quiet, sucking in air and running it through the copper heatsink before venting it out the exhaust at the back. So the heat output by the Extreme N7800GTX TOP doesn't circulate within the system, but gets expelled out directly.
The NV Silencer 5 cooler manages to be both quiet and cooling.
Standard I/O connectors for a GeForce 7800 GTX. We still have no idea what that small sticker at the bottom of the exhaust bracket means exactly.
The contents of the package are of the usual high standards expected from ASUS. One minor change is that the cheap looking plastic CD holder has now been replaced with a more up-market, leather CD wallet. Two games are included, along with various DVD playback and media content creation applications. However, unless you are an avid gamer that tries almost every game available, you would not be familiar with the relatively unknown games in the package.
ASUS has also included some of its proprietary tools for the Extreme N7800 GTX TOP. Some of these applications have been around for a while, bundled with the more expensive ASUS products. Others like ASUS' Splendid Video Enhancement Technology and ASUS GameReplay seem to be some of the newer additions. These applications are not for everyone, but the focus is on gamers appropriately enough (given that they are the ones who require powerful 3D graphics), with an array of gaming related applications. Overall, the package has some nice touches with the proprietary applications but ASUS seems to have gone for the quantity approach while we would have preferred more popular applications and games that are also new to the market.
Here's the complete packaging details:-
1 x DVI-to-VGA adaptor
S-Video to Composite/Component output cable dongle
6-pin PCIe to 4-pin Molex power plug converter
ASUS User Manual
FarStone Virtual Drive 9
CyberLink MediaShow 2.0SE
CyberLink PowerDirector 3DE