Graphics Cards Guide

ASUS EN9800GT Matrix 512MB review

ASUS EN9800GT Matrix - Is This 'The One'?

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The ASUS EN9800GT Matrix

The ASUS EN9800GT Matrix

The ASUS EN9800GT Matrix obviously takes its styling cues from The Matrix movie. Deck in black all over; black cooler, matte black PCB, it is the graphics card equivalent of Neo aka Mr. Anderson aka "The One".

The EN9800GT Matrix joins ASUS' Matrix line of cards (obviously), which in turn is part of their gamer-oriented Republic of Gamers line of products. Out of the box, the EN9800GT Matrix is clocked at 612MHz at the core, 1800MHz DDR at the memory and 1500MHz at the shaders. That's just a slight overclock to the GPU core, but the rest of the clocks are similar to a stock card. To further ensure that the EN9800GT Matrix is competitive in this cutthroat segment, ASUS have introduced on the card something called the Super Hybrid Engine.

The Super Hybrid Engine is responsible for a number of rather unique functions on the EN9800GT Matrix, one of which is down powering card by reducing voltage and clockspeeds when 3D applications are not being run, thus reducing heat ouput in the system and power consumption. But when 3D applications are activated, the Super Hybrid Engine goes into turbo mode and increases voltage to the GPU and memory and overclocks them, giving a performance boost. How much? Well, ASUS claims on the box that Super Hybrid Engine can give the card up to 15% boost in speeds. We'll definitely be putting that to the test.

Aside from the Super Hybrid Engine, the ASUS EN9800GT Matrix also features something that most, if not all, other GeForce 9800 GT card doesn't have - dual-SLI connectors - which means 3-way SLI. Officially, the GeForce 9800 GT supports only 2-way SLI, so the two connectors we see here are a bit of a surprise.

The ASUS EN9800GT Matrix also sports a unique cooler of ASUS' own design, known simply as Hybrid Cooler. It closely resembles the cooler from the recently reviewed HIS IceQ 4 Radeon HD 4850, only that it is not copper and has a much more restrained heatsink design. Judging from its design, it looks promising and should give the ASUS EN9800GT Matrix a good temperature reading in our test later.

Also, this is what the ASUS EN9800GT Matrix comes with:

  • Installation guide
  • 2 x CDs containing drivers and utilities
  • 1 x DVI to VGA adapter
  • 1 x SPDIF cable
  • 1 x Molex to PCIe connector
  • 1 x S/Video out