It is a trend universally observed, that graphics cards vendors must eventually produce custom boards that are either overclocked or passively cooled. These are the two common approaches taken and as one of the largest vendors around, ASUS has more than its fair share of such designs that defer from the reference versions from ATI or NVIDIA.
This is especially so when it comes to mainstream GPUs, like NVIDIA's new mid-range GeForce 9600 GT. At last count, ASUS' website lists up to six different GeForce 9600 GT models, ranging from overclocked to varying memory sizes. Two of the more notable and frequent 'themes' used by ASUS is its overclocked TOP edition and the passively cooled Silent edition. These two editions return for the GeForce 9600 GT and we are fortunate to have both in our labs at the same time. Unable to make a choice between total silence or having more performance? Here's our take on the two: