Graphics Cards Guide

ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent review

ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS 512MB)

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Forgotten and Forsaken

Forgotten and Forsaken

With the entry of its GeForce 7300 GT, NVIDIA attempts to bridge the differences between its low-end GeForce 7300 and the mid-range 7600 series. From a consumer's point of view, having more options is almost always preferred so such a move should be welcomed. To get a handle on its capabilities, know that the GeForce 7300 GT uses the same G73 core as the GeForce 7600 series, with a slight handicap of having four pixel pipelines disabled. NVIDIA has broadly painted the hardware specifications for the GeForce 7300 GT, leaving the implementation details to its manufacturing partners. This has thrown up some surprises, such as the limited edition Gainward Bliss 7300GT PCX , which takes advantage of some very extreme clock speeds to perform way above expectations. In fact, it is faster than the GeForce 7600 GS, the lesser pair of GeForce 7600 cards in the series.

Since it was launched together with the faster GeForce 7600 GT, the GeForce 7600 GS has been overshadowed by its more powerful compatriot. A quick glance at the market reveals more models and variations for the GeForce 7600 GT. Both vendors and consumers alike seem to have arrived independently at this preference for the faster product, aided by the initial price of US$199 for the GeForce 7600 GT, which probably hits the sweet spot for those looking for a mid-range graphics card. Many potential buyers of the GeForce 7600 GS probably felt more comfortable topping up their budget slightly for the GeForce 7600 GT instead.

However, not all vendors have given up on the GeForce 7600 GS yet. ASUS at least has made quite an effort to bring to market a rather unique version of this GPU. Its latest EN7600GS TOP Silent is overclocked (like so many other graphics cards now) and it also comes with its special Reverse Cool system with a passively cooled heatsink and up to 512MB of DDR2 memory. Intrigued? Well, we were very interested to know if this enhanced GeForce 7600 GS could stand up against the challenge of the best GeForce 7300 GT cards so we promptly put it to the test: