iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E

October 13, 2006


  1. Introduction
  2. Video card's features
  3. Testbed configuration, benchmarks
  4. Test results
  5. Conclusions

It's autumn... The time of new products. And they have already started to appear. But we are going to get back to the older GPUs for some time, that is GeForce 7600 GS. Today we'll examine a non-standard solution based on this processor (at last something interesting and unique).

Following the tradition to equip many accelerators with noiseless coolers of its own unique design, ASUS has presented another such solution, based on the GeForce 7600 GS, with 512 MB of DDR2 memory and overclocked GPU and memory.

We already reviewed an innovation product from this company some time ago, which had its memory chips and a GPU on the back side. Today we'll examine a similar product.

On the whole, it should be said that the 7600 GS is very popular on the market. So it was very interesting to examine a cross between the GeForce 7600 GS and the 7600 GT (increased frequencies).

Video card

ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E
GPU: GeForce 7600 GS (G73)

Interface: PCI-Express x16

GPU frequencies: 550/550/550 MHz (nominal — 400/400/400 MHz)

Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 475 (950) MHz (nominal — 400 (800) MHz)

Memory bus width: 128bit

Number of Shader Vertex Processors: 5

Number of Shader Pixel Processors: 12

Number of texture processors: 12

Number of ROPs: 8

Dimensions: 170x100x33mm (the last figure is the maximum thickness of a video card).

PCB color: blue.

Output connectors: 1 x VGA (d-Sub); 1 x DVI (Dual-Link), TV-Out.

VIVO: not available

TV-out: integrated into GPU.

ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E
Each video card has 512 MB of GDDR2 SDRAM allocated in eight chips on the back side of the PCB.

Infineon memory chips (GDDR2). 2.0ns memory access time, which corresponds to 500 (1000) MHz.

Comparison with the reference design, front view
ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E
Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS

Comparison with the reference design, back view
ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E
Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS

We can see that the main heatsink migrated to the back side of the PCB together with memory chips. The front side houses only a mounting element, which also acts as a small heatsink. Why move all these components to the back side? Perhaps the engineers decided that the PCB would be cooler that way, the heat from the upper heatsink going up (as there is no fan). Or maybe the reason was to design a single-slot card that wouldn't block the next slot with its cooler. But we have seen passive coolers with heat pipes, which qualify for these requirements as well. So it's difficult to explain the point of this inverted design so far. It's even strange to look at for an expert :).

The card has TV-Out with a unique jack. You will need special bundled adapters to output video to a TV-set via S-Video or RCA. You can read about the TV-Out in more detail here. Unfortunately, VIVO is not available.

Analog monitors with d-Sub (VGA) interface are connected with special DVI-to-d-Sub adapters. Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz Max Refresh Rate
  • 2048 x 1536 x 32bit x85Hz Max - analog interface
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Max - digital interface

As it's already clear from the above-said, the card has a unique cooling system.

The cooling system is an unfolding heatsink at the back of a card on the GPU. Memory chips, operating at a lower frequency than the nominal value, do not need to be cooled. So the heatsink is not pressed into them. There are heat pipes in the back heatsink to improve heat removal.

Theoretically, the GeForce 7600 GS running at the standard frequencies can be cooled well by simpler coolers. So there is no need to overhaul the design, equip the card with an expensive unfolding heatsink. But let's not forget that the GPU frequency is raised from 400 MHz to 550 MHz, it has nearly caught up with the 7600 GT.

This device is nearly noiseless, but it cools well the overclocked GPU:

up to 71°C - that's normal. Note that we ran our tests in a closed PC case with two standard fans (the air is sucked in from the front panel and is driven out at the rear), the card's heatsink was unfolded.


ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E
User's Manual, CD with drivers and utilities, adapters - DVI-to-d-Sub and composite-out. As well as several old games.

ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E

The box is rather plain, it's made of thick cardboard without a jacket. All components are arranged into sections made of papier-mâché.

Installation and Drivers

Testbed configuration:

  • Athlon 64 (Socket AM2) based computer
    • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2600MHz) (L2=2x512K)
    • Motherboard: Foxconn C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H on NVIDIA nForce590 SLI
    • RAM: 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz (CAS (tCL)=3; RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)=3; Row Precharge (tRP)=3; tRAS=6)
    • HDD: WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA

  • Operating system: Windows XP SP2 DirectX 9.0c
  • Monitor: Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070sb (21").
  • ATI CATALYST 6.9; NVIDIA Drivers 91.47.

VSync is disabled.

Test results: performance comparison

We used the following test applications:

  • Splinter Cell Chaos Theory v.1.04 (Ubisoft) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, test settings — maximum, shaders 3.0 (for NVIDIA cards)/shaders 2.0 (for ATI cards); HDR OFF!

  • Half-Life2 (Valve/Sierra) — DirectX 9.0, demo (ixbt01 . The tests were carried out with maximum quality, option -dxlevel 90, presets for video card types are removed from dxsupport.cfg.

  • FarCry 1.33 (Crytek/UbiSoft), DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, demo from the Research level (-DEVMODE startup option), Very High test settings.

  • DOOM III (id Software/Activision) — OpenGL, multitexturing, test settings — High Quality (ANIS8x), demo ixbt1 (33MB!). We have a sample batch file to start the game automatically with increased speed and reduced jerking (precaching) d3auto.rar. (DO NOT BE AFRAID of the black screen after the first menu, that's how it should be! It will last 5-10 seconds and then the demo should start)

  • 3DMark05 1.20 (FutureMark) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, test settings — trilinear,

  • 3DMark06 1.02 (FutureMark) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, test settings — trilinear,

  • The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay 1.10 (Starbreeze/Vivendi) — OpenGL, multitexturing, maximum texture quality, Shader 2.0, demo 44.

    I wish to thank Rinat Dosayev (AKA 4uckall) and Alexei Ostrovski (AKA Ducche), who have created a demo for this game. I also want to thank Alexei Berillo AKA Somebody Else for his help.

  • F.E.A.R. v.1.02 (Multiplayer) (Monolith/Sierra) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, maximum test settings, Soft shadows disabled.

  • Call Of Duty 2 DEMO (Ubisoft) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, test settings — maximum, shaders 2.0, tested in Benchemall, demo and a startup script, readme contains necessary instructions

Summary performance diagrams

Note that we have run two test sessions: of a single card and of the SLI mode (two accelerators).

Game tests that heavily load vertex shaders, mixed pixel shaders 1.1 and 2.0, active multitexturing.

FarCry, Research

Test results: FarCry Research

Game tests that heavily load vertex shaders, pixel shaders 2.0, active multitexturing.


Test results: F.E.A.R

Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

Test results: SCCT

Call Of Duty 2 DEMO

Test results: COD2

Half-Life2: ixbt01 demo

Test results: Half-Life2, ixbt01

Game tests that heavily load pixel pipelines with texturing, active operations of the stencil buffer and shader units

DOOM III High mode

Test results: DOOM III

Chronicles of Riddick, demo 44

Test results: Chronicles of Riddick, demo 44

Synthetic tests that heavily load shader units

3DMark05: MARKS

Test results: 3DMark05 MARKS

3DMark06: Shader 2.0 MARKS

Test results: 3DMark06 Shader 2.0 MARKS

3DMark06: Shader 3.0 MARKS

Test results: 3DMark06 Shader 3.0 MARKS

You can find our comments in the conclusions.


ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E. According to our tests, this product is indeed right between the GeForce 7600 GS (standard) and the GeForce 7600 GT, though its GPU frequency is closer to the latter. That's because its memory operates at 950 MHz, while the 7600 GT has it at 1400 MHz. It plays a significant role in case of the 128-bit bus. The ASUS product actually ran against the notorious bottleneck of insufficient memory bandwidth. So its performance is somewhere in the middle. When the GPU load is heavier, its performance results are closer to the GeForce 7600 GT.

The new card fairs very well against the X1650 PRO, but its price will play a major role. Don't forget that ATI drops prices for the 1650 PRO to $100.

On the whole, the card produces a very nice impression of a quiet Mid-End model that does not grow very hot (that's true for the current state of affairs, of course - when such Mid-End products easily outperform former Hi-End representatives like the 6800 GT and even the 6800 Ultra).

You can find more detailed comparisons of various video cards in our 3Digest.

ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E gets the Original Design award (October).

ATI RADEON X1300-1600-1800-1900 Reference

NVIDIA GeForce 7300-7600-7800-7900 Reference

We express our thanks to
ASUSTeK Russia
for the provided video card
ASUS EN7600GS TOP Silent (GeForce 7600 GS) 512MB PCI-E

PSU for the testbed was kindly provided by HIPER

                               Motherboard for the testbed is kindly provided by the company

Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)

October 13, 2006.

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