ASUS EN9800GT 512mb PCI-E

Packaging and Appearance

Packaging and Appearance

Similar to most Asus' mid-range cards, the package is attractive yet basic looking by design. A green and black outer sleeve with a short run down of features sits on the front along with a picture of the Asus Exclusive 'Glaciator' cooler. The rear of the package goes on to describe the features, Asus exclusive innovations and the requirements to run the card (400w PSU- 26A).


 Outer Sleeve Front Outer Sleeve Back


The inner box is solid by construction and should be enough to prevent damage to the card which itself is set in an anti-static bag, eliminating the possibilities of damaging the card through not following static precautions. The contents as per usual from Asus, are both thorough and complete. An HDMI-DVI adapter; VGA-DVI adapter, as well as an S-Video cable and Molex to PCI-e 6-pin adapter are present. The manuals and driver disks complete the accessory list but sadly there is no game included


 Inner Box Accessories


The card itself is very pleasing to the eye. The dominating Glaciator cooler taking pride of place on the card, along with a matching VRM cooler. In testing we found the cooler to be virtually silent but users should be aware that even though this card has a single backplate, the height of the cooler puts it into the 'dual slot' category. To the rear of the card we see that both the cooler and the VRM heatsink are attached to the PCB via screws. I do like it when manufacturers' consider the end user who might wish to use their own cooling solution. The spring loaded screws should also create an even mount - effectively increasing the cooling properties of the cooler even further.


Card Top Card Bottom

Card Side Card rear


To the rear of the card, we can see the 6-pin PCI-e power requirement. And at the backplate end of the card please take note of the connectivity. The orange DVI connector is actually the HDMI port which Asus have kindly provided a DVI to HDMI adapter for. The other slot is for DVI connections but again Asus have included a DVI-VGA connector should your monitor not support DVI. The remaining connector is for S-Video. Note the two SLI tabs available on the 9800GT. NVidia have seen fit to make the 9800GT TRI-SLI compatible should your motherboard support this feature.


backplate SLI


This is the jewel in the EN9800GT's crown - its cooling capacity. Not only have Asus implemented the Glaciator cooler, but they have also decided to cool the VRM's with a matching heatsink. On test, the cooler was inaudible and managed to keep temperatures well within the realms of safety regardless of what benchmark we threw at it. The memory has no cooling but that did not appear to affect the running of the card, even when overclocked.


Glaciator cooler VRM Heatsink


Stripping the card of its cooling, we get to see the actual core and memory as well as the Mosfets. Taking the cooler off was a simple affair with just four screws holding it in place. The Thermal Interface Material used was typical Asus gunk and acted more like glue than thermal paste. Removing the cooler screws was easy, however, removing the cooler from the core was an altogether different matter. This stuff was like cement! The actual contact area was good and the mount was near perfect but I would prefer to have seen a little less paste. A thermal pad sits beneath the VRM cooler which is sufficient enough to allow for imperfections in Mosfet height but looking at the imprints left on the tape, some of the Mosfets were only half covered.


Nakedness Cooling

G92 VRM's


All in all a nice looking card with some awesome cooling power. Gigabyte owners will rejoice at the choice of colour for the PCB as it matches the standard Gigabyte boards perfectly. Personally, I prefer black PCB's but then Asus have at least shown a little originality here.

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Most Recent Comments

26-09-2008, 07:44:15

Good review. It does indeed look like a 8800GT with a gpu switch over. However I would draw exception to the comparison of it with a 4850. In my mind, the 4850 is to compete with the likes of the 260 from an nVidia pov, hence u can use the comment of "so last year" cos, well, it is. Immediately seeing the 4850 being held against it, I was quite supprized that it held up as close as it did in some respects. It`s counterpart, the 3850 (imo) may well have produced a different picture. Likewize the 260/4850. It`s a tough call cos on the one hand a company is producing a range whereas the other is introduce 2, mainly with slight manufacturing differences.

They are however closer matched cost per frame than the other variations may be, which is where u probably could consider them to be competitors for that region.

The look of this ASUS range of cooling is growing on me. I did think it looked fugly when I seen it first, and don`t have a particular liking of that direction of cooler on a gfxcard - even tho it is a solid method, I`d prefer to blow across and hopefully out of the case rather than swirling around inside hoping for a good exhaust fan. It`s hard to have that blowing across method without a dual slot approach tho.

Great read.Quote

26-09-2008, 08:29:15

I think the 4850 is designed to compete with the 9800GTX+ which it matches more closely. The 1GB 4850 is way above this price point. I agree with Rast, the cooling should be across and out of the case. I think the card is for those who want more than the 9600GT without stepping up £50 to the 9800GTX range. It also offers those with more sense to look for an 8800GT with almost all of the features (oh no I lose hybrid SLI, that I don't have support for) for a massively reduced price.

A really good review as ever guys.Quote

26-09-2008, 08:49:52

The 9800GT is perhaps out there on its own with regard to comparisons but comparing it to say a 9600GT or a 9800GTX would be quite predictable in its outcome. You could say that the outcome in the 9800GT vs 4850 was predictable but they are 2 cards from different competitors (NVidia vs ATI) while using the same manufacturer (Asus). I attempted to emphasize more towards the cost per frame, which the 9800gt dosn't fair too badly to say it is based on last years tech, it's just the 4850 is such a damn good card.

It is very difficult to say which card is competeting against which.

4850 vs 9800GTX+

4870 vs GTX260?

4870x2 vs GTX280?

or should it be:

4850 vs GTX260 (single vs single)

4870 vs GTX280 (single vs single)

4870x2 vs 280GX2(??) - 2 core vs 2 core?

Obviously price also needs to be taken into account which makes comparisons even more difficult - do we compare on price, performance, or price per frame.

Difficult one I'm sure you can imagine, especially when cards are released with no specific entry point in the market.

Thx for the constructive comments guys.Quote

26-09-2008, 08:57:16

Its a good review, I reckon its hard to know what Nvidia are doing with the 9800GT in terms of competition. On the one hand, the 4850 beats it hands down so you should go for that, but the price is higher, and if price is of on object, why not go the whole hog and buy a tri sli 280GTX?

I think the 9800GT is great if you are looking for a GFX below £100, and probably below £90 in a couple of weeks, as it obviously out performs all but the most heavily overclocked 9600GTs.

At the price point I would go for it, but for £20 more I would go for the 4850. It depends on what your maximum budget is and where the fanboy in you lives. Camp red or green people?Quote

26-09-2008, 09:32:59

It`s tough to decide these days imo.

Originally Posted by name='webbo'

4850 vs GTX260 (single vs single)

4870 vs GTX280 (single vs single)

4870x2 vs 280GX2(??) - 2 core vs 2 core?
^^ this would be my line of thinking u see. Including x2 vS x2. x2 vS a single, even tho they may cost the same, is wrong. Possibly like comparing a QX9770 and 3x Q9450.

BUT. nVidia make it doubly difficult as there are 9400/9500, 9600, 9800GS/GT/GTX/GTX+ - 9800 is also *usually* a consolidating card. (hard to say usually)

I haven`t seen a GTX200 equiv of a "general purpose multimedia emphasis" card, like the 9400/9500 would be - perhaps they wont bother.

Costing, tbh, I don`t look at in regards to them - but really I should. But imo, there are 3 camps, those who want the best card regardless of the cost (looking at the tech 1st), those on a budget (they have £100/£200 - what`s the best card they can get for it), and those who don`t mind x2/xFire/SLI/etc.

Imo also, all 3 of those camps are currently being satisfied from both ATI & nVidia. (cept fanbois ofc )Quote

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