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ASUS GeForce EN8800GT TOP 512MB

ASUS' 8800GT TOP is the highest pre-overclocked 8800GT to have entered our labs to date. Can it beat out a G92 8800GTS?
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Dec 14 2007 11:00 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction





ASUS seem to be getting pretty serious in the overclocking department; when we saw the release of the TOP series a short while back they were few and far between. These days though, just about any model worth overclocking now carries a TOP version.

The latest addition to the TOP line-up is the 8800GT and it's an interesting one because the 8800GT packs some serious punch as it is, and it will be interesting to see how the card fairs against the stock model ASUS 8800GTS.

While normally we would check out the box and all the content before we get into the benchmarking side of things, because the card and bundle are exactly the same as the stock 8800GT from ASUS all we're going to do is have a look at the box of the TOP model and then get straight into the benchmarking.

The Box




The front of the box carries the same Company of Heroes theme we saw on the standard clocked 8800GT from ASUS. The main differences include the graph showing the difference between a stock clocked model and the TOP model along with the TOP logo being used between the 512MB of DDR3 and PCI Express 2.0 logo.

We can also of course see the TOP name again used across the bottom of the box.



Turning the box over we again see mention of the word TOP, and there is just the standard run down on features the card offers along with some of the exclusive features ASUS owners get.



The whole package isn't bad; the inclusion of Company of Heroes is nice and it's more than we saw in the package for the TOP version of the 8800GTS. Our biggest problem though is that like the GTS it's impossible to tell the cards apart, and there's nothing extra bundled with the TOP cards over the stock offerings. With that said though, you do get a pretty high clocked card and that's ultimately the most important thing here.


Specifications

Speaking of high clocks, the standard 8800GT comes in with a core clock of 600MHz and a memory clock of 1800MHz DDR. We have seen a few overclocked models and most tend to come in at around the same speed with the core getting bumped to 650MHz and the memory up to 1900MHz DDR.

The TOP on the other hand is the highest clocked 8800GT we have had in our hands; the core has been bumped again to a very healthy 700MHz, and the memory has also gone up to an extremely attractive looking 2000MHz DDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark05


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)
Motherboard(s): ASUS Blitz Extreme (Supplied by ASUS)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Corsair XMS3 DDR-3 1066MHz 7-7-7-21 (Supplied by Corsair)
Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA-2
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista
Drivers: Catalyst 7.10, Forceware 169.01, Forceware 169.06 (8800GTS 512MB)

What we have stuck the 8800GT TOP from ASUS against today is a stock clocked 8800GT, an overclocked 8800GT which comes with the more common 650MHz/1900MHz DDR setup and the stock clocked 8800GTS 512MB based on the G92 core.

We know that an 8800GT overclocked over 700MHz can outperform the 8800GTS 512MB, but is it possible to get an out of the box overclocked model to outperform the new G92 based 8800GTS 512MB. As always, there's only one way to find out and we intend to be the ones to do it.

We will be running the standard line-up of benchmarks which cover everything including OpenGL, Direct 3D, Direct X 10, AA, AF, Windows XP and Windows Vista.


3DMark05

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 130
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark05/
Buy It Here




3DMark05 is now the second latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and above.

For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.




The older 3DMark05 shows that all the cards perform quite close together, but you can see the TOP 8800GTS is able to just slightly outperform the 8800GTS 512MB. We have to see how this translates to more intensive applications though.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here




3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.

3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.




We can see across the board that the 8800GT TOP is able to just beat out the 8800GTS 512MB at all resolutions. We can also see that you get quite the jump over the stock clocked model.

Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)


Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest from Steam
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com
Product Homepage: http://www.half-life2.com
Buy It Here




By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism, responsiveness and new HDR technology, Half-Life 2 Episode One opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies.

We benchmark Half Life 2 Episode One with our own custom timedemos as to avoid possible driver optimizations using the "record demo_name" command and loading the timedemo with the "timedemo demo_name" command - For a full list of the commands, click here.




We can see at the highest resolution that the 8800GT TOP and 8800GTS 512MB sit quite close together. Even the Inno3D which is clocked slower than the TOP model is right on their toes.

Benchmarks - Prey


Prey

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: HardwareOC Custom Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.humanhead.com
Product Homepage: http://www.prey.com
Buy It Here




Prey is one of the newest games to be added to our benchmark line-up. It is based off the Doom 3 engine and offers stunning graphics passing what we've seen in Quake 4 and does put quite a lot of strain on our test systems.




We can see across the board here that the 8800GT TOP is able to outperform every other card. Good gains over the stock clock model are offered while small gains over the pre-overclocked Inno3D are seen.

Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.


F.E.A.R.

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.vugames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.whatisfear.com/us/
Buy It Here




F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is an intense combat experience with rich atmosphere and a deeply intense paranormal storyline presented entirely in first person. Be the hero in your own spine-tingling epic of action, tension, and terror...and discover the true meaning of F.E.A.R.





While lower resolution performance is a bit all over the place, we can see when we move up to 1600 x 1200 that the 8800GT TOP comes out on TOP.

Benchmarks - Company of Heroes


Company of Heroes

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.7
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.relic.com
Product Homepage: http://www.companyofheroesgame.com
Buy It Here




Company of Heroes, or COH as we're calling it, is one of the latest World War II games to be released and also one of the newest in our lineup of benchmarks. It is a super realistic real-time strategy (RTS) with plenty of cinematic detail and great effects. Because of its detail, it will help stress out even the most impressive computer systems with the best graphics cards - especially when you turn up all the detail. We use the built-in test to measure the frame rates.






We see good gains over the stock clocked card and even some okay gains at the highest resolution over the pre-overclocked Inno3D offering. We can also see that while the 8800GT TOP is on the heels of the 8800GTS 512MB, it isn't able to actually pass it this time.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict (DX9)

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.





We can see that the 8800GT TOP is again able to pretty much perform up there with the newer 8800GTS 512MB.

High Quality AA and AF




Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


3DMark06



We can clearly see here when we move to 3DMark06 and turn on AA and AF the 8800GT TOP comes out in first place again.


Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)



A similar picture is seen in the source based engine, except this time around the gains are a bit more noticeable.


Prey



For some reason when we move to Prey it just can't reach close to the 8800GTS 512MB. This is the first time we have really seen the card lag behind.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - Vista


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here




3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.

3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.




Vista performance is no different to the majority of our other tests thus far; we again see that the 8800GT TOP from ASUS takes out the number 1 spot.

Benchmarks - Call of Juarez (DX10) - Vista


Call of Juarez (DX10)

Version and / or Patch Used: DX10 Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.techland.pl/en/
Product Homepage: http://www.coj-game.com

Buy It Here



Call of Juarez is a Western-themed FPS from Techland. The North America release was one of the first games to utilize DX10.

Call of Juarez is loosely based on a number of Western movie hits from the last four decades, particularly the Spaghetti Westerns that became popular in the sixties and early seventies. The game features two different characters: Billy "Candle", a young fugitive accused of murder and the Reverend Ray, an ex-outlaw who turned to religion, believing that God himself has chosen Ray to be the instrument of His wrath.





We can see some decent gains at the lower resolution for Call of Juarez, but as we climb up the increase isn't quite as great.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet (DX10) - Vista


Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com
Product Homepage: http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_lostplanet_home.html




Driven to the brink of extinction on ice-covered wastelands, humankind fights to survive. From extreme conditions and insurgent Snow Pirates to hostile gargantuan alien Akrid, all that you can trust are your instincts.

Combining a gripping single player campaign and intense multiplayer modes with support for up to 16 players online, Lost Planet is an epic gaming masterpiece. Enormous world maps unfold as players' battle across vast snow fields and deserted cities either on foot or in armed, robotic Vital Suits.



Lost Planet tends to like the overclocked offerings and the 8800GT TOP is no different; we can clearly see it sneaking ahead of the 8800GTS 512MB at all resolutions and offering big gains over the stock clocked model.

Benchmarks - Company of Heroes (DX10) - Vista


Company of Heroes

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.7
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.relic.com
Product Homepage: http://www.companyofheroesgame.com
Buy It Here




Company of Heroes, or COH as we're calling it, is one of the latest World War II games to be released and also one of the newest in our lineup of benchmarks. It is a super realistic real-time strategy (RTS) with plenty of cinematic detail and great effects. Because of its detail, it will help stress out even the most impressive computer systems with the best graphics cards - especially when you turn up all the detail. We use the built-in test to measure the frame rates.




We again see in our final gaming benchmark that the TOP 8800GT from ASUS manages to come out on TOP again at all resolutions.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.




The smaller fan of course generates more heat and we can see that it bounces around 75c - 80c.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).




It comes as no surprise that the biggest downfall for the 8800GT is the noise that it makes.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.




While being as powerful or in some cases even more powerful than the 8800GTS 512MB, it's nice to see that it's still able to come in at under 300Watt.

Final Thoughts




ASUS don't just seem to be just slapping the TOP naming scheme onto any card with some form of overclock, they really seem to be using the name only when they have found a really TOP overclock.

What will be interesting is the price; the TOP should come in between $50 - $100AUD cheaper than the 8800GTS, but about $70 AUD more than a stock clocked 8800GT. Only you are able to decide if you're willing to pay the extra for it over a stock clocked model.

So far all the cards we have seen have had no drama hitting 700MHz core. Now, you could say that in this case the ASUS doesn't really offer very good value with this card, but if you don't want to overclock manually or if you want a 3 year warranty over the usual 2 year one, or simply like the game bundled with this card as opposed to others, the value is quickly seen.

The TOP 8800GT from ASUS is going to be a popular product for a few reasons; firstly, it's able to outperform the newer and more expensive 8800GTS 512MB when it's clocked at its stock overclocked speed. Secondly, the bundle is good, even better than what we have in the ASUS 8800GTS 512MB bundle which doesn't come with any game at all. Finally, the card is just kick ass. It performs extremely well and doesn't break the bank.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
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