The TOP moniker in Asus’ video card line up has come to mean the top of the line, most power hungry and feature rich of their video card products. Their N7800 GTX TOP was the first GTX to use a dual slot cooling solution and was also the highest overclocked part we had seen on the market at that point. The AX1800XT TOP follows that same line of thought.
The styling on the video card is very classical Asus, with a larger heatsink and card overall, more similar to the N7800GT DUAL than any other design. If you look at just the red PCB in the photo above, you’ll notice that in fact it is the same size and specifications of any other ATI-based X1800 video card, but with the large metal mount on it, it is considerably taller.
Perhaps a better view from the back; you can see the new retention and power feeding adaptor adds about 2cm or 3/4 in to the height of the card. Because of that, this card will not fit in all cases, especially those of you with small form factors or tight enclosures in general. Both of the full size ATX cases I have here though were capable of handling the card.
The card still fits in a two-slot configuration as you see here and includes two dual-link DVI output ports. Asus assures us that this card is CrossFire ready, but of course adding in a standard CrossFire card will cause a loss of the benefit the overclocking on this model provides. You can also see a standard VIVO port between the DVI connections as well as the power connection above the right most DVI connection that enables the use of the external power supply.
At the rear of the card is where Asus gives users a choice on power supply issues. The standard PCIE power connection exists on the back of the card so that you can either connect the video cards external power supply cable to it (shown in the picture) or simply use your power supply’s power feed instead. The added height to the board is used to sheild the power cord from any internal fans or cable clutter.
Here you can see the simple cable feed that Asus uses, running the cable from the external power supply connection, around the fan and through the metal riser on the top of the card.