The Asus EN7600GT Silent
Asus has recently come out with several SILENT branded video cards that do exactly what you think they would: operate without any noise. Using passive cooling solutions rather than the stock active cooling with fans, Asus is able to offer HTPC and other quiet PC enthusiasts an option for gaming with a 7600 GT GPU.
Let’s take a quick look at the specifications:
In this case, Asus is using the same reference clocks of 560 MHz core and 700 MHz memory that we saw in our initial 7600 GT preview on this Silent model. While some users are constantly expecting overclocking on cards from third-party vendors like Asus, with a move to passive cooling, it is a feat that Asus was able to keep the reference clocks at all!
Looking at the front of the card, you can see that the passive cooling solution is quite a bit larger than the cooling on the reference cards and it needs to be in order to pull all the heat from the GPU effectively. Two heatpipes connect the heat block over the GPU in the center of the card up to the heatsink fins that are located above the cards PCB board. You can see here as well that the memory is not being cooled by any heatsinks, just as we have seen on the reference designs from other vendors.
Taking a closer look at the cooling fins on the heatsink, we can see that it is quite a bit wider than the 7600 GT card itself and is sitting on a hinge.
The reason for the hinge: to be able to adjust the heatsink to rotate behind the video card in case there is any kind of interference with other components. This adjustable cooling solution allows Asus to offer a passively cooled unit while maintaining a higher compatibility with all types of enclosures and user configurations. As users of silent systems are more likely to have smaller cases (either for HTPC or other purposes) the rotating heatsink should allow nearly all users to find a way to install the 7600GT Silent in their system without issue.
You can see here in this shot of the heatsink where the rotating arm of the heatpipe is located, in the hole in the center of the GPU cooling block.
The second heatpipe coming from the GPU block goes to another heatsink on the back of the card that is necessary to completely cool the card.
Asus has included two DVI connections on the EN7600GT Silent as well as a TV output connection for S-Video and HD output.
Like all the other 7600 GTs, the Asus EN7600GT Silent does not require a PCI Express power connector. You can also see the added width the passive cooler has on top compared to the graphics card itself.
The EN7600GT Silent comes with an HDTV output adaptor, two DVI to VGA adaptors, a CD sleeve, installation manual and a full version of King Kong for the PC.