Brian’s Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
Well when it comes to noise silent says it all. Nary a peep from this card thanks to the passive solution. Heat on the other hand is something that this card does have. While idling on our open test bench it maintained 55-56 degrees Celsius. This is about 10 degrees warmer than an actively cooled 6600GT with 128MB of memory. Once 3d applications start running, the heat quickly rises reaching as high as 90 degrees Celsius.
Admittedly the card had little to no airflow as we wanted to see just how well it would do in a near silent configuration. We did not witness any throttling due to overheating even after looping the 3dmark2001 Nature benchmark for hours on end. I’m certain that there would be no heat related issues as Asus backs this card with a full 3-year warranty. Size is something to look at in a small form factor machine because the heatpipe does require a little more clearance.
While it?s obviously not the fastest card to ever grace our test bench this card accomplishes what it set out to do and that is to provide an excellent gaming performance in silence. SLI compatibility ensures that if you pair it up with another you?ll get even better performance without the added noise and that is something that shouldn?t be overlooked. The additional 128MB of RAM adds a lot of value as it allows you to play games with extra detail settings on. The side effect of is that it also adds more cost to the package ($189 in this case), putting it into the price range of the 6800GS. For some the silent nature of this card is worth every penny.
I was surprised at how well this card performed considering its silent nature. This would be a welcome addition to any nearly silent computer, as the video card fan is usually the loudest part in such a machine.
The Legit Bottom Line: Those of you looking to rid yourself of a little noise from your current video card while still maintaining gaming performance should take a look at the ASUS N6600GT silencer.