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ASUS EAH3850 X2 1GB Dual GPU Video Card Review -

Video Cards

Product: ASUS EAH3850 X2 1GB Dual GPU Video Card
Date: May 30, 2008
Author: Frank Stroupe
Edited By: Bob Buskirk
Provided By: ASUS
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Discussion: Discuss in Forums

A Closer Look

Before opening the box, I really hadn't thought about what the EAH3800 1GB would look like, really not yet taking into consideration that with two GPUs, there would be two fans, with a real potential of loudness. The fan shroud is black anodized aluminum, and very open, allowing ample flow of the exhaust air. The exhaust air is not directed out of the opening in the PCI bracket, which is good because that definitely wouldn't be a large enough opening for exhaust from two fans. The exhaust from my 9800GTX heats up the entire backside of my case.

The card has two PCI-E power connectors, but I found it interesting that there is one 8-pin and one 6-pin connector. More on that in the installation section.

The card is long, 10.5", which is the same length as the 9800GTX and 8800 series. That means that though the card will fit in most mid-towers, there are some that it won't fit in. I'd measure my case first, you need a minimum of 11" free space from the PCI expansion openings to the bay. 11.5" would be better.

The heavy-duty PCI bracket ensures that this card won't be mistaken for one with only one GPU."DUAL" is stamped into the steel. The card sports dual DVI connectors, and an HDTV connector. (YPbPr) The yellow DVI connector is intended for use with the HDMI adapter.

Remove the fan shroud, and we see that the card is fairly covered with heatsinks. There are two heatsinks with heatpipe coolers attached.

The 3850 isn't a particularly hot-running GPU, but I'm really not sure if this is enough cooling for two GPUs and a gig of memory...the memory is cooled by the same heatsinks as the GPUs. I still have the mentality that processors should be under 50C, and though I know that really isn't practical anymore, I still cringe at the thought of 60C+.

The setup for the memory is 512mb per GPU. The EAH3850 X2 is basically two Radeon HD 3850 512mb video cards on one PC board.

Bundled with the Asus EAH3850 X2 1GB is an HDTV cable, Molex to PCI-E power adapter, DVI to sub-15 adapter, DVI to HDMI adapter, drivers, manual CD, and a Crossfire bridge. Also included in the bundle is an Asus leather CD wallet. It is very nice.

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