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Digital-Daily : Video : asus-en6800gt-dual

"Wonder of engineering" - ASUS EN6800GT Dual

Author: Anna Timofeeva
Date: 12.07.2005

In every production industry, in every market niche, and in all spheres of activities - everywhere the human intelligence is used, therefore there is space for creativity and engineering thought. Thought generates an idea, then the idea with the aid of respective knowledge, skills, artful hands and technical facilities finds its realization. Examples of that are everywhere around us - all our lives are made up of them, they surround us every day, we simply get used to that and take it all for granted. We mostly draw our attention on what is a departure (especially if it is enormous) from the customary standard.

Of course, a "standard" is a conventional notation because it denotes what we are used to. For instance, if we take some very narrow field - IT, computers and hardware to which we are related to in a way (so are you, if you open and read this material), then by "standard" we mean, for example, those specifications announced by the manufacturer of a product. For example, 24 pixel pipelines in G70, or 350/1000MHz for GeForce 6800GT - examples are endless.

Also, by the "standard" for a product we imply its physical look - that is, a certain size of the PCB, appearance, and the size of the cooling system, number of connectors for additional power supply, etc.

We always draw our attention to any departure from standard specifications, which manufacturers use to speculate, because successful sales depend also on the differences (towards the better, of course) of a product versus similarly positioned competitor solutions. But all these are variations within certain limits because the goal is still the same - to present better and sell more. Since practically any innovations and improvements assume incurring certain costs, in the end the "upgraded" product proves more expensive than the less advanced analogs. At that, elementary arithmetic from the consumer's part comes into play - whether these improvements (e.g. more "wired" and quieter cooling system, or a chip running at increased frequency) are worth that extra money if you can find a product of the same type nearby, albeit not that eminent (=standard) but much cheaper.

Another thing is products whose major purpose of release is not to win a certain market niche and not enormous sales. Their goal is to maintain the image of the company that has produced them. That is needed to entice experienced journalists to their expo stand in order to make such headlines like "That's what sort of a miracle we saw at the expo stand of XXX!!!" appear on the pages of all the editions.

These products are not aimed at the mass market - they are to maintain the manufacturer's image at a certain level thus provoking more interest to the company itself. It goes without saying, all these solutions must not be mere on-paper prototypes but existing and working(!) products. Even more - they can and must be sold on the market albeit in limited quantities because no one is likely to think about their price - in this case the buyer pays for owning such a nonstandard device, for the personal possibility to raise own image in the eyes of the acquaintances - "But I have bought THAT!". There are lots of examples of different kind - super hi-tech mobiles, and exclusive race cars. Actually, it would not be quite correct to draw an analogy with race cars - the image-making product has got to look well first of all and only then give some real advantages in performance. The former has a right to exist without the latter, but the latter without the former is already a different story.

Therefore, of most welcome are those solutions which make others gasp in amazement and delight not only for the outstanding capabilities but the appearance as well. ASUS taking one of the leading positions on the market has done a superb job of coping with all that through presenting its ASUS EN6800 Dual video card:


ASUS EN6800GT Dual

The company demonstrated this solution (that time, not a working specimen yet) to visitors at the annual CeBIT to the visitors. By the next triumph of technologies - the June's Computex - that miracle of engineering had been thoroughly improved by ASUS and turned into a real working sample.

It's quite possible that of the prerequisites for the release of such a solution was the Christmas incident when Gigabyte, an eternal competitor of ASUS, agitated the public by the release of Gigabyte 3D1, a dual-chip solution built on 26600GT. ASUS decided not only to catch up but overtake the rival - EN6800 Dual is essentially a pair of 6800GT video cards positioned on a single PCB and linked to one another using the SLI technology, that ism not only an even more complicated to produce but a more powerful solution. This has resulted in a substantial rise in the PCB dimensions, which turned the card into something monstrous. Just see for yourselves - how different the size of EN6800GT Dual is from that of GeForce 6800Ultra and GeForce 7800GTX which are not the most "subtle" boards on the market.


ASUS EN6800GT Dual

Another interesting fact is that at CeBIT they demonstrated a board based on two 6800Ultra chips, but the real samples started with 26800GT. Quite probably, that was caused by the power consumption requirements, although it's just EN6800Ultra Dual that is displayed on Asus' web site, which does not prevent the release further on and because of such a modification to the solution. Somehow or other - we've got a board unprecedented at many parameters, which we are going to review right now.

Content:

  • Introduction
  • ASUS EN6800GT Dual
  • Benchmarking
  • Final Words




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