ASUS EAX1600XT Silent Video Card Review :: ASUS EAX1600XT Silent Features

05-05-2006 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun
ASUS EAX1600XT Silent
ASUS EAX1600XT Silent Video Card Review
Brand ASUS
Model EAX1600XT Silent
Graphics Chip RV530
Graphics Memory Type DDR3
Memory (MB) 256
Graphics Core Clock (MHz) 590
Memory Clock (MHz) 1380
Memory Speed (ns) 1.4
RAMDAC Frequency (MHz) Dual 400
Active Cooling on Graphics Chip No
Heatsink on Memory No
Video Capture Yes
Dual Monitor Support Yes
VGA Out DVI-I, D-Sub
Video In and Out S-Video Out
Package and Support
Printed Manual Yes
Driver CD Yes
Performance Tool Software Overdrive
Major Games None
Major Software X
VR Glasses No
DVD Player Software ASUS DVD
Video Recording Software N/A

ASUS EAX X1600XT Silent Features

  • 12 Pixel Shaders
  • 5 Vertex Shader Units
  • 690MHz Memory clock
  • 590MHz Core Clock
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • Pixel Shader 3.0
  • Vertex Shader 3.0
  • HDR
  • up to 6x MultiSample Anti-Aliasing
  • Up to 16x AF
  • Temporal AA
  • Adaptive AA
  • High Quality AF
  • 256-bit Ring Bus memory controller
  • Master-less Crossfire Capable

Games are using longer more complex shader effects. ATI and NVIDIA have taken slightly different approaches to increase pure Shader performance. NVIDIA has increased the number of Pixel Shader Pipelines, and ATI has gone the route of increasing the number of Pixel Shader Processors to each Pixel. The X1600XT has 4 Pixel Pipelines, but 12 Pixel Shader Processors and 5 Vertex Shader pipelines.

Microsoft released DirectX 9.0 in 2002 to coincide with the release of the ATI 9700 Pro. They had released a new DirectX every year or so, but with the release of DirectX 9.0 they decided to lump Shader Model 3.0 in with 2.0, to allow a longer period between DirectX launches. The key components of SM3.0 include Pixel Shader 3.0 and Vertex Shader 3.0, 32-bit precision throughout the pipeline and more.

Pixel Shaders are small programs performed on pixels to give special effects. Games like F.E.A.R. and Oblivion use Pixel Shaders throughout. Oblivion is a visual masterpiece. Pixel Shaders are used in the water, in the shiny reflective armor of the knights, in the skin tones and more. The developers developed Oblivion to play on the highest end video cards at the time of launch of the game, but it plays on a X1600XT with all of the same visual quality as the X1900XTX, just slower.

Vertex Shaders are also used in games like Oblivion and F.E.A.R.. Oblivion uses Vertex Shaders in the facial animation of the characters, in the animation of the monsters and movement of the characters, the grass, the weather effects and more. Oblivion and upcoming games like it require a lot of vertex shading power to run smoothly.

One feature ATI cards can do that NVIDIA cards cannot is HDR+MSAA at the same time. HDR reflects the fact that the human eye can distinguish between differing contrasts of thousands to one. The effect where you move indoors with dim lighting to outdoors can be simulated with HDR rendering. HDR combined with MSAA makes for the absolute best image quality in a game like Oblivion bar none. ATI chose to use the PCI Express bus to handle data transfers between two X1600XT cards when Crossfire mode is enabled. The high-end cards like the X1900XTX and X1800XT require a master card to function when two cards are installed. ATI will likely not require a Master Edition card with their future cards, but we'll see.

ASUS EAX1600XT Silent Video Card Review Oblivion Settings

Oblivion Settings