We like a bargain at TR, so when Asus dropped this little snippet on us we decided it was something the general public should know about.
The Asus Extreme AX700 TD 256M is not the most scintillating of names, but it is descriptive and it gives a large hint at all the goodies it offers for very little cash.
To break it down, what we have is an Asus modified PCI Express ATI Radeon X700LE with 256MB DDR memory clocked at 500MHz, a 400MHz engine and 400MHz RAMDAC. It has VGA and DVI outputs and a second VGA output comes as standard, while Asus throws in an S-Video composite cable. The maximum supported res is 2048 x 1536.
Things get really interesting when we skip across to some benchmarks. Now remember these are Asus supplied rather than garnered through the blood, sweat and tears of testing done in our own labs. That said, if they offer the slightest indication of what can be expected, this card could turn out to be a real gamers' bargain.
The card Asus puts the AX700 against is what it loosely describes as a GeForce 6600. We pushed them for more information and discovered it is referencing a vanilla flavour of nVidia’s popular card. Even in this form, however, we reviewed the 6600 and found it to be a more than respectable performer for around £100. Also, bearing in mind Riyad’s recent editorial about the realities of graphics card ownership, we’ve come down off our high horses and begun to realise the value of these offerings en mass.
Again, I cannot stress enough that these are Asus' benchmarks and not our own, but the purported ratios are pretty impressive and with a price of just £79 including VAT, the AX700 has the potential to cause some big waves in the entry level market.
We’ll try and get a hold of one of these puppies to see if they live up to their marketed promise.