Let’s look at the scores. For comparison we have a set of reference 7800GT cards, clocked at 400/1000 in the same system set up, consisting of an AMD Athlon FX-57 CPU, (2.6GHz), 2GB of RAM, on an A8N32-SLI Deluxe with dual x16 PCI Express graphics slots. Obviously, only one of these was employed and the card had to go in the lower slot, away from the CPU, for it to work. This is labelled as Slot 2, but is actually the primary PCI Express graphics slot.
In 3DMark 03 and 05 the Dual Asus outperformed the reference 7800GT card in a linear scale. In 3DMark 05 the effects of the very aggressive overclocking is clear taking 1,600 x 1,200 over 10,000 points.
In Far Cry and Doom 3 however, it doesn’t quite go the same way and at stock speed the Dual card actually comes out slower than the reference cards. Where it takes it back is with the overclock, acheiving higher scores in those tests. In Doom 3 at 1,600 x 1,200 it bests its original score by nearly 12 frames per second – a significant boost.
In Half-Life 2 and Day of Defeat with HDR it’s again slightly behind but again the overclocking results pull it ahead, though not by so great a margin as in the other titles.
So while the Asus Extreme N7800GT Dual is an achievement technologically, it’s slightly disappointing performance wise – unless you overclock it. However, with its ability to do this above and beyond single cards, you’d be mad not to.
Even though you can’t use two of them in combination, the Asus Extreme N7800GT Dual would be worth considering if you want to go SLI without the hassle, or the noise, of two cards. The performance is there if you overclock and it is quieter, which always helps you enjoy your games more. The problem is then that at the cheapest price we could find it, it was still more expensive than buying two of the cheapest 7800 GT cards.
Ultimately, the reason to buy this card is not for the performance or even for the near silent running – it’s for the satisfaction of owning a truly interesting piece of graphics engineering, and for that you’ll always pay over the odds. Asus knows that and that’s why it’s only making 2,000 with each one specially numbered. (Our one was number 38).
The Asus Extreme N7800GT Dual is a truly over the top piece of engineering. It makes little sense financially, and it only outperforms two regular 7800 GT cards if you overclock it, but by offering a quieter SLI life and the chance to own a limited edition, the Extreme N7800GT Dual will have its admirers and find its niche.