ASUS EN8600GT OC Gear
- Fast default performance, runs quietly
- OC Gear's interface lacks read-outs for temperature and speed, relying instead on indicator lights
Overall, the EN8600GT, with the OC Gear module, offers a convenient way to overclock and monitor your card's performance, but it costs $50 more than ASUS' regular EN8600GT graphics card. The extra cost, and only very slight performance advantages when overclocking, mean it's worth sticking to the regular EN8600GT instead
Price$ 279.00 (AUD)
When it comes to graphics cards, choosing one card over another is usually determined by price. However, ASUS wants to make you think about that decision a little longer. Its EN8600GT OC Gear card ships with a separate module that allows you to play with some of the card's features manually. By that, we mean that it lets you overclock the clock speed of the card, and adjust the fan speed, by physically turning a knob.
This module is called OC Gear, and it's designed to sit in a free 5.25in drive bay. It connects to an internal USB pin-header on the motherboard and requires ASUS' Gamer OSD and SmartDoctor software packages to be installed. Once up and running, the OC Gear will light up to expose speed, frames per second (fps), temperature, fan speed and volume indicators. Unfortunately, only the fps figure is an actual read-out, the speed, fan, volume and temperature are all represented by incremental bars that light up in different intensities to let you know how fast and hot the card is running. Also, the memory speed can't be controlled via the module, only via SmartDoctor.
The graphics card itself is based on the NVIDIA 8600GT graphics processing unit (GPU), and has 256MB of GGD3 RAM as well as two DVI ports (with HDCP compliance). The default clock speed of the GPU is 540MHz, while the memory runs at 1400MHz. In 3DMark06, and running on an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700-based system with 1GB of RAM, the card scored 4601, which is a relatively high score. However, it's not a card that can be used to play the latest games at the highest resolutions, so if you have a large LCD monitor, such as a 22in, or even a 19in, playing the most recent titles at the native resolutions of those monitors will lead to sluggish frame rates. Indeed, in the FEAR test, the card scored 32fps at a resolution of 1280x960, with 4x antialiasing (AA) and 16x anisotropic filtering (AF). Even without AA, it scored 33fps. Turning down the resolution to 1024x768, the card recorded a much smoother 47fps.
Using OC Gear, we were able to change the GPU speed of the card from an in-game environment. At this point, we got a little overzealous and maxed out the speed, which in turn, crashed our PC. We were able to get stable performance from the card when running the GPU speed at 600MHz. It scored 4838 in 3DMark06 at this setting. The fastest result from FEAR was 34fps, at 1280x920 with 4x AA, and this was with the GPU clock at 700MHz, so it's not a noticeable boost. ASUS claims that the OC Gear module can be used with other ASUS cards, as long as SmartDoctor and Gamer OSD are installed, and this is true as we used it with an ASUS 8800GTS.
Physically, the graphics card has quiet fan and a heat sink cooling the chip, and it doesn't require a supplemental power connector.
Overall, the EN8600GT, with the OC Gear module, offers a convenient way to overclock and monitor your card's performance, but it costs $50 more than ASUS' regular EN8600GT graphics card. The extra cost, and only very slight performance advantages when overclocking, mean it's worth sticking to the regular EN8600GT instead.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- 2 First Look: Nikon D850
- 3 OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Nokia 8: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
Latest News Articles
- Traditional Aussie PC market defies global downward trend again
- Logitech say new mouse features the best optical sensor ever designed for wireless gaming
- Razer unveil new Basilisk mouse built for FPS gaming
- HyperX Unveil Heavy-Duty Gaming Keyboard
- NVIDIA Supercharges Rendering Performance with AI
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- MSI GE73 VR Raider Gaming Laptop review
- First Look: ASUS Newest Notebooks
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTDeployment Project CoordinatorOther
- CCData and Analytics ManagerACT
- FTLead Business Analyst - Logistics and Supply ChainOther
- FTSenior Technical Business Analyst/BSAOther
- TPSAP Process ControlQLD
- FTProcess Specialist x 2Other
- FTService Delivery Coordinator - $61 p/hrOther
- FTSenior Technical Business Analyst/BSAOther
- FTSenior DevOps ConsultantVIC
- FTBusiness Transformation ConsultantOther
- FTSenior DevOps Engineer | Leading SaaS Product CompanyOther
- FTDevOps Engineers/Consultants - CloudOther
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTSecurity ArchitectOther
- FTeCommerce Integration Support DeveloperVIC
- FTMulesoft Integration DeveloperOther
- FTMid Level Business Intelligence Analyst - Power BIOther
- FTSenior Software EngineerOther
- FTSenior Security ConsultantNSW
- FTInfrastructure/ Hybrid Cloud Architect - Government OrganisationVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics CRM DeveloperOther
- FT.NET DeveloperWA
- CCPenetration TesterQLD
- FTDigital Marketing ExecutiveOther