ASUS: Video manufacturer extraordinaire
While ASUS has established a reputation for building high quality, reliable motherboards ASUS hasn’t quite established the same reputation in the video card field. In fact, many of you may be surprised to know that ASUS is one of NVIDIA’s closest partners, with products dating back to NVIDIA’s RIVA 128 graphics core. Over the years ASUS has introduced a steady dose of improvements to its graphics products, unlike most card manufacturers, ASUS does not follow NVIDIA’s reference design.
Instead, ASUS implements its own changes, for instance a unique board design with shorter traces may be used, or as in the case of the original GeForce 256 DDR, ASUS implemented a variant with 64MB of memory onboard. It’s because of this that ASUS’ graphics products aren’t always the first to market. Instead, ASUS engineers focus on improving NVIDIA’s reference design so that their products are better than the average retail card you’ll find on most store shelves.
Unique software solutions
In addition to making changes to the hardware, ASUS has historically added its own unique software programs to all of its graphics cards as well. For instance, ASUS was the first video card manufacturer to bundle smart hardware utilities that went beyond overclocking the graphics card. One example is ASUS’ Smart Doctor utility. With Smart Doctor, not only can the graphics core temperature be monitored, the end user can also be alerted if the graphics card begins to overheat, or if the cooling fan on the graphics card fails.
Besides providing hardware monitoring utilities, ASUS has also been known to go a bit over the top for its customers. Two years ago ASUS received quite a bit of flack from the gaming community for providing special drivers that allowed its users to see through walls and other objects in games. It goes without saying that gamers without ASUS video cards didn’t appreciate this move. Fortunately ASUS realized it had gone a bit too far in its attempt to stand out from the other card manufacturers and promptly removed the drivers from its website.
Now that the GeForce4 Titanium is here, has ASUS followed its roots with the V8460 Ultra? Lets find out!