Quick, answer this question for me: Green, red, blue, or black PCB for your graphics card?
Without a doubt, this is one hardware category where looks certainly matter. Despite what you may think or believe, it's not all about the shader or core clocks, or how much GDDR bandwidth the card is capable of generating.
Sometimes the choice comes down to what a card looks like. You don't think so?
Single-slot cooler, or double-slot? How about an aftermarket cooler for your RV770? A DuOrb or an Accelero S2? No? A T-Rad2, perhaps?
In my journeys across the internet watching the people in this fascinating hobby, there are times when some say, upon looking at the next latest must-have graphics card, "That's so sexay!" Or, "That's a hawt card!" Or sometimes even, "I want manufacturer X's card more than manufacturer Y's because the chick on the sticker of the cooler is hotter!"
Silly, huh? But I bet you you've seen (or have even said/thought) the same too.
Some people refuse to buy cards from certain manufacturers because, well, ATi cards just must have red or black PCBs, and never blue. Blue is NOT an ATi color. I've even seen entire conversations where people refuse to buy nVidia cards because, well, their cards just look so boring with that generic green PCB.
Sounds goofy, doesn't it all? But I'm not making any of this up.
Truthfully, if we're talking about stock heatsinks, I just never really liked how many of the nVidia G92 dual-slot coolers look like strangely-contoured bricks...
(To be concluded in Part 5 - Summation.)