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How to tell

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
How do you tell if a card is reference or not?

Will there be anything on the box if your looking at cards in a store like frys or microcenter?
post #2 of 26
Usually if it looks pretty standard, nothing fancy. Quite hard to describe I guess.
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post #3 of 26
If it looks reference. Other than XFX, they make super cheapo junky cards that look reference then give you no clue they aren't ref. Usually start selling right under the name of a ref listing too. I bought an XFX reference 5770 on Newegg, bought another later (same PN) and it was a flimsy non-ref turd.
 
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post #4 of 26
Stupid Question: Whats a reference GPU?
    
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post #5 of 26
Reference cards will probably only have one fan and will be occupy at most two-slots. Non-reference cards will usually have multiple fans, a giant heatsink (cooler), and sometimes occupy three-slots.

If you see the words "Lighting, twin frozr, or DCII" then the cards are not reference.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Architect View Post
Stupid Question: Whats a reference GPU?
The original design by Nvidia, so all companies' reference designs look the exact same with different stickers.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adversity View Post
The original design by Nvidia, so all companies' reference designs look the exact same with different stickers.
Easy enough. Thanks.
    
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post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks mucho
post #9 of 26
The card usually has a more intricate model number of some sort at the side - put that in google and it should give you some indication as to whether or not its ref
post #10 of 26
One way to tell is to check the logo on the PCB near the PCI-e connection. If it says NVIDA it's a reference pcb, if it's non-reference it will have the name of the company that designed/sold it.

reference:


non-reference:


This Twin Frozr II has a non-reference cooler but a reference PCB:
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