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identifying a reference GTX from Non-reference?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
When comparing the two.....what should a guy look for , as in something like the GTX580 cards? The reason I ask is , it seems all the water blocks made by companies are for the reference based cards.

So if a person was to buy a non-reference , overclocked GTX , most all water blocks wouldn't fit I guess? Some people have mentioned that you can look at the difference in the PCB's.....But I'm not really sure what I'm looking at.

Does anyone have a couple comparison shots?
    
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post #2 of 8
You are right, waterblocks are usually for referenced design cards. You can tell usually from the heatsink on the card. It has that giant silver metal death trap look to it, like this:

http://hothardware.com/articleimages..._GTX_480_F.jpg
    
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post #3 of 8
Well it depends on the card. Reference cards usually is dual slot, with a small fan near the rear of the card.
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInf...s%20Family&sw=
    
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willanhanyard View Post
You are right, waterblocks are usually for referenced design cards. You can tell usually from the heatsink on the card. It has that giant silver metal death trap look to it, like this:

http://hothardware.com/articleimages..._GTX_480_F.jpg

OK....so what about the MSI cards and so forth that have like 3 fans on them and so forth? The one in the pic "IS" a reference card or no? Bugs the hell out of me while looking at cards , and usually it never mentions if it's a reference card or not. It will be a while before I'm picking up some vga cards , but Isince this new build will all be on water , I gotta make sure I get some reference cards. Thanks guys!
    
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post #5 of 8
Here is a list of All newer graphics cards, and what cards are reference and not

http://guapa5000.lima-city.de/Layout...t%20GTX580.htm
post #6 of 8
How I tell the difference...

Below is a Non-Reference representation:


Below is a Reference layout:


This is not Guaranteed 100% accurate but I've never found a card that didn't follow this basic principle.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willanhanyard View Post
You are right, waterblocks are usually for referenced design cards. You can tell usually from the heatsink on the card. It has that giant silver metal death trap look to it, like this:

http://hothardware.com/articleimages..._GTX_480_F.jpg
Lol I have that exact card


Edited by Fateful_Ikkou - 10/31/11 at 12:40am
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by clubber_lang View Post
OK....so what about the MSI cards and so forth that have like 3 fans on them and so forth? The one in the pic "IS" a reference card or no? Bugs the hell out of me while looking at cards , and usually it never mentions if it's a reference card or not. It will be a while before I'm picking up some vga cards , but Isince this new build will all be on water , I gotta make sure I get some reference cards. Thanks guys!
The MSI cards lately has been a problem. They did a few changes to the reference design underneath the shroud, that changed the way it fits.
XFX did the same thing for there reference boards too.
If your going to get reference cards, get either EVGA or Zotac.
    
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot guys! Learned a lot from this little thread.....like always.
    
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