Originally Posted by lightsout
Its my understanding that the only difference is the top card has a high stock OC. Meaning they had to pick cores that were able to run at that speed. I think the otherwise its the same card.
Is that what you meant by cherry picked components?
There is no such thing as cherry picking for GPUs, its largely a misconception. Vendors usually "bin" their chips. So using the a EVGA 670 as an example:
After IC, EVGA determines which GPUs can be overclocked to certain speed and meet the 3 year failure rate within acceptable limits to not exceed RMA limits.
EVGA currently has 3 (another upcoming) batches, the standard 670, the SC, and the FTW. They test each "tier"
Tier 1 (GTX 670 FTW ) Meets 1006MHz testing, reserved for top level cards
Tier 2:(GTX 670 SC) Meets 967 MHz testing, reserved for 2nd level cards
Tier 3:(GTX 670) Meets 915Mhz testing reserved for reference clock speed boards
Taken from MSIalex:
In a nutshell, chips are binned BEFORE they are installed on a board. So, the process will not guarantee your GPU to overclock to a certain speed. NOTHING GUARANTEES OVERCLOCKING OF ANY SORT. The only thing guaranteed, is what default speeds the card is clocked to.
Beyond that however, the chances of you getting a higher overclock with a tier 1 video card is better than the chances of you getting a higher overclock with a lower tier video card. Thus, this leads to the misconception that flagship products are "cherry picked".
Remember: when it comes to overclocking, you're playing the silicone lottery. Your chances of winning are higher with a top tier product, as opposed to a lower chance of winning with a lower tier product.