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Graphics Card Branding

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I know that in some aspects, branding is just a money grubber for some components because there are two "brands" produced by the same factory for the same cost. I understand the principle of binning the best for one name brand and the lesser, that are still good, for the other. That being said, is this the case with video cards and if so, which video card brands are actually worth buying? I've seen Galaxy, XFX, "Gigabyte, Sapphire, Zotac, PNY, Sparkle and MSI. I know ASUS and EVGA are "good" names and are normally very dependable. I am familiar with MSI and Sapphire through purchasing cards for workstation builds, but not for higher end builds where visual performance is a major factor. When looking at purchasing a new video card, 660 or 660ti, I found myself being biased to the ASUS and EVGA names by default. Am I missing out on savings through my bias, or am I on point by disregarding the "lesser" names? thinking.gif
Edited by Terrere - 3/11/13 at 7:16am
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post #2 of 23
I think with branding you are paying for the support more than anything, even if 2 products appear and function the same.
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post #3 of 23
Support and also the cooler they currently use. If it's a non reference design, some coolers depending on the manufacturer are quieter, louder, run cooler, don't cool as well, etc.

But for the most part if you are just looking to get a card and keep it stock, it's usually about the warranty.
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post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I've pretty much settled on the EVGA Superclocked 660 2G. I was pretty much setting a $250 US cap on my card for right now since I'm doing an entire build and upgrading the machine later on as new technology releases. I like the way the actual ASUS card looks better than the EVGA card, but can anyone tell me how much larger the impact having 2 fans on the ASUS vs 1 fan on the EVGA has on temperature?
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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrere View Post

Thanks! I've pretty much settled on the EVGA Superclocked 660 2G. I was pretty much setting a $250 US cap on my card for right now since I'm doing an entire build and upgrading the machine later on as new technology releases. I like the way the actual ASUS card looks better than the EVGA card, but can anyone tell me how much larger the impact having 2 fans on the ASUS vs 1 fan on the EVGA has on temperature?

I'd stay away from that card (I'm assuming you mean http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&N=100006662&isNodeId=1&Description=gtx660&x=0&y=0 ?)

This card is basically a slightly cut down 7950 and will run circles around it, especially if you overclock at all.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131487

Plus it comes with two free AAA games
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloCamo View Post

I'd stay away from that card (I'm assuming you mean http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&N=100006662&isNodeId=1&Description=gtx660&x=0&y=0 ?)

This card is basically a slightly cut down 7950 and will run circles around it, especially if you overclock at all.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131487

Plus it comes with two free AAA games

No, all of those you linked are the 660 ti. This is the EVGA Superclocked 660 from Newegg.com. Just follow my link to the actual product. I will have a look though at the card you linked.
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the multipost...
Edited by Terrere - 3/11/13 at 12:44pm
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrere View Post

No, all of those you linked are the 660 ti. This is the EVGA Superclocked 660 from Newegg.com. Just follow my link to the actual product. I will have a look though at the card you linked.

Err sorry, the one you posted is the one I meant to post. The 660 isn't nearly as fast unfortunately. The 7870 LE (I bolded it because the other 7870's aren't as fast and don't have nearly the same potential).

Put it this way, a 7950 is a slightly gimped 7970. A 7870 LE is a slightly gimped 7950.

The 660 is a majorly cutdown card. Even the 660ti isn't THAT much better and is more on par with the 7870LE's and 7950's meanwhile costing a good deal.

Basically, the 7870 LE is THE card to get right now in that price range.
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post #9 of 23
Well, this guy seems intent on selling you an AMD card.

Yeah, AMD cards do have a better pricing scheme at the moment, and we're far enough along in this generation that most of the issues found in AMD cards have been ironed out with newer drivers and revisions.

That being said, the 660, 660 TI, and 670 are by no means slow cards. The 660 outruns a 7850 and runs alongside the 7870 while maintaining a smaller PCB and lower TDP. For a smaller case or mini build, this is actually more advantageous. The 660 Ti is OK, but honestly at the price they generally run at, go for a 670.

AMD cards will run cheaper on general, but also run with higher TDPs. They tend to have more overclocking potential but don't believe in every overclock you see. Chances are the "average" overclock is actually quite a bit lower than what people will try to sell you on forums.

In terms of stock, raw performance: 7850 < 660 < 7870 < 7870 LE < 660 Ti < 7950 < 670.

Even though some of those AMD cards can overclock well, some of those Nvidia cards can overclock just as much. Also note, most new AMD cards are now voltage locked.

Also, with this generation, most brands do perform very similarly. The nicer brands will come with better PCB designs, but generally the board is not the upper limit of overclocks. I would just get a generally reliable brand. ASUS customer support is abysmal, and EVGA has gone down in quality. Other brands like Gigabyte and Galaxy have become quite good brands. MSI is also another strong contender in terms of cooler design and board design. If going Nvidia, Zotac is a great no-frills brand. Sapphire and XFX both make some good cards, but also have had a rash of bad designs. They're iffy in my book.

Also, I think binning has been gotten rid of, more or less. There are mixed results all over the board.
Edited by CiTRxJ - 3/11/13 at 1:28pm
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CiTRxJ View Post

Well, this guy seems intent on selling you an AMD card.

Yeah, AMD cards do have a better pricing scheme at the moment, and we're far enough along in this generation that most of the issues found in AMD cards have been ironed out with newer drivers and revisions.

Please, don't start that - most of what issues? As if AMD cards are automatically going to have issues and Nvidias get off scott free? Comeon now - no one called a 660, or 660ti slow, let alone a 670.

For a budget of $250 the 7870 LE is the best card bar none. This isn't a "well they are neck and neck" because the 7870 LE is a cut down tahiti chip. A 660ti may be slightly faster, but the cheapest 660ti is 275 bucks for a reference cooled one. Not only is that 40 bucks more than the near identical performing 7870LE, it also is 25 bucks over his budget and does not include two brand new AAA games which are a $120 value right now as Tomb Raider just got released and Bioshock isn't even out yet.

This isn't about being biased towards a brand, it's about getting the best for the money and in his price range, Nvidia has nothing to compete against it. This isn't arguable unfortunately as they refuse to lower the 660ti's price. And besides, if you wanted to spend 660ti money, get a 7950 boost which outperforms it anyways for the same amount while having more memory, and more bandwidth wink.gif

Just trying to help someone out thumb.gif
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