Originally Posted by Shinjo
Diamond 5850 looks like a reference card. Reference card always gets lower performance than non-reference card coz' cooler or materials etc, so non-reference card always be more expensive than reference card.
Though GIGABYTE's 5850OC gets more expensive than the others, but I do think it's the best gaming card above all the 5850 listed.
might be the biggest pile of nonsense I've ever seen posted on OCN.
OP: why don't you link the exact cards you're looking at. A lot of these companies have >1 revision of the 5850, Diamond for example makes a reference (a solid card) and a non-reference (which is a bit of a cheap-o), same with XFX, etc.
Personally I'd say if you can still find a reference card (any brand), those are the best. They have the 'batmobile' style cooler and a black PCB with AMD stamped near the PCI-Ex slot. They all have voltage control w/Afterburner, and they're all basically exactly the same ... a known entity, and all good. W/non-reference designs, there's some that are very nice (Asus DirectCU for example) and some that are ... not as nice.
But at the same clocks, they all perform within 1% of each other, reference or not.