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Reference cards

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I see the term reference card being used alot for graphic cards but have no idea what anyone means by this.

Can someone please enlighten me?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 12
like for instance amd 6970 is a reference card, and xfx 6970 is not, get it?
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post #3 of 12
Ref you have voltage control over it without having to use special software or change any lines in configuration file.

IE: MSI Afterburner all you have to do is check the "unlock voltage control" button and your off. Non reference will not allow it.

Also for the cooler too I believe. Reference coolers can be swap for water blocks and such that fit, where as non ref have different layouts so aftermarket cooling may not fit.
Edited by Chuckclc - 2/8/11 at 4:12pm
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qu1ckset View Post
like for instance amd 6970 is a reference card, and xfx 6970 is not, get it?
Not entirely correct. xfx 6970 also make reference ones I believe.

Reference boards are all same just with different skin.

Non reference ones have different PCB(Printed Circuit Board), and may have better or fancy coolers.
    
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post #5 of 12
Ok, what they are referring to is when a gfx card is produced, AMD/Nvidia give the vendors a PCB layout and heatsink design that was made in house. So it becomes the reference on how to build and make the gfx card to perform to the standards AMD/Nvidia require.

However vendors/AIB's will design their own pcb and or heatsinks. When a vendor does this the gfx card is no longer based on the reference design AMD/Nvidia set forth. Hence they are non-reference designed gfx cards.

Hope that helped a bit.

Edit: Many factors come in when regarding reference design. Just because a card is not reference designed does not mean it will not have voltage adjustment ability etc. Many non-reference designed cards are superior to AMD/Nvidia's designed specifications. It can go on from there.
Edited by rx7racer - 2/8/11 at 4:42pm
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post #6 of 12
Reference GPUs are called this, because it is the original design PCB by the OEM (nVidia or ATI).

You can normally tell the difference both visually, as they have the nVidia/AMD logo printed on the PCB of the card itself, and performance wise, as most reference cards allow voltage adjustments.

The reasoning behind non reference PCBs, which can sometimes be a totally different colour, is that some Manufacturers make their own edition of a card, with improved cooling/clocking/more of something, which requires a custom PCB.

To put it simply, if you get a Chicken Curry from an Indian Restaurant, that's a reference meal. If your mother makes it, it's non reference.
    
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx7racer View Post
Ok, what they are referring to is when a gfx card is produced, AMD/Nvidia give the vendors a PCB layout and heatsink design that was made in house. So it becomes the reference on how to build and make the gfx card to perform to the standards AMD/Nvidia require.

However vendors/AIB's will design their own pcb and or heatsinks. WHen a vendor does this the gfx card no longer is based on the reference design AMD/Nvidia set forth. Hence they are non-reference designed gfx cards.

Hope that helped a bit.

Edit: Many factors come in when regarding reference design. Just because a card is not reference designed does not mean it will not have voltage adjustment ability etc. Many non-reference designed cards are superior to AMD/Nvidia's designed specifications. It can go on from there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinWaffle View Post
Reference GPUs are called this, because it is the original design PCB by the OEM (nVidia or ATI).

You can normally tell the difference both visually, as they have the nVidia/AMD logo printed on the PCB of the card itself, and performance wise, as most reference cards allow voltage adjustments.

The reasoning behind non reference PCBs, which can sometimes be a totally different colour, is that some Manufacturers make their own edition of a card, with improved cooling/clocking/more of something, which requires a custom PCB.

To put it simply, if you get a Chicken Curry from an Indian Restaurant, that's a reference meal. If your mother makes it, it's non reference.
That helped me understand it perfectly. Thankyou very much.
Edited by Lifeshield - 2/8/11 at 4:21pm
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx7racer View Post
Ok, what they are referring to is when a gfx card is produced, AMD/Nvidia give the vendors a PCB layout and heatsink design that was made in house. So it becomes the reference on how to build and make the gfx card to perform to the standards AMD/Nvidia require.

However vendors/AIB's will design their own pcb and or heatsinks. WHen a vendor does this the gfx card no longer is based on the reference design AMD/Nvidia set forth. Hence they are non-reference designed gfx cards.

This.
There are many reasons behind making non-reference designs. First one is to make the card stand out from other similar products in the market (made by other companies). By improving the pcb and cooling system, makers allow their cards to run beyond nvidia/ati specifications and thus providing better performance.
    
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx7racer View Post
Ok, what they are referring to is when a gfx card is produced, AMD/Nvidia give the vendors a PCB layout and heatsink design that was made in house. So it becomes the reference on how to build and make the gfx card to perform to the standards AMD/Nvidia require.

However vendors/AIB's will design their own pcb and or heatsinks. WHen a vendor does this the gfx card no longer is based on the reference design AMD/Nvidia set forth. Hence they are non-reference designed gfx cards.

Hope that helped a bit.

Edit: Many factors come in when regarding reference design. Just because a card is not reference designed does not mean it will not have voltage adjustment ability etc. Many non-reference designed cards are superior to AMD/Nvidia's designed specifications. It can go on from there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinWaffle View Post
Reference GPUs are called this, because it is the original design PCB by the OEM (nVidia or ATI).

You can normally tell the difference both visually, as they have the nVidia/AMD logo printed on the PCB of the card itself, and performance wise, as most reference cards allow voltage adjustments.

The reasoning behind non reference PCBs, which can sometimes be a totally different colour, is that some Manufacturers make their own edition of a card, with improved cooling/clocking/more of something, which requires a custom PCB.

To put it simply, if you get a Chicken Curry from an Indian Restaurant, that's a reference meal. If your mother makes it, it's non reference.

Had the same question, Thanks to you two as well
    
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifeshield View Post
That helped me understand it perfectly. Thankyou very much.
Yes, he said it MUCH better than I did.
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