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GPU - 101: a few beginner questions.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Alright, I've been out of the computer game for a long time, and am planning a summer project of building a rig. Which brings me to GPUs.

1. GeForce GPUs are made by a bunch of different companies? (MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, etc.)
2. Is this the same as a Microsoft Windows running on a Dell, Sony, HP, etc?

3. Is there a difference between a GeForce GTX 580 being made by Gigabyte, ASUS, etc?

4. Does the 'make' of the GPU have to be the same as the make of the motherboard?

If this is needed, here's my proposed rig:
Case: NZXT Phantom
CPU: i7-2600K
CPU cooler: Corsair H-70
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67
Ram:8 GB (4x2) Corsair / G.Skill 1600 or 1866 DDR3
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post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 081034970 View Post
Alright, I've been out of the computer game for a long time, and am planning a summer project of building a rig. Which brings me to GPUs.

1. GeForce GPUs are made by a bunch of different companies? (MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, etc.)
2. Is this the same as a Microsoft Windows running on a Dell, Sony, HP, etc?

3. Is there a difference between a GeForce GTX 580 being made by Gigabyte, ASUS, etc?

4. Does the 'make' of the GPU have to be the same as the make of the motherboard?

If this is needed, here's my proposed rig:
Case: NZXT Phantom
CPU: i7-2600K
CPU cooler: Corsair H-70
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67
Ram:8 GB (4x2) Corsair / G.Skill 1600 or 1866 DDR3
1. Yes. Nvidia just makes blueprints for their cards and they have the manufacturers produce them.
2. No.
3. Some cards have 'non-reference' design with better coolers. Between 2 reference cards there is no difference.
4. NO.
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post #3 of 12
What are you going to be doing on your rig? Gaming? Editing?

The 2600k/GTX 580 you are getting can pretty much run anything, and if you aren't going to be using them to the full potential, you can cut back and save money.
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Alright, I've been out of the computer game for a long time, and am planning a summer project of building a rig. Which brings me to GPUs.

1. GeForce GPUs are made by a bunch of different companies? (MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, etc.)
Yes Nvidia designs the chips, has them manufactured and then several different companies buy those chips for their own line of GPU's.

Quote:
2. Is this the same as a Microsoft Windows running on a Dell, Sony, HP, etc?
Largely yes. Some brands are considered better than others or have slightly different features but this is largely subjective as most people have a brand preference. Basically a GTX 580 is a just a 580, regardless of who made it.

Quote:
3. Is there a difference between a GeForce GTX 580 being made by Gigabyte, ASUS, etc?
For the most part no. Card manufacturers have their own versions of coolers and other features, different warranties, and other things but the fundamental hardware is the same.

Quote:
4. Does the 'make' of the GPU have to be the same as the make of the motherboard?
No it does not. I have three EVGA 470's in an Asus motherboard. You can mike and match GPUs and motherboard brands.
Edited by Lampen - 4/25/11 at 10:36am
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post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 081034970 View Post
Alright, I've been out of the computer game for a long time, and am planning a summer project of building a rig. Which brings me to GPUs.

1. GeForce GPUs are made by a bunch of different companies? (MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, etc.)
2. Is this the same as a Microsoft Windows running on a Dell, Sony, HP, etc?

3. Is there a difference between a GeForce GTX 580 being made by Gigabyte, ASUS, etc?

4. Does the 'make' of the GPU have to be the same as the make of the motherboard?

If this is needed, here's my proposed rig:
Case: NZXT Phantom
CPU: i7-2600K
CPU cooler: Corsair H-70
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67
Ram:8 GB (4x2) Corsair / G.Skill 1600 or 1866 DDR3
1. Nvidia provides the GPUs themselves (the chip under the heatsink) to the other companies, as well as a reference design that the companies can use, or they can choose to use their own design. These companies like EVGA then manufacture the actual card using the chips provided by Nvidia.

2. No, Windows is software, Video Cards are hardware.

3. Yes and no. If they are using Nvidia's reference design (and almost all of them are), then the cards themselves are pretty much identical. However some cards that do not use a custom design made by that brand, are different in mostly in terms of how good their cooling is.

In addition, cards may have different default clock speeds set by the company (like EVGA's SuperClocked edition cards), though the same settings can be set by the user (overclocking).

Finally, different brands have different warranty policies and customer service, so that is something to consider. EVGA has lifetime warranty on most cards if you register them on their site.

4. no
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help.
Gaming primarily. The GTX 580 is out of my price range right now, That was just the first one that came up on newegg.ca that I could use as an example.

But good to hear that they're all the same thing give or take.
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post #7 of 12
Well the 2600k is still a beast. I'm sure you will love it.
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, my current lap top:

1.86 Core 2 Duo, 2 GB DDR2 has had a cracked screen for the past 2 months, so I've been using it on my 23' monitor as a desktop.

And it's slowly dieing, so I was going to replace it. Then I realized how much cheaper it was to build it yourself. So here I am. I'm sure the Sandy Bridges will rock my world.
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post #9 of 12
Lots of good stuff on this thread

Just wanted to add that on the lower-range of cards, esp. if they've been 'out' for awhile, there tends to be more variability between manufacturers.

Most of the 580's out there (as it is a new, high-end model) are 'reference', so brand isn't that important ... mainly you're just buying a warranty and support ... the cards are all identical (although there ARE some interesting non-reference 580's coming out now, to be sure).

But when you go down the ladder to more mainstream cards, you tend to start seeing a lot more 'non-reference' or custom designs, both in terms of components on the PCB, and the cooling. In this case, there's more to 'the manufacturer' than just the warranty and support ... these non-reference cards can vary a lot more significantly in the physical sense.

Basically once you get ready to make a move on the GPU front, you should check back with OCN and share the models you're looking at with us ... or just give us a budget and ask for suggestions
    
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post #10 of 12
So AMD is not a GPU option then? Or they don't exist?
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