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Old October 4, 2009, 01:16 PM
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Default Are All Reference Cards Pretty Much Equal?

Hey,

I was wondering this because I am finalizing a build and want a 5850 video card but to be honest, I don't really have any brand loyalty. That got me to thinking...

"When it comes to reference cards, are all cards pretty much the same in respects to performance and quality?"

Is there really any difference in a a 5850 (or 5870 for that matter) reference card from MSI, Sapphire, XFX, Diamond, HIS, Visiontek or Powercolour?

Does it all boil down to packaging, graphics on stock cooler, support and waranty?

The reason I ask is that I really want to get my hands on a 5850, but I am under the impression they will be in short supply when they launch. As far as I care, if they are all the same essentially, I might just jump on the first I can get.

However, I'd like to know a bit (good and bad) about the various ATI partners listed above in respects to...

Waranty - BIOS quality - Perks - Customer Service (if needed) - Build Quality

Cheers!
Impatienly_Waiting_For_5850_&_Win7_Canuck :)
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Old October 4, 2009, 01:33 PM
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The sticker on the heatsink is the only thing different. For both ATI and nVidia. They are identical cards made by the same manufacturer, they tweak the bios to add their own vendor id.

Warranty is what you should look for, most ATI vendors have crap warrantys except xfx, that is the ati brand of choice.
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Old October 4, 2009, 01:33 PM
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XFX... double lifetime 'mod friendly' warranty with incredible customer support. 'Nuf said...
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Old October 4, 2009, 08:48 PM
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The only time it will be different is say maybe manufacturer clocking but the only time it will actialy differ is if the company buit their own design ( like the aquabay asus cards).
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Old October 4, 2009, 09:14 PM
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i went with xfx for my 5870 soley due to the fact i can throw a nice waterblock on it and not void my warranty. these cards get brutally loud at the 50% and up fan speeds.
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Old October 4, 2009, 10:09 PM
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Default Waranty Information

I went through the sites that are supposed to be producing 5870/5850 cards and, with a bit of work, dug up some basic Waranty info from the companies.

Aside from XFX all seem to have non-transferable limited waranties that are void once you pull off the heatsink. The length of the waranties, as far as I can surmise from reading their sites, vary however as follows:

* Dual Lifetime = XFX's is transferable once, and you can modify the card (within reason) and not void the waranty.

* Limited Lifetime = Visiontek. Their forums seem rather innactive and I can't find a picture of any of their 5800 cards, the boxes so they scare me a bit. Anyone have pics of their 5800 series cards and information on the stability of the company?

* 3 year = Asus and Gigabyte

* 2 year = Sapphire and Powercolor

* 1 year = HIS, Diamond and MSI

If, I missed any, I'd be curious to know. And obviously, if I am wrong with any, please correct me.

I'd like to get some positive and negative feeback on these waranties from those who've had to deal with them. I for one have only had Sapphire cards since the 9600pro series and have never had to send one back or get support aside from Bios fixes.

Fill this thread quickly! I want to be armed with information when the 5850s drop.

Cheers!
Information_Seeking_Canuck :)
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Old October 5, 2009, 05:21 AM
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The two best warranty companies in the business right now are XFX and EVGA. Since EVGA doesnt do ATi (yet? I wonder...) XFX is the most modder friendly with the best support.

Bar none.
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Old October 5, 2009, 06:35 AM
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sapphire you have to send cards back to hong kong if you can convince them to RMA your hadware. Then they require everthing including the fingerprints that got on the box during purchase for RMA .
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Old October 5, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudd Rucker View Post
sapphire you have to send cards back to hong kong if you can convince them to RMA your hadware. Then they require everthing including the fingerprints that got on the box during purchase for RMA .
Was that from a recent experience? I thought all that had changed in the last year or two?
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Old October 5, 2009, 10:40 AM
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have a dead 3870x2 ive got sitting right here that i couldnt RMA. First you have to deal with a 3rd party rma company then ship it off to hong kong to be inspected and then they decide if they will replace it themselves there.Shipping is at your expense both ways.that was back in march of this year

Last edited by Fudd Rucker; October 5, 2009 at 12:29 PM.
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