Here is what a I mean :
Say I want a R9 290.
The Tri-x is the best choice if I want good OC values.
Another card , say the Windforce (random choice ) is better for mining. The XFX is not good for this but it's good for that.
What defines what a GPU is good for?
I would think cooling, but does that mean that if I get a reference 290 and install a 3rd party cooler on it, say the Tri-X cooler. Will the GPU suddenly become good for OCing?
Prolly now, so thats why I am here
Every AMD 290x uses the same GPU, but the companies such as Gigabyte build around it with the PCB and cooler. Thus, overclocking does not depend on the manufacturer, but on the cooler you install on it. The cooler the GPU, the more of an overclock you can do.
Nothing exactly defines what a GPU is good for, but it is marketing that it is good for it. The Asus DCU II is saying better overclocks and power because of their vrm - somewhat true. Some others may say - superior cooling, best overclocks.
Overclocking is luck of the draw. You either get a good, a bad or a mediocre overclocker. What the companies do, is that they make good cooling and vrm, so that in a case you have a great overclocker, you have plenty of cooling to take off the extra heat.
An example - 290(x)
Amd "Made" it to run 94-95c, but we all know its too high. If you got a reference 290 which was a perfect overclocker, lets say 300mhz+ on core(insane ), the cooler would not be able to handle it, and would throttle more often to just barely run. Now with aftermarket cooling, it would allow the card to stay cooler, and actually benefit of the 300+ mhz overclock.
The gpu will not suddenly be good for OCing, as i mentioned, you may get lucky and have a beast of a chip, or be unlucky and get the worst chip ever. With custom liquid cooling, the cards stay at a very low 45 or even lower. They have a great cooler on them. But why dont they overclock? Because it isnt stable with the amount of voltages and mhz, and on some card you would have to bios hack to get any use of the great cooling.
About what the windforce could be good for? I guess it would be more like the sapphire - The coolers are made for cooling, nothing but cooling.
So, If I bought a reference 290 , which is quite cheaper than the 3rd party ones , and then installed a cooler like an Artic Accelero on it , how much I could OC would depend entirely on how good a card I got? If I got a DCUII and a Tri-X, removed their coolers, and installed the same cooler on both (maybe even watercooling), then it would all depend on if the very card itself is good or not?
Depends on the chip - But for your question about dcuii and trix vs reference, the dcuii is the only one with premium vrm, possibly better overclocks, but not by much. Again, depends mostly on the chip.