For my new build, I have been checking out various vid cards, x1800xt in particular. When I check out the pictures at Newegg, all of the cards look identical, except for the manufacturers logo on the hsf. Same color pcb, same ramsinks, same hsf. Does the Ati spec on the card extend to that anal a degree, or are they all made in the same sweatshop, and branded to give the illusion of competition? It's just a little weird, maybe it's just me.
Most just follow the reference card design and differ with the software bundle and box art. Others break out with their own cooling solution and occasional PCB color. But I believe they are assembling their own cards for the most part, so quality can be different. Some put slow ram on the cards or vary the clock speeds. ATI however doesn't build their own Built By ATI cards, they were made by Sapphire for a while and I forget who makes them now.