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ATI vs Sapphire

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 2, 2007 9:31:49 PM

i'm about to buy a graphic card, i pick 2 of them but don't know which one to buy, ATI Radeon X1650 Pro and Sapphire X1650 Pro. They look the same, but the Sapphire version is cheaper, but don't know how long it's gonna last, i need some help please[/b]

More about : ati sapphire

June 2, 2007 10:05:52 PM

I'll be the first, but welcome to the forum!

Anyhow, for the fact that saphire's version is half as much, get the saphire. Most of the time now-a-days, all 3rd party branded GPU's are the same cards that you'd get from the chief manufacturer, just with a different sticker, perhaps a diff. cooler, and a different box+accessories.
June 2, 2007 10:58:25 PM

Dragonheartvista :) 

I second the Welcome to the Formuz. Your question ATI vs Sapphire says to me that you are relatively new to PC's and their innards. The X1650 (no matter who the card manufacturer is) has to employ the AMD-ATI GPU chip, so the only real difference other than pricing would have to do the individual components used on the card and just how the BIOS is set up. I've had a number of Sapphire cards and they all worked just fine. I recommend that you do a bit of research - Google test reports for the X1650 - read'em and then choose your poison :D 
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June 2, 2007 11:34:42 PM

Basically what you are asking is Red vs Blue... :) 
June 2, 2007 11:36:53 PM

Built by ATI cards are prohibitively expensive, and not much different than third party cards. Sapphire is a good company, go with them.
June 3, 2007 1:13:54 PM

I'm pretty sure their built in the same factory, just a different package, and different look.

Go for the cheaper, won't be a difference in the card's quality anyway, just more money in your pocket. :wink:
June 3, 2007 3:39:55 PM

The ATI might have a longer warranty.
June 3, 2007 4:40:07 PM

Some x1650 PRO us GDDR2 while other use GDDR3. yoo shuold get the GDDR3 version.

If both cards are realy the same buy the cheaper :D 
June 3, 2007 5:13:39 PM

If the price difference is significant then dont worry who made it. The only difference you ever see between manufacturers is at most a few percent in performance and possible overclocks depending on the quality of component they use. There cant be much a difference in general because the gpu's are all the same and most likely the ram.
June 11, 2007 4:51:42 PM

From my understanding Sapphire makes the circuit board for ATI.
ATI makes the chips for Sapphire...

So basically.... no difference but in name.

I bought the Sapphire Radeon HD 2900 XT (two of em...). When you buy Sapphire, you get their product support and ATI driver support. Makes me wonder if ATI doesnt own Sapphire..lol. I have both ATI and Sapphire, but it all appears to be serviced by the ATI group...so I would just ignore the difference and just go for the price factor.
June 11, 2007 6:45:59 PM

Quote:
The ATI might have a longer warranty.


This is my experience as related to warrenties. I bought ATI cards in the past, usually spending $10-$20 dollars more but thinking that ATI might be better for some unknown reason. When I had a problem with a card, there was always a quick solution and no argument over replacing a defective card.

Last year I bought a card from Sapphire, a X1900 XTX Toxic. The first thing I noticed was that when it came to drivers etc, they didn't provide any, but simply referred all software problems to ATI. The card did well at first, but eventually the water pump started making some noise and then the card suffered an overheat and would crash out of games or lock up entirely. I contacted Sapphire about it. They referred me to a third party for warrenty repair. The third party said that since the water pump had failed, there was no warrenty on the card itself. So there I was with an expensive card that was junk and no warrenty to fix it.

As you may guess, I don't want to buy a Sapphire card again. There are other companies that make ATI based cards and I may buy a card from one of them, but not from Sapphire. There may have been no problem if I had bought an air cooled card, but I can't say. I can say that I don't feel that Sapphire backed up their warrenty. It doesn't matter how long a warrenty is, if a company doesn't back it up, it may as well not exist.

So this is my experience and something to think about.
June 11, 2007 6:54:56 PM

If they are both the same i would go for the cheapest one. But what sailor said, you can keep that in mind to.
June 11, 2007 7:55:19 PM

your experience is on a specific "specialized" product. The model you got had a "closed system" water cooling setup that was actually manufactured by thermaltake. (I believe) If they had a partnership with that manufacturer (which many companies do) then that is where you get the warranty support. The fact that the pump went out sucks, and it sucks even more that thermaltake just left you like that. While saphire should have backed you up better, I no of few companies that do that anymore on 3rd party stuff. Maybe just coincidence, but I don't think saphire uses that cooler on anything anymore.

Their cards are still fine, and work as good as any other.

As for drivers... NO manufacturer of ati or Nv cards supply drivers beyond a few special cases on uber-1337 models that are hard to find. Regardless of make, you have to go to ati for the drivers. That is a good thing IMO, more stability.

I agree w/ the above... buy for price and warranty. And yes, saphire makes most of the "built by ati" stuff. ;) 

Mine is a powercolor (1900xt 512) w/ a lifetime warranty. I have owned ATI-made cards (max out at 3 years, mostly 1 year) leadtek, diamond, msi and others... many brands, ati and Nv... all with the same results. They just work. (had an rma on a leadtek once that was DOA in shipping, but the replacement was fine)
June 11, 2007 8:03:58 PM

Re: the warranty...
You will always have problems with warranty with almost any company if you dont understand how they are working. For the most part it is the fault of the company for not doing the Customer Service portion correctly. However, if you are really persistant, you can usually get a good result. I had Seagate replace a hard drive that failed 3 weeks after the warranty, but they didnt have to. I have also had NEC apply their warranty in such a way that the shipping to and from their recommended repair actually cost more than the monitor... so why bother?
Both reputable companies, but we always feel screwed when something like that happens.

Basically though, Sapphire and ATI can be considered across the street from each other. They are 2 different corporations and will handle their issues differently.

You should note, though.. that warranties are going the way of the dinosaur... for the most part. Its the computer store that is going to be selling you the warranty. (kinda like used cars). Laptops have a very very basic warranty (I think only what is legally required), so that they can be competitively priced. (look closely at that...) You can buy a warranty at about 1/4 of the price of the laptop that is a headache free one. (look at Dell's warranty for a prime example). If you want warranty... buy the extended one.. it lets them deal with the manufacturer (which is far far easier than you doing it).
June 12, 2007 12:39:36 AM

You are correct that the pump was made by Thermaltake. At the time that I bought the card, the warrenty was for any defect. No specification was made that the card and the pump were separate and it was on the understanding that both were covered in a linked warrenty concerning defects that I bought the card. Had I understood otherwise, I would have passed it by. And yes, last I looked, Sapphire is no longer using that pump.

I can't classify Sapphire as a whole concerning their cards and the card did work good while it lasted. It was just the warrenty issue that caused me to feel burned, and it was this issue that I was addressing. I don't really care who makes the card, whether it is ATI based or Nvidia based, I feel the warrenty is no better than how it is backed.

@Slaid99- Yes, the company service end could have been better. I did e-mail the company a few times, but I got nowhere with them. I haven't noticed yet that warrenties are going the way of the dinosaur, but I haven't been looking at any for awhile.
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2007 12:59:40 AM

Quote:
The ATI might have a longer warranty.


Actually ATi now only has the basic 1 year warranty.

They used to have a great 3 year warranty, but have since dropped it.

Sapphire used to be 1 year across the board, but now some of their products like the UltimateEditions are 3 years like Gigabyte (2+1) and ASUS, and most now are 2 years, like the bunch of X1650s I've seen sofar.

I'd say if anything now, the BBA cards are on the low end of the Warranty scale.

They are still 3years on the workstation products, like the FireGL, but for the gaming cards, they aren't special anymore.

Go with the Sapphire X1650Pro if warranty is a concern.
June 12, 2007 1:18:24 AM

dosnt ati sell their cards more expensive on purpose, they set the msrp or w/e and then the third party sells it lower to beat their price, considering ati earns huge money any way its not like it matters

lots of people buy ati cards though, there is a first party preference that i see
June 12, 2007 1:50:01 AM

IMO ATI used to be the one to go with haveing the edge on the other cards,but now days it's pretty close,plus the pocket always answers the question for me...gl :D 
June 12, 2007 4:38:47 AM

oh, I feel your pain. I totally understand getting burned like that... was only trying to say it may be the exception and not the rule. Still sucks on your end though. bummer. :( 
June 12, 2007 4:54:24 PM

Regarding the warranties, you may want to look into this...
I build my own systems, except for my last one. I had the computer store build it after I spec'd all the equipment. This saved me a full day of time and also added a warranty on the build+equpiment for 90 days (free). All of the issues I had with the computer are covered by them. Something doesnt work? I take it to them. Paying attention to that now, I realised how much of my time it has saved. (I still spend 3 days tweaking the system and stabilizing it myself, but that is because I am running Vista64 on a pretty bleeding edge system).
But the key here is, there is an optional warranty that my computer store offers (it is local, which is important to me). For about 450.00 (the computer cost me 4500.00) they do a one day turn around repair service and any piece in the computer that fails, they replace for 3 years! That is regardless of any internal warranties... it is all on them. Now... 3 years... most hardware will fail within 2 weeks or within 2-5 years, if it fails at all.

I dont know.. I find this a very satisfactory way to go, although it is slightly pricey if you are counting pennies. but in the end..isnt it the headache we all want to go away?

I just thought it was a good way to buy computers and thought I would point it out that you should see if you like this type of warranty, then perhaps find a local reputable store, pay a little extra, and have the headache go away.
June 12, 2007 5:32:32 PM

I can appreciate that... and I do like warranties. I prefer them on single components though. As for a whole system... I actually like the "headaches". :)  I am a programmer by profession, but love the engineering end as well. If I had the time and ability, I would even build the individual boards! lol So I enjoy the building, but still like the warranty to fall back on if only to recoup my money. On a sub-$100 part it is not as important, but on $500 video cards and $600 cpu's... that warranty comes in handy in those first few weeks/months.

I do appreciate just having something "work" though, so I understand where you are at. Whenever I do buy from brick-and-mortars, I prefer the service. I will pay more if I get better service. period. It is worth it IMO, no exceptions. What will absolutely floor me is when I pay for the extra warranty and still get crap service. (cough, best buy, cough)

rock on man.
June 12, 2007 6:24:51 PM

In my corner of the wood, Sapphire products are a lot cheaper than ATI and I dont hesitate to buy their product. I have been running my 1950 pro for a while without any issues.

Just a suggestion, if your budget allows, I would go for the 1650 XT instead. That way, you are sure to get DDR3 memory and it also performs quite a bit better than the 1650 pro.
!