1) A couple of buddies and I are buying an 8800GTS for our friend as a birthday present. So we were wondering which company has been pumping our the best and most satisfying 8800GTS for people? Also, which company has the best reputation and warranty?
The choices we've run into are: PNY, EVGA, XFX, BFG Tech, and ASUS.
Which one would be the ONE to go with?
2) Is it really worth it to buy one of those cards that comes pre-overclocked?
I was going to post this 15 minutes ago but the site crashed.
1) EVGA and XFX get my vote. EVGA has their step-up program and a lifetime warranty. XFX doesn't have the step-up but they have a good warranty. BFG is good too but they are a little more expensive.
2) If your friend has had absolutely NO overclocking experience and shows no interest in it, buy the overclocked one. If he doesn't mind doing it, then get the stock ones since they can be overclocked by the user.
I have had cards from XFX (7900GT) and eVGA (8800GTS). I have had good experiences from both, but if i had to pick a card based on the quality of the hardware receive, i'd have to go with eVGA.
That combined with their lifetime warranty, and step-up program, would put them as my choice.
Also, I got a factory overclocked card (superclocked version) and am very happy with the performance. I didn't mind paying a bit extra to get the higher clock, and the warranty that comes with it.
The warranty that comes with superclocked cards is the SAME as the one for the stock versions, eVGA covers overclocking by user in their warranty as long as the card is not physically damaged (which can probably happen by overvolting or similar, something that is never recommended anyway).
Thank you all for your responses. Based on your responses, eVGA seems like the favorite and the best route to go. My friend doesn't have any overclocking experience with graphics cards other than using the ATI catalyst control center's overdrive feature. So if he decides to do any overclocking, I believe he will do something like that with Nvidia's equivalent. But I've decided not to get him a pre-overclocked card. If he wants more performance, he can work for it himself.