There's no difference in the cards themselves for the most part, unless it specifically says there is, like OC (overclocked) or it has a special fan on it. The major difference between the cards are the contents of what they package with the card, i.e. games, software, ect. Also the warranties differ from company to company. Personally, I really like eVGA for their lifetime warranty, excellent support, and their step-up program. XFX is another good brand, because they give you a transferable warranty, so you can resell your card with a full warranty.
Gotta say from experience BFG has a good warrenty
During my experimental stage I flashed another venders bios on my 7950 gt. Totally Phucked it up then sent it back to bfg they sent me another no questions asked
Actually BFG does offer a lifetime warranty. I don't really understand the "double life-time" warranty; A lifetime warranty should cover the product regardless of change in ownership. In fact I did sell one of my BFG 7900GT to a friend and he had no problem getting it RMA'd when it started to have memory errors. Pretty much all they ask for is the model# and serial# and your address to send the new card (he got a 8600GTS OC to replace the 7900GTOC). Also I'm pretty sure there are differences between some manufactures. I recall reading somewhere that certain companies will use cheaper RAM (less dense?) to cut cost, which makes it less overclockable and more prone to failure. There are also differences in what type of cooler the manufacture decides to put on the card which can have the same effects mentioned above. Personally I like BFG, but would never discourage anybody against eVGA or XFX. PNY I'm not too thrilled about. I had a PNY 7800GT which could not overclock at all and started to show artifacts after only a few months. I think it may have been them that I read about using cheaper RAM.
December 6, 2007 5:19:09 PM
BFG is my first choice... But that is my opinion... I have been using them since Gainward went out of business in the US. PNY customer service leaves a lot to be desired. I haven't delt with XFX so I can't comment on them. I took care of an RMA for a friend of mine that got an eVGA card a few years ago.. I personally will never deal with them again. I don't know if they are better now or not but once burned you tend to stay away...
I've only had experiences with eVga, BFG and PNY. PNY did not honor a supposedly "lifetime" warranty because it uses a different definition of "lifetime", i.e. "lifetime" for PNY is limited to the product manufacturing cycle. Once a particular card is no longer manufactured, "lifetime" support ends. On the other hand, BFG replaced an end-of-life-cycle card for me with a newer version card which really performed better than the orginal. As for eVga, I've yet to have one of their cards crash, but then again, they are relatively new 8800GTSs, but indications are their warranty is as good as BFGs.
edit: I think PNY has gone to a new warranty policy. No more "lifetime" warranties, instead, one year and then an additional 2 years upon registration, 3 years total.
I had to call BFG tech support myself as one of my customers bought a 7900gtx wich died in his system. BFG sent back a 7900gt and when I called to tell them about the error they said that they had sent a 7900gtx but the card was clearly a 7900gt .... single slot size and 7900gt PRINTED on the card !!!! But they just wouldn't understand anything ... When I asked to speak to a supervisor the person on the phone said to wait while I was being transfered ... yeah I got transfered alright ... to nowhere ... the line just dropped. And I called like 7 or 8 times about this issue and it's always the same treatement .... I explain the problem again, they say they will transfer me to someone who can handle the situation and they hang up on me. Got tired of them being such a**holes and had to buy my customer an ATI card instead since he did not want another bfg card. So BFG customer service is by far the worst I have ever seen from any manufacturer .... I say stay away from them and look at EVGA or PNY. I hear XFX has also good service and warranty. I know that one of the forum member is actually an XFX service rep.
I had no problem getting the 8600GTS for a 7900GT. Not a huge difference in performance(at least for what I'm using it for) and if anything ever comes out truly DX10 optimized the 8600 would probably outperform the 7900. Besides losing a few FPS is better then having to either deal with a failing card or buy a new one.