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Best Manufacturer of ATI Cards?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Best manufacturer of ATI cards?

Total: 533 votes (408 blank votes)

  • HIS
  • 17 %
  • Visiontek
  • 9 %
  • Sapphire
  • 37 %
  • Powercolor
  • 4 %
  • Diamond
  • 7 %
  • Asus
  • 13 %
  • MSI
  • 9 %
  • Gigabyte
  • 7 %
  • Gecube
  • 2 %
June 21, 2008 7:29:32 PM

Well, I have never owned or purchased an ATI card before, only Nvidia. As the 4870 and 4870 X2 draw near ATI is looking very good now and this GTX200 and 9800 GTX+ situation has soured me to Nvidia these days, not to mention their drivers not being updated after a point. I have no idea about the quality of any of these manufacturers, so I hope you can help me. Warranties and all are nice, but the customer support quality and the product quality are where I am really lost. I only buy XFX, Nvidia cards not just because of the almost totally non-restricting double life time warranty, but the customer support has always been the best I have ever had from ANY company. I am looking for a company like this from the ATI camp, and I do not care about the gimmicks the ATI manufacturers might have like EVGA's step up program. Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it since this subject seems to be almost impossible to research.

More about : manufacturer ati cards

June 21, 2008 7:44:19 PM

You can forget about Sapphire's customer support. The cards are generally cheaper, but you get what you pay for.

I've heard good things about MSI and Visiontek.
June 21, 2008 7:49:07 PM

Agreed. Stay far away from Sapphire. The Co. is negligent about paying rebates to little kids too. I have no problem with MSI lately.
Related resources
June 21, 2008 7:54:40 PM

I haven't had any problem with gigabyte. MSI is supposed to be good, no experience though and HIS usually has good cooling solutions.
a b Î Nvidia
June 21, 2008 7:57:24 PM

Sorry dont really know what to tell you. I have had ATI cards all my computing life, mainly Sapphire cards but my last couple have been HIS and my latest one is Sapphire again.
I cant relate to copasetic's reply about Sapphires customer support as I have never in 11 years or 8 cards needed it. The only manufacturers card I have had an issue with is power color but that was a case of the card dieing out side of warranty,(The only card that isnt still going might I add). Guess i may have just been lucky ?
The His ICEQ cooler is very good and quite, I get the turbo versions when I buy HIS they are solid and stable but are pretty much maxed out with little or no room for overclocking.
If someone said pick a card any card and you can have it free at the minuite it would be a HIS ICEQ TURBO 4850
Hope that helps in some way
Mactronix
June 21, 2008 8:05:35 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Well, I have never owned or purchased an ATI card before, only Nvidia. As the 4870 and 4870 X2 draw near ATI is looking very good now and this GTX200 and 9800 GTX+ situation has soured me to Nvidia these days, not to mention their drivers not being updated after a point. I have no idea about the quality of any of these manufacturers, so I hope you can help me. Warranties and all are nice, but the customer support quality and the product quality are where I am really lost. I only buy XFX, Nvidia cards not just because of the almost totally non-restricting double life time warranty, but the customer support has always been the best I have ever had from ANY company. I am looking for a company like this from the ATI camp, and I do not care about the gimmicks the ATI manufacturers might have like EVGA's step up program. Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it since this subject seems to be almost impossible to research.


It may be just the wording you are using (I suspect it is), but the manufacturer of EVERY AMD/ATI card is AMD/ATI. Company's like Diamond, MSI, Gigabyte etc., are distributors. It's the distributors who put pictures of chest heavy women, OC Terminator, Decimator, Beastmeister, etc. on the cards they distribute. It's their job! LOL!
June 21, 2008 8:22:31 PM

I say manufacturer, because these companies do manufacture there cards from what I have read, but the basic design is from ATI. Anyway this is all incredibly helpful, thank you. I am curious about Diamond, because I have read that their Viper editions are usually very good overclocks and are stable, though I will definitely remember what has been said of the HIS Turbo series.

Edit: once again badge I find myself loving the avatar!
June 21, 2008 8:23:39 PM

The distributors order the boards from AMD/ATI. Then dress them up with their 'stuff' fans, stickers etc. and market them.
June 21, 2008 8:24:52 PM

Same with Nvidia. The XFX cards you have been buying are purchased from Nvidia. XFX does not 'manufactuer' the board from the ground up.
June 21, 2008 8:27:19 PM

I have been wanting to try Diamond. Their website looks on the up and up and they have a corporate office in Walnut, CA I believe.

Easy enough to post their site. Looks good to me on the surface.

http://www.diamondmm.com/
June 21, 2008 8:45:42 PM

Sapphire has an office (inside) their corporate office that handles their rebates. The company has an "F" rating with the BBB regarding honoring their advertised rebates. I would recommend not buying from Sapphire because of this.

http://www.labbb.org/BBBWeb/Forms/Business/CompanyRepor...
June 21, 2008 8:47:16 PM

That's what I said. Thanks for nothing. Go back to the stink of the forum.
June 21, 2008 8:55:03 PM

badge said:
That's what I said. Thanks for nothing. Go back to the stink of the forum.


No, thats NOT what you said. You said...

The distributors order the boards from AMD/ATI. Then dress them up with their 'stuff' fans, stickers etc. and market them. said:
The distributors order the boards from AMD/ATI. Then dress them up with their 'stuff' fans, stickers etc. and market them.


ATI and nVidia produce the GPU and referance design, a third party (or parties as the case may be) builds the chips and boards and sells them to the distributors, who place the fancy stickers and aftermarket coolers.
June 21, 2008 8:57:02 PM

So the distributor gets the chipset from AMD/ATI and produces from there. Ok.
June 21, 2008 8:59:31 PM

I believe some of the distributors (Sapphire) get the entire board produced by AMD/ATI and market it exactly like I said.
June 21, 2008 8:59:59 PM

In the past, it's the 'red' one.
a b Î Nvidia
June 21, 2008 9:10:09 PM

Why don't you have "ATI" on your list? ATI/AMD does make and market their own cards too.
I have owned several ATI cards, all were ATI, not an aftermarket vendor. Never had any problems with any of them.
June 21, 2008 9:14:53 PM

At this point, there is no hardware difference between any of those cards whatsoever. They're made on the same factory floor, and literally a matter of pasting on different labels. You have to wait a few months for non-reference cards to come out.
June 21, 2008 9:18:10 PM

with the number of blank votes it seems may people are wondering the same thing. I too thought that Sapphire was a good company, but after seeing the link to the BBB i'm having second thoughts :/  Since i started building computers i have used mostly Nvidia, but i'm really looking forward to my first ATI card. Get my ATI cherry popped with the 4870 hahaha :D 
Anonymous
June 21, 2008 9:22:18 PM

badge... can you post anymore... can't you honestly just put all of those things into one post... you don't need to make a new post to add stuff... that's why there are the edit buttons...

aside from that I'm curious about this to, i heard diamond makes great boards
June 21, 2008 9:26:35 PM

Agree with Dagger. Buyer's should be happy with about any of the cards offered by the various distributors. You are getting the identical product. Hardware = 4850, produced, developed, built and copyrighted by AMD/ATI. So goes from one distributor to another. Service and support is at isssue certainly.
June 21, 2008 9:29:18 PM

Diamond distributes AMD/ATI boards. And possibly their own in house produced Almonds.
June 21, 2008 9:43:46 PM

Ok, let me rephrase the question. I know there is no hardware difference, but what I wonder is the customer support quality, overclocking quality, and what I meant by product quality is the quality control of the cards which depends on the "distributor" since they also do a secondary control process.
June 21, 2008 9:47:10 PM

I know that's what you meant The_Blood_Raven. So, with companys like ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte, you can expect the same kind of customer satisfaction and care yoiu get with any of thir products. 8)

EDIT: Too bad XFX only distributes Nvidia. I'm for ya! LOL!
June 21, 2008 9:47:23 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Ok, let me rephrase the question. I know there is no hardware difference, but what I wonder is the customer support quality, overclocking quality, and what I meant by product quality is the quality control of the cards which depends on the "distributor" since they also do a secondary control process.

They overclocks the same. And distributor don't test those other than a random screen. They're checked in house.

Support is the only difference. Nothing else.
a b Î Nvidia
June 21, 2008 9:54:40 PM


Just my two cents,
My understanding of it is that ATI/Nvidia design a reference board, i really don't know if this is done in house or if they have a pet partner that makes these.
These reference boards are sent out to the board partners on mass with specific instructions/rules on what can and cant be altered, this will be different depending on the cards. I don't know this to be fact its just what i have inferred from the many reviews i have read over the years with comments about how similar or different cards are to the reference cards.
mactronix
a b Î Nvidia
June 21, 2008 9:57:00 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Ok, let me rephrase the question. I know there is no hardware difference, but what I wonder is the customer support quality, overclocking quality, and what I meant by product quality is the quality control of the cards which depends on the "distributor" since they also do a secondary control process.


Thats not always strictly true MSI made an edition of the 8600GTS that didnt even have the referance corechip in it.
Mactronix
June 21, 2008 9:57:03 PM

mactronix said:
Just my two cents,
My understanding of it is that ATI/Nvidia design a reference board, i really don't know if this is done in house or if they have a pet partner that makes these.
These reference boards are sent out to the board partners on mass with specific instructions/rules on what can and cant be altered, this will be different depending on the cards. I don't know this to be fact its just what i have inferred from the many reviews i have read over the years with comments about how similar or different cards are to the reference cards.
mactronix

That happens later. At this point, all cards are produced on the same factory floor, and passed onto different distributers, which many people mistake as "manufacturers."
June 21, 2008 10:07:08 PM

I would like to see a Palit or Zotac step up and make some stellar ATI cards. Palit makes some ATI cards but nothing in the R600 family....so R700 is probably right out.

This is an interesting thread though...the 4870 will be my first ATI card so it helps to hear the dirt on these places.

a b Î Nvidia
June 21, 2008 10:09:34 PM

dagger said:
That happens later. At this point, all cards are produced on the same factory floor, and passed onto different distributers, which many people mistake as "manufacturers."


Yes sorry i do understand that, you are completly right with what you say, the initial distrbution is a flood of badged and stickered referance cards with the partners tweaked offerings following.
Mactronix :) 
June 21, 2008 10:19:09 PM

Do any of them offer a life time warranty like EVGA and BFG does for Nivida cards?
June 21, 2008 10:22:25 PM

JeanLuc said:
Do any of them offer a life time warranty like EVGA and BFG does for Nivida cards?

What the point? Those things get obsolete fast. It's not like you'll keep it for lifetime. :p 
June 21, 2008 10:39:45 PM

I only buy 1st party whenever I buy an ATI card since I trust the company that made the GPU more than I trust any third party, so I guess I can't vote in your slightly-biased poll =/

ATI manufactures their own cards just FYI

dagger said:
What the point? Those things get obsolete fast. It's not like you'll keep it for lifetime. :p 


Because a warranty covers more than the product "getting obsolete". In fact, that's usually the sole purpose you get a warranty......not to replace it when it gets old, but to replace it when you happen upon a nasty overheating problem or some other unavoidable problem you didn't cause a few months into its life, past its manufacturer's limited warranty period (30 days iirc)
June 22, 2008 2:16:17 AM

I'm using my first HIS 1950Pro its the IceQ3 model so its a little OCed and it runs pretty quiet and cool, relatively snappy performance (I play WoW and CoD4 right now) not the fastest things on earth but they work ok :) 

So I voted for HIS, I didnt like the Visiontek or the Saphire ones I got before, they worked ok but I had some crashes when trying to OC them (probably just me as I am bad at OCing video cards.... CPU's and RAM ok its easy... GPU its like voodoo magic...)
June 22, 2008 2:27:44 AM

Hey, Jonny Deane is an HIS fanboy these days! HIS is better'n old crappy Sapphire and Visiontek 'ey. It would take seven of those Sapphire 1950pro's to equal half a hardly used Ebay EVGA GTX 280 you know. HIS. HIS. HIS. HIS. :sol:  I believe 'ya! :hello: 
June 22, 2008 3:04:02 AM

Badge, that last comment confused the hell out of me so I must question your sobriety, and if you are not sober then I must say "cheers".
June 22, 2008 3:26:57 AM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Badge, that last comment confused the hell out of me so I must question your sobriety, and if you are not sober then I must say "cheers".


The_Blood_Raven I have been sober longer than you have been alive. I'm dead serious. I'm 53, been sober for more than 26 years lad. I have known JD around the forum for more than two years. I commented He preferred HIS over crappy Sapphire and Visiontek. JD is right. Then I jokingly stated it would take many crappy Sapphire 1950pro's to equal a used Ebay GTX 280. Jonathan Deane has a good sense of humor, so he understands what I meant. You obviously do not. My comment was not directed toward you. So what part of my post to Jonathon Deane do you not understand?

BTW. What have you decided on? What card distributor? Do you still have a problem understanding how AMD/ATI manufactuers (or has their technology manufactured) and uses the various distributors to market their technology?

June 22, 2008 3:35:11 AM

The only distributor you listed I have had trouble with is Sapphire. I filed a complaint to the Attorney General of CA and it is on file there. Like I said, almost any of the company's would be a great choice and serve you well. especially the larger distributors like ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, etc. Like Dagger 'suggested'. Take your pick, they are all the same reference model with distributor stickers marketing tools. Marketing is a powerful tool.
June 22, 2008 3:38:08 AM

I meant no offense or disrespect, I merely did not understand why you said that it would take many Sapphire 1950pro's to equal a GTX280. I was confused because you were commenting on HIS' superiority over Sapphire and so I did not understand why you were comparing the Sapphire 1950pro's to a GTX280. I was not sure if you were implying that the HIS version would do better or that regardless of the comparison between HIS and Sapphire a GTX280 will blow either away or possibly there might have been another implication that I missed.

Edit: My comment was also meant as a joke, sorry for the misunderstanding.

On a lighter note I have not necessarily decided on which I will go with, that will depend on the circumstances when I buy my future ATI card, but the general consensus is that Sapphire, PowerColor, and Visiontek are not good choices and I will stay away from these companies. Basically, my question has been answered, thank you all.
June 22, 2008 3:48:59 AM

Ok, yeah. I hope you get a great card. The 4850/70 looks like a winner for sure. Price is great. You are doing the research and that is great. It pays to research like you are. In my experience you are correct so far. Sapphire, Visiontek and Powercolor tend to send out their products (not always) with lesser fans, no free games (marketing ploy) and less glossy packaging. It's like buying a cheap suit when you buy from those companys. Now, I have not bought HIS, but their cooling solution is attractive and their products appear consumer satisfaction oriented, Same for the larger company's like MSI, etc. The cards come in suitcase type boxes with neon adapters and games and such. Someone mentioned Sapphire has poor customer service. I don't know, that company is ignorant though in my experience. Anyway, you are doing the work to make it happen for your first AMD/ATI card. No problem.
June 22, 2008 3:01:18 PM

I have 1 last question, considering the heat produced by the 4850. Do any of these companies allow you to reapply thermal paste without voiding the warranty? I can not seem to find that in any of the companies' statements, and some companies I can not find there warranties.
June 22, 2008 4:27:06 PM

Haha, Badge I am impressed with your tech savvy for your age. My Dad is just a few years older than you and his knowledge of technology is non existent...he doesn't even have an internet connection at his house. Most baby boomers that I know aren't really into technology. You are a rare breed.
June 22, 2008 5:03:11 PM

Quote:
I have 1 last question, considering the heat produced by the 4850. Do any of these companies allow you to reapply thermal paste without voiding the warranty? I can not seem to find that in any of the companies' statements, and some companies I can not find there warranties.

Technically yes, most of the time. Though if you RMA it with the original heat sink on I doubt they'll notice, at least I've never heard of anyone having their RMA refused for that reason. And I know eVGA says it won't void the warranty on their cards so long as you RMA it with the original heat sink back on. Just keep the old heat sink/fan somewhere safe.
June 22, 2008 7:29:46 PM

SpinachEater said:
Haha, Badge I am impressed with your tech savvy for your age. My Dad is just a few years older than you and his knowledge of technology is non existent...he doesn't even have an internet connection at his house. Most baby boomers that I know aren't really into technology. You are a rare breed.


Like a lot of you guys, I work on and even build a lot of friends and family computers. Especially my 15 year old son and his friends. We have been in private practice for 21 years and recently opened a second location. So I maintain our business computers. I mess around with computers a lot. Like most of you, I learn a lot from the Forumz. The Forumz is an invaluable tool.
June 22, 2008 10:36:55 PM

Quote:
nope, ATI design the gpu's and reference card design but do not produce anything.

true some companies just repackage the cards with only warranties and software add on's being different but it is not bought from ATI. they are an ip company only unless someone has some links to say otherwise.


They used to make their own cards. Heck my 9700Pro was from ATI. They might have stopped recently though. And my 9800XT was from Sapphir but all it was was a ATI 9800XT with the Sapphire sticker over the ATI sticker.

Oh and the 4850 is now available at Newegg. But my question is why does it say 800Strem Processing units while the site for the card states 480?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
June 23, 2008 5:55:25 PM

I like Sapphire cards, I got a few of them and they all did good but the last one which was a 1950 XT. IT's been returned about 3 weeks ago and I am waiting to see what they'll do. I've heard in many occasions that HIS are pretty good but in my corner of the wood, they are often quite a bit more expansive compare to other brand.
June 23, 2008 6:56:22 PM

I have a Diamond 9700 Pro still going strong. Only thing Ive done with it is lash an 80 mm fan to it because the stock one died. I gamed on it until about Feb 07 and its still running strong in my fileserver/torrent box.

I always check the warranty and check up on the company. Any remember the quote from Tommy Boy? I can take a ----- in a box......
June 24, 2008 5:37:47 PM

Visiontek has a lifetime warranty.


I understand what you are saying, I was a nvidia guy also, and bought also xfx cards for the double lifetime warranty. I never had a problem with their cards, but it was always nice having that warm fuzzy from them. I have contcated them twice about certain issues I had, and they were there both times and took care of it no sweat.

I have a visiontek right now, but I dont know man.. seems good, the card seems nice as far is cooling and such.

Diamond was ati back in the day, if i remember correctly..
June 24, 2008 7:48:52 PM

badge said:
I know that's what you meant The_Blood_Raven. So, with companys like ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte, you can expect the same kind of customer satisfaction and care yoiu get with any of thir products. 8)

EDIT: Too bad XFX only distributes Nvidia. I'm for ya! LOL!
Yeah. Same with BFG Tech. They have lifetime warranty, a tradeup program, awesome customer service and factory overclocks (Which is a good thing if you're not an overlocker yourself, and you want to keep your warranty).

I will most likely roll with MSI.

!