I want to get an HD 4870 X2, but I'm not sure who to buy it from (not like NewEgg vs TigerDirect, Sapphire vs VisionTek vs ASUS, etc.). I want to get it from ASUS, since it has a better return policy from NewEgg. Are there any quality differences between the different companies? Also, what exactly do these companies do? Are they just distributors, or do they play some part in actually making the card?
the cards are pretty much all the same. ATI sends the companies a reference design board and they're free to do what they want with it. alot of times, they don't change anything. the only thing they might change is the cooling unit, but that'll be obvious when you see it. other than that, there's zero difference in the actual card.
Ok, so things like the company's return policy, warranty, stuff they bundle with the actual product may vary, but as far as the actual card you're getting, the only difference is in the stickers and maybe the cooler?
Also, to be clear, these companies are manufacturers? They're the ones making the cards, even if they all do it the same way, not ATI? Are they obliged by ATI or some other legal situation to make them the same, or is it just by their volition?