I cant see any difference with the spec, such as a factory overclocked version, or anything different with the fan/hs.
Only real difference would be, the stickers and packaging, and finally but most importantly the manufacturers warranty.
So, who has the best card and why? How long does each manufacturer cover this card?
More specifically, anyone used more than just one of these companies in the past? Which is best and why?
I have had a MSI 6600 GT passive cooled edition, which is still currently running withou a prob in a spare comp, packaging was average, plus the 2 free games and I cant comment on warranty, as I have never used theirs, or their support services.
I purchased a Powercooler in the past, which was a total disaster, after 9 months of waiting from the retailer and Powercooler, I had to scare them with informing I would take it to small claims court, got a refund and had a HIS card instead.
So, I've never used or brought a XFX or Saphire card, comments please...
In my honest opinion, the XFX is superior due to its double lifetime warranty. This way you don't have to worry about anything...
The warranties vary from each manufacturer... Normally it is a 2/3 year warranty or lifetime depending on what brand. All of them are top performers, well at least for now... till we get reviews stating otherwise.
I'm with OvrClkr, if the double lifetime warranty is valid in your country, XFX would get my dollar (if priced about the same). Of course, I'd also be willing to grab the cheapest one, or the one offering the best game bundle, or (later on) the one with the best/quietest cooler.
IMO, the top three are eVGA, BFG, and XFX, strictly because of their warranty and services. Other than that, if they're not factory overclocked or customized, they all usually run factory settings and hardware. It'll be a while until the 5850's come in a steady shipment throughout retail stores though, afaik.
I've had several XFX and MSI cards. Never really had a hardware issue for either manufacturer. I also had a few PNY cards that I wasn't a real fan of.
XFX seems to be the win, although they are higher priced throughout the world, their support and warranty is worth it then?
As for HIS and Gigabyte, the site I checked, scan.co.uk, is not listing them, I do shop around, so wouldnt be stuck to just scan. I use, scan, local shops (ask them to get it from their suppliers) and overclockers.
The cheapest one atm is the Powercooler card, which from reviews and past experience I will NEVER purchase again.
Are you based in the UK? XFX doesn't offer double life warranty in the UK, instead you get a 3 year limited warranty which isn't as good as you get the states but it's better then what you get from other ATI resellers.