Does the brand matter when it comes to HD-5870? I've been waiting for the XFX HD-5870 to be availible in stock but had no luck. Newegg has the Gigabyte version of the HD-5870 and it looks the same and has the same features as the XFX minus the lifetime warraunty. Do brands really matter?
Not really. They don't make their own boards they just slap their sticker on and give you support. XFX has a double lifetime warranty, others have 3 years. But really, are you going to have it longer than 3 years? The only big difference in cards is when they attache their own coolers and have different outputs like instead of dual DVI they give an HDMI port and such. All the 5870's are the same right now.
That double lifetime warranty increases resale value, as well, since the used buyer gets a lifetime warranty as well. This should not be ignored by people who like to sway parts over time, as selling before that 3years is up on most other brands, gives the buyer nothing in the way of protection.