After much research, I've decided I want to get 2 5850s in Crossfire for my new system that I'm building. The only question now, is what brand? Is there a difference? The only thing I've been able to find (aside from price) is that XFX seems to have the best warranty (double lifetime lol?). Also, XFX comes in several different editions - with Black Edition being a small increase over the others (something small like 10mhz increase in speed).
Best prices I've found are as follows:
XFX Black Edition: $360 (Newegg)
XFX XXX Edition: $340 (Newegg)
XFX Standard: $305-310 (out of stock everywhere incl. newegg)
Sapphire: $299 (newegg)
Diamond: $320 (amazon)
Gigabyte: $315 (newegg)
MSI: $330 (newegg)
HIS: $315 (newegg)
Asus: $310 (newegg)
Visiontek: $310 (newegg)
Assuming XFX is the best.... is the price increase for XXX/Black Edition worth it? Especially when considering that the Standard edition is nowhere to be found?
The Asus has a 3 year warranty I believe. Is more than that really worth $30? Or anything for that matter?
For some perspective in February of 2007, slightly less than 3 years ago, the 8800 GTS 320mb was launched with a retail price of $300, what the HD5850 costs now. Can you even imagine having one of those cards right now and worrying about the warranty running out in two months? Thinking back and wishing you had paid the $30 extra dollars for a longer warranty in case it breaks soon?
Of course not, there's no reason to pay extra for a longer warranty. If the price is the same sure, why not, but even considering paying 10% more for it is simply daft imo. Even if you have a trust fund or something there's no way you'll care about that card in over 3 years.
Ok - so warranty aside - I'd be most interested in choosing the one with the best track record if performance specs are identical. Are all those cards identical specs with the exception of XFX XXX Edition and XFX Black Edition?
I've been on my eVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640mb for a little over 2 years now and haven't had a single issue. If there were an eVGA version I'd probably buy it. I'm guessing eVGA only markets nVidia cards since every other manufacturer in the world seems to have their own version of the 5850.
On Saturday I ordered an XFX XXX 5850 (should arrive tomorrow!), after looking around it seemed to be the most powerful and at an excellent price. The company also has a very good reputation both for their warranty and their products in general.