Tomshardware confused me with this article

The article in question is the one that compares factory OCed cards to reference models.,2693.html

In it, it shows quite clearly that factory OCed cards are hardly worth the extra money.

Now I was shopping for a gtx 460 1gb on (it has the best prices that I can find for my location) and was instantly drawn to Gigabyte's card because it had many ratings and was highly rated. But the article confused me because it says how factory OCed cards are $100 more than the reference cards, yet the Gigabyte one isn't as more expensive as that. It's only $241 (Canadian dollars, mind you). So I looked for a card that was as close to the reference board as I could find and found this Zotac card. It is about $10 cheaper, so not much of a saving.
I am confused now because the article encourages me not to buy the factory OCed Gigabyte card, but instead to go for the as-close-as-possible-to-reference Zotac card. I've never used Zotac before and I've never even heard of them before now, but digging around a bit I found some gtx 460 reviews that used Zotac as their card and they've all reported quiet fan and cool temperatures.

So now I am torn between going for Gigabyte because I know them and have bought cards from them before and because they've got a nice heatsink and two fans on the card. Or go for the cheaper Zotac that also seems to have a good fan (it's one of those radial ones that blows the air out the back of the case, instead of into the case like Gigabyte's standard fans), and also comes with a free game. It's not a game I'm particularly interested in, but a free game is a free game.
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  1. 100 dollars more? I don't think it says that in the article (mind you I just skimmed), but they are never 100 dollars more, the price difference is usually 10 dollars, 30 dollars at most, and even then its not worth it. The only time you are going to see a card 100 dollars more then its stock conterpart is if; it has a different memory amount eg 4gb vs 2gb (thats not really even comparing the same card at that point however), OR if the card comes with a watercooling heatsink.

    Unless your getting an amazing cooler with it, its better just to get a stock card, save 10 dollars and overclock it yourself.

    And if you like the Gigabyte card becuase you trust them and you like their fans then just do it, overclock it yourself even more after you get it.
  2. they are basically the exact same card.

    in purchasing motorcycles, there is a saying "buy the bike that puts a smile on your face when you ride it"

    get the card you really want, from your comments its clear you already made up your mind.
  3. when you're already paying $200+, 10 dollars doesn't make that big of a difference, so you might as well get something you really want.

    also, if that's not enough to justify the extra money, if your case already has proper airflow, you couulld say that the card with the two fans/better cooling/lower temps might have a longer life expectancy, especially when overclocking
  4. The $100 more reference is on the "overclocking" page. I guess that might have been a typo and the author wanted to say $10 instead and that's where my biggest confusion is coming from.

    I wish there were reviews that compare the same card but from different companies, though.
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