It is a good brand on a whole. In the GPU section i would rate it something as middle tier.
Whereas for nVidia, the top manufacturers would be:
Asus, XFX, eVGA for me.
But normally, reference cards don't make much difference. Its the custom cards where the manufacturers show their quality. So if you are getting a custom card you don't have anything to worry about.
am going for a asus gtx 460 1gb . Normal cooler with out the direct cu thing . thats a reference model eh ?
The Asus model you listed in your first post is the high-end Direct CU copper heatsink model with a factory overclock ("TOP").
I have found Asus to be one of the best brands with high quality components, even in their reference models (which are designated with the "ENG"). Even the reference models promote voltage overclocking, so they need to use high quality components throughout to guarantee good overclocks with voltage tweaking.
but i saw on new egg that alot of ppl have has rma's and they have had freezing and other problems for the gigabyte 460
I didn't see that and I read over the reviews there. Must have been a bad batch. Mine runs just fine as any card is expected to but maybe because I am running the fans at 100% to keep every thing cool. My case is also open so that may also be playing a role. If you don't want to bother with it then the Hawk is the next best thing with a even better cooler in my opinion but sadly they are more expensive.
i saw that the palit sonic 1gb performs the best out of all the gtx 460 cards , i was wondering if i bought a asus card and then oced it to the speeds of the palit card will it have the same performance ?