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Question about graphics cards

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 18, 2011 3:56:42 AM

Graphics cards are designed by primarily two big companies: Nvidia and AMD. They have specific model names and numbers for better/worse cards, such as Radeon 5770, 6970, etc.

So I was in the Fry's store looking for one of the above, and to my surprise I see not one kind of each but several! They were differently priced and the boxes had another logo, such as Diamond, or msi. I was so confused at that, like 3-4 different boxes of the same radeon 5770 card, but they had their own logos in addition to radeon so I didn't buy one. I'm still on integrated graphics, which are fine.

So what's the deal here? Is one kind of the supposedly same name graphics card any better than another cheaper one? What are the names of those secondary companies doing there? And let me guess: do those companies MANUFACTURE the cards that amd DESIGNS but doesn't MAKE?
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 18, 2011 5:06:40 AM

richboyliang said:
And let me guess: do those companies MANUFACTURE the cards that amd DESIGNS but doesn't MAKE?

Yes.
The card model will refer to the GPU present in the card. When first launched most cards will all be the same despite the varying brands and will use the "reference" PCB and cooler initially designed for the card by AMD/Nvidia. After some time the different manufacturers then usually come up with their own model of the card. They will still share the same GPU but they can vary in a number of ways including custom cooling, PCB, factory overclock, amount and speed of RAM , selection of video outputs, etc.
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a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2011 5:15:26 AM

Also warranties. XFX has a lifetime warranty for the original buyer and if they sell it then to that person as well. Others have good warranties as well.
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September 18, 2011 7:42:14 AM

jyjjy said:
Yes.
The card model will refer to the GPU present in the card. When first launched most cards will all be the same despite the varying brands and will use the "reference" PCB and cooler initially designed for the card by AMD/Nvidia. After some time the different manufacturers then usually come up with their own model of the card. They will still share the same GPU but they can vary in a number of ways including custom cooling, PCB, factory overclock, amount and speed of RAM , selection of video outputs, etc.

So how would I tell how one card is better than another? Do the boxes, like, list the features that the manufacturers put in and leave it up to me to decide what features are better and choose? Or do people know what companies are better than others the same way we know that intel > amd, nvidia > amd, lenovo price < hp, sony price > all, etc?
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a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2011 7:57:25 AM

richboyliang said:
So how would I tell how one card is better than another? Do the boxes, like, list the features that the manufacturers put in and leave it up to me to decide what features are better and choose? Or do people know what companies are better than others the same way we know that intel > amd, nvidia > amd, lenovo price < hp, sony price > all, etc?


Every month Tom's Hardware publishes this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...

Their recommendations are not for specific card vendors (Like Diamond, MSI, Asus, XFX, PowerColor, eVGA, etc.) but are for specific chips (Like Radeon 6970, 6950, 6870, 5870, or NVIDIA 460, 560ti, 570, 580, etc.) that any particular card might be based on.

So basically a Radeon 6970 is going to perform about the same whether the card was made by Asus or Sapphire. Some people have favorite card makers while others just buy on price.

Read that guide and use the graphics hierarchy chart at the end to try and sort out the confusion.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
September 19, 2011 3:57:23 AM

richboyliang said:
So how would I tell how one card is better than another? Do the boxes, like, list the features that the manufacturers put in and leave it up to me to decide what features are better and choose? Or do people know what companies are better than others the same way we know that intel > amd, nvidia > amd, lenovo price < hp, sony price > all, etc?

Well, first off I would recommend buying online rather than in a store. The prices/deals you can find online for computer components are usually far better. Online you can also look at the detailed specifications of the particular models you are considering, benchmarks, customer and professional reviews, etc.
You are here already though so why don't you just tell us the details of your computer/monitor and how much you are will to spend so we can tell you what you should be looking at.
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September 19, 2011 6:53:49 AM

Where do I start,OK
first off radeon which is radeon now sense they have done away with ati logo. distributes the video cards(in basic,but very much ative form according to the ORIGINAL design of that video card version example:6950 the number is what is focused on here). out to secondary handlers like diamond,sapphire,etc. where sometimes it gets a performance boost,but these company's ain't no dummy messing around with the original architecture.. most of the time it gets different aircoolers attached to it which could result in a performance gain.
Company's that are known for selling these things. Company's like inno,powercolor,xfx. these companys most of time attach wild graphics and logo's on the aircoolers not much else when it comes to the really,really expensive graphic card(that's what makes the most expensive the most trusted). On the midrange graphic card price wise The card sometimes takes on a heavy overclock(increased speed of the *gpu) that can come from example: sapphire,but weather the overclock came from sapphire or the one they got the card from to begin with in this case Radeon is a mystery to me.

*(gpu means: Graphic Processing Unit)
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September 22, 2011 12:48:43 AM

Well my monitor is a 1280x1024 ViewSonic that came with the once-new $399 Intel Pentium 4 Compaq computer I got in 05. That computer in question is now dead, but the monitor appears to be fine and has been through three computers including that one.

I tried to measure it diagonally but my 12 inch ruler can't really handle that. So I remembered the pythagorean theorem (!) and calculated it to be around 19".
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a c 376 U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 2:15:10 AM

AMD bought ATI over 5 years ago. With the latest series of cards(HD6000) they have just dropped the ATI brand and switched everything to AMD. Radeon is just what they call their cards. Nvidia uses "Geforce" for their cards. Outside of that those terms are meaningless. What matters is the card model. All the cards with the same number(and suffix/prefix in the case of Nvidia) will give you the same performance unless the card has a factory overclock. In general I would recommend ignoring factory overclocks. It is rather simple to overclock a video card yourself and you will almost definitely get better results than any factory OC.
For 1280x1024 you don't need a particularly expensive card. On the AMD side the HD6670($80) would be good for that resolution, an HD6770($110) would be great and an HD6850( would be overkill really but if you want something that will last you a rather long time and do alright if you do upgrade the monitor. From Nvidia the cards in that area worth looking at in terms of price/performance are the GTS 450(between the HD6670 and HD6770 in performance) and the GTX 460(equivalent to the HD6850.)
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October 8, 2011 8:36:44 AM

To also add to the thread I will say that your original question somewhat needs to be updated thread starter. The reason why is: between me and another here on the thread we have came to the truth of the matter that there are not only secondary names but there are third names on these card and in some cases four with AMD because when I was in the restroom and read the article on that; AMD bought out ATI yes, but specifically said that all handlings with graphics card distribution and possible creation will be done by Radeon from now on. And one more thing AMD makes so many things like Automated toasters and everything else I don't really know what else ,but they do make other things and in my world of graphics card logic it is redundant thats why there stock is so high on the stock market( in the end ya gotta love them though for there purpose is the way I see it!)
So to the other point does geforce/radeon mess with the architecture after being distributed from the manufacturer or is that at a later company that those cards get shipped to! I don't know. but I do know it falls under the cauterizing theory.
I.E. If geforce can make a experiment work that did'nt at nvidia plant then so be it.
Long ago Intel had a Pentium chip one core with hypertreading and 1mb cache that they called good. "but what do we do with all the processors that don't work a any respective speed because they are flawed" Take that processor put it under a microscope and find the imperfection from the manufacturing process template waffer whatever you want to call it; shifting from the rate at which the assemble line is moving and use a tiny tool to burn the whole sector out. then repackage the processor as a one core with hyperthreading and a 256cache.
With ASUS 580X2 card one of the fastest on the planet right now I suspect this theory to be the case. One cannot tell me that ASUS has all the theory's and principals down on the Nvidia gpu microchip they added to it is what ASUS did and don't tell me they have all the theory's and principals down on doing that either. They most certainly did Nvidia is not going to let any one come into their office and bark at them like a little junkyard dog in any way.
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