Radeon HD 7850 - Which brand and make is best?

After much consideration, I've decided to roll with a HD 7850 for my AMD build. I've been to Newegg, Pcpartpicker, TigerDirect, etc. to look at all the different brands and models and I'm completely torn on which I should go with. The last time I bought a card was several years ago and it was a 9800GT, so at current, I'm not sure which brands are the most trusted... or, specifically, for this card, which perform the best.

All the reviews on the websites seem so mixed. Of course, I've checked out the warranties and it's a big selling point for me... and it's partly the reason why I'm hesitant about HIS, PowerCooler and Sapphire cards - they call carry a two-year warranty. Even some of the XFX cards have a two-year warranty. Ideally, I'd want something better but foremost - it has to perform.

So, to add to my quagmire of opinions, I was hoping you guys could chime in. Which brands do you prefer and why?
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  1. In my own expertise, the best AMD cards I've had and friends had were Sapphire. If you go Sapphire, try to get the Vapor-X series.

    Now, Asus DirectCU video cards are also very good.

    I haven't had good experiences with XFX cards, TBH, but word says they're not bad either. I won't put my hands on fire for that phrase though.

    Cheers!

    EDIT: I'm always looking for the ones with good cooling solutions, because they're usually the most quiet of the bunch.
  2. http://www.sapphiretech.com/VaporX/VaporX_product.html - Looks like they stopped with this tech with the 6XXX series.

    I did find the Asus 7850 with the DirectCU II: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121623

    The core speed is slightly above stock. Is this an easy card to OC and, if so, would this cooler be sufficient for putting it around 925-950MHz?
  3. Every chip varies, so even if you have a great cooling solution, there's no guarantee that it will OC fine =/

    But I can assure you that the DirectCU cooling is one of the best in the market.

    Oh, I forgot about the Twin Frozr from MSI. They're also very good cooling solutions and are made for OC, just like the DirectCU series.

    And Sapphire now advertises it like the "Toxic" versions. They're mildly OCed cards with great cooling.

    Cheers!
  4. I just looked up the Asus and Sapphire cards and compared the sizes. The Asus card is an extra two inches longer, pushing 10.2" in length. That has to be the longest card I've ever seen... hopefully whatever mid-tower I go with will have room for that monster.

    http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/Review/298465,asus-hd-7850-direct-cu-ii---good-overclocker-terrible-cooler-choice.aspx

    Those guys say the Asus 7850 overclocked well, though.

    Asus and MSI both have 3 year warranties, so that's good.

    Keeping this open for more opinions if anyone has them, but thanks for the early replies Yuka.
  5. I am in the same boat as you eturnal and have decided on the Asus. I am currently waiting for it to come back in stock at newegg for $259 + $8 shipping.
    Both the MSI and Asus cards are on backorder at newegg and tigerdirect. The Asus is on backorder on amazon, but they do have the MSI for $278 + $8 shipping.

    I wish you the best of luck!
  6. Sapphire is a terrible company, worst RMA in the industry. Hardware itself probably has a low fail rate - so far I'm 50/50 with them, maybe my luck is just bad..

    EVGA's is one of the best, and don't they have an upgrade program?

    I've heard good/bad about XFX, I personally had no issues but then I only had a dead fan - they shipped a new one, albeit slowly.

    ASUS rma isn't particularly awesome, but they basically have the lowest fail rates in the industry.
  7. Asus, Sapphire and MSI have all proven to be excellent cards in the 7800 series, and all of them will do 1050 MHz on stock volts (at least I've yet to read about one that hasn't), and they're almost guaranteed to do 1150-1200 with additional voltage. Personally I think the Asus looks a bit dodgy with the cooler being like 2 inches longer than the PCB, but people have still gotten great results.
    I recently ordered a Sapphire, waiting for it to arrive.
  8. Gigabyte is not so bad either. ITs also a good brand :)
  9. Gigabyte one is factory overclocked and has a memory clock of 975 mhz. I too am going to buy gigabyte one
  10. old but msi twin forz 3 is good price and real cool im using and love it it was that or non ti gtx 660 and i picked this one as the 256 bit vs 196
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