first time i ever had a video card, was in my AMD K6 PC and i had no idea what card i had, and then i bought a
Sapphire ATi Radeon 9200 SE (fanless), 64mb card (the red one)
- normal desktop is ok but in games is slow and all the time crash the PC due to overheating
Leadtek Nvidia FX 5200 128MB, no problem @ all, form times need to clean the fan and it goes on forever!
Sapphire X1300 Pro 256mb, not sure if it was called XT 1300 or something, very bad fan/heatsink design, heat sink clog up with dust so fast need clean up ALL the time, after a year, it suffer from overheating and every day at least 2 times restarting the VGA and some 'ati recovery' thing pop up because video card stop responding.
after the X1300 had gave up, i borrowed a Asus 7600GS off a friend(he upgraded to 8800GT) and used it for few months, no problem at all but it's not very fast.
i bought a Leadtek 9800 GTX+ 512mb, very fast card and good performance but only kept for few week as i switched to laptop.
first laptop was toshiba, core2duo P8400, runs HD 3650, actually this one was pretty good not much problem but after a year it start to do the ATi recovery again cos video accelerator stop responding O.o
2nd latop runs Core2duo T9600, GT 520M it's not so bad but runs really really hot when playing full HD game, (was a sony 18.4" huge laptop) but no matter how hot it runs it will just give me lower FPS, won't crash
when *** i *** cpu came out i switch back to desktop again, i7-930, with asus p6t and things(still using the same system). and went budget and got Gigabyte GT 240 1gb, it's noisy but no problem, no overheat and runs games no problem at medium settings. very good budget card if u don't want super performance.
finally got a Gigabyte HD 7850 2gb, which is what i currently use, it crashes all the time untill finally i tune down the GPU/memory speed by almost 30% and it stop crashing, and when it crash it completely freeze the PC that i need to hard shutdown, it just unable to run at factory speed, there was no issue with PSU and no overeating or lack of power at all, just won't run at factory speed and also it is having trouble to flash BIOS.
over my terriable experience with ATi i'd say ATi may have a little lower price for slightly higher clock speed and more memory, but fuk they are BAD, unstable hardware that crashes and restart all the time, overheats in previous models but with new models that runs cool still have trouble, and their shoftware is NOT good as well, harder to use. i ran multiple display on my FX 5200 was easy to use that Nividia control panel.
i don't know why is like this, or u guys may have different experience, but as i went through so many cards, EVERY ATi card is giving me the **** and every nvidia card is running good. after exchanging over 5 emails with gigabyte tech support now i'll be taking that HD 7850 back to shop and ask for an exchange for GTX 570 or 660/660Ti and pay the difference. and i'd highly recommend if ur shopping for a card pay the extra few dollar and get Nvidia, the slightly lower clock speed is not gonna make HUGE different in real performance that u can notice with ur eye, but u won't end up with frozen PC, crashing restarting GPU and BAD driver !
gigabytes earlier lower end models were never up to par with the competitors for stability. example of the discontinued revision 1.0 7770. A revision 2.0 came out almost in response to fix the bugginess of 1.0. Its not that AMD is bad(I transitioned from nvidia to amd to try it out, I had absolutely no driver instalation issues and worked fine, and only artifacted at one minor point, which completely stopped now), You are in a minority group who happened to utilized a slightly buggier gpu when it comes to drivers. I think on this forum, ive seen a good handful of gigabyte cases sub 7900 series that get plagued all the time, the 7850 is one of them.
the fact that the term "Ati" is still even thrown around is almost like if i chose to call nvidia 3dfx just because nvidia purchased 3dfx. Its been 6 years since the purchase, I dont know why people continue to call it ATI.
I wasn't really into computers back in the days of ATI, but the guy that got me started working on computers gave me like 7 ancient ATI cards. Now either they kept dieing on him so he bought new ones again and again or he really liked ATI.
Now a days my preference between AMD and Nvidia cards depends on the price point. I used to have a Gt 220 that I put into this computer when I was first starting out building it. But I over clocked it to death by accident and went for a 7770 because it was the best deal for $120. My CPU is kind of week too but it's enough power for this card.
I have gone through a lot of video cards in my time. My first graphics card was a 3D accelerator daughter board, the 3DFX Voodoo2 chip on a Diamond labs board with 12MB ram. It's only problem was that the SLI cable (yeah, they called their multi-gpu setup SLI) sometimes came loose and I lost the red channel on my display. I gave that away when I got an S3 Savage4. Most of it's problems were related to compatibility. I had that card a very long time, until I got my first job and saved up for a Geforce 4 TI 4200, which I later sold to get a 4800TI which was the first AGP 8x card I had. That card was wonderful. Then I got the video card that gave me my first bit of trouble, which was a Geforce FX 5700. I did a little 5% overclock, same as I had done with the two previous nvidia cards. Within half an hour I had the magic blue smoke, and had my first, real failed video card. I took it back to the store, saying nothing about the overclock and got a 5200. At the time, I was uneducated and assumed that since 5200 is a higher number then 4800, that this card would be a performance upgrade. I quickly switched back to the 4800TI. After this I got a laptop with a Radeon 9700pro in it. This laptop STILL runs and now belongs to my mother. I built a new desktop after this with a Geforce 6800GT in it, and for me this was a massive upgrade. That video card is also still in a running computer that I sold. I also built a media desktop with an ATI All-in-Wonder X1800. I really miss those all in wonder cards. I sold the computer it was in later for $800 with a dual core AMD cpu. I got a call the other day from the guy who bought it complaining about a virus infection, it still runs. I upgraded to a 7900GTX in my main desktop, that video card eventually (after a year and a half) had a memory failure and was replaced for free by BFG. I later sold that card and replaced it with two 8800GTs, which was my first SLI system. I had that setup for a long time. I eventually ran into a point where I needed to upgrade again and bought a GTX470. Six months later I bought a second one. I still have this setup with a AMD phenom II 955. I have yet to find any need to upgrade from that. I am waiting for the next console generation, and the release of the next gen graphics engines before I upgrade again.
My point with that wall of boringness above is that between four different graphics vendors and many cards, I made sure to select the right ones and take care of them, resulting in most of them still operating to this day. If you buy the cheap crap, you get the cheap crap. If you don't pay attention to your cooling solution, you will break parts. Also, sometimes things just break, that is what 3 year/5year/lifetime warranties are for. Manufacturer defects happen to all manufacturers, not just one specific vendor.