Hey guys, I'm looking a range of video cards that i'm thinking of getting. I come across a Geforce2 Mx-400 64mb, its costs $159 Australian. Then i see a card with the same specs but from a more well known company (ie. Asus) and it costs in the vicinity of $270 Australian. Now is there much difference in actual performance between the 2 cards that seem to have identical specs on the surface? I'm sure no name cards are sold all over the world, but are they worth buying?
If you see the same features (be careful, are they really the same?) you can expect two factors to be causing the difference in price:
1. You will pay some $ for the name of a branded card
2. All <b>hardware</b> is not created equal. You will normally find manufacturing shortcuts such as PCB manufacturing materials/coatings, Conector and mounting hardware differences, trace layout shortcuts, copper thickness, IC's that didn't make the Quality Control standards demanded of "premium suppliers" etc....
Finally, you may just find a smaller company with a great product trying to get some market share by offering at a reduced price. It's VERY difficult to get straight information (especially on a forum like this where so many people put their egos ahead of their science.....)
I suggest finding a small computer shop that has geeks in it who have some REAL experience and seek their advise... (in person)
Normally, with all features the same it is going to be subtle things like lifetime of the product and/or "tweakablility" of the product that suffer with no-name equipment. (But not alwayz)
The week the first Geforce 3s were released I ordered the Visiontek for $334 (The cheapest you could find it through gateway) and at the time Visiontek was basically a no name company that had been making video cards for Gateway and other prebuilts, and not really selling to the general public much. Now the company has grown and I've even seen their products in malls and PC stores now, not just over the internet. So I'd say check the company to see if they sell their products for prebuilt computers like Dell, Gateway, Compaq, etc. If they do you can make an asumption that those big computer builders wouldn't put crappy parts inside their computers, but theres no gaurantee