ASUS vs EVGA GTX 780: Cooling most important?

I know a lot of threads have been posted about this topic, and it seems like most people agree the EVGA is better, but I can't help but think this is a groupthink decision based on an overly simple examination of factory stock numbers. I mean no offense to those of you who prefer EVGA, but I urge you to explain your reasoning in response to what I'm about to say.

The nvidia part of the GPU is the same device for both ASUS and EVGA, but the Direct CU II is a better cooling system. Likewise, the way I see it, the ASUS is better hardware. Everyone cites that the EVGA performs better out of the factory, but that's just because it is factory overclocked. You could easily overclock the ASUS to perform even better than either when they come out of the factory.

So if you are spending your money on a GTX 780, shouldn't you base the decision on which card has a better cooling system? Why pay extra just to have EVGA overclock the card when you can do the same thing for free? Some people cite that EVGA has a better warranty, but personally I'd rather have a card that is less likely to break than a card that is more likely to get replaced when it does break.
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  1. Some people are uncomfortable with overclocking or just don't want to bother with it, so a pre-overclocked card would suit them better. You can overclock to the same speeds with the ASUS card if you'd like to.

    When I am deciding bewteen two GPU's, I narrow it down to the best one with cooling. Once I have those, I pick whichever goes in my build the best. Lets say the red card at max is 60 degrees, and the blue card is at 64 degrees, I would pick whichever I think looks better because at that point it really doesn't matter.

    If you are dealing with warranty's, I wouldn't really worry about it. I do not hear of GPU's breaking too often. If it doesn't work within the return period, then you can just return it. The cooling is going to determine if the card breaks. The part that would break would be the fans or something withing the cooler. The actually GPU being damaged by temperatures won't happen with either of these cards. They both have great cooling.

    So which is better? Well, for pure cooling, ASUS beats EVGA. EVGA offers backplates. For pure performance? It depends if you want to match the clock. BUT, since the ASUS card runs cooler, GPU boost 2.0 may give you slightly better performance on the ASUS card.

    If you want to see a comparison with how they compare, here you go.
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