The performance of each card is identical to the reference design we have tested, which can be referenced via our Interactive VGA Charts. The differentiation comes in the warranty, packaging, price and availability. The Viking warranty is one year longer than that of the Diamond card, but both are lacking in that they should be at least three years. Many graphics purchasers hold their cards for longer periods, as they buy a new card for a new system and keep the old one. Three years is a reasonable timeframe for the card, and many other components such as retail hard drives and CPUs maintain these three-year warranties. Graphics cards cost more to the end user, so they should have a warranty equal to less-expensive parts.
Cards that come bundled with special software serve as an added incentive for buying decisions in this competitive market. The software bundle is a plus for the Diamond card even though the software is a little light. We noticed that Viking's product is hard to find via e-tail stores. Both cards are about $475, but the Diamond product was widely available. Taking all of the considerations together makes it clear that the Diamond card is the better choice.
The market keeps expanding and the push for new products makes it increasingly more lucrative for the buyer. The consumer can save money on graphics cards as more suppliers and similar devices flood the market. We welcome the companies back to the marketplace as we are in favor of both consumers getting more for their money, while companies expand their businesses.
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