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How to choose which manufacturer to buy of a certain GPU? Are factory overclocks worth £?

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by MentalSharps, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. MentalSharps


    Joined: Feb 11, 2019

    Posts: 30

    Just wondering what people base their decisions on in terms of which manufacturer to go for a given card, ie RTX 2070.

    There are several options from the same manufacturer even, seems to be based on different clock speeds? But the price differences seem quite a lot between models, are they reflected in performance? Or some other value.
  2. Vexr


    Joined: Oct 15, 2018

    Posts: 807

    Manufacturer warranty can be a factor as well as aftermarket cooling, which will determine the temps & noise level. Personally I make low noise levels a priority when choosing a graphics card, which is why I've gone for an Asus GTX having previously owned the very quiet GTX 970 STRIX from them.

    Factory overclocks usually represent a very small bonus to performance, with other cards of the same model usually being able to comfortably match or exceed factory O/Cs with manual overclocking. A factory O/C is an encouraging sign that it has a superior cooler on it to the baseline model though. Digging through reviews is the best way to be certain.
  3. TaKeN


    Joined: Aug 18, 2005

    Posts: 13,052

    Location: Shropshire

    EVGA or Zotac for the warranty would be my choice.

    EVGA because their service is second to none and Zotac because they offer a much longer warranty compared to others.
  4. KungFuSpaghetti


    Joined: Apr 7, 2017

    Posts: 903

    Warranty and cooler are the main differences, but neither guarantees a better card or silicon, as they are all the same. I paid £400 for my GTX 1070ti the day they came out and it was the cheapest dirtiest model available with only a 2 year warranty. The factory OC was nothing special, it boosted to 1800ish and the fans and cooling was garbage. It went to around 70 degrees, which isn't much of an issue, but it was LOUD! So I spend another nearly £100 on the OCUK AIO Kraken kit, which sounds a lot, but it's been well worth it, card sits at 2126mhz all day long and stays below 40 degrees gaming and 42 degrees on synthetic bench tests. So, next purchase of GPU will be as cheap as possible again with longest warranty and it will get AIO'd again.
  5. LambChop


    Joined: Apr 4, 2011

    Posts: 3,342

    Warranty and noise for me. The rest is irellevant.
  6. Kaapstad

    Man of Honour

    Joined: May 21, 2012

    Posts: 27,856

    Location: Dalek flagship

  7. Poneros


    Joined: Feb 18, 2015

    Posts: 2,753

    Remember that the RTX cards are also separated into ones with A chip and non-A chip, i.e. the ones with A chip will overclock better. So the cheapest RTX 2070 etc are likely non-A chips, so you're missing out on a bit of performance there (5-10%) when OC.
  8. esoteric

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 5, 2004

    Posts: 2,229

    Does ZOTAC warranty still require sending the item to Hong Kong?
  9. CuriousTomCat


    Joined: Nov 22, 2018

    Posts: 583

    Here are some examples where the price difference is NOT reflected in performance

    The ROG Strix OC 2070 is more expensive than a MSI 2080
    The MSI Vega 56 is more expensive than a Sapphire Vega 64
    The ROG Strix OC RX 580 is more expensive than a Sapphire RX 590

    Dont fall into the trap of paying so much extra for the better brand or better OC that you've entered into a higher tier of product. An extra £10 or £20 might be worth it but dont pay hundreds.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  10. XeNoNF50


    Joined: Jan 11, 2016

    Posts: 853

    Remember you can extend EVGA's service to 5 years for a measly $30 on a top end card, cheaper on less expensive cards.
  11. Vtec9k

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 15, 2005

    Posts: 1,940

    Location: Edinburgh

    I thought Zotac was a UK based RMA, maybe the extra 5 year one is HK not sure? The 5 year warranty of Zotac's was one reason I chose mine.

    Factory overclocks are generally not that important for me. Sure in some of the super-premium cards the vendors will have selected the best chips, better RAM or VRM modules and better cooling so they will OC higher than lower priced cards

    But a mid-priced card with a good cooling package will usually work just as well for a lot of people, it's often just the silicon lottery.
  12. varkanoid


    Joined: Dec 31, 2007

    Posts: 8,620

    Location: The TARDIS, Wakefield, UK

    Always find it funny when reviewers say a certain graphics cards is better value for money than the stock one when it has a factory overclock of 60mhz or whatever for an extra £100. I would tend to buy a more expensive gpu just for the cooler and overclock it myself, or buy a cheaper one where I know I will be replacing the cooling.
  13. MentalSharps


    Joined: Feb 11, 2019

    Posts: 30

    Perfect, thanks for the info, exactly what I needed.

    Installing aftermarket coolers would void the warranty wouldn't it?

    I think I'm going to get a 2060 based on the cheapest A-chip that has decent cooling, and then select on warranty/noise.
  14. Aretak

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 26, 2014

    Posts: 1,709

    Depends on the vendor. The only one I know of that explicitly allows it is EVGA, though they do have anti-tamper stickers, which they say are just to let them know you've opened it (presumably so they can check closely for any damage caused when doing so). I haven't heard of them using it to try and wriggle out of providing warranty support though.

    Others explicitly state that your warranty is void if you remove the cooler. Zotac, for example:
  15. Danny75


    Joined: Aug 26, 2013

    Posts: 7,145

    EVGA have good resale value as well due to transferable and registerable warranty. Though the transferred warranty counts from manufacturing date not original purchase and sadly any extended 5 year warranty does not apply either. If original buyer didn't have it for more than two years then good chance of enough warranty left in it.

    As for other stuff (taking the liberty of including/agreeing with what has already been said and adding a couple more):

    • Ignore factory overclocks. Although if better "A" chip is known then consider it for that.
    • Cards with nickel-plated copper heatpipes are preferable to exposed copper due to surface corrosion from any humidity. I've had a few that turned green lol.
    • Good cooling solution (not only for the GPU but for mosfets and memory) and quietness. Both are intertwined (usually - a few have good cooling only at the expense of too much noise).
    • Build quality and durability of components including fans and mosfets (not always easy to determine).
    • Samsung memory preferable (at this point in time and for a while now, might change/not matter in future).
    • Length of warranty plus known good customer service. One's no good without the other.
    • Cooler removal policy. Even if you don't watercool or fan mod, you really don't want to have to send the card back just because it needs new paste, or a better application of paste. Can be a lot easier to dust the heatsink as well.
    • Finally, price. If too close to higher tier, then no good even if it ticks all the boxes, so more often than not the card that makes mose sense to buy won't tick absolutely all of them.
  16. MentalSharps


    Joined: Feb 11, 2019

    Posts: 30

    I decided to get the Palit 2060 which is on sale right now for £335: https://www.overclockers.co.uk/pali...ddr6-pci-express-graphics-card-gx-04m-pl.html

    It is the cheapest 2060 with an A chip and decent factory overlcock, has a 2 fan cooling solution and the reviews I found of it were pretty good. The only downside that was flagged up in reviews is that it's not silent, the fans spin slowly even without being under load. But that's fine for me, the reviews said it wasn't a noisy card either, just not silent.

    All that being said... can't help but feel it's not a good purchase and the card is overpriced and I'm being ripped off. Am I being paranoid/naive thinking that NVIDIA could just drop the price soon? It seems weird to me to spend the same money, for the same performance as the previous generation. Usually with each generation I thought you spend less to get equal performance, or spend equal and get more performance.
  17. Angel_Rex


    Joined: Dec 8, 2004

    Posts: 831

    Not to ask a silly question, but how do we know what the 'A' chips are? First i've seen of it TBH

    I was looking at the zotac AMP 2060

    I tried to order the 2060 Gigabyte yesterday but the price went from £349-£379 as I was checking out

    EDIT: upon further reading I see the strix and gmaingz also have this.

    I wanted the Palit but I need 2x DP connectors :/

    EDIT #2: Looking into it more, it seems that ALL the 2060 atm are the A chip
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  18. Bluntwrapped


    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 3,188

    Location: Livingston

    Buy a base model GPU or cheapest reference card. Find a compatible bios with the highest boost clocks. Flash it over the stock bios. Spend the money you’ve saved on beer :)
  19. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002

    Posts: 27,473

    Location: Hampshire

    I tend to go with whatever is cheapest although if prices are close I could be influenced by overclocking potential (cooling) and factory overclocks.
    Stuff like build quality, warranty etc I'm not too bothered about as historically I have replaced graphics cards before they break, the only graphics cards I can remember failing on me were:

    1) 3dfx Voodoo1 was basically DOA (it worked, but had a lot of artefacts), but it was the first 3d card I ever had and no internet access to do research, so I spent ages trying to tweak settings etc. I took it back to the shop in the end so didn't need manufacturers warranty.
    2) GTX280 had some corruption so I did the oven trick to keep it going for a bit, and it was due replacement with a cheap GTX470 anyway.