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Old 11-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
Shephard
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Default why would you get reference card?

ok yesterday I was browsing and I saw a Radeon 7970 "reference" card for $100 off regular price.

Why would you get this card over a non reference I don't understand?

Looking at the picture of the card it only has 1 fan like my 9800 GT.

Wouldn't this card get really hot? Maybe they don't overclock well either?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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The reference 7970s really are not that bad. They may be a little louder than non-reference and may not overclock as well but they will not be excessively bad. They would work well if you have decent airflow in your case and do not expect massive overclocks.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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Watercooling (standard locations), eject hot air out the back (especially good for Crossfire) rather than swirl in case, guaranteed good parts rather than the skimping (the XFX DD actually allows 79xx components to heat up worse than the reference cards, as one example). They aren't excessively loud unless you overclock/volt by quite a lot. A modest oc/ov is fine.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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what do you mean they are guaranteed goo parts? do they all only have 1 fan?

are they always cheaper than non reference?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:49 PM   #5
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1. To buy on launch day.

2. To get artic cooling or water cooling.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:54 PM   #6
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I always get reference cards. I used to get OC editions or OC and use 3rd party coolers in years past, but the time and trouble for a few extra fps's plus the occasional game that would cause it to conniption fit was not worth the trouble. I'm so over that crap. I just buy 1 highest end reference card, whql drivers and be done with it. still getting good frames outa my 5800gtx but will upgrad next May or whenever.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
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I always get reference cards. I used to get OC editions or OC and use 3rd party coolers in years past, but the time and trouble for a few extra fps's plus the occasional game that would cause it to conniption fit was not worth the trouble. I'm so over that crap. I just buy 1 highest end reference card, whql drivers and be done with it. still getting good frames outa my 5800gtx but will upgrad next May or whenever.
There are some real reasons to get non-reference cards.

I've used a reference EVGA GTX670 and decided to buy the 670FTW edition. Better VRMs, full 680PCB, better cooler, etc. It was a huge upgrade from the stock 670PCB edition. Binning is also an issue that affects some models.

Now the 670 is probably an extreme case, in many instances there won't be nearly as huge a difference in PCB/VRM/Component quality.

Although I love my 670FTW, if buying today I'd probably get one of the more recent 7970 cards. I paid almost $400 for my FTW, and at the time, 7970GE hadn't been released, and the 7970s on the market were all ~$100 more. It's not a gigantic difference though, and I'm happy that my card is dead quiet, rock stable, and fast enough for my current 1200p gaming needs.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:22 PM   #8
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Arctic cooling >>>> any custom cooling in terms of temps and noise both.

Though you end up sending 100s more for the setup, it is worth it if money isn't an issue.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
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There are some real reasons to get non-reference cards.

I've used a reference EVGA GTX670 and decided to buy the 670FTW edition. Better VRMs, full 680PCB, better cooler, etc. It was a huge upgrade from the stock 670PCB edition. Binning is also an issue that affects some models.

Now the 670 is probably an extreme case, in many instances there won't be nearly as huge a difference in PCB/VRM/Component quality.

Although I love my 670FTW, if buying today I'd probably get one of the more recent 7970 cards. I paid almost $400 for my FTW, and at the time, 7970GE hadn't been released, and the 7970s on the market were all ~$100 more. It's not a gigantic difference though, and I'm happy that my card is dead quiet, rock stable, and fast enough for my current 1200p gaming needs.

Love my FTW gtx670 as well,way better then the reference gtx670 and a tad bit cooler as well,have yet to see 70cel load temps@ 55% fanspeed.

Got mine clocked currently at 100+ core offset as well as 450+ memory offset and so far stable but got a feeling this could be a very conservative overclock.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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The reference design coolers are pretty much the only coolers that will function in no-gap multi-card setups.

They're adequate, but that's about it. The number of fans really has little direct bearing on the quality anyway.

I have a reference 680 and a non reference 680. The reference one has the cooler replaced with a sealed water cooling setup.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:52 PM   #11
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The reference design coolers are pretty much the only coolers that will function in no-gap multi-card setups.

They're adequate, but that's about it. The number of fans really has little direct bearing on the quality anyway.

I have a reference 680 and a non reference 680. The reference one has the cooler replaced with a sealed water cooling setup.
Makes sense.

I sort of have both worlds with the 670FTW AFAIK. It's the reference 680PCB and Cooler, meaning I could use a 680 waterblock solution? At least I think that's how it works.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #12
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Not everyone overclocks their video card and they are usually cheaper. That's why. And with a 3 year warranty what is there to worry about.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #13
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ok say only reference cards can be used with water cooling. that's why 1 fan is on there because most people do water cooling?
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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I've seen the DirectCU design used with no gap.

Well, it was used for about 5 minutes and when it kept overheating, suddenly I got a free directCU TOP 680 in trade for my reference EVGA design which would work ok with no gap at all.

The reference design has to be one that works in all situations, even if it isn't the best for some. That means it needs to work in SLI or CFX with a gap, without a gap, whatever.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
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ok say only reference cards can be used with water cooling. that's why 1 fan is on there because most people do water cooling?

No, not at all. They're fine for stock speeds. It's only when you OC do you need to worry about it.

You should really stop fixating on fan count as well.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:02 PM   #16
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Reference can be useful for sff builds where space is limited
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #17
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No, not at all. They're fine for stock speeds. It's only when you OC do you need to worry about it.

You should really stop fixating on fan count as well.
well that's what I mean. Less fans means you can't overclock as good because the card will get super hot. Unless you do water cooling of course.

I mean looking at the 7970, the fan looks no different than my 9800 GT. It's like the same cheap looking black fan.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:08 PM   #18
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The number of fans does not equate to the quality of the cooling solution...
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #19
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I prefer reference cards.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #20
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They can run better than non reference cards in terms of heat when you have two of them because the heat is expelled through the back of the case. That's just what I've heard, so don't quote me on that. Also, where is this 7970 for $100 off? I was going to buy a 7950 today, but holy hell.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:39 PM   #21
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Reference design always assures a certain part of quality. Its what AMD/nVidia designed the solution for.

custom designs and coolers tends to be a hit or miss. Either its very good or its just flat out horrible.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Reference design always assures a certain part of quality. Its what AMD/nVidia designed the solution for.

custom designs and coolers tends to be a hit or miss. Either its very good or its just flat out horrible.
I agree with this. In my case it was more miss than anything with non reference cards. Usually I would lose or gain stability far more often with each driver change. Like they seem more sensitive to driver changes, I would have a whql and seem fine, then a beta and issues then beta and may be fine again, seemed constantly had to test drivers.

on the reference, the stability seems more stable. My last OC edition card got real bad with the newer drivers, I had to underclock it to keep stable so had to ditch it. I should really start selling my cards, still have an 7800gtx getting more worthless by the month.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:07 PM   #23
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Yup consistency of parts IMO. If a review of a reference card hit XXXX mark then most reference cards will do the same I find with custom cards it can be quite hit or miss, 1 card might oc great but another may hardly get anywhere.

That and you purchased when the cards came out and you had no choice.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:12 PM   #24
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how do you know which one is reference card just by pictures?

Do they all have same color scheme and 1 fan?
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
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ok yesterday I was browsing and I saw a Radeon 7970 "reference" card for $100 off regular price.

Why would you get this card over a non reference I don't understand?
because its 100$ cheaper?
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