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Old 11-18-2012, 06:40 PM   #26
skipsneeky2
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Originally Posted by Larnz View Post
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.
LOL no kidding,i had a reference msi 7970 earlier this year,it was a fantastic overclocker hitting well over 1200 core,ran hot and was loud but god did it ever overclock.

Trade the 7970 for a notebook for the gf,months go by,get a twin frozr 7850 and its a lousy overclocker,not even going pass 1050 core.

As far as stability mentioned in the previous post before yours,yeah i noticed complete stability and moderate overclocking when i stick to EVGA but the first time i ever tried a asus gtx560 ti,i had a brick in a few days with a moderate oc.

So now and for the future,i will stay in my circle of trust of brands,when i step out of this circle,i usually get some bad luck or encounter problems.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:49 PM   #27
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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?
Why are you stuck on the one fan thing? The reference designs are great for multi-GPU use and for exhausing heat out of the back of the case instead of inside the case. The fan in the reference designed cards blow air across the entire length of the card and out of the exhaust vents.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:20 PM   #28
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Why are you stuck on the one fan thing? The reference designs are great for multi-GPU use and for exhausing heat out of the back of the case instead of inside the case. The fan in the reference designed cards blow air across the entire length of the card and out of the exhaust vents.
ok ok I get it now lol.

It's just when I look at something like Gigabyte Windforce or MSI Twin Frozer is seems like a much cooler card because of those quality fans. Not that cheap black fan that has been around since 2007.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:22 PM   #29
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6 posts, and one or more reference to fan count in each post.

Guy will have to change his pants now:

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:30 PM   #30
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Water cooling here. Also non-reference cards aren't necessarily higher quality than reference cards. I remember quite a few XFX non reference 5870s that weren't as high quality as the reference cards. (fewer VRMs, less effective cooling, etc)
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:50 PM   #31
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I also prefer reference cards because I always go MGPU and they exhaust hot air out of the case, plus they are a fairly consistent standard, bios flashing is usually easier and if I want custom cooling or water blocks, they are usually easier to find and often cheaper for the reference boards. The engineers at AMD and Nv know what they are doing.

If I was using a single GPU, I'd probably look for the best custom card I could find though.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:58 PM   #32
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6 posts, and one or more reference to fan count in each post.

Guy will have to change his pants now:

ok you cannot tell me 1 fan is better.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:35 AM   #33
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What I linked probably has crap for airflow because of massive turbulence.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #34
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answer: because i have half a brain and i'm able to achieve the same clocks as the OC models and don't want to pay more.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:47 AM   #35
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It's just when I look at something like Gigabyte Windforce or MSI Twin Frozer is seems like a much cooler card because of those quality fans. Not that cheap black fan that has been around since 2007.
How can you tell a fan is "quality" by just looking at it? Or do you mean "more = quality?" Black is cheap? So these dual orange fans must be the best in the world, right?

Almost seems as if you are judging based on your feelings and emotions. Time to turn in your man card.

Regarding the age old reference versus non-reference argument, one is not inherently better than another. Let me repeat. You cannot judge "quality" on whether or not a graphics card is a reference design, or not.

All "reference" means is that AMD/Nvidia has provided a design to the card manufacturers saying, "if you make it exactly like this, it will work to specifications." Sometimes they provide the actual card, and the "brands" just put their sticker on it. Other times just the design.

AMD/Nvidia also may limit cards to reference designs, especially higher end models, for various reasons (difficulty of design, "halo" model that everyone pays attention to, etc.).

Lower end cards tend to not have reference designs.

If non-reference designs are allowed, card manufacturers can go various routes. Some differentiate using a different cooler. Okay, almost all do that. Some may make their non-reference design higher end and higher quality, to go after the overclocking crowd. Some may make their non-reference design LOWER END to go after price point.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:20 AM   #36
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good info thanks Zap.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:29 AM   #37
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I already highlighted an example of reference kicking the butt of a dual-fan, non-reference XFX DD 7970. What, you want me to google that for you too? Here:

http://www.hardware.fr/articles/853-...raphiques.html

The components of non-ref can be lower quality as well (many examples of this). Some aer higher quality, some are lower than reference.

Reference might not be "the best," but you know you are getting a solid card if you buy reference, and if you don't ov/oc too much or if you water cool then it won't even be that loud. Sometimes you can get ref cards for significantly less than non-ref which just adds to their appeal. Plus ref + ref is the only realistic way to crossfire two cards if you do not have a gap between them, or maybe even if you do, depending on other factors like case airflow and if there are any wires in the way.
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