does "powered by ati" sacrifice image quality?

Jan 19, 2002
hey, could someone who has had personal experience with an oem "powered by ati" radeon card answer me this:

i know that some third party nvidia manufacturers sacrifice 2d image quality on their boards. i want to know if the ati third party manufacturers do the same thing. i have and love the 2d on my "built by ati" 8500, but if i were to purchase a "powered by ati" version, could i expect the same? thanks.


Oct 11, 1999
There is no yes or no answer to that right now.
Some third party Radeon boards do seem to offer tangibly lower image quality then ATi's own boards, though luckily they seem to be in the minority right now.
I'm hoping this means ATi has set rather stringent standards on output quality.

Many third party boards will have identical image quality to their ATi brethren as ATi themselves are still outsourcing a lot of boards to the third party vendors for relabling and packaging.
Should ATi decide to stop that practice then it's unknown what the usual quality will degrade to.

Some manufacturers, such as Gigabyte, and Saphire are producing all of their own R8500 boards. Hercules has recently started doing so also. Crucial's R8500 boards are going to be provided by Saphire.

The majority of third party R8500's should have decent image quality, as many are still manufctured by ATi themselves. Saphire's boards seem to have slightly worse 2D quality though.
Gigabyte's boards seem to be rather mixed, but on the whole their reasonably comprable to ATi's boards.
I can't say how the quality will be on Hercules boards, as I havent seen one of them first hand since they switched over to manufacturing all of their own ATi boards.
I've no idea who amnufacturers PowerColor's boards, and I've not seen enough of their R7500/8500 boards to state conclusively how the image quality is.

Basically, it comes done to most third party boards being safe purchases for those concerned with 2D, but not all.
On preference I'd lean against anything from Apollo or Saphire right now.
Gigabyte, and ATi seem to be the safest options. Hercules is likely a relatively safe choice also.

ATi, GigaByte,
Jan 19, 2002
thanks for the insight... do you think there will be much price difference btwn ati cards and their third party equivalents?


Platinum Member
Mar 21, 2001
My Gigabyte Radeon 8500LE has excelent image quality, I can't tell the difference between my video card and my roommates built by ATI Radeon 8500, and all the bench markes are with in 1 FPS of the buit by ATI cards (at the same clock speed). The only real difference I could tell was the MASIVE heat sinks Gigabyte put on my video card. I can overclock my 250Mhz Radeon 8500LE higher than my roommate can overclock his Built by ATI Radeon 8500 (275Mhz).