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Old 04-24-08, 09:45 AM Thread Starter   #1
Dawgdoc
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GPU assembly


Quick question.

When companies "build" a video card, does only the core/chipset itself come from Nvidia, and the PCB + assembly is left up to the individual company in question?

Or do the cards come to different companies fully assembled on the PCB and the only thing that EVGA/XFX/BFG/etc do is throw a stock cooler and serial # sticker on there?
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Old 04-24-08, 10:36 AM   #2
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The short answer is 'it depends.'

Many card'makers' will buy ready-made reference cards from a major OEM like Flextronics, apply sticker and pack-ins, bin cards to sell as OC editions, and that's about it.

Others will design their own PCB for the cards, a couple that spring to mind are Asus and Gigabyte, I'm guessing it's not a far step from making motherboards to making video cards, which is why those 2 do it.

When you see mentions of 'non-reference' PCB design for video cards, it just means they aren't using a board designed by Nvidia. Whether they custom designed it for an OEM to build, or did the fabrication in their own facilities, is anyone's guess..

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Old 04-24-08, 12:03 PM   #3
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Nvidia makes the GPU core, and the subcontract the production to manufacturers like Foxconn, Flextronics and PC Partner to build more and send it out to third parties. All chipsets are provided by them and companies like XFX/BFG/EVGA just throw in the coolers and flashy stickers. Im posivitive but not a 100% sure.

Last edited by necrokiller; 04-24-08 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-24-08, 12:13 PM Thread Starter   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by necrokiller View Post
After making the chipsets, nvidia makes the GPU core, and the subcontract the production to manufacturers like Foxconn, Flextronics and PC Partner to build more and send it out to third parties. All chipsets are provided by them and companies like XFX/BFG/EVGA just throw in the coolers and flashy stickers. Im posivitive but not a 100% sure.
See...this is what I thought as well, but I was in microcenter a week or 2 ago looking at GTS G92 cards, and the sales guy turned me OFF of the....PNY one I think saying it was "crap".

I told him I thought they were ALL the same and the company just put a cooler on there. He said no...they assemble the chips on the PCB. This was different than I thought.

Of course he also told me a GTS G80 640 was faster than a GTS G92 512, at which point I bluntly told him he had no clue what he was talking about

I just wanted to check to see since I was not sure about the assembly process.
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Old 04-24-08, 12:17 PM   #5
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PNY might be a rare case because for some reason even their stock clocked cards are ridiculously expensive in comparison when XFX/eVGA have better warranties. But after the GTS G92 comment, I wouldnt believe him either.
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Old 04-24-08, 12:27 PM Thread Starter   #6
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I wasnt going to buy the PNY one anyhow....Even if its exactly the same its tough to beat EVGA with the LIFETIME warranty and the stepup. Also they have proven time and time again that they stand behind that lifetime warranty and I am also told if your card is registered and you need an RMA they will cross-ship.

Tough to beat that, but if I were going to get anything other than EVGA Id go XFX because they have a lifetime warranty as well.

I was just browsing at the PNY one and chatting
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Old 04-24-08, 12:31 PM   #7
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XFX also has a plus point when you plan to sell your card later as they have double-lifetime warranty so it transfers to the next person.

As for the topic, whenever you're buying a card, just look for clock speeds, price and warranty. I almost never favor any brand but I bought the XFX due to its availability and I read a lot that EVGA stock cooling was not that good on the 8800GT. And I got two brand new 8800GTs for $180 each..no taxes (im in Canada so taxes are a bitch here)
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Old 04-24-08, 12:48 PM Thread Starter   #8
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Actually the clocks mean zero to me. Every GPU I own is voltmodded and overclocked/BIOS flashed so clocks out of the factory dont factor into the decision.

Price and warranty though, are definitely big ones.

Yea XFX 2ble lifetime is great, but for a new card for me it also means little, since I either keep them long term or kill them while trying to volt-mod hehehehe
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Old 04-24-08, 01:02 PM   #9
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Actually the clocks mean zero to me. Every GPU I own is voltmodded and overclocked/BIOS flashed so clocks out of the factory dont factor into the decision.

Price and warranty though, are definitely big ones.
If you volt mod them all, why care about warranty at all? Is there a company that will warranty vmodded cards?

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Old 04-24-08, 01:07 PM   #10
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If you volt mod them all, why care about warranty at all? Is there a company that will warranty vmodded cards?
I believe XFX covers any modding you do the card as well. Not sure about heatsink, but they will count overclocked cards in their warranty.
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