View Full Version : Best manufacturer for Radeon?

10th March 2003, 05:47
I've been seeing some differant manufacturers of the ATI Radeons lately, such as Sapphire Technology and PowerColor. Anyone know if any of these cards are designed better than the ATI original ones, or do they just use the reference design and slap their name on the pcb?

10th March 2003, 05:52
If it's not ATI then Saphire, though tbh all of the cards are made to ATI spec regardless of who makes them. It really depends on your budget or if the bundle software appeals to you. Ok Hercules cards look nice, and yes you get a free copy of Nolf 2 but they are also 50 - 100 more.

10th March 2003, 06:25
yea. just go for BBA cards if you can. PowerColor don't have "exceptional" 2D...

10th March 2003, 06:55
I hear Sapphire makes the best third-party cards. I know dZeus has one on order, but they are hard to come by these days.

Their 9700 Pro Ultimate Edition even comes with the Zalman heatpipes cooler put on stock, to give you silent cooling.


10th March 2003, 07:06
Yep, Saphire. We've had cards from most vendors with more or less luck and they were the ones that created less problems and had a generally good output. The most problematic we had were from Supergrace -but I'm sure you can find worse ;)

They all follow the ATi guidelines, but most cut corners as well...Some design their own layout (à la Tyan). If IQ is important, then you should stick with ATi or Saphire (haven't seen a BBA yet).

10th March 2003, 08:25
Saphire makes the cards for ATI, so quality-wise is a safe bet.

About Powercolor, I bough a Evil commando 2 Gold (9700 np), and I´m more than satisfied with it. It apears to be the reference design (even the red PCB), 2D is better than my previous Creative Geforce4, and it overclocks decently (from 275/270 to 321(!)/290).

Brownsing rage3d foruns, it appears that other np brands do overclock memory better (infinion 3.3ns is really a dog), but then again one has to think if 50€ more justify 10 or 20 more Mhz on overclocking.

As much as I´m concerned, I do recommend Powercolor as a 9700 np purchase.

10th March 2003, 08:28
Cool, thanks everyone :)

10th March 2003, 13:37
With the 9700Pro cards, the HIS are also good - and mostly even just relabeled Built-by-ATI cards. My HIS e.g. is a BBA.

But if you can get a BBA, get the real thing!

10th March 2003, 13:47
Tyan is supposed to make really nice cards that are different than the reference design. The Tachyon G9700Pro series is supposed to reach really high overclocks.

10th March 2003, 14:46
Unfortunatly in Europe it´s very difficult to get a BBA card; Creative doesn´t even sell ATI products on Europe - You´ve got to love Nvidia´s "agressive" marketing.

Hercules went ATI way a long time ago, since they had the guts to make a KyroII card and Nvidia retaliated with higher prices and chip shortages. They make fine products, but (at least around here) are a bit pricey and hard to find.

Here and there you can spot a Gigabyte, priced a little lower than Hercules.

You can find Powercolor´s almost everywhere, and they´re definitly cheaper than premium brands.

Crucial is another excelent choice, and I was tempted to order a pro online, but it was still much more expensive than a non-pro and I knew R350 was right around the corner.

All this rant just to say ATI should look more closely into the european market, as it tends to be more difficult to buy an ATI card than Nvidia (they´re everywhere).