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a couple months ago, i bought a 7850 to replace my 7750. i had originally intended to eventually go crossfire and get another 7850, and then get a second and third monitors for eyefinity for shooters and racing games.
i got the XFX double-d 7850. it lasted about a week before it died, apparently the memory was faulty. i RMA'd, got replacement. had artifacting, heat issues, all kinds of funky stuff on my screen no matter how low i put the settings, in every game i play. i RMA again, NCIX said they had no more of that card and gave me a refund.
so i'm going to bite the bullet, put the refund with my next paycheck and just get a 7970. which brand is going to be the least likely to cause me problems? i already gave my old 7750 to my brother-in-law so i'm using my old 6570 and it won't even run far cry 3, i just want to buy the new card and not have to worry about problems like this....
With the 7970, you're dealing with a top-end part, and the various manufacturers have ways to make themselves seem good, mostly with the heat and power management.
You can also look at the Ghz editions which are clocked higher than the stock ones, but I'm not sure that's worthwhile since most 7970's OC'ed well enough on their own, you could even achieve better results with an aftermarket cooler.
The big boys in the video card playground are Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, XFX. (EVGA is GeForce only, Powercolor & Sapphire are Radeon only, but they are also good MFRs.) I'm sure I'm leaving a few good MFRs out. With a lot of these successful brands, it really comes down to price vs ancillary benefits. IE, assuming they're all around the same price, then get the one with the best warranty, or maybe the one that has a free game, or something along those lines. With a lot of the brands you'll be choosing from like Kal said it's 6 of one, half-dozen of the other in terms of performance & reliability. Go with the best warranty &/or the free game, if all else is relatively equal.
Edited by Drainbow on 12/14/2012 8:54 AM PST
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