Which GPU brand generally has the best build quality?

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by oblongpolygon, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. oblongpolygon

    oblongpolygon [H]Lite

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    A quick question for those in the know...

    Which GPU brand generally has the best build quality?

    If there's a tendency of one brand to put together cards with a concern for build quality, then this is what I want to know.

    I understand that build quality probably also depends on the model - some premium cards from more "budget" brands might have a better build quality than budget cards from "pricey" brands.

    At this point, it's really just about helping to separate my options.

    I currently have a 1050 Ti in my machine, and feel like a 1660 SUPER is the right sort of replacement.
     
  2. Wat

    Wat n00b

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    Bfg was always pretty good
     
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  3. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    I don't think you can go wrong with EVGA, as their products are about the most premium available. Just not always flashy if that's your thing.

    I've owned MSI, XFX, Palit/ PNY, EVGA and currently a Gigabyte 1070.. I had a PNY 1060 give up after a couple days. But that is the only faliure I've ever had. I also tortured an EVGA Geforce 8500 GT with a massive overclock to be able to play GTA I/V and that card still works to this day
     
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  4. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    I don’t think the brand matters that much, personally. Figure out what GPU you want, and then pick exactly which card you buy based on price and features. EVGA has a good reputation, but the cards themselves are really only remarkable at the upper end, like the “black” series, which are usually the least expensive Ti model, or the Kingpin, which is very expensive, but a waste if you’re not doing competitive over clocking.

    For a 1660, get whichever one you find a deal in.
     
  5. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't think there is a noticeable difference in build quality. I've had a dozen brands of gpus over the years. I always go by price/cooler design.

    Higher prices will get you more flashy products, lower prices will get you less flash and less sturdy shrouds, but in practical terms there is really no meaningful difference, unless you are hunting for +20Mhz.
     
  6. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    For Nvidia, I generally go with EVGA
    For ATI, I went with XFX.
     
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  7. DogsofJune

    DogsofJune 2[H]4U

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    My only complaint with Asus cards is that the Strix line is huge, but built decent.
    Gigabyte has decent builds too, XFX, Zotac, Pny. All have done well by me
     
  8. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    The only mfr I experienced that was seriously sub par was KFA.
    The card was only partially screwed together and their support site was terrible. It also leaked customer info.
    It was a long and difficult experience getting it sorted.
     
  9. pek

    pek prairie dog

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    I haven't had any issues with xfx's cards, running an asus strix at the moment, no problems with it, build looks pretty good (heavy metal back shield/heatsink, quiet fans). Of course, ymmv.
     
  10. Eshelmen

    Eshelmen [H]ardness Supreme

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    So many to choose from and they're all trying to compete, so I'd say they're all decent enough to get on board with.

    EVGA, Leadtek, Zotac and MSI are my top.
     
  11. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    NVIDIA, hands down, even when it comes to reference boards. EVGA has always been spotty, especially with their custom cards. ASUS is the best when it comes to custom cards in my experience. BFG Tech before that.
     
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  12. Autochthon

    Autochthon Limp Gawd

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    I've had 3 video cards fail in the last 30 years msi nvidia 8800gts 512 ~4 years, msi amd 6950 ~2 years, Evga 7800GTX 8+ years. EVGA offered to replace the card under lifetime warranty but the shipping was more than the value of the new replacement so I declined.
     
  13. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I’d put EVGA at the top of the list for Nvidia and Sapphire at the top for AMD.
     
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  14. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Biggest practical difference I've seen has been the ability to hold boost clocks, in terms of performance, and how loud the cooler is while doing it.

    The second part is my biggest peeve, and the main reason I'd recommend a more expensive version, especially if the cheap one has an AMD blower ;)
     
  15. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was really surprised as to how well built the reference model of my RTX 2070 is. Very sleek & the fans do a really good job of keeping it cool while being reasonably quiet. Best reference card I've ever owned.
     
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  16. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nvidia abandoning blowers, despite make the best for their top-end cards, was certainly a welcome surprise!


    And it's also a bit of a warning to their OEMs:

    'do better'.
     
  17. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wouldn’t go by brand. Pick the GPU you want and then select the specific card based on specific reviews. Sometimes, even brands that have made great cards in the past can really screw something up on the redesign. For example, my last two video cards have been MSI and I’ve been satisfied with them overall, but if you were looking at the Radeon 5700XT, MSI is a terrible choice, because the cooler on the Evoke doesn’t cool the memory properly. It happens from time to time. Always look into the specific card you want to buy to make sure there are no known issues before making a purchase.
     
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  18. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    And that's why I said I always go by cooler design and price. There are usually silent solutions on cheap models as well.
     
  19. BudgetBuilder

    BudgetBuilder n00b

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    My Asus Strix speeds hold very well and the cooling is exceptional. My Asus dual is pretty crap. It's very hard to buy based on branding alone. When i buy a card i usually fit the largest cooler i can from a good brand.
     
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  20. Comixbooks

    Comixbooks Ignore Me

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    EVGA gives me less er eyestrain so I go with them the others cut corners I dont buy FE cards anymore either.
     
  21. German Muscle

    German Muscle [H]ardness Supreme

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    EVGA FTW3 & Kingpin, Galax HOF, and Asus anything above the Strix brand like Matrix/Poseiden, Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme, MSI Gaming X and Lightning versions are all top teir cards.

    nvidia cards on the GPU side is generally all the same and spec by nvidia. Its the power delivery and cooler that they change and make more robust.

    FE cards are higher binned by nvidia. If you plan to air cool get a non FE card. If your gonna WC get a FE card as it will clock just as good under water as the others.
     
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  22. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Look for a card that has ball bearing fans or at least fans that stop on idle. Sleeve bearing fans just don’t last and really that’s the only thing on a graphics card that’s going to die prematurely in typical use
     
  23. HAL_404

    HAL_404 Gawd

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    EVGA and MSI have good build quality. My limited experiences have been that MSI "Gaming" models run expected temps with the least amount of fan noise. EVGA runs hotter than MSI so higher fan speeds are needed to run at the same temp as a comparable MSI card model (GTX 970, GTX 1060, etc). EVGA has THE BEST warranty (warranty follows the card serial #, MSI warranty policy states only the original owner is covered).

    cards made by the main MFG's (MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA) have similar build quality to each other ... IMO it's the warranty and how cool they run vs fan speed (aka cooler design) that sets them apart somewhat :barefoot:
     
  24. IcarusLSC

    IcarusLSC n00b

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    Only issues I've had with the any graphics cards over the years are Asus and Zotac and Sapphire. I had a minor issue with a MSI MB that was taken care of quickly. Asus products I've had fail on me more often then anything else combined over the the years and hated using their service in most cases. Asus even said my crappy Tuf MB wasn't within warranty (it was 4 yrs old) and the warranty was for 5 yrs! :(
     
  25. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    I've only ever bought NVIDIA made cards or EVGA and I think both are pretty good. This 2080 Ti Strix is my first Asus and it seems to be built quite well though I don't know if they use quality vrms or its just all show. The performance for this card is decent, I reach between 2050-2100 mhz consistently on air and the temp never goes above 70 C and it's whisper quiet.

    https://www.3dmark.com/fs/21422755

    My Titan X Pascal on air with it's blower ran hot and loud so I had to put it under water. In air it maxed at 1900 mhz but on water it reached the same clocks as my 2080 Ti.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  26. freeagentt

    freeagentt [H]Lite

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    Honestly I think they are all hit and miss. You generally cant go wrong with any of them, there are exceptions I'm sure.. Right now I have two EVGA cards in service, both have thick PCB, good cooling, good build quality, no sag. I have an Asus GTX 580 Matrix Platinum, very nice build quality, PCB is a little thin, card sags. Same with my other GTX 580 DCII, not as nice as the platinum, build quality ok, thin PCB, card sags. The 580s are triple slot cards, and my Maxwell's are dual slot. After watching some GN vids, I don't know about new AMD cards.. cooler build quality seems shoddy, lazy engineering, no effs given. But people love them so who knows. Not sure if I would buy one. A workmate of mine has a Red Devil 5700XT but runs a Hackintosh, so no idea how it is performing. Nice card though.
     
  27. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    EVGA has treated me VERY well in regards to RMA'ing video cards and PSU's..
     
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  28. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    personally i'd say worry about warranty/customer service over actual build quality since even with the best components on the market that doesn't guarantee it won't fail or be DOA.

    that's no longer the case anymore. Nvidia discontinued non A/A die split a few months after turing launch so everything is now the same die that will hit FE clocks minimum but are then typically further binned by the board partners.
     
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  29. Shoganai

    Shoganai Limp Gawd

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    EVGA's customer service makes them a step above others.
     
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  30. DrDoU

    DrDoU 2[H]4U

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    evga for nvidia and for amd then xfx. evga has been rock solid.
     
  31. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nobody has actual RMA numbers and anecdotes are useless. I just buy whichever card is the least fugly (and has a standard PCB if I'm going to slap on a waterblock).
     
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  32. WackyWRZ

    WackyWRZ n00b

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    100% agreed with sirmonky1985. EVGA has always done right by me in the past as far as RMAs on GPU issues, but the last time I RMAed was a few years ago. Lately there has been some chatter on their forums about that going down-hill. The only company that I'd avoid is Gigabyte - their customer service / RMA process has been the worst I've ever dealt with.
     
  33. N4CR

    N4CR [H]ardness Supreme

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    Reference to Reference AMD typically has beefier power circuits..
     
  34. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    ...which they need, while still running slower!
     
  35. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

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    Because AMD cards typically draw a whole lot more power. The RX590 is a 250W card, the Vega went all the way up to 345W and the RX 5000 series is in the 200-235W range.
     
  36. Lepardi

    Lepardi Limp Gawd

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    Check the reviews when you buy. Palit 1080 Ti for example were priced efficiently, but still having higher end VRM's, so I would look at Palit next time as well.
     
  37. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    Which has nothing to do with the topic of build quality.
     
  38. Shoganai

    Shoganai Limp Gawd

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    Actually it does. Because regardless of build quality, it’s important that you can rely on the company you bought it from to replace your GPU. Your snide comment helps no one. Thanks. EVGA also has excellent build quality.
     
  39. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ard as it Gets

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    I don't think build quality is an issue for any board partner really. Its the warranty for when things go wrong that matters most. I can think of 2 when warranty come to mind: EVGA and Asus. EVGA has a pretty good experience with their RMA process. I highly recommend them. I've yet to have an experience with Asus that I would even call "par". They have all been pretty terrible. I've RMA'ed a motherboard, monitor, and gpu. I still buy their stuff though since the quality is good and I've rarely had to RMA anything.
     
  40. harmattan

    harmattan [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is my experience as well. I've owned 100+ (?) cards from all board partners over the years, and they all generally have good cards with a similar build quality. I'ts all about the after-sales service.

    • EVGA service was tops back in the day (too good, in fact), but my xp has been they've gotten overly strict and overloaded with tickets in the past several years i.e. long wait times since people really push the envelope and game their system.
    • Despite others' experiences, I've had nothing but great experiences (both in the US and UK) with Powercolor service/returns. Super responsive, polite, and they normally employ locally-sourced reps.
    • Asus service is a dumpster fire, in my xp: "lost" messages, unresponsive, slow RMA. I've lost more hours of my life I care to recall on several items. Constant follow ups, dropped comms, and arguments to get even the most basic service for very cut-and-dry RMAs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020