Buy graphics card: different manufacturers, what are the differences?

 Same graphics card can provide a completely different performance at different manufacturers. Are you currently building a Gaming PC? Are you upgrading an aging machine for current games? Sooner or later you get to the point where you have to decide on a new graphics card. The choice is wide, the prices vary between affordable and utopian. Keeping an overview is difficult. If you have realized which model meets your requirements, usually some time has already passed. After all, you do not have to worry about the manufacturer any more, because there are known only the two top AMD and Nvidia, right? Far from it: the two hardware giants deliver the chip technology – but it is often found in graphics cards from completely different companies. Suddenly names like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI or Zotac appear and it gets confusing.

Graphics Cards: Maximum Performance

Probably the most important aspect when buying a graphics card is performance. After all, it should fulfill a certain purpose, such as stemming current games in the best image quality. Depending on the manufacturer, however, there are fluctuations in Performance. The basic components of the card are initially the same for each model: for example, the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 Super, regardless of which manufacturer it comes from, has the same TU106 graphics chip (“TU” refers to Nvidia’s Turing Refresh Generation) with 2,176 Shader cores and 8 gigabytes (GB) of graphics memory. However, the actual performance of the card results from the interaction of these components, the further equipment (better cooling allows manufacturers to use higher clock rates for their Chips, which improves Performance accordingly) and, last but not least, the clock rate of the graphics processor (GPU). On the screws the manufacturers namely in very own manner and achieve different Boost frequencies. The GeForce RTX 2060 Super Dual from Palit  clocks with 1,470 Megahertz (MHz) in the basic clock and with 1,650 MHz in the Boost. A counterpart of the manufacturer Gainward runs in the same basic clock, but boosts to 1,710 MHz. Some manufacturers also offer different versions of a graphics card: the Palit Geforce RTX 2060 Super Gaming Pro OC also achieves a boost on 1,710 MHz.

GeForce RTX 2060 Super Founders edition 8GB GDDR6


Thanks to retreading, the GeForce RTX 2060 Super comes close to the performance of a normal RTX 2070, with the price at 425 euros significantly lower. And compared to the normal RTX 2060, the Super variant delivered exactly 11 percent more power. This is really great! Thus, the original beginner class becomes a serious player in the middle class. The larger memory and higher clock allow fluid game presentation in 4K and WQHD at full Details. Shortcoming: power consumption has also increased.

Graphics Card Manufacturer: The Equipment

Not only can the manufacturers pay for screwing the GPU clock, the equipment of the graphics cards also varies. The simplest example of this is probably the cooling: the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 comes from the manufacturer Asus, for example, in a version with two active fans and a counterpart with three active fans. Producer EVGA even offers a model with water cooling. A better cooled graphics card is not only more efficient, it often runs more quietly. Under full load, fewer or worse quality fans like to turn up and interfere with audible noise. But that’s not all: even the installed materials, the housing or the connections of the graphics card are different and have an influence on the performance. It’s a bit like before when buying a car: air conditioning costs extra, is not absolutely necessary for driving, but makes the journey more pleasant.


Graphics cards: supply and demand

Not the manufacturers alone determine the price of a graphics card, the sinfully expensive picture machines are also subject to the laws of the free market economy. During the Bitcoin Boom in 2017, for example, the card stocks of manufacturers and traders became scarce, because GPUs are used for the so-called Mining of the cryptocurrency. Correspondingly high were suddenly the prices for graphics cards. When the new Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 recently rocked the market, beating its predecessor’s top model by twice the performance at half price, it was sold out in a matter of hours.

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