Has anyone noticed?

With imminent arrival of the RX VEGA GPU on the horizon (no pun intended) I'm really wondering if GPU manufacturers aren't slacking on quality and workmanship to invest their efforts in the next generation of video cards. I have no recollection of reading so many negative GPU and graphic card reviews lately. Seriously. Why all the bad reviews? I'm in the market for a new card but frankly given how much they want for so little and given the endless amount of problems that keep manifesting with the latest generations, NVIDIA and AMD both, my money is in the bank where it's staying until I can find a half decent budget card that offers a decent degree of stability. Until then I'll keep my junky little Sapphire 6770K even if looks silly in an X99-E WS main board. Stryx is looking to be such a disappointment and frankly, I haven't seen anything in the ball park of $200 - $300 bux that's really worth buying. Any suggestions?

Stability, baby. Bring it on!


The XFX GTR 480 is the best you can get in that price range if you don't like the Asus offerings. Excellent power delivery and good thermal solution.

There have always been bad GPUs, the companies that make them just change from generation to generation. Zotac was a laughing stock from Fermi to Kepler, now EVGA is the nvidia company cutting major corners. On the AMD side, Powecolor and sapphire regularly fluctuate in quality. A new GPU release has little to nothing to do with this.

This isn't unique to GPUs. Corsair and EVGA used to rebrand terrible Shenzen designs in their PSU lines, and now they generally use SuperFlower and SeaSonic rebrands. MSI FX chipsets were notorious for blowing up, now they're the go-to for a lot of AMD people, and Asus is making problematic boards. Things just change over time

In tech, brand loyalty is one of the dumbest things you can participate in. Evaluate things on a case-by-case basis.


" In tech, brand loyalty is one of the dumbest things you can participate in. " << You can say that again! I was an ASUS fan boy for nearly two decades and all I can say is that over the last 5 years I've been watching their quality plummet. Customer service and support are also degrading rapidly with ASUS. Based on most of the reviews I've read regarding the Strix line of graphics cards I can only say what remaining shreds of confidence I once had with ASUS have pretty much vaporized. Speaking of problematic boards, I've had to RMA my latest purchase to ASUS 4 times and now I'm almost afraid to open box #5. If they do such a terrible job with main boards I can only guess what their graphics cards must be like. I'll look into the XFX GTR 480. Thanks for the response. :slight_smile:


Comps always be blowing up, and manufacturers' margins keep getting thinner, so they often make desperate choices. Warranty periods are going up though, that's one thing the Strix cards have going for them. I definitely don't like the noisier 3-fan coolers on everything, and all the LEDs, (RGB or otherwise) that I wind up disabling or putting tape over.

I went from an ASUS GTX780OC to a MSI GTX1070 Gaming X. Not really a necessary upgrade, but I want eet. While the 1070 won't do 2GHz on stock voltage, at 1950MHz or so the big fans only spin at about 700rpm to keep the core below 67C, making it hella quiet. Fans stop and start very quietly. If I was upgrading from something weaker I would be looking at the MSI GTX 1060 6GB Gaming X, give that a shot if you like Nvidia cards. Whatever GTX 1000 GPU you get, see if Asus, MSI, and the other big names have vbios revisions for them. Most cards use Micron VRAM now instead of Samsung, but the Micron doesn't overclock much without the vbios update. I don't think Zotac has VBIOS updates for their cards, which is why I didn't buy one.

Buildzoid really loved his RX 480 GTR until he murdered it, so if you want Radeon I would look closely at it. I think he has done a fair number of RX480 PCB breakdowns on his youtube channel, ActuallyHardCoreOverclocking. I wouldn't touch anything with 3 fans unless your gaming room has a high noise floor. RX 470s probably use the same PCBs and might be a better value, but might not quite have enough muscle for you.

AMD rebrands coming in the rumour mill, if you know what specific SKUs you are interested in now and want to wait, set price alerts on pcparkpicker and see if the prices drop before or after release. It's probably not going to make much of a difference, so if you can't have fun now, buy now.

With any Nvidia card, I use nvidiainspector to overclock and fiddle with things. A few clicks in task manager and it runs from boot, so you don't need to use an OC utility. One mark against MSI's stuff now is the Gaming App vs afterburner thing, you can really only use one. I use nvidiainspector and a neat tool from github to disable or change the LEDs. Far more of a "set and forget" affair than afterburner and the like, imo.

more fans=less noise at lower rpm.
my zotac 1070 amp extreme rarely has the fans even turn on. at stock boost to 2037 mgz and hottest it has ever been was 63c during synthetic benchmarks and the fans dont even turn on till 60c. games like skyrim at 4k cant even turn the fans on.

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I don't think the Zotac 1070 is exactly a "budget" card there, Fred.

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true but the point is more fans=less noise not the other way around.

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There are plusses and minuses when buying used. On one hand you can pretty much say goodbye to any warranty. On the other hand, you have a product that was tried and tested (provided the seller is on the level with you). When it comes to electronics the obsoletion curve is high but this is pretty much relative. I don't mind paying 300 bux for a good graphics card IF it is stable and has proven itself in the reviews. I intend to be putting it in a work station system anyway so gaming isn't really the priority although I wouldn't mind dabbling in a little rendering. What tkhoham has recommended might just be the thing. I've been scrutinizing the reviews again on the XFX GTR 480 and it's looking like this might just be the toy for the job. I'm looking for a good entry level card and this might just fit the bill.

Good point and point well-taken. I guess some people don't know the reason for multiple fans on a graphics card but you are absolutely right. Hey, I have a birthday coming, Fred. By summer your Zotac should be obsolete. nudge-nudge wink-wink :wink:


I don't think msi is go-to for anything amd... I am still hearing people complaining over msi gpus...
Recently Asrock have been fairly reliable quality wise... GPU wise XFX have been also overall stable reliable brand for the last few generations.

Something I am still baffled people don't understand...

this really, really depends on the render and your workflow. For things like blender's cycles, a good GPU can make a huge difference in render time, especially if you're doing high res renders. there are plenty of other renderers/plugins that also make good use of OpenCL/Cuda acceleration

I had heard good things about some of their b350 boards, and they certainly aren't exploding any more. I was just demonstrating a change in overall QC

No, I saw, I'm agreeing with you, while emphasizing that point. No slight intended, it's just that you opened with that when it is only very rarely the case these days.

PS: nice edit and withdrawal.

I think this is the source I was looking at when shopping for 1070s, and iirc the triple fan cards tended to be slightly cooler for the most part, but the fans spun faster and were a touch louder. Either way they're pretty quiet and in this case the Zotac card does top the chart, but some of these cards are 1070s and others are 1080s, it's not a completely fair comparison.


I think the important part is the fan curve and heatsink. The TDPs of current GPUs are small enough that you can use really skimpy heatsinks and rely on slightly higher temperature difference and/or fan speed to take care of the heat. If you have the extra coin, find something with a beast heatsink and a low fan speed at load. Regardless of the number of fans, slower is better.

I have the XFX GTR 480. For what it is, it is a great card.


I mean if you want a budget card a 470 8GB is pretty great. All the AMD/ATi cards are amazing right now, especially on linux. If you go by what reviewers say then all the GPU's suck compared to the GPU's in their mobile millennial mail machines.

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There will always be flucuations in what manufacture is producing good stuff and which is producing bad, and still it changes by product category.

Look at motherboard manufactures for the last 2 AMD sockets. The Asus AM4 Hero 6 is top 3 in terms of VRM design, but its had odd problems that have the community in general not recommending Asus for AM4 right now. That's a stark contrast to AM3+, where Asus was the goto brand for the entirety of that socket's lifetime. MSI is now considered where its at for AM4, but if you recommended MSI on AM3+ you were looked at as woefully uninformed. One generation difference, and complete swap of community perspective.

As for a GPU example, look at Sapphire. Sapphire's R9 200 series and R9 300 series were the defacto kings of AMD Aftermarket cards, and now they're looked at as maybe even below-average in the RX 400 series so far. People adored the Vapor-X R9 290x, and now the highest end Sapphire Nitro RX 480 is viewed as "middle of the road" in terms of RX 480s. XFX did the opposite. The R9 300 cards from XFX were "meh, okay" in general. Now, the XFX GTR RX 480 is the goto 480. I mean hell I've even got one in the room over, its a damn good card and a sizable contrast to the XFX cards of the R9 300 and R9 200 years.

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It really does look like the XFX GTR 480 is the over all winner in its class. Alas it's 50 to 100 bux Canadian more than what I'm prepared to pay for this class of card and I don't see the price dropping any time soon. If I could get it for 300 Canadian I'd consider it but by the time taxes and the xtras are paid I'm looking at closer to 400 bux for a stable card in this class. :::shrugs::: You get what you pay for. Perhaps after Vega rolls in the price will drop.

It really does look to be a good card and a stable over clocker.

Now you're talking. I've been over this with a friend who can't understand why i want a better quality card if i'm not a hard core gamer.