buying an ATI product - buy from ATI direct or an OEM

ok , so i hate when i unsuccesffully google things, that is ground zero of dumb computer users...my question..

i am going to buy the ATI Radeon X800 XL - i can get some serious discounts by instead buying it from sapphire or asus or 3dconnect, do i pull the trigger and buy from them instead of ATI, their prices are much lower, is it worth the ssavvings or do i lose alot of quality...????

here is the list of all the manufacturers i would price shop if indeed i wont lose too much quality from buying from them..

http://www.ati.com/partnerprogram/sipp/profiles.html
finnstoneAsked:
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mysticaldanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The ATI card charges brand name. Dont forget that at the end of the day ur buying ATI technology and that will be expensive. Its like saying i am buying a car powered by a ferrari engine. What wud u do? Buy an original Ferrari or one powered by the sam engine?

Its upto u really. SOme of the manufacturers tweak up the cards to get better performance than their original counterparts while others just take the ATI design code and build a card on it. These cards are low on performance and even cheaper in price. Thats what seperates a good card from the bad even though both are powwered by the same ATI. Some manufacturers goa step ahead and soup up the ATI design by putting in additional features which only in case they are excellent in support and drivers help you out with good performance. I find stability and performance to have a trade off and u have to decide what u want. The balancing factor is price.

ASUS is known to tweak their cards nicely and have good support so u can stick with them for sure. Saphhire might have good support from ATI itself so it can be considered another face for selling ATI cards so expect decent performance and support from them.

You need to do a little comparison on http://www.guru3d.com/ and Toms hardware and u will see where each one of them scores. All in all ASUS is an option i consider most of the time cause of their effort in making a good card and they make sure that heat and stability are not issues either along with top performance in most areas. You always find them in the top 3 and usually over the original ATI cards for sure. MSI is also good for the same reason too and i prefer their cards also.

Dan
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maimon22Commented:
I like Sapphire. They manufacture the cards that are branded as Built-By-ATI too. I've only ever used Sapphire and BBATI cards. I think that most makers are decent though. If it doesn't work, you can always return it and within the same line like the X800XT, they're all going to perform nearly identically since they use the same drivers and have the same cores and speed of memory, etc.
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finnstoneAuthor Commented:
but why are they cheaper??
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finnstoneAuthor Commented:
are there any online comparisons of sapphire versus direct ATI performance? thanks!
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nick1059Commented:
All video cards that are branded by ATI use ATI's Chipsets, each mafctr,. use their own PCB and add ATI's chips to the board. I prefer the ASUS boards if im using a  "Powered by ATI" video card. They use a 6 layer PCB (circuit board) instead of the cheaper 4 layer.
You can also find video card comparisons ay tomshardware.com
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finnstoneAuthor Commented:
toms site does not compare the ati to its OEM counterparts
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finnstoneAuthor Commented:
i read that ATI does not even make thier own brand!! i read some forums that say they agreed to stop making them altogether and it is just a pricing ploy that they actually market a built by ATI card!!

i also read some more of that hint here

http://www.forumplanet.com/planethardware/topic.asp?fid=2527&tid=1168591&p=1
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finnstoneAuthor Commented:
thanks, what do you think of connect3d?
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mysticaldanCommented:
Havent used it although like normal ATI based cards its in the top 5 and in certain tests ranks 1,2,3 also but then considering that ATI has few partners that shud be expected. Each one of the partners are good. Companies like ASUS and MSI are known for their good circuitary and build so i prefer to stick with them.

Dan
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