After suffering through the **** that is using a laptop from the 90's after my main rig was toasted I have decided to get a new computer pretty soon (ie, before r600 is released). I've been looking at a 8800 (either GTS or GTX) but I'm unsure of what brand to get.
What manufacturer would you recommend that I'd buy?
meh... eVGA offers their 90 day step up program and XFX offers a double life time warranty. Some companies (most actually) offer factory overclocked cards for those who don't want to do it themselves. But all the companies mentioned before (maybe not PNY, have no experience with them) are good choices. BFG or eVGA for me
Some offer a pre-configured water-cooling setup for the card, if you don't want to do that yourself (and I think you'd be better off buying a regular card at regular price, pulling the fans and sinks off yourself and buying a high quality Danger Den or other GPU cooling block if you plan to go water cooler style on your rig).
Others have slightly different heat handling setups (I believe the fans and heatinks are generally a little different on each of them, but all probably similar in performance). Some are overclocked out of the box, but all can be overclocked via the provided software (or the direct Nvidia desktop thingy).
My last two or three cards have been eVGA, so that is who I am sticking with until they do me wrong. I looked at XFX and BFG quite a bit and didn't see a reason to switch to them.
Also, since I'm building my machine with an eVGA 680i motherboard, I figured I might as well go for the eVGA card, too. What the hell.
As far as Foxconn and others... I have absolutely no experience or knowledge of them and have only occasionally (recently) even heard their names uttered.
Go with eVGA,they have excellent support as well as a Advanced RMA Program,and their Stepup program which allows you to use the card or cards you buy for 90 days,then you can trade them in on a newer of faster card and get back exactly what you paid for them. There is no other company that can match their programs or support.Their Advanced RMA Program coast $16.99. this gets you overnite replacement,before you ship your bad card or board back Shipping both ways cost you nothing,because its part of the ARP. Plus their cards and mother board have lifetime warrantys.
Hey, I didn't know about the RMA process. I'll have to check that out. I presume it's something you have to register for and pay for ahead of time (like insurance, they can afford it because most people won't need to use it, but will be stuck paying for it).
The only downside to the upgrade program would seem to be that they refund you the cost of your card as per your actual receipt price from the retailer, but they won't charge you that price for the upgraded card. So while the card is going for $560 online, you might have to pay $650 to get it at MSRP from eVGA.
Still, if you're like me and you want your 8800 GTX(es) right now, but you also want to upgrade to the revised 8900s or whatever in a few months, it sounds like a potentially good deal.
Also, were you implying that you can use the Advanced RMA program TOGETHER with the upgrade so you get it quicker?