EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte or Asus GTX 970?

Dawis67_AE

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I have read a TON of reviews and watched ton of videos. More and more i do it it seems to get more complicated. I havent read a lot about EVGA though since everybody seems to have huge hype over ASUS and MSI.
Now here is the question. Which GTX 970 is better overclocker? Asking which performs best is useless since they all use same chip.

I heard lot of good things about Gigabytes version. Personally its in my shopping list at the moment for couple of reasons. I have seen good overclocks with it (1500mhz+) and it runs extremely cool. Although i have hear bad things like fans wearing out very quickly and generaly not so good build quality.

MSI Twin Frozr has got ton of attention however i havent seen any good overclocks and temperatures are bit lower

Same goes for ASUS Strix. Generally its highly popular but i have heard that it runs hot and you cant overclock it as well as u can others.

And generally nothing much about EVGA.

Can some GPU expert explain these rumours to me and tell me if they are true or not, especially if Gigabytes fans will die fast?

Tnx.
 

Lizard_of_Bodom

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Was in the same boat but went a bit fanboy'ish towards MSI :) I did, however, do my homework and will tell you what I was sold on:
Was considering only MSI, ASUS or Gigabyte. I was never convinced to other brands, partially because they are hard to get in my country, partially because I am just used to those 3 brands, so EVDA, PALIT, ZOTAC and other - I wasnt even considering them.

so, stuff that I read and were important deciding factors for me:

Gigabyte
+ coolest on full load, has backplate, OC the best, has LED logo if you fancy stuff like that
- the longest of them all, bit more noisier, no fan-stop technology, more expensive than other 2, rumours about seaizing fans on previous windforce coolers, ugly (subjective opinion :)

ASUS
+ backplate, fan-stop technology, nice look, quiet, metal shroud around fans
- single 8 pin connector (can be advantage for other, though), worse OC of them all, also the slowest of those 3 in tests, VRMs are exposed and more prone to overheating

MSI
+ TwinFrozr cooler , fan-stop technlolgy, quieter and cooler than ASUS, OC capability (better than ASUS, tad worse than GIG), LED dragon&MSI logo (if somebody fancies that, also you can programme its behaviour from desktop), VRMs are heatsinked, just purely beautiful (subjective :), cheapest of them 3
- no backplate, plastic fan shroud (although really it doesnt mean much, heatsink and heatpipes are MUCH better than in previous TF4 so shroud is more like cosmetc feature)

Of them all I decided to go for MSI. For one, that I have soft spot for MSI cards, had 5870 Lightning (TwinFrozr3), had 670OC (TF4), so now TF5 was my first choice. Also, I LOVE fan-stop technology, I spent much effort to quieten my PC and now in idle its really dead silent. Its design and OCing won me over ASUS, and Gigabyte was just too.. too much... those extra few mhz on OC are not worth such behemot constantly spinning its fans in my case.

BTW - after testing MSI yesterday, I am stunned - it barely touches 60degree on full load (with 6 low-spinning fans in my case), and with only CPU fan working it reaches barely 69C on its own fans (with 55%speed only). And let me tell you - even at this speed, the sound it generates is similar to my previous 670OC on idle (30%fan speed was the lowest). Making fans bigger definetely was a right choice.
As for performance - its hard to choke it with anything on my HD screen, you really need 3-setup or 4K to feel stuttering.

Id say with those 3 cards you are more likely to choose based on own preferences. Performance of them all will be similar (just few FPS difference in range of 60 and above really makes no major difference) so what you need to decide is look, noise and "wow" factor that speaks to you.
Whichever you go - you will be happy

hope that helps a little :)

 

Dazinek

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Alot more people are going towards the MSI, as it has a high clock on it aslong with the Gigabyte.

EVGA has been caught with there chips being not aligned on the heat sink correctly..(Tho, they replied with it being how its suppose to be).

Asus is always just a solid company to fall back on..
and gigabyte is generally the same way.

As for the 970's... MSI>Gigabyte>ASUS>EVGA.

EVGA's Problem: http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/evga-geforce-gtx-970-acx-has-misaligned-gpu-vs-heatpipes.html

Everything you need to know about the MSI 970: http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/msi_geforce_gtx_970_gaming_review,1.html
 

Dawis67_AE

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I am not as much interested in Asus since it falls behind 780 for a bit.
Why is MSI better? I mean it got only 2 fans and also i havent seen that much of overclocking on MSI
 

Lizard_of_Bodom

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Was in the same boat but went a bit fanboy'ish towards MSI :) I did, however, do my homework and will tell you what I was sold on:
Was considering only MSI, ASUS or Gigabyte. I was never convinced to other brands, partially because they are hard to get in my country, partially because I am just used to those 3 brands, so EVDA, PALIT, ZOTAC and other - I wasnt even considering them.

so, stuff that I read and were important deciding factors for me:

Gigabyte
+ coolest on full load, has backplate, OC the best, has LED logo if you fancy stuff like that
- the longest of them all, bit more noisier, no fan-stop technology, more expensive than other 2, rumours about seaizing fans on previous windforce coolers, ugly (subjective opinion :)

ASUS
+ backplate, fan-stop technology, nice look, quiet, metal shroud around fans
- single 8 pin connector (can be advantage for other, though), worse OC of them all, also the slowest of those 3 in tests, VRMs are exposed and more prone to overheating

MSI
+ TwinFrozr cooler , fan-stop technlolgy, quieter and cooler than ASUS, OC capability (better than ASUS, tad worse than GIG), LED dragon&MSI logo (if somebody fancies that, also you can programme its behaviour from desktop), VRMs are heatsinked, just purely beautiful (subjective :), cheapest of them 3
- no backplate, plastic fan shroud (although really it doesnt mean much, heatsink and heatpipes are MUCH better than in previous TF4 so shroud is more like cosmetc feature)

Of them all I decided to go for MSI. For one, that I have soft spot for MSI cards, had 5870 Lightning (TwinFrozr3), had 670OC (TF4), so now TF5 was my first choice. Also, I LOVE fan-stop technology, I spent much effort to quieten my PC and now in idle its really dead silent. Its design and OCing won me over ASUS, and Gigabyte was just too.. too much... those extra few mhz on OC are not worth such behemot constantly spinning its fans in my case.

BTW - after testing MSI yesterday, I am stunned - it barely touches 60degree on full load (with 6 low-spinning fans in my case), and with only CPU fan working it reaches barely 69C on its own fans (with 55%speed only). And let me tell you - even at this speed, the sound it generates is similar to my previous 670OC on idle (30%fan speed was the lowest). Making fans bigger definetely was a right choice.
As for performance - its hard to choke it with anything on my HD screen, you really need 3-setup or 4K to feel stuttering.

Id say with those 3 cards you are more likely to choose based on own preferences. Performance of them all will be similar (just few FPS difference in range of 60 and above really makes no major difference) so what you need to decide is look, noise and "wow" factor that speaks to you.
Whichever you go - you will be happy

hope that helps a little :)

 

Laytonoid

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I had the EVGA GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 for a day and it started coil whining hardcore. I returned it and got the ASUS STRIX. It is built very well with a metal fan shroud and a backplate. MSI looks good too. I have my ASUS OC'ed just as much as my friends MSI card and it runs the same no problem there. The MSI does look cooler IMO but I would rather have the backplate and metal shroud over color. ASUS is a really solid brand from my experience. And the guy above me says the MSI is cooler then ASUS but he doesn't mention that its by 2-3C which is nothing. The VRM's on the ASUS are "super alloy" and can be heated quite high. Also, they touch the heatsink anyways so that helps too. Either way, MSI or ASUS, you would be happy i'm sure. Both are great cards. The 0db fan tech is pretty nice and quiet.
 

Dawis67_AE

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@Lizard_of_Bodom

Yes. I dont like Strix since its the worst performing one out of all 3. MSI is just GORGEOUS. But gigabyte offers best performance. But the thing i am worried about Gigabyte is its fans. I heard roumors saying that its fans die fast and i dont want that for my futureproof build. I much reather get MSI (BTW i will have MSI Gaming 5 motherboard too) and save 15$ then have Gigabyte die on me. Reason i believe this is that my friend also says gigabyte build quality isnt the best one.

Anyhow i have to wait for Blackwidow Chroma to arrive at my store and its estimated on 17th october.

PS. Only downside with MSI will be that i will have Razer themed build so red doesnt really fit, but i dont care that much as long as it has good performance.
 

maxtex

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It just depends what you want from the card in the end. And even then these cards are all pretty close to each other, they're all excellent anyway.

If I'd prioritize the best performance, then the Gigabyte would be just perfect for that. But personally I like quiet, cool and not power-hungry cards, and I don't care that much about overclocking. I also love the passive cooling the MSI Gaming and Asus Strix have, so they are my favorites, mainly because of that. They're also the quietest cards, idle (well duh) and under load. And okay the Asus is one of the slowest 970s, but I don't care so much about those few percents. And the MSI is actually one of the faster ones

Then there's also looks. I don't like the Gygabyte so much, it's just all black, and it's a too long. However it does look nicely solid and rigid. Asus also has that soid look to it, partly because it has a backplate too. It looks better than the Gigabyte too, although it's not stunning or anything. The MSI looks the nicest, but it lacks the rigid-ness of the other cards (and has no backplate). EVGA is meh.

Overall the Asus was my favorite (slightly) and that's the one I ordered. It's might not be the fastest but all-round it's just great. Although I'm still waiting to get mine, I should've had it already but then they weren't in stock anywhere anymore so now I gotta wait much longer even...
 

Alex Kelly

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MSI and ASUS are the best. I had a really hard time deciding between the two. MSI performs better, ASUS looks better. I got the MSI but I am kinda upset about it because the Asus is such a solid piece of hardware. But the MSI does perform better.
 

maxtex

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Ey Alex did you get your card yet? Mine was gonna be delivered to me around today and then suddenly it wasn't so now I gotta wait like another week, at least.
And the funny thing is that the Asus is nowhere to be found while that MSI was pretty massively in stock here. : P
 

Alex Kelly

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Mine should be arriving tomorrow :) and sorry to hear that. The ASUS is now out of stock in Australia too. Maybe I should have got it while I could :p but I'll be happy with my MSI.
 

Lizard_of_Bodom

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@Laytonid
Yea, true, MSI is only few degree cooler, on all tests its marginally better than ASUS as for sound and temps, the only card that (supposedly) stands out as for temps is Gigabyte (60deg vs 68deg) but I havent seen any proper comparison test between those 3 cards at once, its allways ASUS vs MSI or Gigabyte vs something else, so I will really believe in this 10deg difference once all them are compared beside each other.
(on other hand, than windforce cooler is rated for 600W so i is really an overkill for Maxwell...)

btw -I forgot to mention, I think MSI is the only one with 8+6 connector, so in theory it should provide best and most stable OC.

but the generall conclusion is as said above - any of them 3 will be fantastic and its really down to personal preferences....
 

maxtex

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Yeah MSI has 6+8 pin, and so does the Gigabyte. Asus has only an 8-pin. I believe 6-pin is 75W and 8-pin is 150W of power (so like two 6-pins). And PCI is 75W, so with the MSI and Gigabyte you can basically draw 300W if needed :p

 

Alex Kelly

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Yah. The only bad things about the Strix is that it's fan caps out at 42% which means the card can't boost as well as it could, it has a single 8 pin so even if you use a manual fan curve you will be limited by the 8 pin power. Also, I've heard the weight of the card causes the right side of it to droop, which would personally annoy the hell out of me.
 

Lizard_of_Bodom

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MSI is also a "solid piece", trust me :) once you take in your hand you wont regret choosing it, seriously. All that fuss over "plastic" shroud is really overblown - just feel the heatpipes on that gizmo and you will feel the solidity of the build :)



 

maxtex

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Hmm you did some research huh?
Well, the MSI has coil whine issues I've heard, which not something I would wanna live with to be honest. Otherwise the card is great :p
 

Lizard_of_Bodom

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What do you mean, that fans wont go over 42% of speed? that...would be weird... seriously...
power limit shouldnt really be an issue because, as stated abowe, you kave 75W+150W for your disposal for card that has TDP of 165W so you do the math :)

As for weight [HINT :)] - MSI bends a bit aswell, almost all cards to, whether they have backplate or not. I did with mine the same as did with previous gtx670 - cable tie it to the upper part of the rack. Just gently, to support the weight but not bend it the other way. Works perfectly :)




 

Alex Kelly

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I haven't heard of coil whine issues with the MSI card, if mine has those issues I'll probably cry and return it for a Strix. But here's hoping it's perfect :D
 

maxtex

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Hmmm iiidunno, the card looks a little thin over the whole :p
 

Lizard_of_Bodom

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I can only vouch for mine, but mine does not whine :) checked.
and as I mentioned - my PC is pretty quiet so I would heard.



 

maxtex

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Well I just read it once and it was really minor, I'm just messing with ya, as you are with me :p
 

Alex Kelly

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Lizard, it's true. It's what stopped me from getting one over the MSI.

'One issue we did notice with the ASUS card is that it initially wasn't boosting as high as we'd have expected. We noticed that the fans didn't seem to want to spin beyond 42 percent, apparently prioritising low noise over boost frequency. As such, we set the fans manually to 50 percent, which saw a higher and more constant boost clock emerge. The downside to this is that the fan speed is locked, and won't slow down or enter its passive mode, even when idle.'

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2014/09/19/nvidia-geforce-gtx-970-review/12
 

Lizard_of_Bodom

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Yyyyeeea, right - as it is the slimmest of them 3 (less smaller than usual 2 slot). but did you have it in hand?
I did! :)
and trust me - it actually seems more studry than my preivious msi 670OC with TF4 that was full metal.
Just saying :]




 

maxtex

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@ Alex Hahaha, but I didn't know that about the fans btw.. oh well i can live with that, not much of an overclocker anyway :p

And @Lizard 150+75W is plenty yeah but there's always power loss and that's probably why the cards that have 8+6 pin connector have more overclocking potential. And yeah MSI makes solid products always, I was only exaggerating a bit. Still, the Asus looks more rigid :p
 

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