The search for a new graphics card is becoming more and more intimidating with the increased number of options on the market. Let us not mentioned that you need to choose what card manufacturer you wish to go with and this is not an easy task.
You may feel intimidated at first, but don’t worry you aren’t the only one! This article will teach you the basic things you need to know so you can make the right choice, so keep reading!
Why Are Graphics Cards Manufactured by Different Companies?
The graphics card market has grown significantly in the past years, with this increase in customers comes a bigger diversification of desires and the market is becoming harder and harder to satisfy. Some prefer row performance, others overclocking capabilities or even esthetics that incorporate RGB lights.
NVIDIA and AMD are GPU manufacturers which means that they design and produce the actual silicon chips for graphics cards and they produce the basic model that is designed to serve a general market need but when it comes to overclocking and better esthetics they partner with third-party graphics cards manufacturers.
This way they can focus all their resources on developing the best GPUs, while the more specific market demands are satisfied by other companies so, in the end, the end-user will be satisfied.
The interest in GPU overclocking has skyrocketed, and game developers are pushing the limits of the most powerful PC components on the market to achieve the most stunning and realistic graphics possible and this will incentivize more and more GPU users to overclock their graphics cards.
So with an ever-growing demand for overclocking so is the demand for aftermarket graphics cards and this is the main reason why there are so many graphics card manufacturers that are pushing the NVIDIA and AMD GPUs to their limits.
Does the Graphics Card Manufacturer Matter?
The graphics card manufacturer matters because he will design and produce the actual graphics card that incorporates the NVIDIA or AMD GPU. The factory overclocking, and the overall overclocking capabilities of a graphics card are determined by the actual manufacturer of the card.
These are the main reasons why a graphics card manufacturer actually matters and why there is such a big price gap between them:
- Better components: due to the fact that the final graphics card design is done by the manufacturer, the overall quality of components used in building it is totally in their hands,
- Factory overclocking: most aftermarket graphics cards come overclocked by some degree out of the box, the amount is determined hon how confident is the manufacturer that the card can handle it, still be stable, and have a long lifespan,
- Cooling solution: the cooling system is designed by the card manufacturer, a better cooling system means that you can have more room for overclocking, and let us not mention the temperature on which a card will run can affect its life span,
- Overclocking capabilities: the quality of components used in the build and the cooling system are the main factors that determine the overclocking capabilities of a graphics card and they are determined by the manufacturer,
- Esthetics: because the manufacturer designed the actual card it is responsible for its final design as well, now not everybody focuses on the appearance of the card but there are people who do,
- Extra features: some manufacturers incorporate in their designed extra features like RGB lights,
- Software: besides the GPU driver that is developed by NVIDIA or AMD when you buy an aftermarket card you will get software that will track the temperature and performance of your card, but may feature of this software that allows you to easily overclock your card,
- Customer service: because they manufacture the final product they are the one that handles the customer’s reclamations and they offer the actual warranty.
Now all of this being said don’t think that you need the most expensive card because yes the manufacturer matters but it won’t have a massive impact on the card’s performance unless you are willing to overclock it.
Some cards are almost as expensive as the higher-end model because they have lots of features like RGB LEDs and so on, if esthetic isn’t that important for you and you aren’t an overclocking geek then you will be better off getting the higher-end series card.
Who Is the Biggest GPU Manufacturer?
The biggest GPU manufacturer is Intel because they have a GPU integrated into their desktop and mobile processors (62%), in second place comes NVIDIA with around 20% and in third is AMD with 18% of the market share. So NVIDIA and AMD are very close when it comes to GPUs sold.
When it comes to graphics cards, ASUS is one of the biggest if not the biggest manufacturer because they established a high trust relationship with their buyers over the years.
What Are the Main Graphics Card Manufacturers?
Because there are so many graphics card brands on the market it is important to know which are the biggest and the most reliable ones, so let’s explore that:
|Graphics card manufacturer||Overclocking potential||Design||Reliability||Customer service||Warranty|
|ASUS||Very good||Impressive||Very good||Decent||3 years|
|EVGA||Very good||Good/Minimalist||Very good||Good||3 years;|
5 or 10 years *
|MSI||Very good||Good||Very good||Decent||3 years|
Impressive on some models
4 or 5 years *
3 years *
|XFX||Good||Decent||Decent||Decent||2 or 3 years|
|PNY||Good||Decent||Decent but |
with problems reported
5 years *
|Sapphire||Poor||Decent||Very good||Decent||2 years|
* with an extended warranty
These are the most renowned graphics card manufacturers and I heavily recommend that you stick with one of them so that you are sure that you get a good and reliable card.
Where Are GPUs Manufactured?
NVIDIA and AMD are designing their GPUs and are performing tests on them but the production is outsourced to TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) which is a Taiwanese company, so the most expensive part of your graphics card is made in Asia.
Keep in mind that the production is done under the strict guidelines of NVIDIA or AMD, but still, they are made in Taiwan. Many graphics card manufacturers are even assembling the entire card in Taiwan, the only manufacturer that is declaring on their website that they assemble cards in the USA is PNY.
Practically it is unrealistic to compete with Taiwanese companies when it comes to production costs, labor is much cheaper than in the more developed countries, so all the components are manufactured in Taiwan and China. Most graphics cards are even assembled in Taiwan.
The good news is that a deal between the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and the US government was made, and as a result, a $12bn factory has been given the green light to start construction in Arizona. The new plant will be tasked with the production of 5nm chips, so in the future, we may have USA-made chips.
Which GPU Manufacturer Is the Best?
The best brand for GPU is considered to be NVIDIA but they don’t lead the market by a lot so it really comes down to budget and personal preferences.
The best graphics card manufacturer is EVGA because they are renowned for their reliability, great customer support, and top-of-the-line overclocking performance, the only major downside is the higher price tag. Due to their great customer service, many customers converted to loyal fans of the brand.
Keep in mind that all the ratings for graphics card manufacturers (rating for support) have dropped lately due to the problems in supply chains, they are unable to replace cards that have problems, so don’t have high expectations. Now you can find even some of the EVGA fanboys disappointed.
Asus makes very good cards but is renowned for bad customer support and some of their cards had issues that were fairly common, but let us not forget that a brand that is at the top of the sell charts will have much more problems reported than a brand on the bottom of the chart just because they have much more products sold.
Now, you don’t need to buy every time the graphics card made by the most renowned manufacturer, at the end of the day, you get the same GPU even if the overall graphics card build quality is lower.
I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.