I just thought I'd type a mini-rant on this subject since it was bugging me after I read a few things, and did some research.
I will try to make this as small as possible (lol) because I am very excited and hyperactive about owning the World's Best 16-core Processor (it's funny because it's actually true and still takes the piss out of ThE WoRlDs BeSt GaMinG PRoCEsSoR). Oh, and also an RTX 2070, so Ray Tracing will be cool again.
But before I digress any further, the Mini-Rant:
Companies that make both GeForce and Radeon cards tend to put more effort into their GeForce designs.
So there is the subject of this mini-rant. I will say, that while some of the AIB Partners that make both do make some excellent Radeon cards, this is a trend I am seeing a lot, over the years.
I will call out one company in particular here, and that is ASUS. Their RX 5700 lineup is pretty bad, with the TUF card for Navi 10 being almost downright appalling. There are some logical reasons, that I think are to blame for this.
Firstly, I'll say that my experience with ASUS GeForce cards has been very positive. Looking around, the consensus is largely the same. I had an ASUS GTX 2060 Super 'Dual-EVO' and the card was great, quiet, cool and build-quality was fantastic. I actually ordered the ASUS RTX 2070 'Dual-EVO' because I was so impressed with the cooler on the 2060S.
Anyway; the fact is, companies like ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte (examples) tend to treat Radeon products like second-class citizens. And there is a reason for this, and it's quite simple.
Partners will sell significantly more GeForce cards than Radeons. Unfortunately, this is true. AMD Radeon has rather low marketshare and GeForce's brand is a lot stronger. When designing a custom card, companies that make both GeForce and Radeon, will often customise the cooler design for the GeForces of the current generation, and then sort of "jury-rig" (almost) it to fit the Radeon cards.
This is something we saw with some Hawaii-based models, to which the heat-pipes were clearly laid out for GK110- based cards, and with Hawaii being a rectangular GPU, some of these heatpipes weren't even touching the GPU on what was supposed to be a direct-die contact. That, of course, lead to sub-optimal thermals; especially considering the furnace (bless it) that Hawaii was.
So, taking ASUS's Radeon RX 5700 lineup as an example, I just feel the company has taken very little effort to design a truly great product, and just slapped a "good enough" design on to appease the people who want to buy ASUS Radeon Cards.
I don't condone it, but it makes financial sense; returns on GeForces are A LOT higher than Radeons. It makes sense to not spend as much R & D on Radeon models.
Which brings me to the moral of the story here...
Partners that only make Radeons (Sapphire, PowerColor, etc) are often the best choice if you want a Radeon video card.
I stand by this statement, and I stand by it until companies like ASUS can get their act together with Radeon and put some bloody effort into their designs.
It's a catch-22, guys, if you don't put effort into Radeon, it will never gain brand traction, and reinforce the lower sales.
Since partners like Sapphire and PowerColor only make Radeons, they pour their heart and soul into their designs and they're built from the ground-up (usually) for the GPU they are used on. I'll say from experience, reading online and listening to peoples' opinions, that Sapphire and PowerColor make fantastic cards.
It's got to the point now, when if someone asks me to recommend a Radeon, I'm more or less saying "Sapphire or PowerColor" Custom models and you can't really go wrong.
With PowerColor's Red Devil RX 5700 XT being, essentially, the best custom Navi 10 card available (Don't just take my word for it, many reviewers agree); Sapphire's Nitro+ holding a similar accolade, and with previous champions like the Nitro+ and Pulse-series RX 500 models from Sapphire (I owned an RX 570 Pulse; it had a alu backplate with Thermal pads on the rear of th VRM, full conact VRAM+VRM, multiple heatpipes and stunning build quality, on a card that cost me £150, go figure).
This mini-rant was sort of aimed at ASUS. MSI's Radeon models are pretty good and they've got some Radeon-Specific designs which look reasonable. Gigabyte and Asus, though? Well, the latter, I am woefully disappointed with their Navi 10 models. I have heard positive things about Gigabyte's Navi 10 offerings, but I am still conflicted with experience of their previous generation models.
It's a shame because ASUS makes, arguably, some of the best custom GeForce cards available. I just wish they didn't treat Radeons like second-class citizens.
Thanks for reading. <3