I have never done a review before, so please bear with me if I do something wrong. I hope my review is interesting and helpful to you as it will be for me to think about everything when writing it.
After few month of thinking I came up with publishing this post about Graphics Direct .
I have bought from them in the past but because of some bad experiences in that company I stopped buying graphics cards there. Above all other reasons, that made me stop going there was memory (RAM) not working well on my computer after putting it into brand new PC. This was happening with both RAMs, one of them had problem after 5-6 months and later another one went faulty too. You can imagine how frustrating was that situation. None of the RAMs were burnt out or anything like that, so it had to be faulty work on assembling PC. So you could say I am little bit sensitive about things related not working well on my PC and customer service.
This is what made me stop going to this shop, but after some time I felt like giving them another chance. After all they are selling graphics cards which are essential part of computer and good one would definitely affect positively performance in games if you are into gaming at home.
So with my new experience in mind, good thing was I read some other reviews too, which pushed me more towards buy from them again (positive ones). And there was also one other reason - one positive review mentioned they have now better customer service and they have sorted things up. So that was small plus, but not the main reason I decided to give them another chance because one thing is one person saying this, and other is many people saying about same topic.
There was also few negative reviews here and there which made me think why would somebody write something like this? People usually don't go shouting around or writing stuff on internet if their customer service experience in any company isn't good (or at least almost everybody doesn't do that), so in my opinion it's better not to listen too much to those bad comments even though there could be some truth behind them. Also I saw positive comments where somebody said they got nice customer service , so who am I to decide what is true and what is not. I made my decision and so you should do yourself too - use your own yardstick, but for me those positive posts in forums counted more (and again there were a few different people saying this).
And then lastly I thought about it all again and if they would screw up things like first time around, at least their warranty policy covers that. So that meant that I would get graphics cards s repaired or replaced even three months after buying them. Why three months? Because in the shop when registering purchased graphic card you have to write day of purchase on paper + serial number of graphic card and give it back to somebody working there before two years are over from initial purchase date. You can extend warranty by extra year (for some price) but it's better to do that when you buy graphics card first time.
So I went to their shop and was deciding between few models (R9 290, GTX970, GTX980). Pricing was different in all cases but for me it's not a factor if something is slightly cheaper somewhere else because prices are going down every week or two, so better go with slightly more expensive product just for peace of mind. And I have heard many times before that they give very good discounts, especially if you are buying multiple graphics cards at once - will check this out another time.
When choosing the model I was looking into following things: 1) How well does it work on overclocking?) How much performance can be gained by overclocking it? 2) How much power it uses and how loud it is (fans)? 3) What warranty I get with this particular model? And lastly 4) Looks - they always try to make their products look nice, but if you don't care about looks then go for cheapest one.
So in the end I decided to spend roughly £200 on GTX980, mainly because of reviews said that it's very good card which should let me play games @ 1080p at least few years without any problems. Also it has some overclocking potential since there were many people saying they got around 1400MHz or even more stable from this card, so yeah.
I bought MSI GeForce GTX GAMING 4G which was £189.99 , and I took Corsair 120mm fan instead of default one (which was £3 cheaper) - you can get better fans for this price but they are usually much bigger & louder so no point in spending that extra money if only thing you care is performance and silence. And also some people said it's very small difference between different manufacturers, not like CPU/GPU where there could be big differences (I didn't test all those out myself though).
When buying graphics cards, warranty is always first thing I look into because what good does overclocking it do if something goes wrong with your card when its just a year old? This model has 3 years warranty which means that even if something fails in two years after purchase, they will replace it for you.
Another great thing they do is that if something goes wrong with your graphics card in warranty period you don't have to send it to them, but can take it into one of their stores where people working there will fix it for you on the spot! Unfortunately I didn't see any of these stores yet, so I guess I have to mail my card back like PC World and other shops do. Not a big deal either way, but more convenient if chip fails around Christmas time or something...
I played games first day when graphics card arrived (needed new PCI-E cable too because new card is bigger than old) and .. what a difference! For example Dirt 3 suddenly seemed much more smooth and everything was just better. Did some quick benchmarks and I was surprised with how much difference there is between GTX970 and GTX980 - almost 50% faster, which means that games are going to look (and possibly run) a lot better on this card than previous one.
Prepared few screenshots of these tests. Everything here was measured at different resolutions, so bigger score/framerate number is better:
in battlegrounds there were still many things happening on screen, such as cars driving around, buildings exploding etc... So this isn't the best map for benchmarking in my opinion :) But anyway it all looked very nice!
Next game which I tested was 'The Bureau' .Siehe vollständige Bewertung