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  3. What does "Reference" and "Non-Reference" mean?
BeerOnTap 7 years ago#1
See this all the time when people are speaking of GPUs
Ch3wy 7 years ago#2
Nobody actually knows. It's just something people have always said.
WyzeGye 7 years ago#3
Reference is the way amd and nvidia intended their cards to be, non reference is any or all of the following, different PCB, cooling solution, shroud
MasterDonGero 7 years ago#4
Reference refers to the design created by AMD/Nvidia. Non-reference refers to the design created by the manufacturers like MSI or Gigabyte.
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Killah Priest 7 years ago#5
reference = AMD/Nvidia sends them a card they slap their name on it and sell it.

non reference = AMD/Nvidia sends them a card they go over the card and see if they can improve it almost always adding at least better cooling.

that would be the half ass way of describing it.
MaKhaos 7 years ago#6
Reference is Nvidia and AMD's stock cooler design.
Non-reference is the aftermarket cooler design by EVGA, Sapphire, Gigabyte, etc.
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burn420247 7 years ago#7
'reference' = the design of the GPU's cooler and PCB and various components as submitted by the GPU's chip maker (AMD / Nvidia)

'non reference' = a design change of the GPU's cooler and or sometimes a change of design of the PCB and components on the PCB.

in both 'reference' and 'non reference' the actual GPU core itself is still the same.

non reference cards typically offer better cooling, and sometimes slightly better performance due to the changes made.
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BeerOnTap 7 years ago#8
I have an EVGA 780 Superclocked with ACX cooling.
Says the cooling method was designed by EVGA so is this a non-reference card or not?
Additionally, what does the "Superclock" feature entail?
Killah Priest 7 years ago#9
thats non reference.
Zachnorn 7 years ago#10
AMD and Nvidia don't actually manufacture video cards (they manufacture GPUs and other chips), but they do design video cards. All the stuff that goes into video cards are part of the "reference design" from AMD or Nvidia and these are given to the video card manufacturers. The design has everything AMD or Nvidia specified, such as the type of cooling, chip placement, etc.

A non-reference video card doesn't use AMD or Nvidia's design. It instead uses whatever design the manufacturer chose to use, not what AMD or Nvidia gave them.
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  3. What does "Reference" and "Non-Reference" mean?
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