Before we get into the term Reference Graphic Card vs Non-Reference Graphic Card, we will first understand the difference between Technology Partners and Manufacturing Partners. Technology Partners are the one who invent technology. Some examples of technology partners are Nvidia and ATI Technologies (AMD) whose focus is to research and develop technologies.
Manufacturing partners are those who purchase these technologies and delivers products. ASUS, Zebronics, XFX are some examples of manufacturing partners. Lets take up an example to understand clear way. Nvidia and ATI develop technologies(graphic cards with technology like PhysX, Eyefinity, TXAA, CUDA etc) and sell to manufacturing partners who manufacture the graphic card itself.
Reference Graphic Card vs Non-Reference Graphic Card
Reference Graphic Cards are those manufactured which strictly comply the specifications of the technology partners. The specifications include the architecture, chipset, GPU, memory, cooling system, design, and even the minor components used in building the graphic cards. GeForce GTX TITAN and GeForce GTX TITAN Z from Nvidia are examples of reference graphic cards. Even these graphic cards are manufactured by manufacturing partners, but with the specifications that comply to technology partners.
Non-Reference Graphic Card are those graphic cards which are modified version of the reference graphic cards. The manufacturing partners make changes (to reference graphic cards) to the design, cooling system, PCB design etc and sell them in the market as non-reference graphic cards. The usual changes in non-reference cards include changes in physical design(size) and cooling system (Fan Sink or Liquid Cooling System) to improve the overall performance of the graphic cards.
Advantages and Disadvantages
It is always the performance which decides whether a graphic card is performing well or not. Sometimes reference graphic cards delivers higher performance and sometimes non-reference graphic deliver higher performance. We can come up with the final answer only by comparing the benchmarks of the graphic cards. Usually reference graphic cards are believed to be stable in terms of hardware, temperature, drivers etc. The reason is that they are developed in such a way that they consume normal power and deliver their optimal performance. But the non-reference graphic cards are overclocked a little higher than normal clock to deliver their best performance which in turn produces more temperature and heat. So the non-reference graphic cards(not all graphic cards) have much better cooling system.
Some graphic cards are available in both reference and non-reference model, while some are available only in reference model.
Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFireX are similar kind of technologies which are used to install more than one graphic card(or GPU) in a single system(desktop or laptop). These technologies makes the demanding games to run faster and smoother with higher frame rates. The number of graphic cards which can be installed in the desktop computer depends on the motherboard used. If a motherboard has one PCI-E slot,we can install single graphic card(single GPU card or dual GPU card). If a motherboard has 2 PCI-E slots, the following configurations are possible.
Motherboard with 2 PCI-E slots:
Setup1 – 2 way SLI or CrossFireX
- Slot1-1 single GPU graphic card
- Slot2-1 single GPU graphic card
Setup2 – 4 way SLI or CrossFireX
- Slot1-1 dual GPU graphic card
- Slot2-1 dual GPU graphic card
Note that the number of graphic card doesn’t matter. It the number of GPUs which we should consider for the multi GPU configuration. There is a difference between the graphic card (video card) and the GPU which I have explained in the post GRAPHIC CARD (VIDEO CARD) VS GPU (GRAPHICS PROCESSING UNIT) – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.
Though both the technologies (Nviidia SLI and AMD CrossFireX) are developed for the same purpose, both have their own advantages and disadvantages when using multiple GPUs.
|Nvidia SLI||AMD CrossFireX
|Must use same graphic card with same memory configuration||Can use same of different graphic card(even different manufacturer), but in same generation.
Note: graphic cards for CrossFireX with other cards in their sub series.
5830 and 5870 can CrossFireX
5770 and 5870 cannot CrossFireX
|For multi-monitor setup, it requires to use monitors with same resolution.||Can use monitors with different size and resolution.
|Bridges (wire connecting two or more graphic cards) are required when installing two graphic cards in SLI configuration.||Some graphic cards require bridges while some other do not require bridge.
Note that a dual GPU graphic card internally uses SLI and CrossFireX technology to communicate between the two GPUs.
Is your PC ready for SLI or CrossFireX?
First a compatible motherboard is required to use multiple graphic card in a desktop computer. The next thing to consider is the heat dissipation unit used in the cabinet. The heat dissipation unit will be usually fan sink. Higher end cabinets supports for liquid cooling system. For SLI or CrossFireX setup, a proper cooling solution is required since the graphic cards will generate more heat. If you are targeting laptops with multi-GPU support, you don’t need to worry about all these things. However the same technologies(even same model hardware) wont perform the same in desktop and laptop. Desktop models always give better performance than the laptops. The following post Desktop vs Laptop Performance – Processor & GPU – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW details more on the performance difference between desktops and laptops.
Graphic card is a computer(Desktop) hardware which is used to improve the visual performance of games and other 3D applications. Note that graphic card is a dedicated hardware which can be installed in desktop computers alone. Graphic card consists of GPU, memory chip(RAM), heat dissipation unit (such as heat sink, fan sink, water cooling system) and other components. The term graphic card or video card suits only for desktop computers.
If we consider a laptop, we have single board (PCB) inside the laptop where all the components(such as CPU, GPU, RAM etc) will be installed. In laptops, there is nothing called graphic card. If we are talking about laptops, GPU is the term which suits well in the context.
In laptops,CPU can GPU will share the same heat dissipation unit (mostly fan sink). The CPU and the GPU are connected together using heat pipes which transfers the heat generated to the heat dissipation unit. If the heat dissipation unit is fan sink, then the fan sink will remove the heat from the laptop to the outside.
The exception javax.net.ssl.SSLProtocolException: handshake alert: unrecognized_name
javax.net.ssl.SSLProtocolException: handshake alert: unrecognized_name
is actually a bug in the Java v1.7. However we wont get this exception in Java v1.6. To solve this issue, you can either roll back the Java version to 1.6 or add the following code to your start of the program.