No, Sapphire doesn’t make AMD’s reference cards.

1 : Anonymous2021/06/10 15:33 ID: nwqjzk

There is a common misconception that Sapphire make AMD's reference cards.

This is false.

Scott Herkelman, CVP & GM AMD Radeon, was asked in an episode of PCWorld's Full Nerd if Sapphire makes AMD's reference GPUs and his answer was NO. (Thanks T1beriu for finding this)

So who makes AMD's reference cards?

It's actually PC Partner Group, the company that sells video cards under the ZOTAC brand.

If you look at engineering samples of AMD's cards from the last 10 years or so, you'll see that they have stickers labeling them as products of "PC Partner Ltd."

PC Partner is, in fact, the largest contract manufacturer of AMD cards.

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There is another misconception that PC Partner owns Sapphire.

This is also false.

As mentioned by Sapphire's own CEO, PC Partner is contracted to make Sapphire cards.

PC Partner manufactures products for a wide range of companies such as Dell, AMD, Acer, Samsung, Sapphire, LG, Microsoft.

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Saying that PC Partner Group owns Sapphire would be like saying that Foxconn owns TUL Corporation (the company that sell video cards under the PowerColor brand). Foxconn does contract manufacturing for TUL Corporation, but doesn't own TUL Corporation or the PowerColor brand.

2 : Anonymous2021/06/10 16:42 ID: h1arbr8

Wow thanks for clearing that up. I was a long time believer (until now) that sapphire did make the reference cards for AMD. Also tune into the PcWorld's Full Nerd podcast at times but this would have probably passed me by if you didn't bring it up.

3 : Anonymous2021/06/10 18:41 ID: h1b8nn5

For those wondering about the green side - its PNY that makes Nvidia's reference cards as well as all of the quadra cards.

ID: h1caa17

I used to think pny was one of those shit brands but apparently not

ID: h1b975z

Who makes Nvidia Founder’s cards? PNY as well.

As I understand it, Founder’s != Reference since the 20 series

ID: h1bk6eu

NVDIA started the “Founders Edition” branding under the 10 series cards, not 20.

ID: h1bdq5q

Yep, PNY has been making all of those for a long time.

4 : Anonymous2021/06/10 19:20 ID: h1bec5y

Wait, so My 6800XT from is a Zotac card!?!

ID: h1bgp44

Not really. They have a 'quality target' to meet when producing their own zotac products. But AMD could require much higher standards from them.

It's the same in the PSU industry. Seasonic could make a low end Corsair product, but a high end for their own, or for anyone else. It depends what the client wants.

ID: h1bzhkm

I thought the joke is the “quality target” for their own cards is the lack there of

ID: h1cdbjd

Good info people should understand about companies.

ID: h1bqj2m

Technically no since it's not being sold under the ZOTAC brand name.

ID: h1c83of

Well PCPartner owns the brand, don't they?

5 : Anonymous2021/06/10 20:46 ID: h1bq84p

Sapphire used to make all the ATi cards before ATi moved to AIB partners and then later was purchased by AMD, IIRC. Probably where the confusion exists.

6 : Anonymous2021/06/10 18:10 ID: h1b48rw

Thanks and good work! That clarifies a lot of things.

7 : Anonymous2021/06/10 16:57 ID: h1ati5u

Pretty good sum, I honestly knew something like Sapphire or Powercolor makes AMD referece cards, but good that someone is busting these kind of myths. Great work!

8 : Anonymous2021/06/10 21:31 ID: h1bw9ho

Whew! Good thing I was sitting down for this information. XD

9 : Anonymous2021/06/10 20:01 ID: h1bk3vl

Thank you for the information! I also thought that Sapphire made the ref. cards.

10 : Anonymous2021/06/10 20:45 ID: h1bq1mq

this is interesting information, thanks!

11 : Anonymous2021/06/10 21:37 ID: h1bx1d4

Doesn't Zotac only sell Nvidia GPUs under their brand? But their parent company makes reference AMD cards?

Mac from IASIP: "I play both sides, so that I always come out on top"

12 : Anonymous2021/06/10 17:07 ID: h1av1yp

It's actually PC Partner Group, the company that sells video cards under the ZOTAC brand.

AFAIK Sapphire, Inc. and PC Partner Ltd. aka PC Partner Group share the same vendor- & device-ID.

ID: h1avijo

As mentioned above, PC Partner manufacturers cards for Sapphire under contract.

ID: h1c8ofh

Do they do any of the design work ie testing resistors/capacitor layouts, traces, signal integrity, etc; or is their work purely on the manufacturing side?

13 : Anonymous2021/06/10 23:57 ID: h1ce3r7

During my time at Zotac / PC Partner from 2007-2014, we always considered Sapphire as a sister company, despite, not being a wholely owned brand like Inno3D and Manli. While Sapphire was never a wholly owned subsidiary of PC Partner, there was some investment. Hell, the first 5 years or so of Zotac sales decks references Sapphire to establish quality.

However, not all Zotac cards were made by PC Partner either. High end Nvidia cards would be made by Flextronics and shipped to AIBs to slap their coolers on / bin for overclocking.

ID: h1cex3t

One more thing to add, think of PC Partner as General Motors. They own all the manufacturing, design work, a few brands.

ZOTAC, Inno3D and Manli would be primary brands, like Chevy, Buick and GMC while Sapphire would be like Suzuki in the aughts. GM didn't own Suzuki completely, but there was a stake and joint venture.

14 : Anonymous2021/06/10 19:31 ID: h1bg2kk

I've been correcting the Sapphire myth for months, ever since that interview. This at least confirms who the actual manufacturer is, since that seemed to be a mystery.

This post will help, but I assume the myth will be perpetuated for quite some time.

ID: h1bw7kw

Months? That interview is from 2006...

ID: h1by9k5

The episode of the Full Nerd where they interviewed Scott Herkelman?

Man, they must have had some crazy insight talking about who makes AMD reference cards in 2021 back when ATI was still a separate company, Scott Herkelman was CEO of BFG Tech, Gordon Ung was writing for Maximum PC, and YouTube was just taking off. Weird that they came together to do an interview for PC World.

15 : Anonymous2021/06/10 19:35 ID: h1bgino

Wikipedia states that, as of 2007, Sapphire had had manufacturing facilities capable of producing 1.8M add-in cards monthly.

I wonder who owns these now? Can it be, by a pure coincidence, the PC Parthner group?

16 : Anonymous2021/06/10 21:33 ID: h1bwgu6

Just so people don't mistake it:

Sapphire is defnitely designing the reference cards, but PC Partner is contracted to manufacture them.

17 : Anonymous2021/06/10 21:03 ID: h1bsh0u

Ouch. Zotac is not known for their quality.

ID: h1bthe8

Quality in what? as long as the reference card functions as intended it's GOOD.

I mean if your overclocking or trying to archieve world records; yes then you coud'nt have more highest components / build quality compared to reference. But they dont make those cards for that purpose.

ID: h1ccszk

Really? I always held them as one of the best brands on Nvidia's side. They always used to have a 5 year+ warranty when everyone else was maxing out at 3 years. Had a few cards from them myself and they just seemed to outlast everything else, even had a Zotac GTX 470 which somehow didn't die compared to most every other high heat fermi card I'd seen.

Edit: For 3080's as best I can see they still offer a 5 year warranty with everyone else I can find being 3 years.

18 : Anonymous2021/06/10 22:43 ID: h1c5ix8

I’m confused. So my sapphire branded 6900xt that looks exactly like the AMD ref card, is it a ref card repackaged by sapphire or what? I bought it because it looks like the AMD card and that’s the aesthetic I wanted.

ID: h1cdbx7

That’s correct.

ID: h1ceeio

Ok sweet. Thank you

19 : Anonymous2021/06/10 23:14 ID: h1c95ht

Around the Vega/Polaris era there used to be a whole bunch of manufactures selling the reference design, all looking the same except for maybe the sticker on the cooler fan.

Like ASUS, HIS, Gigabyte, Powercolor, MSI, XFX, etc.

Now I wonder if they actually made these cards or if it was just a rebranding thing

20 : Anonymous2021/06/11 00:19 ID: h1cgn3i

Interesting, I thought ZOTAC was the off-brand of video cards a couple of years ago.

21 : Anonymous2021/06/10 19:04 ID: h1bc0ke


ID: h1bd6u4

It doesn't own Sapphire.

As mentioned above, Sapphire's CEO said that Sapphire contracts manufacturing to PC Partner.

I don't know how much more clear it can get than that.

ID: h1btebp

but i have to wonder if AMD designs the reference or if they do outsource to Sapphire, and then PCPart manufacture the card

or that may be too complicated, dunno haha

ID: h1bd9lq

reread the post


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