I have planned to buy a graphics card. When searching for a particular chipset (e.g. GTX 460) I find cards of different vendors (i.e. Gigabyte, Palit, PNY, ...).
I can figure out differences in frequency, memory, and equipment. When I read test reports, usually a particular NVIDIA card is compared with its ATI/AMD "counterpart" - have not really found a comparison of all vendors for a particular NVIDIA chipset.
So in order to make a decision:
a. Are the drivers all the same for all the cards of a particular chipset (and provided by NVIDIA or the vendor?)
b. How to figure out which card actually to buy. OK, I choose chipset, and memory, and check the card has the required ports, but then ....