Is EVGA a good GPU brand? If so, what sets them apart from the competition, and how do you evaluate what makes a GPU brand “good”, anyway?
I’ll be diving into these questions and more in this article, so by the end of it, you should have a solid idea of whether or not an EVGA GPU is the right choice for you.
Let’s get into it!
Read this first – Update 16. September 2022: EVGA Exits the GPU Business.
A Brief History of EVGA
EVGA was founded in California in April of 1999, debuting as a close partner to Nvidia.
In the years since, EVGA has become known for Nvidia graphics cards, motherboards, power supplies, coolers, and even PC peripherals.
EVGA is mainly known for their graphics cards, though, as they’re one of the market-leading Nvidia partners and have been for decades now.
So, is EVGA any good? To answer that question, I’ll need to talk about what actually makes a GPU brand good first.
What Makes a GPU Brand Good?
So, there are a few different things to look out for, but one of the most important things is how a given GPU company handles warranty and returns.
GPUs are expensive, complex pieces of electronics that cost hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars.
While GPUs work fairly well an overwhelming majority of the time, they can also just…fail through no fault of the end user, and if you find yourself in that situation, you’re going to want a brand with a great warranty.
Moving past warranty policies, we move on to the graphics cards themselves.
Are the coolers well-designed? How well are the GPUs able to overclock?
Are they fairly priced compared to competing GPU designs from the original manufacturer (AMD or Nvidia, Nvidia in this case) and other GPU partners (brands like MSI)?
These are the standards by which a GPU brand needs to be evaluated before it can be called “good”. So, let’s talk about EVGA’s place in the market!
What Space Does EVGA Occupy In The GPU Market?
EVGA is tied closely to Nvidia and is generally considered one of the higher-end GPU brands. This means that pricing-wise, EVGA GPUs may not be the absolute best bang for your buck.
However, EVGA is known for putting a lot of work into its coolers.
This includes triple-slot GPU cooler designs, standard dual-slot GPU cooler designs, and even hybrid air/liquid-cooled GPU designs. This makes EVGA a pretty good choice for GPU overclocking, especially if you get one of the liquid-cooled EVGA graphics cards.
Besides high-performance cooling designs on the higher end of Nvidia GPU price points, EVGA is also known for its warranty and trade-in policies.
Depending on the specific GPU you get, their warranty term can range from 90 Days to 3 Years, and the vast majority of those GPUs fall under the latter 3 Year Window.
So, not bad!
Trade-in is where things get really interesting, though.
EVGA’s trade-in program is called the EVGA Step-Up Upgrade program, and the basic rule is that if a new graphics card is released within 90 days of your original graphics card purchase and you wish to upgrade, all you have to do is send EVGA your card and the price difference to get the newer card.
This is a great program for people who want to buy a GPU today without worrying about falling behind, especially in the months leading up to a new GPU cycle.
EVGA GPU Performance compared to the competition
While extended warranties and Trade-ins are great bonus features, what it all comes down to in the end, is if their GPUs’ performance is up to snuff.
We’ve already mentioned how EVGA has high-quality coolers for their GPUs, which also increase prices a good bit, right? Does that mean EVGA’s GPUs are faster than comparable SKUs from other AIBs, and the price increase is warranted?
Well, it’s important to mention that different coolers perform differently. Here’s what EVGA has on offer:
- Custom Water Cooling
- Hybrid AIO (Water / Air)
- 2,5+ Slot Triple Air Cooler
The above order also impacts the order of performance as well as the price.
Custom water-cooling is the most expensive, though leads to higher boost clocks and allows for higher power limits but lower temperatures (below 60°C in most cases). Hybrid Cooling comes close to custom water-cooling and the GPUs fitted with a Triple Air Cooling solution boost the worst, are the hottest, but also the “cheapest”.
O!Technology has a great comparison video that does not go into performance at all but actually compares power limits, cooling, temperatures, noise levels and more. EVGA takes many of the top spots also thanks to their AIO Hybrid and custom cooling solutions:
So back to performance, how do EVGA GPUs compare to the competition when the cooling-solution is roughly the same?
Renowned tech reviewer Hardware Unboxed, who compared the EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra Triple-Air Cooled GPU to 4 similar SKUs from MSI, Palit, Asus and Gigabyte, the EVGA FTW does perform extremely well.
But those extra FPS in Games comes at the cost of higher power consumption:
Here’s the full video:
Although the above is the performance analysis of just a single SKU, EVGA has been known to place their GPUs in higher echelons than its competitors. This comes at a price, yes, but they’ve certainly been able to back it up generation after GPU generation.
Is EVGA a Good GPU Brand?
EVGA has compelling, high-performance cooler designs that translate into slightly higher performance and fairly good warranty and trade-up policies for the end user.
They’re generally known for having good customer service, too, so they’ve maintained a pretty good reputation for themselves over the past two decades, even if they can be on the pricier side of graphics hardware at times.
Does EVGA Only Make GPUs?
Besides their graphics cards, EVGA is actually pretty well-known for some of their other hardware, too.
I would say their best offering besides graphics cards would be their power supplies.
EVGA power supplies have a variety of warranty periods like their GPUs do, but the majority of their PSUs offer warranties of 5 to 10 years.
A 10 Year Warranty is really good for a power supply and speaks to a great deal of confidence on EVGA’s part that nothing is going to go wrong in the near future when you buy an EVGA power supply.
Double-check that you’re getting one of their PSUs with these longer warranty periods before buying, of course.
Besides GPUs and PSUs, EVGA is also known for dabbling in motherboards, PC cases, mice, keyboards, and on rare occasions, even laptops! EVGA is primarily a GPU and PSU company, though.
What does EVGA stand for?
Nothing, at least not officially. However, there are many guesses.
A common guess is that the “VGA” stands for “Video Graphics Array” since graphics cards were commonly called VGA cards in the era when EVGA made its debut.
However, VGA actually refers to a specific video standard- the analog VGA connector- not graphics cards in general. So, that probably isn’t it.
Another option is “Video Graphics Accelerator”. This is…actually a bit more likely, since this technical term is pretty much just another word for graphics card, and EVGA debuted with graphics cards.
That would make the “E” stand for “Excellent”, “Extreme”, or something like that, for a name that sums up to “Excellent Video Graphics Accelerators”!
The “E” could also stand for e-commerce, but I think that’s a stretch.
At the end of the day, no one really knows. EVGA doesn’t seem particularly inclined to answer the question, and I’m left to assume after twenty years it’s probably just a running joke at the company.
EVGA means whatever you want it to mean.
My money is on “Extra Violent Gorillas and Associates”, but that’s just me.
What are the best GPU brands?
So, as established by this article, EVGA is a decently high-end Nvidia brand that has largely earned its positive reputation.
EVGA is definitely one of the best GPU brands, but it also occupies a pretty specific place in the market, one that may not be suited to everyone. Especially if you’re trying to save money when you’re buying a graphics card.
Fortunately, EVGA is far from the only good GPU brand.
In fact, I’ve written an extended guide on the best GPU brands for both AMD and Nvidia over here, and I highly recommend giving it a read if you want to learn more about the various GPU brands and how their relationship with AMD and Nvidia actually works.
And yes, there are GPU brands that are better tailored to budget users.
Over to You
And that’s it, at least for now! I’ve covered EVGA from all the important angles I could think of for this article, and I hope I’ve answered the question posed by its title with enough detail for your needs.
If you have any other questions about EVGA and EVGA products, feel free to leave those questions in the comments of this article, or to take them to our Forums where the rest of the CGDirector team and expert community can help!
Until then or until next time, have a wonderful night. And don’t forget: EVGA may not actually stand for anything as an acronym, but they do seem to stand for good customer service if nothing else.