Reference Graphic Card Vs Custom Graphic Card


reference graphic card

People get confused while buying a graphics card for their PC. For buying a graphics card for your PC, you must know about the main difference between a reference graphics card and a custom graphics card. It will help you to choose the best thing for your system.

What is a Reference Graphic Card and how is it different from a custom graphic? In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of these two types of graphics cards. These cards are available in different sizes and designs. This article will help you select the best card for your PC.

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What is a Reference Graphic Card?

What is a Reference Graphic Card

Are you facing trouble with the PC graphic card and want to change it? You must want to buy a cheaper and best graphic card for your PC. You have different choices for buying the best graphic card to get better PC performance. Among these cards, you will find a reference graphic card that has more specifications than other cards which makes them superior.

Reference Graphics cards are cards with original designs of GPU and give the best performance on the CPU. These cards are developed by high-demand companies such as Nvidia and AMD. These Companies provide users best clock speed and design to install on a PC. The manufacturers of these cards have great demand in the market.

The cards have a default clock speed and you cannot exceed this limit while playing games or videos on your PC. If you do this, it can affect your performance. These cards give you significant performance and speed while gaming. This is because they are manufactured by original GPU companies.

They have the best cooling system to increase the performance of your PC and give you a better gaming experience. The memory and clock speed of these cards are specified by the manufacturers. You will enjoy everything better than a custom card.

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What is a Custom Graphic Card?

What is a Custom Graphic Card

A custom graphic card is manufactured by applying some changes to a basic reference card. These changes make the custom cards provide better cooling performance and working speed on your PC. When a third-party changes the properties of a reference card for better performance, it is termed a custom graphic card.

Mostly these graphics cards come with better cooling designs and let your PC work at overclock speed. In a reference card, you cannot exceed the limit of clock speed. But a custom graphic card allows you to do it. Many companies make these custom graphic cards. It also has a different design than a reference card.

You can buy these cards from any manufacturer because the market has a huge stock of custom graphic cards for gamers to provide them with higher clock speed rates. 

Difference Among Reference and Custom Graphics Cards

While buying a graphics card for your PC to enjoy games, you must know about the main difference between them. There are many differences between a GPU reference card and a Custom graphics card. Let us discuss what are the main differences and how these differences affect PC performance.


The first and most important difference among these cards, you want to choose is design. The design difference is clear to you because the reference card has a very simple and easy-to-use design. You can fit this GPU on your PC without any problem or issue. This design is original by graphic card companies such as Nvidia and AMD.

The other companies make changes in the design of reference cards to design a new high-speed costume card. That is why the design of a custom card is different as compared to a reference card. In terms of design, custom cards have a better design than reference cards because they give a higher heat-sink performance.


The next difference which makes the reference and custom cards apart is price. The prices of these cards are not equal because of performance issues and manufacturers. The reference cards have fixed prices and charges are not higher. They have original prices because they are released by original GPU companies.

While on the other hand, custom cards have higher prices and these prices may vary. This is because they are developed by third-party companies to change the design. So they cost more than a reference card. The price is also higher due to the extra fan-cooling feature in these cards.

Depending on the modal and design, the price may be $50 or $100 more than a reference card. It depends upon the company also.


Custom graphics cards are developed to provide a better performance rate than a reference card. These cards have extra cooling features for your PC. You will find a higher clock rate than a reference graphic card. Moreover, the other difference is that you will find a higher heat sink in a custom card which makes it superior to a reference card. 

They have an effective design to handle high clock rates which let you enjoy long gaming sessions on your PC. The increase of temperature overreach is increased in these cards to improve their performance to Reference card GPU.

What You Should Buy?

As we have discussed the differences between reference and custom graphics cards. They are different in design, price, and performance. Custom graphic cards are better in performance and give you a high clock rate and temperature overclock. 

You must buy this graphic card for your PC to enjoy better gaming sessions.

If you want to get a reasonable graphic card with smooth performance, you should choose the reference card for your PC. But if you want to enjoy high-level performance, then select the custom graphic card.

Final Thoughts

Reference cards are GPUs that are designed originally by Nvidia or AMD to enhance your system performance. While custom cards are designed by making changes in reference cards to get a high performance rate. You will find better performance and a higher heatsink rate with custom graphics cards.

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Hello, I'm the blogger and author of this blog. I have been in the industry for more than 10 years. Since I began testing and reviewing graphics cards for custom PC builds, I have tested and reviewed hundreds of them. As a result of my knowledge and experience, I believe I will be able to help you choose the card that really fits your budget and needs.

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