As a designer, I love things that look good, and I'll go out of my way to buy the better looking product. So, when AMD stormed back into the PC scene in 2017 with the Ryzen 7 CPUs and their Vega graphics cards, I was giddy.
The Vega graphics cards came out in three varieties. The first was a pretty average looking black card. Nothing to write home about. Then there was the "Limited Edition" model, which came is gorgeous brushed aluminum. And the king of them all was the "Frontier Edition" Vega, with a cobalt translucent blue finish... Be still my beating heart! And, to top it all off, the water-cooled Frontier Edition card had a special Gold finish, and a completely flat front (no need for a fan!). These cards looked GOOD.
Now, if you're unaware of how graphics card manufacturing goes, companies like AMD design the above cards, which are called "reference" cards. Then, the reference design is given to "AIB's", which are third party manufacturers that will create their own custom variations of the reference cards with upgraded coolers and bios's. You've probably heard of ones like MSI, Sapphire, or ASUS.
Genearally these AIB cards are upgrades to the reference design, and have better fans and aesthetics, sometimes additional lighting, etc. So, imagine my dismay when THIS was the kind of AIB cards that hit the market...
Even some of the best AIB cards, like the ASUS ROG STRIX looked like some weird plastic hybrid of a stealth bomber and TRON.
What happened to the metal, what happened to the clean aesthetic?
So I thought, I'm a designer... could I do better? What if I combined the sleek aesthetic design of the reference Vega Limited Edition, but with 3 fans for the performance of the AIB, and the dark anodized color?
A little fiddling in photoshop, and this is what I came up with.
I certainly like it enough that I'd buy it, but I decided to post it to /r/AMD, and they agreed! The only thing they asked for was "more RGB"... so I obliged them. It's not what I'd pick, but the people have spoken!
What do you think? Should this have been the AIB design that ASUS chose?