Well, the answer is that is kind of depends.
GIAC, TT, Autotech, Wetterauer, Autothority et al will give you all the same amount of hp / torque increases assuming the car has no other mods. Neuspeed will also work but is a bit milder than the others. MOST chips provide approx. 8-10 hp but some dynos (A3Jetta's) show as much as 13 hp on an otherwise stock 2.0 (Autotech Q-chip, which is what I have). No matter what anyone else tells you, a chip can only do so much by advancing the timing of the fuel and spark to get extra power. It does work and works well.
Now to the caveats:
1. You must run premium (91 octane) or higher after you install a chip, no matter what it is.
2. You should consider that if you car is still under warranty, that you COULD void your warranty if the dealer finds it and determines that the chip caused a problem with something (highly unlikely but possible)
3. GIAC (as well as TT and Autotech) are reprogrammable but only GIAC seems to advertise this fact. Cost is $20.00 US. Good if you plan to do other upgrades later and want to match your chip to a cam for example.
4. You should consider emissions testing and warranty if you care about stuff like that (I do). Only the Autotech and Neuspeed are CARB certified. Autotech carries a limited lifetime warranty. All the others are 12 months or less. Recently, I thought that my chip had been fried in my ECU and called Autotech. They said all I had to do was produce the invoice and they would send me out a new one, no questions asked. I like that. It turned out not to be my chip, but it's nice to know that the option is there. I also didn't want to have to worry about swapping out the chip for emissions testing although I have heard that if your car is running well, you should still pass with any chip but I don't know for sure.
So IS the GIAC chip worth the extra money? Depends on your answers to the above. I would say that it's a popular chip and if you decided to sell it later on, that it would be fairly easy to do so. But for a little less money, you can have a Q-chip with more benefits, IMO, and the same / similar gains.
TT is a popular alternative to the GIAC. Apparently Garrett helped with the original mapping or something (might just be urban legend though). Cost is $99 but you get it for $75 if you buy their exhaust (which is a highly recommended item around here as well).
Hope this helps.
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