As I mentioned, one of the most noticeable things about the BFG 7800 GTX OC is its "overclocked in the box" clock frequencies. With a 460MHz GPU core and 650MHz GDDR3 memory, the BFG board runs slightly faster than the other two cards in the bunch. You can probably predict what that means for performance, but we'll show you in the following pages, just to be sure. Beyond that, BFG's 7800 GTX OC is mostly typical of a card based on NVIDIA's reference design, and that's good news. Here's how it looks.
Like all 7800 GTXs, this is a PCI Express card, and it has that telltale "golden fingers" connector up top for hooking together a pair of these puppies for SLI operation.
The single-slot cooler won't hog space inside of a PC, and it's nice and quiet, as well. The dual DVI ports sit next to each other, ready to drive a pair of LCD displays. Above them is the video port, used for various types of TV input and output.
On the other end of the card is auxiliary power connector, ready to accept a six-pronged BTX-style plug, as included on most new power supplies. BFG also throws in a Y adapter that will convert two four-pin Molex connectors into one six-pin aux power connector.
In fact, here's a look at the whole of BFG Tech's bundled suite of goodies:
All of the essentials are here, including a pair of DVI-to-VGA adapters, so that the 7800 GTX OC can power a couple of analog monitors, if needed. There's the aforementioned Y power adapter, a quick installation guide, and a drivers CD.
Unlike the other two brands, BFG provides two separate cables for video input and output. The first cable has a little breakout box on the end with five plugs: one for S-Video out, one for composite out, and three component outputs. The box says on it that it's not to be used for simultaneous output of S-Video/composite alongside component output, for what it's worth. The second video cable has four plugs, with inputs and outputs for both S-Video and composite.
The drivers CD also includes a copy of NVIDIA's nvDVD, a DVD player program made by NVIDIA that includes a codec capable of using full hardware acceleration for DVD playback. This is not a free program, and BFG Tech is alone among our contestants in including a DVD player with its 7800 GTX card. BFG also thought to include some of NVIDIA's famous graphics demos, so it's possible to ogle Nalu as soon as you've got the board installed.
A separate disc includes a copy of Ulead's Video Studio 9 SE video editing package, so one can make use of the TV input and output capabilities of the card. The third CD in the package includes a copy of FarStone's GameDrive 9.0 utility program. GameDrive will emulate the presence of a CD drive by storing a disc's contents on the system's hard drive and mounting the "disc" as a drive letter, eliminating the need for CD swapping when switching from one game to the next. Besides GameDrive, there are trial copies of some other programs.
You also get a little bit of schwag with the 7800 GTX OC, including a BFG T-shirt, a couple of BFG case stickers (not puffy), and a package of Teflon Slick Pads, intended to restore some slickness to worn-out mouse feet.
BFG Tech products have had success finding their way on to store shelves at major brick-and-mortar retailers, and it shows. One of the most striking things about the BFG package is its outgoing consumer friendliness, which no doubt contributes to BFG's reputation for good for customer support. Prominent in the package is a slip of paper with the phone number for BFG's toll-free, 24-by-7 support hotline. Not only does BFG Tech offer the longest warranty of the groupwith lifetime coverage so long as the card stays with the original purchaserbut BFG also is the only card maker in the group not to shunt folks toward their website at the expense of good support. The others don't print phone numbers on their in-box product literature, which could lead to some frustrating moments if your only PC is torn apart in the midst of an upgrade when you need support.
So that's BFG's 7800 GTX OC. There aren't many frills, but it does come with DVD player and video editing software, and the warranty coverage is easily the longest of the bunch.