Core Clock: 625MHz Shader Clock: 1566MHz Memory Clock: 1800Mhz (effective) Warranty: Ten years (Europe), Lifetime (North America)
Just two weeks ago, Nvidia launched the GeForce 8800 GT and we found that it was the best bang-for-buck graphics card currently available, and probably one of the best-value graphics cards ever released. There’s oodles of performance on tap at a price point that is affordable for many and it really drove great DirectX 10 performance down to a mainstream price point.
Something we’ve said quite a bit these past few weeks is how great this year’s line up of PC games is – it’s as if PC gaming hasn’t been in a better state than it is now. I could list all the great games coming out (or that have come out already) this year, but it’d probably depress me, as I’d realise that I don’t have the time to play all the ones I want to (maybe there will be time in the Spring?). It’s a sad time for me, but even despite that, there is no point in me denying that it is a fantastic time to be a PC gamer.
The GeForce 8800 GT’s launch really pushed the fact that PC gaming is in great shape right smack bang in front of us and there’s more to follow in the very near future too, as AMD is set to shake up its own graphics card range up. Before we get to that though, we’re going to have a look at the first GeForce 8800 GT partner card that arrived in our offices – BFG Tech’s GeForce 8800 GT OC.
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We’re going to find out how it performs compared to the reference card, as it comes with a mild overclock. Additionally, we’ll also look at how well you can expect a typical GeForce 8800 GT to react to a bit of overclocking, as we didn’t overclock the reference cards we received from Nvidia.
Box and Bundle:
Since the last BFG Tech card we reviewed, the company has changed its box design. It almost seems apt to say again, as the company redesigned some of its boxes back when the GeForce 8800-series launched in November last year, however this change appears to be for the good – let’s hope it doesn’t change again in the near future, as I quite like this one.
The front of the box explains exactly what it is and there’s also a handy little diagram that explains what the enclosed graphics card can do. BFG Tech says that the GeForce 8800 GT is great for general computing and HD video, while being pretty good for gaming. Obviously, if it was a GeForce 8800 GTX, or whatever Nvidia’s next-generation high-end card might be called, you’d expect the card to score highly in all three categories.
Down along the bottom edge there’s another scale, which goes from good to better to best, and indicates that this card fits into the “best” category. We’d assume something like an 8600 GT would fit in to the “better” category, but it depends what you’re saying it’s better than. From looking at the scale, one can only imagine that the standard of measurement is Intel integrated graphics which, as many of you know, is about as rough as it gets at the moment.
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The back of the box explains these scales in a bit more detail and there’s even a nifty section that talks about the recommended monitor size. I’m not sure I’d agree that the GeForce 8800 GT is great for gaming on a 30” monitor, but I guess the card supports that resolution and you can run some older games at its native resolution. I wouldn’t recommend that for games going forwards, unless you’re going to have fun playing Crysis on medium detail at 2560x1600 on a single GeForce 8800 GT.
The bundle isn’t the best we’ve seen, as there are no games included, however what is included is useful. Despite there being two DVI ports on the back of the card, there’s only one DVI-to-VGA converter included in the box – this is a little disappointing but, since digital monitors are becoming more and more prevalent these days, I guess it’s the expected practice.
Additionally, there’s an component-out dongle which connects to the card’s HDTV-out connector and a 2x4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCI-Express cable for those of you that don’t have at least one 6-pin PCI-Express connector on your power supply. Although the GeForce 8800 GT is a PCI-Express 2.0 card, it still only draws 75W of its maximum 105W board power through the PCI-Express interconnect in order to maintain backwards compatibility with existing motherboards.
To finish the bundle off, BFGTech has included a couple of case stickers (although, disappointingly there’s no OMGWTFBFGSAUCE! sticker) along with a driver CD and a quick install guide. This is all fairly typical of previous BFG Tech bundles we’ve come across. Let’s have a look at the card...