BFG Tech GeForce GTX 285 OCX 1GBManufacturer: BFG Tech
UK Price (as reviewed): £367.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $405.99 (ex. Tax)
Ten years (parts and labour) in Europe
Just a few short weeks ago, Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX 285 and while it’s the fastest single GPU-based graphics card we’ve ever tested, we felt that it was priced in a rather awkward manner. Nvidia set its price point at not that much less than the flagship GeForce GTX 295, which means there isn’t that much wiggle room for partners.
Nevertheless, board partners whose bread and butter is delivering factory overclocked parts have taken the GeForce GTX 285 with open arms and today we’ve got another one in the labs from BFG Technologies. The BFG Tech GeForce GTX 285 OCX is the US-based board partner’s flagship GTX 285 and it comes with some fairly impressive frequency increases as you’d normally expect from a card carrying the OCX label.
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The stream processor clock – the defining performance characteristic for the G80-derrived GPUs like GT200b – has been boosted by over 100MHz and represents a seven percent increase in shader throughput. The memory has also had a seven percent clock speed increase as well and while that doesn’t sound impressive, when you consider the raw frequencies, it really is.
The memory on this card is humming along at over 1,330MHz (2,660MHz effective), which equates to more than 170GB/sec of memory bandwidth combined with the GTX 285’s 512-bit memory bus.
As for the card itself, it is understandably a reference design card with a sticker on the heatsink shroud. Don’t let that distract you though because the cooler is effective and quiet – something that we’ve come to expect from Nvidia in recent times. Moreover, the down-sized GT200b GPU is much more frugal than the 65nm version when it comes to power consumption and heat – this is part of the reason why BFG Tech has managed to crank the memory clock so high.
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It’s worth noting that the whistling problems we encountered during our original review were still apparent on the two BFG Tech GeForce GTX 285s we’ve got (we’ll be looking at GTX 285 SLI performance very soon). According to Nvidia, the problem is only apparent on 220V mains connections and there will be a fix for this – in the form of a cable attachment – coming soon, but we don’t have an official ETA for it yet.
In the bundle, there is a DVI-to-HDMI converter, a DVI-to-VGA dongle, a single six-pin PCI-Express supplementary power connector, an HDTV breakout adapter and an S/PDIF cable. There's also a driver CD, a quick install guide and a couple of case stickers. It's disappointing that BFG Tech has only included the one PCIe power adapter, but we understand why these days – just about every power supply in the last four years includes at least
one six-pin PCI-Express power connector.
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It also comes as no surprise to see that there's no game bundled with the card – BFG hasn't done that on any of its recent cards, and it chooses to instead focus on providing a better warranty for its customers. Overall, the bundle is characteristically light and follows what we’ve come to expect from BFG Tech. That’s fine though, because the major attraction to BFG Tech’s cards is not its bundle – instead, it is the warranty.
The company offers a ten year warranty on its products in Europe (because of EU legislation) and a lifetime warranty across the Atlantic in the USA and Canada. The only downside is that the warranty does require activating directly with BFG within 30 days of purchase in order to get the full term, otherwise you'll just be limited to a statutory one-year warranty – that's a fair shake in our opinion, but it's something you need to be aware of.
In addition, BFG also offers its customers free 24/7 technical support via a free 1-800 number, (it's a USA number, you'll need to use SkypeOut to call it free of charge from elsewhere), or via email. The RMA process itself is all handled by UK/USA based RMA centres, so don't worry, you won't have to pay for a FedEx to the States should you have problems with your card.
BFG Tech also has a 100-day trade up programme, but it's only available in the United States at the moment. We're told that it is coming to Europe, but when, we don't know – it’s been talked about for a long time and we haven’t had an update on progress recently. All we know is that the logistics of the programme are still being worked out for the European market.