BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB

Written by Tim Smalley

February 1, 2008 | 07:42

Tags: #512 #512mb #8800 #bfg #bfgtech #card #evaluation #g92 #geforce #gts #oc #overclocked #overclocking #performance #review

Companies: #bfg-tech #nvidia #test

BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB card design

The first card we received from Zotac several weeks before the launch was clocked at Nvidia’s pre-determined frequencies – there were rumours coming from several sources suggesting that Nvidia essentially prevented partners from overclocking until about a week before the launch happened. However, we were later informed by the same sources that Nvidia backed down and allowed factory overclocks.

Now, BFG Tech is no stranger to overclocking, but it usually errs on the side of caution – in that respect, its GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB is no different. The memory is left at the stock 1,940MHz frequency, while the core and shader clocks have had minor increases over the 650/1,625MHz reference speeds – up by 25MHz and 49MHz to 675/1,674MHz respectively.

Aside from the obvious company-specific branding, BFG Tech’s card looks just like the Nvidia reference design and, as a result, it comes with the same strange dual-slot cooling solution.

The good thing is that, although the cooler looks a little unconventional, it actually works very well and is no louder than the reference design—even despite the increased clock speeds—which means that it’s essentially inaudible above other system noise.

BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB Card & Warranty BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB Card & Warranty
Click to enlarge

For those not familiar with the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB’s architecture, the simple way to describe it is that it’s completely different from the original G80-based GeForce 8800 GTS architecture – it was the reason why I kicked up a bit of a fuss during our architectural review. I mean, I didn’t know the internal structure of a GPU on two graphics cards with the same name could change quite so much in just over twelve months.

It’s based on what we’ve referred to as a full-fat G92 GPU, which features 754 million transistors manufactured on one of TSMC’s 65nm processes. It includes 128 stream processors split into eight clusters of 16 shaders – each of these shader clusters share eight texture address units, eight texture filtering units and have their own dedicated L1 cache. At the back end of the chip, there are 16 ROPs split into four partitions of four that can each handle colour and Z at four pixels per clock or Z-only at 32 pixels per clock.

BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB Card & Warranty BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 512MB Card & Warranty
Click to enlarge

There’s also the latest version of the PureVideo decoding engine, which enables 100 percent offload of the decode process for h.264-encoded high-definition movies. On top of this, there is a pair of dual-link DVI ports that can simultaneously support HDCP at resolutions up to 2560x1600.

Because of the card design, there is only support for dual-card SLI, not 3-way SLI like the GeForce 8800 Ultra and GeForce 8800 GTX cards have support for. For the time being, if you’re crazy rich enough to want 3-way SLI, you’re limited to the two old dogs that will be retired soon.


One area where BFG Tech excels above most other Nvidia board partners is with its warranty service and after sales support. The company offers a ten-year warranty with all of its cards in Europe, and a lifetime warranty to its customers on the other side of the Atlantic. The reason for the lower warranty term in Europe is EU legislation, but that shouldn’t worry you.

BFG Tech also offers its customers free 24/7 technical support, albeit on an American 1-800 number (it’s free via SkypeOut), although if you don’t have SkypeOut or don’t live in America, BFG Tech also offers free 24/7 support via email too. In the past, the downside of BFG Tech’s RMA process was the fact that all RMA’s were handled by the company’s US office. Recently though, BFG Tech opened an RMA Centre in the UK, meaning that there will be much shorter turnaround times for UK customers.
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