Pre-OC Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and 260

Written by Harry Butler

July 19, 2008 | 09:17

Tags: #260 #280 #amp #analysis #benchmarking #benchmarks #bfg #geforce #gtx #ocx #result #review #top

Companies: #asus #games #nvidia #test #zotac

BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX

Manufacturer: BFG Tech
UK Price (as reviewed): £387.74 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $581.60 (ex. Tax)

Core Clock: 665MHz
Shader Clock: 1,458 MHz
Memory Clock: 2,400MHz (effective)
Warranty: Lifetime USA & Canada / Ten years EU (parts and labour)

The BFG is the first of two GeForce GTX 280s we’ll be looking at in this roundup, and while the cards might physically be the same, there are always key differences in bundles, warranties, and of course, core clocks that can make one card stand out from the crowd.

As usual from BFG Tech, there are no included games or software, but it’s certainly spared no expense with the included hardware provided with the GeForce GTX 280 OCX, packing a six foot gold plated HDMI cable and DVI to HDMI adapter to ensure the easiest connectivity to High-Definition TV screens and a one foot internal S/PDIF cable to connect the graphics card to your sound card so the HDMI cable can carry audio as well as visuals. These rare inclusions are joined by the now standard dual PCI-E six pin to PCI-E eight pin and dual Molex to PCI-E six pin connectors, a DVI to VGA adapter, a HDTV component breakout cable, a quick install guide and driver disk.

Pre-OC Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and 260 BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX Pre-OC Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and 260 BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX
Click to enlarge

Frankly, the value of the HDMI cable and S/PDIF cables will depend on whether or not you plan to output your display to a High-Definition TV, and while both can be purchased relatively cheaply elsewhere, it’s nice to have them included in your purchase.

The card is basically the same as the reference design, with BFG stickers on it to identify the board partner. To follow the usual trend from BFG there's what can only be described as a “fiery voodoo guy” on the sticker along with the model of what the card is – perfect for showing off your newly purchased high-end hardware in a windowed case.

Pre-OC Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and 260 BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX Pre-OC Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and 260 BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX
Click to enlarge

However, while the design might be the same, the default clocks most certainly are not, with this particular model running with the standard 1GB of GDDR3 running at 2,400MHz (effective) compared to 2,214MHz on the reference design. The core and shader clocks have also been increased significantly, from to 602MHZ to 665MHz and from 1,298MHz to 1,458MHz respectively. This represents around a ten percent increase in pure clock speeds, and whether it translates to a ten percent increase in performance will have to wait until we throw some gaming benchmarks at the card shortly.

Pre-OC Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and 260 BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX Pre-OC Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 and 260 BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX
Click to enlarge

Warranty

One area where all BFG Tech graphics cards always excel is their 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.
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