BFG GTX 280 OCX 1GB Video Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     August 17, 2008

BFG GTX 280 OCX 1GB Video Card Review

Manufacturer Product Page: BFG Tech - BFG NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 OCX 1GB PCIe 2.0
Product Number: BFGRGTX2801024OCXE
Availability: Now
Warranty: Lifetime
Price: Approx. $450

No matter how many video card reviews we do, we know that there will always be something new and exciting just over the horizon. Just imagine, the now-legendary 8800GT was released almost a year ago and between then and now we have seen a flurry of releases from both Nvidia and ATI. While Team Red has progressed from their 3800-series directly to the new 4800-series, Nvidia has gone down a somewhat more winding road. The first 8800-series was augmented by the 8800GT and 8800GTS 512MB which were shortly joined by the 9800GTX, 9600GT and eventually the 9800 GX2. Most of these cards are still in play but have been now joined with Nvidia’s new assault on high end range with both the GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260.

Almost since their release, the two new GTX 200-series cards have faced extremely tough competition from ATI in the form of the HD4800-series cards. Consumers have rejoiced to see the renewed performance war taking a significant toll on Nvidia’s pricing structure where cards once retailing for over $600 a few weeks prior now sometimes go for under $450. Now with last week’s formal introduction to the HD 4870 X2, Nvidia has officially lost the performance crown to a card that costs about $100 less than the GTX 280 did when it was first introduced. However, even though they no longer have the top dog on the block, Nvidia is hanging tough with their current cards while cutting prices a bit further so not all is lost…not by a long shot.

As the GTX 280 matures, Nvidia’s board partners have been able to eke a bit more performance out of their cards and have released products which carry higher and higher overclocks. While many enthusiasts may scoff at pre-overclocked cards, they hold an allure for many people out there since they offer increased performance right out of the box without having to go through the trail and error process of overclocking themselves. Through the last few years, BFG has always been at the forefront of the pre-overclocked craze and with their OCX cards, they take things to the next level. We should mention now that in our conversations with BFG they have stated that creating a highly overclocked GTX 280 isn’t as easy as it seems due to the massive amounts of heat generated by the core directly influencing the final overclock. That being said, in this review we will be looking at their GTX 280 OCX which is highest-clocked GTX 280 in their lineup that keeps the stock cooler. The only higher-clocked 280 sports a copper waterblock so it will be interesting to see how this particular air-cooled card copes with the increased heat output of the overclocked core.

While availability of this card seems extremely limited here in Canada, our friends south of the border have things a bit better with availability at several large retailers. Believe it or not, where this card was once retailing for somewhere north of $650, it seems that prices have come down enough that the GTX 280 OCX can be had for as little $450. Coupled with BFG’s lifetime warranty and newly-implemented Trade-Up program, $450 represents a surprising value in the grand scheme of things.

If the BFG GTX 280 OCX can perform up to our expectations, it may be a real winner for those of you who want some pre-overclocked goodness. Its performance however, has yet to be shown so let’s get this review under way!!


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