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BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC
When you consider the marginal performance boost provided by BFG's GeForce 6800 GT OC graphics card over a nonoverclocked , it doesn't bother us that we determine a winner based on a similarly minor factor: the game bundle. Yes, the BFG card, which uses the same graphics chip, is faster than PNY's and sells for the same price. But which would you rather have, a fast 3D card that gives you a full version of Far Cry, one of the year's best action games, and a $50 value or an only slightly faster card that throws in a few game demos, all of which you can download for free?
We're disappointed with the BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC's game bundle but enamored with the card's design. Though overclocked, it doesn't require an expanded heat sink or a fan assembly on the card. The single-slot design is one of the biggest selling points for GeForce 6800 GT-based cards. Despite its higher core clock speed, increased to 370MHz from the factory-standard 350MHz, the BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC will likely also work with the power supply already in your PC. These design elements are important because the big advantage of the standard GeForce 6800 GT over its GeForce 6800 Ultra-based siblings is that it requires only one expansion slot and doesn't need a 480-watt power supply. Those extreme requirements for the higher-end chip create significant obstacles, both physical and financial, that may prevent you from simply purchasing a card and slapping it in your computer without upgrading or removing other parts.
Other than a DVI-to-VGA adapter, a power Y-cable, and two CDs, you won't find any extras in the box. The BFG GeForce 6800 GT ships with a driver disk, Nvidia's NvDVD software, and a few game demos, namely Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Painkiller, and Silent Storm. BFG does trump eVGA in the warranty department, offering a lifetime warranty on its GT card as opposed to eVGA's one-year plan. Call us impetuous, but we'd rather have a game to play.
Our test results show that for high-performance graphics cards, pretty much any card that uses Nvidia's GeForce 6800 GT chip delivers a fantastic price/performance ratio. Granted, if you're going to spend $400 on a graphics card for playing video games, it might not be that big a stretch to spend $500 for the, our current overall performance winner.
Results on our Far Cry tests were mixed; the BFG card finished ahead of the eVGA card at both resolutions, and it also beat ATI's middle-high-end competitor, the, in the demanding 1,600x1,200-resolution test, trouncing ATI's card by 6fps, or roughly 12 percent; however, the ATI and BFG cards basically tied on the 1,024x768-resolution test.