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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 ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition, 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 Radeon X800 Pro, 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.
Interestingly, the BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC outperformed even the mighty ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition on our Doom 3 Timedemo tests by 10 percent at 1,600x1,200 resolution and by just under 3 percent at 1,024x768 resolution. One reason for this difference could be that Doom 3 was developed using Nvidia's cards, giving the GeForce 6800-series cards a leg up for that particular game. Whatever the reason, this test reaffirms the perception that Nvidia is the card to pick if you're going to spend a lot of time playing Doom 3 and future games based on the Doom 3 engine. If you don't feel like shelling out at least $500 for a GeForce 6800 Ultra-based card, the 6800 GT is a fantastic alternative, especially if you tweak its clock settings.
|1,600x1,200 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering||1,024x768 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering|
|1,024x768 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering||1,600x1,200 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering|
|1,024x768, High Quality, with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering||1,600x1,200, Ultra Quality, with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering|
Test bed configuration:
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 (socket 939); 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Via K8T800 Pro chipset; (2) WDC WD740GD-00FLX0, 74GB, Serial ATA, 10,000rpm; integrated Via SATA RAID controller; WDC WD2500JD-00GBB0 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
Find out more about how we test graphics cards.