Power Consumption and Conclusions
All three cards show identical power consumption.
Before we start to touch on the performance and features of the BFG 7800 GT OC WC card, I’d like to point out something else that might appeal to video card buyers. BFG Tech is a US-based company that has lifetime warranties on their graphics cards; and this one has an 800 number that you can actually talk to English speaking people. While this may not be important to some of you, I know that it is VERY important to many of you. This is one reasons BFG has taken off in the US so well.
The BFG 7800 GT OC Water Cooled card performs very well in relation to our previous fastest 7800 GT retail card from XFX. The higher core clock speed of 470 MHz on the BFG card proves to be just slightly faster than the 450 MHz XFX card. Even though the BFG card has a slower default memory speed at 500 MHz vs the 550 MHz on the XFX, the added core frequency is able to keep it ahead in all of our tests except the texture intensive EverQuest 2 test.
Pricing and Availability
This is the one sore spot for this card: pricing and availability. Currently the only place we could find the BFG 7800 GT OC Water Cooled for sale was here at Chumbo.com for a price of 549.99. A look at BFG’s website shows Chumbo.com as being the only place to buy these water cooled 7800 cards even though the standard 7800s can be found just about anywhere online and in retail stores like Best Buy.
The price on the standard BFG 7800 GT OC card is currently at under $400 at several places online and even cheaper with a current rebate (at time of publication). That puts the water cooled version at a price disadvantage of almost $200, which is really significant here. I am confident that we will soon see this version of the BFG 7800 GT at other online retailers and then the price should drop quite a bit.
Overclocking and Cooling
The overclocking results we found with the BFG 7800 GT OC Water Cooled are very impressive coming in at 500 MHz core clock and 550 MHz memory clock. Obviously the water cooling on the GPU makes a difference as the 500 MHz core clock is a full 25% over the reference clock from NVIDIA set at 400 MHz! The ability to run the core at such speeds all while keeping the GPU extremely cool (much more than with standard cooling) and quiet at the same time gives BFG the most appealing 7800 GT solution you can find.
Just keep in mind that if you don’t already have a water cooling setup in your system, this won’t be the cheapest upgrade by any stretch. Having to buy a water cooling setup just to run this card doesn’t make a lot of sense, but if you have one running now or have been looking into them anyway, a water-cooling setup can be a great addition to an enthusiast’s machine.
Interestingly, our review of the BFG 7800 GT OC WC was supposed to be up last week but due to a constant barrage of product announcements from ATI over the past 20 or so days, we had to push it back until today. What we found in that time is that the 7800 GT from NVIDIA as a whole is an even better option for a new GPU than it was before the R520’s release. Now that we have seen the performance and pricing on the X1800 series we know that the 7800 GT can more than keep up with the ATI offerings, is available now, and is significantly cheaper in most cases.
The BFG 7800 GT OC Water Cooled is one of the best options for a GPU upgrade that you can find on the market today. Its only drawback is the current pricing and availability we found at the time of this publication. Hopefully this will be worked out soon and we’ll find these cards for closer to the price of the mainstream 7800 GT cards on the market.
Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best prices on the standard BFG 7800 GT OC and anything else you may want to buy!