Power Consumption and Conclusions
BFG GeForce 9800 GTX OCX Review - G92 at its finest - Graphics Cards 92

The power consumption of the new, faster BFG 9800 GTX OCX card is slightly higher than that on our reference clocked BFG card, as you would expect.  The differences are pretty minor though with the new card pulling 9 watts more at idle and 14 watts under a heavy load. 

Performance

To evaluate the performance of the new BFG 9800 GTX OCX card, we first need to reiterate our thoughts on the 9800 GTX card in general: it is a great graphics card in terms of price and performance but we were disappointed that we didn’t see a generational leap over the top cards of the GeForce 8800-series of GPUs. 

Looking past that, the fact is that you can now get the performance of an 8800 GTX or Ultra card for $330 or so that is more power efficient to boot.  BFG took this one step further with their new 9800 GTX OCX card that overclocks the core and shader clocks by about 12% to get nearly across the board performance gains out of the G92.  The performance improvements were noticeable and ranged from a 5% to 15% or more with the “off-the-cuff” average at about 7-9% by my view. 

This extra performance is ALWAYS welcome and while it could mean the difference between running your favorite title at a resolution like 1920×1200 instead of 1440×900, that will not always be the case.  You should obviously judge the benefits of this extra performance and the extra cost in your purchasing decision. 

Features

The BFG 9800 GTX OCX receives a pretty good list of features that we might tend to overlook when just seeing the performance.  First, the 9800 GTX cards all have support for SLI and 3-Way SLI, an option previously limited to just 8800 GTX and 8800 Ultra cards.  The scaling on 3-Way SLI was much better than my most recent Quad SLI evaluation though in a few titles the third GPU wasn’t as utilized as I was expecting.  For now, I would still find it hard to recommend any more than two GPUs in your system for NVIDIA’s SLI technology though we will be taking another look at Quad and Tri-SLI performance very soon.

BFG GeForce 9800 GTX OCX Review - G92 at its finest - Graphics Cards 93

The 9800 GTX boards all support the use of a DVI-to-HDMI adaptor for output to a TV or other A/V device.  You can also pass the audio from your sound card or on-board audio to the graphics board with the included 2-pin cable in order to pass audio through the HDMI adaptor as well.

The cooler on the 9800 GTX was decently quiet – a step below the 9800 GX2 but a step above the 8800 GTS.  Even in the 3-Way SLI configuration I never ran into any stability or heat issues so NVIDIA’s engineers can rest easy knowing they seemed to have hit the sweet spot in this regard once again.

Service and Support

If you are considering getting a 9800 GTX card at all, the BFG Tech model we reviewed here is a great choice.  Coming overclocked out of the box above the reference specifications as well as including a lifetime warranty with free 24/7 technical support, BFG Tech has a been a great supporter of the gamer and enthusiast.  Our readers have always been impressed with the level of service BFG provides and I have no problems recommending them for your new graphics card.

Pricing and Availability

BFG will actually be offering up two new overclocked models today:
  • BFG 9800 GTX – 675 MHz core, 1688 MHz shader, 1100 MHz memory
  • BFG 9800 GTX OC2 – 715 MHz core, 1782 MHz shader, 1125 MHz memory
  • BFG 9800 GTX OCX – 755 MHz core, 1890 MHz shader, 1150 MHz memory
The MSRP prices on these cards from BFG will be $329, $369 and $399 respectively.  That puts our reviewed card, the OCX model at $399 for its price making the comparison with the AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2 card nearly perfectly inline. This price also puts the new 9800 GTX at or above the levels of the remaining 8800 GTX and Ultra cards that come with 768MB rather the 512MB on the 9800 GTX. 

I’ll be updating the page here with information on availability of the BFG 9800 GTX OCX as they appear.

Final Thoughts

The BFG GeForce 9800 GTX OCX 512MB graphics card is about as good as it gets with NVIDIA’s current line of graphics cards matching top performance with a reasonable price while still utilizing just a single GPU for optimal performance.  If you do want to stretch into the world of SLI you can add one or two more cards to your system as long as you have a 680i/780i/790i motherboard and some more cash; but usually we prefer faster single GPUs.  We can’t quite shake the feeling that NVIDIA and AMD have more plans for GPUs not far on the horizon, but if you want a great graphics card today, the BFG 9800 GTX OCX is a fantastic option.

Be sure to use our pricing engine to find the best prices on NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards and anything else you might need:

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