BFG GeForce 8800 GTX the Water Cooled Edition
First this .. fact is that pretty much all boards are supplied by NVIDIA to the manufacturers and that's a bit of a shame. This means that all 8800 cards are the same with the exception that some revisions builds could be overclocked a little higher than others.
What do you need to remember when you buy the product ? Well you should not focus on the actual hardware itself. As stated look at other things such as additional software, special coolers, extended warranty and so on. Look at the little extra's if you are going for that reference cooled model.
In the BFG box we'll find such a 100% reference NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB which to date does not work with Windows Vista .. because NVIDIA did not release drivers for it.
Okay, this was the last time I mentioned it. But I have three fully installed Windows Vista ready systems here waiting to be tested with GeForce 8800. And sure .. while Windows Vista has not yet been released to the consumer in the OEM business & developer segment there are already many people that have it in there possession and installed as yes, in that segment (business) Vista is already available.
Also Vista is out for MSDN, TechNet, and roughly the hundreds of thousands users who beta tested it. These are exactly the enthusiast users who buy will buy a GeForce 8800 card, people that like to spens money on a PC. So I think NVIDIA lacking significantly in this segment. I think that's just not okay. Why not even a beta driver NVIDIA ? Why ?
Okay back to the review. The only thing different obviously is the water-cooling block that covers all the memory chips and GPU core. That block originates from Danger-den, it's looking pretty cool for sure. A nice single slot design and each card will be hand-built by a BFG technician with Arctic Silver thermal compound and includes the fittings of your choice (1/4, 3/8 or 1/2) custom tailoring it to your water cooling needs.
Bundle wise BFG did a okay job, they include:
GeForce 8800 GTX 768 MB Water Cooled edition
HDTV block (3-way RCA component)
6-pin to Molex power cable
3 couplings (two standard, one small for SLI).
a couple of clamps.
VGA->DVI dongles x2
What you need to remember about the water cooled edition it that you only buy the GeForce 8800 GTX with water-block. So you need to connect the card to your existing water-cooling setup, or actually invest in a new water-cooling kit.
So again .. this graphics card requires a PC water cooling system or kit that features tubing with a 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2 inner diameter. When ordering this product, be sure to select the correct part number based on your tubing size.
BFGR88768GTXWC25E1/4" fittings for 1/4" inner diameter tubing
BFGR88768GTXWC37E3/8" fittings for 3/8" inner diameter tubing
BFGR88768GTXWC50E1/2" fittings for 1/2" inner diameter tubing
But the sober bundle makes up for this: what is pretty darn cool is that BFG is offering you a Lifetime Warranty if you reside in the USA and 10 years in Europe (EU legislation) with this graphics card. And at this price-level that's a mighty nice investment.
Overall this is a complete kit to get you started. On closing note, since the card is reference based, it follows all the specs mentioned earlier. The BFG GeForce 880 GTX Water cooled edition can be bought for roughly 799 USD/EUR, which is a truckload of money for your dream PC, yes that's 200 bucks more expensive compared to the "regular" 8800 GTX.
Some generic GeForce 8800 facts:
All NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX- and GeForce 8800 GTS-based graphics cards are HDCP capable.
The GeForce 8 Series GPUs are not only the first shipping DirectX 10 GPUs, but they are also the reference GPUs for DirectX 10 API development and certification and are 100% DirectX 9 compatible.
GeForce 8800 GPUs deliver full support for Shader Model 4.0.
All graphics cards are being built by NVIDIAs contract manufacturer.
All GeForce 8800 GPUs support NVIDIA SLI technology.
At this time there are no 256MB models of the cards
The NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX has a 24 pixel per clock ROP. The GeForce 8800 GTS has a 20 pixel per clock ROP.
GeForce 8800 GTX requires a minimum 450W or greater system power supply (with 12V current rating of 30A). GeForce 8800 GTS requires a minimum 400W or greater system power supply (with 12V current rating of 26A).
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