BFG Tech GeForce 8600 GTS OC2 review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 07/06/2007 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
The Verdict ..
Alright, a nice product for sure, some positives but there are a couple of negatives as well.
Let's deal with them first. So first off, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the 8600 GTS OC2. This product is sweet.
I mean honestly, good quality component's, different colored PCB, custom cooling, clocked faster significantly; that's just all great stuff. But ... I'm not a marketing specialist, yet in my honest opinion BFG faces two concerns that will affect 8600 GTS OC2 sales, and funnily enough it's not at all related to the actual hardware itself as what BFG has done with the card is extremely nice.
First off; what BFG needs to do is differentiate their product branding a little. I mean .. people get confused; we have regular GTS cards, the OC edition and now an OC2 version. Honestly I believe "OC2" just doesn't mean anything or for that matter appeals to consumers. See, there's a good reason why XFX for example is making "XXX" versions of their cards, triple X relates to sex plain and simple and whether you like it or not, that appeals to people.
Personally if I could design a card, I'd take a black PCB, put a UV reflective yet good and silent cooler on it, then research the maximum yet safe OC delta; and then call it "BFG GeForce 8600 GTS: The Dark Edition." And then finally design a completely black box with just that text on it. That stuff has marketing value. Make it mysterious, grab some Greek Gods by the balls; it's that kind of mystical nostalgia that appeals to consumers. So while I believe this product is really good I am afraid BFG is slowly running a little into a branding stigma here.
Secondly; and this really is the biggest issue for BFG's GeForce 8600 GTS OC2. The MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) is set at a hefty 249 USD. Now it's like this, you could redesign the PCB, change it's color slap a new cooler on it, overclock it a couple of percent but the reality is that the GPU under that hood is still a G84 and it's performance for the money is slightly above average in comparison to that MSRP. Honestly even if the price in e-tail would be lower, my final recommendation to you would be this: please chip in a couple of extra tenners and get yourself a BFG GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB. There's a very good reason I have included that card in today's shown benchmark charts, as with it's 96 shader cores opposed to the 32 on the 8600 GTS it'll crush the 8600 GTS with merely a finger. Not exactly BFG's fault, as again this OC2 really is a lovely product, yet the reality is that the 8800 GTS has 3x more processor power. So for the 8600 OC2 to become a success, pricing will need to go down. I believe it is a major strategy error on NVIDIA's behalf, as the performance gap between the 8600 and 8800 is just insane. NVIDIA is milking the mid-range market, extremely hard.
That being said, in general the GTS is a product series for those with a 17 or 19" 1024x768; 1280x1024 monitor resolution. It'll offer you decent 3D gaming performance and will allow you to enable AA and AF in most situations as well.
We have not discussed this in the article, but obviously the card is a great card for multimedia playback as well. You'll decode and enhance HD content over the GPU. That's good stuff. So with the Series products comes a DX10 capable product (backwards compatible obviously). This BFG graphics card is offering decent performance up-to a resolution of 1280x1024 in most games and even higher resolutions with slightly older games; which makes it an interesting product for a lot of you.
The new cooler which falls under the Thermo Intelligent label really is lovely. Despite the nice overclock temperatures it did remain extremely acceptable while keeping the noise levels at an all-time low. It's a really lovely concept and I can only applaud manufacturers to do customization like this as this market really needs differentiation. The product comes at a higher price though. Thanks to the decent cooler and sturdy component & PCB usage you'll also receive a extra 45 MHz on the core and 200 MHz extra on the memory. That's good stuff as it'll boost the overall gaming frame rate slightly better.
Last but not least, absolutely lovely is the life-time warranty. All in all that's a lot of additional value, and definitely something you need to keep in mind when you are out there in the market for purchasing a new graphics card.
Thanks go out to BFG for supplying this review sample.
At this moment the card is available for $239.99 at NewEgg. Click the price to visit the product page.
BFG GeForce 8600 GTS OC2 (256MB)
Pricerange: 249 EUR/USD
Many of companies these days compete fiercely with each other, and this is why we see pre-overclocked products these days. Yes, it's a lot of e-peen stuff over basically 2 to 5% more performance. Equipped with great warranty and several flavors of a good number of products they recently unleashed the BFG GeForce 8600 GTS OC2.