BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 OCX MaxcoreManufacturer: BFG Tech
UK Price (as reviewed): £252.17 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $329.99 (ex. Tax)
Ten years (parts and labour)
Aside from the increased shader cluster count, the rest of the chip has stayed the same – the number of ROPs and, as a direct result, the memory interface and memory size have all remained the same as the original. Nvidia's recommended clock speeds are also the same as well, meaning a 576MHz core, 1,242MHz shader and a 1,998MHz (effective) memory frequency.
Obviously, BFG Tech's GeForce GTX 260 OCX Maxcore is clocked considerably higher than Nvidia's reference clocks with core, shader and memory frequencies of 655MHz, 1,404MHz and 2,250MHz respectively. These represent some healthy increases over the standard card and should deliver some interesting performance characteristics that are, in actual fact, pretty close to Nvidia's flagship GeForce GTX 280.
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Unsurprisingly, BFG Tech hasn't done a great deal to the card and you'd be fooled if you thought this was a GeForce GTX 260 – oh wait, it is! BFG Tech has applied its own spice to the sticker design – it looks cool and badass and there's also a sticker on the top edge so you're able to show the card off in your windowed chassis.
And while we're talking about design, the GTX 260 OCX Maxcore shares the same cooler as the older GeForce GTX 260 and also the same PCB layout – in fact, there literally are no visible differences between this and another GTX 260 equipped with 192 stream processors. Because of this, the cooler spins slowly and there doesn't appear to be a difference—side by side—between this and the older GTX 260. It's quiet, very quiet in fact, and it rarely spins above its idle spindle speed.
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Moving onto the bundle, it follows what we've come to expect from BFG these days – there is a DVI-to-HDMI converter, a DVI-to-VGA dongle, a single six-pin PCI-Express supplementary power connector, an HDTV breakout adapter and a S/PDIF cable. There's also a driver CD, a quick install guide and a couple of case stickers.
It's disappointing that BFG Tech has only included the one PCIe power adapter, but we understand why these days – just about every power supply in the last four years includes at least
one six-pin PCI-Express power connector. It also comes as no surprise to see that there's no game bundled with the card – BFG hasn't done that on any of its recent cards, and it chooses to instead focus on providing a better warranty for its customers.
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One area where all BFG Tech graphics cards always excel is their warranty. The company offers a ten year warranty on its products in Europe (because of EU legislation) and a lifetime warranty across the Atlantic in the USA and Canada. The only downside is that the warranty does require activating directly with BFG within 30 days of purchase in order to get the full term, otherwise you'll just be limited to a statutory one-year warranty - that's a fair shake in our opinion, but it's something you need to be aware of.
In addition, BFG also offers its customers free 24/7 technical support via a free 1-800 number, (it's a USA number, you'll need to use SkypeOut to call it free of charge from elsewhere), or via email. The RMA process itself is all handled by UK/USA based RMA centres, so don't worry, you won't have to pay for a FedEx to the States should you have problems with your card.
BFG Tech also has a 100-day trade up programme, but it's only available in the United States at the moment. We're told that it is
coming to Europe, but when, we don't know. All we know is that the logistics of the programme are still being worked out for the European market.