BFG Tech GeForce 9600 GT OC 512MB card designCore Clock:
Ten years (parts and labour) in Europe
BFG Tech's GeForce 9600 GT OC 512MB looks like just about any other GeForce 9600 GT you're going to find on the market today – it follows the reference design to the letter and as a result measures in at 228mm long.
The only real cosmetic difference is the artwork on the shroud and the centre of the fan – these are branded up in typical BFG Tech fashion, so there's nothing more to really say on that front.
The cooling solution is pretty good – during our testing it was quiet in both our test lab and also in a home environment inside a chassis. For those interested in cooling performance, the card idled at 41°C. Under load using Crysis
at 1680x1050 0xAA 0xAF with DX10 enabled at our test settings, we recorded a high temperature of 62°C. These results were recorded with an ambient temperature of between 24.7°C and 25.1°C according to our trusty office digital thermometer.
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It comes with a modest overclock (as denoted by the "OC" branding), with the core running at 675MHz compared to 650MHz standard. The stream processor clock has also been increased from 1,625MHz to 1,700MHz, while the memory frequencies have been left at the reference clock. Now, it's questionable whether these small increases are going to make any difference, but it's an overclock nevertheless and it's going to come down to bang for buck.
Because the reference GeForce 9600 GT has a maximum board power of 95W, the card needs a supplementary power connector – BFG Tech hasn't managed to work any magic here, so you're going to need a power supply with a 6-pin connector, or alternatively use the converter supplied in the box.
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The company has kitted the card out with a pair of dual-link DVI ports and a seven-pin analogue TV-out DIN connector—just like the reference design in that respect. The TV-out connector supports S-video natively, while component and composite are supported via dongles (only component is supplied).
On the other hand, the two dual-link DVI ports support resolutions of up to 2560x1600 and have the necessary crypto-ROMs to allow both ports to display protected content simultaneously. The S/PDIF connector next to the SLI connector is present, but disappointingly BFG Tech doesn't supply any of the necessary cables—or even a DVI-to-HDMI converter for that matter—to allow the card to carry the audio stream across HDMI.
One area where BFG Tech excels above most other Nvidia board partners is with its warranty service and after sales support. The company offers a ten-year (parts and labour) warranty with all of its cards in Europe, and a lifetime warranty to its customers on the other side of the Atlantic. The reason for the lower warranty term in Europe is EU legislation, but that shouldn’t worry you.
The company also offers its customers free 24/7 technical support, albeit on an American 1-800 number (it's free via SkypeOut, for what it's worth), although if you don’t have SkypeOut or don't live in America, BFG Tech also offers free 24/7 support via email too. In the past, the downside of BFG Tech's RMA process was the fact that all RMAs were handled by the company's US office. Recently though, BFG Tech opened an RMA Centre in the UK, meaning that there will be much shorter turnaround times for UK customers.