Our first look at the GeForce FX 5900XT was way back in December 2003, and we were mightily impressed by the performance of the original sample sent to us by e-VGA, one of Nvidia's launch partners. We've reviewed a few other 5900XTs since then, and we've recently received two new models, one of which was the card we took a look at last week, Prolink's Pixelview 5900XT Golden Limited. Its main claim to fame was the one-piece aluminum housing which cools the GPU and RAM, allowing for better cooling and ample overclocked speeds. It also came with the Plasma Display II, a handy little screen which gives users real time information on the GPU temperature and fan speed.
Today, we've got a different take on the 5900XT with BFG's GeForce FX 5900XT OC. It may or may not be obvious, but the "OC" in this case stands for overclocked. Knowing full well that some users may balk at messing around with registry hacks or other methods of overclocking their hardware, BFG has offered up a card that already comes pre-clocked at higher speeds than other 5900XT models. Oh, and one other thing, BFG maintains a lifetime warranty on the card at these higher speeds. In doing so, they've taken away all of the worry and hassle that the first-time buyer or less-experienced upgrader might have when wondering "should I get this card and how hard can I push it?". Is this bump in speed going to be enough to warrant the purchase of the BFG GeForce FX 5900XT OC, or will this just be another bump in the road? Let's find out by checking the card's specifications first. While the majority of these items look the same as what we've seen with other 5900XTs (including the Pixelview 5900XT), we've highlighted important changes in red.
BFG has both giveth and taketh away with the GeForce FX 5900XT OC. The box that we received felt somewhat lighter than other recent cards, and opening the box we quickly found out why. Along with the card, we found only a MOLEX power cable splitter, used to divert power to the card's connector, a DVI-to-VGA converter, and a Quick Install Guide with requisiite CD-ROM. One might have expected that a company that touts itself as "for gamers by gamers" might have actually included a game, but that was not to be the case. On the other hand, the installation CD was a bit more robust than others, with a complete suite of drivers, DirectX 9, Nvidia's own DVD software and Demos, as well as some BFG customized WinBlinds and skins. If you've ever seen stills from Dawn or Vulcan demos in the past, then here's your chance to finally see them in live action.