BFG's GTX 295 H2OC: Water-Cooled Graphics
Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: BFG's GTX 295 H2OC with ThermoIntelligence Advanced Cooling Solution is a bit faster than a standard GTX 295. On average, this self-contained, water-cooled dual GPU powerhouse was about 10 - 12% faster than a stock GeForce GTX 295, though these gains aren't enough really to justify the price premium of the product. You'll need to see clear on the upcharge for its other salient benefits, like the significanlty cooler GPU temperatures we recorded (up to 30ºC cooler at load), as well as its super-quiet operation.
It's sleek, silent, and undeniably sexy, but is the BFG H2OC (remember, this is the "GTX 295 H2OC with ThermoIntelligence Advanced Cooling Solution flavor) price justifyable? We'll be the first to admit that the H2OC runs beautifully and serves as a fabulous ambassador for water cooling, but its $849 price tag is still nearly double that of a single standard GTX 295, and it's more than twice the cost of a Radeon HD 4870 X2 (or three Radeon 4890s). Having done the heavy lifting when it comes to delivering the benefits of H2O to consumers who aren't familiar with it, BFG ironically stops a few pieces of plastic short of actually making the setup experience easier. For $850, would it be too much to ask for a detatchable fan, possibly a few shrouds (these could possibly allow users to vent the cooler through the top of the chassis), and some clips to allow for a range of options? The distance from the video card to the actual radiator may be impossible to change, but there's no shortage of inventive tricks BFG could use to make the process easier.
If you're a customer who's anal-retententive enough to hate noise and well-off enough to demand uncompromising performance, ignore everything written below the words "sleek, silent, and undeniably sexy." This card, for you, represents a sort of Nerdvana. If you don't meet those two criteria, BFG's regular GTX 295 is a steal by comparison.