BFG 7800 GT OC Water Cooled Review
Card Layout, Installation and Included Extras
While the PCB for the BFG 7800 is identical to that of nearly all 7800 GT and GTX cards, the cooling solution on it is obviously very different.
The RAM chips are now covered by completely separate heatsinks that leave the PCB looking awfully empty and bare. The water block is pre installed and mounted so there is even less to worry about when adding this to a water cooled system.
Every thing else on the card is pretty common, including the two DVI connectors and a single video output connector that support standard and HD output. The SLI connector is of course still there should you want to double up on water cooled 7800 goodness!
If the water block used by BFG on this card looks familiar to you, that's because you have seen it for sale before as a Koolance part for their very popular Exos cooling systems. Of course, a water block is a water block and thus you don't have to have that particular water cooling setup for it work on your system. The specifications for this block on the Koolance website give the following specifications:
Created from high density solid copper and plated in gold, the GPU-180 includes a sliding mounting bracket to fit all types of chipset mounting holes (including Radeon 9800, X800, GeForce 6800, and FX 5950 cards). Two sizes of bracket tabs are included, along with 8 aluminum self-adhesive video memory heat sinks.
We'll see how well this water cooling solution does compared to the stock cooler on the following page.
If you are interested in getting this video card, you either already have or are planning on purchasing a water cooling setup for your computer. If you are doing a new water cooling install, then adding in the block on the BFG card is easy, just connect the tubes and fill the system per your instructions. The BFG card does include adaptors to go between Â¼' and 3/8' tubing sizes to allow most configurations to work right out of the box.
As I found out, still being a novice at water cooling in general, installing a new block in an existing water cooled computer is a bit more of a hassle. Since liquid is already in the tubes from being cycled, you have to completely or at least mostly drain the system before you can safely remove the existing blocks to put the BFG 7800 GT OC WC in line. Of course you then have to go through the filling process again. The process isn't incredibly difficult but can be hassle.
BFG doesn't have the classic retail package for this card as you'll never see it on a store shelf. This is pretty much an online purchase only and thus the box is plain and the packaging is standard OEM style. You still get the extras you need to take full advantage of the card though.
BFG has thrown in a power adaptor, two DVI-to-VGA adaptors and, as mentioned above, the Â¼' to 3/8' tubing adaptors for the water block. They also have two video cables that can attach to the single video connector on the back of the card. One is for VIVO with SVideo and composite input and output while the other supports HDTV output through component connectors.