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BFG Exiting Graphics Card Market 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-pixels dept.
thsoundman writes news that BFG appears to be giving up on the graphics card side of its business. The company's chairman said in a statement: "After eight years of providing innovative, high-quality graphics cards to the market, we regret to say that this category is no longer profitable for us, although we will continue to evaluate it going forward. We will continue to provide our award-winning power supplies and gaming systems, and are working on a few new products as well. I'd like to stress that we will continue to provide RMA support for our current graphics card warranty holders, as well as for all of our other products such as power supplies, PCs, and notebooks."
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BFG Exiting Graphics Card Market

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  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:26AM (#32303188)

    BFD

  • by dangitman (862676) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:32AM (#32303226)
    Why would the Big Friendly Giant be making graphics cards in the first place? One would think that his hands would be too big to assemble the highly miniaturized components. Also, it's a pretty cut-throat industry, his remarkable friendliness wouldn't be too profitable.
  • Not Surprised (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    BFG cards were often priced 20-50$ more than other video cards of the same model, but with a small boost in clock speeds, something that takes less than 5 minutes to setup yourself. It doesn't surprise me that they had a hard time selling them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by toleraen (831634)
      And in those 5 minutes you could completely void your warranty on your $350 video card, or spend the extra $20 and keep it.
      • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Informative)

        by nabsltd (1313397) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @11:08AM (#32305652)

        And in those 5 minutes you could completely void your warranty on your $350 video card, or spend the extra $20 and keep it.

        Since overclocking control (and sometimes even overvolting) is now built into the software drivers/control panel (with approved limits), you don't void your warranty by doing these sort of small overclocks.

        If you re-program your BIOS or disable the overclock limit by using a third-party program, you might void your warranty. Since the chips have thermal shutdown built in, you really can't harm them by overclocking, so even some of that may be OK. Intel is an another example of a company that realized this and now offers overclocking of the CPU on Intel-brand motherboards.

    • Re:Not Surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Hamsterdan (815291) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:04AM (#32303402)
      The difference is the warranty still applies if it breaks. they are *guaranteed* to work at those speeds, often because of a beefier / better cooling and better ram as a previous poster said. I'm using one in one of my machines, and it still works, which can't be said for one of my Sapphires (running at stock speeds).

      Any other card *might* be able to run at higher speeds, *might* being the magic word.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lowlymarine (1172723)
        At least when I bought all of my EVGA video cards, their lifetime warranty wasn't voided by overclocking, cooling mods, or even power surges. Pretty much the only way to break the card and not have the warranty cover it was to take a hammer to it. Not sure if it's still that way, but it was certainly damned impressive service at the time.
  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:43AM (#32303298)
    BFG products are the few to be found at stores like Best Buy and other chains you can hop in a car and drive to. This lack of marketplace presence only makes the GPU less and less relevant to the normal PC owner.
    • by JimboFBX (1097277)
      Yeah the graphics card I got from walmart that is in my wife's computer was BFG.

      Maybe there's the profit problem right there
    • Best Buy is mostly exiting the computer-geeks business to have more room for more profitable whole systems, laptops, and video games. Another electronics store near me has a table of 12 netbooks, all based on the same Atom processor... style choice, but no substance difference.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by couchslug (175151)

      Installing new hardware isn't relevant to the normal PC owner. Geeks buy online and don't need brick-and-mortar stores.

      It would appear that BFG cards sucked, hence lack of geek support.

      • by crossmr (957846)

        you'd be surprised. Years ago when the sims 2 system requirements came out, teenagers the world over were flooding the forums trying to figure out how to ask their parents for a graphics card, which one they needed and how to install it. Since it was the best selling PC game at the time, I'd say that is a fairly significant part of the market.

      • by Vellmont (569020)


        It would appear that BFG cards sucked, hence lack of geek support.

        Heh. If only it were true that technically superior products succeed, and inferior ones fail. The real world is driven by things such as marketing, margin, unfair competition, collusion, and a million other aspects of business that have nothing to do with the actual performance of the product delivered to the consumer.

        What it was that killed BFG from Video cards, who knows. But I don't see much of anyone saying they're glad the company is

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          Heh. If only it were true that technically superior products succeed, and inferior ones fail.

          I've been repeatedly assured by /.'ers and others that the best product always wins with never an exception. Period. End of discussion. This is what we're all taught in economics too - so it must be true.

          Realistically, nothing could be farther from the truth. The simply fact is, you are absolutely right. No reputable economists believes the world works that way. Furthermore, all branches of the government, save one, anti-trust, acknowledges markets and economies don't work that way.

          The simple fact is, marke

    • by Tycho (11893)

      Which curiously is how BFG got its start, buy selling veideo cards in stores like Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA. The problem was how BFG got its start. It did so by sabotaging the original VisionTek that made nVidia graphics cards. They violated confidentiality agreements, stole trade secrets, saved plenty of files they should not have from VisionTek, used previous contacts illegitimately, managed to get Visiontek's old suppliers, including nVidia, to dump them, and got customers (like Best Buy) to

  • I've never owned one of their cards but HardOCP always seemed to think highly of their products, from quality to support.
  • by zannox (173829) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:00AM (#32303380)

    Maybe it's because they all eventually crap out before the warranty does (or at least a very high percentage). Not just this vendor (BFG) but all of them. nVidia's chips may hold up, sometimes, but the fans fail and once the chip overheats....its toast. This problem even applies to ATI/AMD cards. Not to mention the power supply requirements of the higher end cards and it all adds up to more and more people being satisfied by 'acceptable' performance versus those who want to see insanely high frame rates. Vendors (such as BFG) who sell JUST the higher end cards of the currently released chip, are not selling as well as say XFS, or PNY that make a full range of cards. But even those vendors have turned to making more than just the video cards. Plus there are tons of 'unknown' brands available on places like NewEgg and such that you can find a decent card for $150 and not have to shell out $400 for the card and another 200 for a power supply that will properly power it. BFG was on one of the few who had lifetime warraties on their cards and upgrade options if you owned a previous card of an older chip.

    • It was hard for a BFG card to 'crap out before the warranty does' as BFG was the first gfx card manufacturer to offer a true lifetime warranty, instead of the *shelf life* of the part.

      Excellent manufacturer, I waited for years for them to start selling in the UK and was very happy when they did.
      Incredibly sad to hear they're pulling out, and I really don't know what to replace them with.

      There's a LOT of eVGA going about on these stories it's hard to imagine it's not a marketing campaign atm, is their hardwa

      • by Machtyn (759119)
        eVGA is great. If they weren't before, they are now. They were the first to offer a double-lifetime warranty, which makes no sense until you find out it means that you have a life-time warranty until you sell the card, then the person who bought it from you now has the lifetime warranty. Now if that person sells the card, the third person does not get the lifetime warranty.
        • It's XFX that has the double lifetime warranty. EVGA has a lifetime warranty and the StepUp upgrade program (which I personally think is of little use to most people, having used it myself).

          StepUp only gives you back what you originally paid for your card, and charges you full retail for the new card. If you got a smoking deal and snagged a GTX470 for $100, you get back the $100 to put toward a $500 GTX480, completely negating the original deal you got. Plus you get to pay shipping on both the new card c

      • by Jeng (926980)

        I have a EVGA 9800GT, compared to my friends BFG 8800GTX the EVGA heatsink is a complete joke.

        The BFG heatsink has a nice heatpipe set up and all the ram chips are in contact with the heatink. The card looks like it could take a hit or two from a hammer on the heatsink side without killing it.

        The EVGA heatsink connects to the GPU only. It has a fairing system that makes it look like the type of heatsink that is on the 8800, but its not nearly the same.

        Then again the 8800 when it was purchased was the top

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Since you mentioned PNY, let me just say, don't buy anything from them. They have a lifetime warranty on flash products but require a receipt for RMA. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

      • by Machtyn (759119)
        heck, I've had a usb flash drive and some desktop memory that went bad days after the warranty expired... "no support for you!" is the response I got.
    • One of the ways BFG differentiated itself from all the sweatshops turning out copies of nVidia reference designs was to factory overlock with better than typical stock cooling - but factoring in the inherent unreliability of these chips and the lifetime warranted BFG offered, its easy to see how it wasn't sustainable.

  • I was reading somewhere that BFG was in some ugly financial straits as well....They're just dumping one of their not-so-lucrative lines....

  • i hate the add-on to sentences, "going forward". it makes me sick. BFG made some nice slightly overclocked cards. having bought three of them myself over the years that still function, i feel they are not junk. i'm no BFG fanboy, just needed to post about "going forward". "going forward" man, whomever you are, stop it. why didn't you stop the sentence at "we will continue to evaluate it." sorry folks, that phrase "going forward", literally made me feel sick. i needed (it's not like i abuse the privilege) to
    • I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person with an adequate command of the English language. I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about. Thank you.
  • Let's hope BFG don't just close up shop a few months from now; If they can't make money on graphics cards, I'm not sure they will be able to make it on even thinner margin products like PCs, notebooks and power supplies.

    As a side note, of course I *had* to buy one of their cards a few weeks ago... and of course my computer is now hanging randomly (I'm not positive it's the card's fault yet as I also upgraded other components, but it seems very probable).

    Well, at least they *say* they are going to honor thei

    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      If you think it is the GPU but aren't sure try stressing it with PCWizard [cpuid.com] and see if it hangs or not. Its free, they make a portable version so you don't have to install if you don't want to, and they have benchmarks tests for all the other major components such as RAM, HDD and CPU. A great little tool for checking performance or just seeing what kind of hardware is installed on an unknown PC.
      • Thanks! I was going to recompile SPECViewPerf so I could do the graphics stressing under Linux, but it will be much more practical to run PCWizard on the WindowsXP partition I keep for the games that still don't run well under Wine.
  • There's only so much money to be made spinning reference boards... nobody actually designs a video card. They just spin the reference artwork provided by the chip manufacturers, with maybe a couple of modifications like silk screen color, heat sinks, and stickers. It's just a race to the bottom to see who can do it the cheapest.

  • BFG - named for the Big F@&#ing gun from Doom, was made by gamers for gamers and set the standard in the industry for the product warranty and return. For years it was the only brand of card I would buy. As ATI began to equal nVida chips and the BFG standard warranty became the norm, it was easy to find cheaper yet comparable cards. I swore by BFG as they swore by gamers. Somewhere this broke down perhaps for some or all of the reasons mentioned here may be why, but I want to thank BFG for setting a

  • Only recently did I discover the greatness of BFG's graphics cards. I just bought a BFG GeForce GT 220 back in December and I absolutely love it. Plays all my Source games flawlessly (that's all I really play anyway). Why, oh why, did I ever waste my time with other manufacturers? Maybe I'll upgrade my card again soon just to have another one before they back out of the market...

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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