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Interview with John Malley of BFG Technologies

If you ask a hardcore gamer what brand of graphics card they prefer you'll usually hear Gainward, eVGA or BFG Technologies or maybe even XFX. Today we talk to BFG Technologies so without further ado folks, game on!

Tweak3D: Please introduce yourself, what your job involves and what made you join BFG Technologies.

BFG's John Malley: John Malley, director of marketing and public relations for BFG Tech. My job has a tremendous amount of variety, so in one day, I may be involved in things like working on our websites, developing marketing programs, writing press releases, talking to press such as yourself, as well as managing a team of graphic designers and product managers to ensure our brand and our products are the best they can be.

Tweak3D: Before we get too comfortable let me ask something that has been with me for a while now, just what does BFG stand for if anything?

BFG's John Malley: While those initials can stand for many things like, "Built For Gamers", "Best Freaking Graphics", etc., Our company name is also a nod to some of our favorite PC games, the Quake and Doom series. The biggest, baddest, most desirable weapon in these games is the "BFG". We like to think of our products in the same way, i.e., the biggest, baddest weapon(s) you can use in your PC gaming experience. Here is some more info about the original BFG from Quake, if you are interested:

Tweak3D: ...So, many of your companyís employees are avid gamers, surely this must make each day at work very internally competitive. Do you feel the fact your employees are passionate about gaming enables you to offer better products and otherwise ensures itís not game over?

BFG's John Malley: We definitely feel that being gamers and pc enthusiasts gives us the ability to understand our core customer better than a company that isn't staffed with gamers and enthusiasts. We build products that we would like to buy, and I think that shows.

Tweak3D: Many brands of graphics cards now offered to consumers feature a so called "lifetime warranty" should anything go wrong with the product. It has however been observed that the word "lifetime" is not consistent across this spectrum and may vary from meaning the lifespan of the given product cycle, a set period, or genuinely an indefinite amount of time. Because BFG Technologies also prides itself in offering such lifetime warranty, how do you in particular treat this phrase? Are all your electronic products covered under the same terms?

BFG's John Malley: You are correct in that the term "Lifetime" varies across vendors. We started this business with what we call a True Lifetime Warranty, which means for as long as you own the card, we'll repair or replace it if something happens to it. Some of our competitors have followed our lead and have started offered lifetime warranties, but they may have "limited" lifetime warranties, which means the card is warranted as long as that particular card is still being produced. Once the product has reached the end of its life, their warranty stops too. There are other variations, but the bottom line is that these companies probably started doing this to compete with us; it wasn't something they offered at the outset. All BFG Tech branded graphics cards and power supplies are covered by our True Lifetime Warranty.

Tweak3D: Since we just touched on the aspect of offering the consumer added peace of mind in terms of the warranty, let us now extend this view and look upon your graphics cards (your main business) in further limelight. The question many ask themselves today when buying a graphics card is what brand to go for because in considerable cases they look overly similar. Many front tier NVIDIA GPU based providers such as yourselves go for the pre-overclocked imitative but this too is getting somewhat common with the likes of eVGA, Gainward, XFX, and Asus all attempting the same. To stay most attractive and potentially the best choice for consumers on the lookout for a new graphics card, what is BFG Technologies doing to energize this? Is there anything exciting around the corner you would like to mention?

BFG's John Malley: We are always looking for ways to provide value to the customer and make buying BFG Tech products the obvious choice. And we do have some exciting things in the works that will further differentiate BFG products and services from our competitors, but I'll leave it at that for now. ;)

I would like to take a moment and address your mentioning that "pre-overclock" is becoming somewhat commonplace. We are flattered that some other vendors have followed our lead by starting to provide overclocked cards, sometimes at higher clocks than we might have. At first glance, one might think the highest clock is the best value -- but it is very important for customers to realize that there is a difference between the 'maximum achievable clock' and the 'maximum stable and reliable clock' for a given GPU. NVIDIA sets the default clock speeds at a certain level for a reason. BFG Tech starts with the default clocks, and then performs extensive testing to determine the best possible overclock speeds. Our testing has shown that pushing clock speeds too far can dramatically affect the stability and lifespan of the card over the course of regular use. To BFG Tech, extracting the most out of a GPU means providing our customers with a rock-solid, reliably overclocked graphics card.

Tweak3D: On a similar related note thereís been slow but sturdy progression from now more than one competitor to offer SLI on the same PCB (Printed Circuit Board) occupying a single PCI-E 16x slot. Naturally the likes of two usually NVIDIA 7800GTís beating next to each other is a tempting proposition to those who seek top performance. Does the crystal ball reveal a similar proposition from BFG Technologies?

BFG's John Malley: Sorry, but the crystal ball on this question must look fuzzy, since we don't discuss future products until or unless they have been officially announced.

Tweak3D: The launch of NVIDIA's 7900GTX and 7900GT series GPUís is oh so recent in the mind of any avid gamer. With it being a much higher clocked 90nm part, there is more pixel action just begging to be used. My sharp little eyes tell me BFG Technologies is continuing its "OC" guaranteed overclocked variants. Is there anything in particular that makes you proud of your 7900GT/GTX offerings making them kickass from the crowd?

BFG's John Malley: You are correct, all of these new cards are "OC" and are backed by our True Lifetime Warranty and free 24/7 tech support. In addition, our 7900 GTX 512MB comes with some free BFG swag, including a custom BFG t-shirt, 5 stickers to customize your card with, some BFG Teflon Slick Pads, which reduces friction between your mouse and mousing surface, and a copy of Game Drive, which allows you to game without having to put the CD in your rig every time.

Tweak3D: Lately you have been expanding your products with the recent additions such as PSUís available in 530W, 550W and 600W versions. What types of consumer are you targeting these towards and also are there any plans to offer modular and/or voltage user adjusted versions?

BFG's John Malley: Our power supplies are targeted towards anyone who needs a solid, high-end source of power for their gaming or enthusiast rig. Regarding modular and/or voltage user adjusted versions, we are always looking at ways to add value and features, so that is certainly something to consider for future products.

Tweak3D: Looking through your portfolio there seems to be one critical product missing that every hardcore gamer just must have. For many, gaming using a joypad is horizons better than otherwise using a mouse or keyboard. Does BFG Technologies acknowledge this and plan any such product(s) for the PC, PS2 or even XBOX?

BFG's John Malley: We certainly acknowledge that gamepads are good for consoles, and even for some PC games other than FPS. Having said that, I have to refer to my previous statement about not discussing potential products until or unless they are announced.

Tweak3D: Last but not least itís perhaps worthy to touch on the issue regarding how consumers are always out there looking for the best deal in terms of performance but equally importantly value too. We know of at least one of your competitors having a so called step-up program whereby an end user is able to upgrade to the latest and greatest graphics card on offer for less than if buying at a retailer. Is this something BFG Technologies is equally contemplating?

BFG's John Malley: From a business perspective that type of program is an extremely difficult model for us to justify financially. However, as noted above, we are working on some exciting programs that will bring additional value to our current and future customers.

Tweak3D: We would like to thank John Malley for taking time out to chit chat in the interview.

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