PCR talks to BFG Tech's European marketing manager Graham Brown

Hit the accelerator

When, where and by whom was BFG Tech introduced into the European market?

BFG Tech was founded by Scott Herkelman in Chicago in 2003, and first introduced into the European market in 2005/2006 by Paul Davies of Silicon Highway (now head of European sales), Dave Williams of Partners IT (who looks after all our European RMA and logistics) and myself, who oversaw and managed all marketing/PR activities within Europe, which eventually turned into heading up all creative material worldwide.

Is the company very different now compared to when it started?

BFG has always stood by its core principles, providing Nvidia-based 3D graphics accelerators designed to appeal to the PC enthusiast and hardcore gaming consumer. We decided to expand our portfolio of products within this sector by introducing a full range of high-end power supplies and also to revolutionise the desktop PC with our introduction of Phobos – a high-performance gaming/home theatre system.

What would you say is your key differentiator from competitors?

We were the first to offer round-the-clock free technical support and a true lifetime warranty on all of our graphics cards. BFG was also the first company to offer factory overclocked graphics cards as a standard offering, giving enthusiast consumers an increase in performance right out of the box.

With these innovations and an unrivalled level of customer service, BFG quickly rose to be number one in terms of market share in the category, and to this day continues to enjoy a loyal customer base in the PC hardware space.

Like the company’s target customers, many of BFG Tech’s employees are gamers and PC enthusiasts, and they strive to provide hardware and marketing that reflects the company’s passion and excitement for the latest technology.

Tell us a bit more about Phobos and what you are trying to achieve with it.

Phobos is a fusion of every element you could dream of in terms of a desktop computer. Titled as high-performance gaming/home theatre system, we aimed to reset the bar for enthusiast-level PCs by producing a unique seamless case design, innovative touchscreen LCD panel, one-touch overclocking, iPod docking station and a whole lot more.

Whether you’re a multimedia professional, hardcore gamer or you just want a state-of-the-art home theatre system, Phobos is the answer. While designing Phobos, all normal traditional aspects of a desktop computer were broken and more importantly needed to be, new cable management was developed to hide the endless clutter of cables and airflow is now being pulled from the top of the case and expelled from the bottom to maximise overall cooling.

Last but not least, we introduced a concierge service, whereby we will arrange a appointment to install the machine, at home or in the office, with a secondary six-month maintenance visit.

How has the last year been commercially for BFG and what would you estimate your market share to be in the UK?

The UK market has always been one of our main and most successful markets. I would say that we still hold number one position for the enthusiast segment.

How has the graphics card market changed in the last ten years?

One of the most important aspects that has changed would be the perception of the graphics card. We now consider the graphics card to be one of the most vital components within a computer. The CPU versus GPU debate in my mind has always been a grey area in terms of end-user education. Software companies in the past few years have totally changed the way in which they utilise the processing power of a computer by taking advantage of the processing power of the GPU. This factor alone will change the future of the GPU and technological progression.

Firms such as Nvidia subscribe to the principle that greater proportionate investment in a GPU as opposed to a CPU is a much more cost effective way of increasing a computer’s performance. Would you agree?

I would. Adobe, with its release of the CS4suite, is a prime example.

Would you say it is one of the sectors more resistant to the effects of the recession?

I do not feel that any sector can be fully resistant to the effects of the recession, as from one sector to another there will always be some sort of inherent link.

What plans do you have for the next year?

To continue pushing the boundaries of the enthusiast level products and to maintain providing the best end-user support and service that one company can boast.

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