GeForce 8500 GT is the simplest video card in the new GeForce 8 family from NVIDIA, meaning this is the cheapest video card based on DirectX 10 available today. We reviewed this model manufactured by MSI, also called NX8500GT-TD256E, and we will compare it with other mid-range products from both NVIDIA and AMD/ATI. Check it out.
The main difference between GeForce 8 and GeForce 7 families is the adoption of DirectX 10 on GeForce 8 family. What this means is that they will support the next generation of games to be released starting this year. It also means that instead of using separated shader units for each kind of shader processing (pixel, vertex, physics and geometry) video cards from this family use a unified shader architecture, where the shader engines can process any one of these tasks. On our NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series Architecture article you can find a more in-depth explanation about this.
So far AMD has announced their ATI Radeon HD 2000 family – which also supports DirectX 10 and uses unified shader architecture –, however mid-range products will be only available in late June, i.e., one month from now. This leaves mid-range cards from GeForce 8 family like GeForce 8500 GT without real direct competitors.
We can find this model from MSI costing around USD 100, so at this price range we have ATI Radeon X1300 XT competing with GeForce 8500 GT.
GeForce 8500 GT runs at 450 MHz and accesses its 256 MB DDR2 memory at 800 MHz (400 MHz transferring two data per clock cycle) through a 128-bit interface, so it can access its memory at a maximum transfer rate of 12.8 GB/s.
It has only 16 shader processors running at 900 MHz (GeForce 8600 GT and GTS has 32 shader processors).
For a full comparison between GeForce 8500 GT and other chips from NVIDIA, please read our tutorial NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table. On ATI Chips Comparison Table you can compare them to competitors from ATI/AMD.
On Figures 2 and 3 you can see the reviewed card from MSI.