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Various GeForce 8500GT PCIe Cards
Product:Various GeForce 8500GT PCIe Cards
Date:October 10th, 2007

Price of the PC graphic cards are directly related to their performance, with that bigger and faster cards come at premium prices. However, depending on the requirements of the software most people can get by with mid-range cards that cost only a fraction of the highest performance model line. Many graphic cards makers put extra features and bundles into these mind-range cards to stand out above the competition. Since the mid-range cards are marketed toward buyers shopping for the best card for their budget, many cards feature factory over-clocked chips. Some feature unique cooling solutions such as passive cooling for noise reduction or extra-large heat-sink for cooler systems. A few would even include free games inside the box.

This review compares five GeForce 8500GT PCI-e cards with 256MB DDR2 128bit, made by Asus, eVGA, Gigabyte, Leadtek and XFX. Only the card made by XFX follows the GeForce 8500GT reference design by nVidia, marking it as a base line for the rest. Testing was made using updated reference nVidia drivers instead of the older drivers on the CDs included in the package to make the playing field level for all the cards. The prices for all the cards were sourced from on October 4th 2007.

Asus GeForce 8500GT Silent
Price: $83.99, OC Performance: 2700+

Asus GeForce 8500GT Silent Asus designed this 8500GT with a passive cooling heat-sink only for reduced noise. This makes it much more suitable for use in BTX chassis PC with CPU fan air flow going directly over the card's heat-sink, instead of traditional ATX chassis. To take advantage of this, all the cards in the review were tested on Dell Dimension 9200 with BTX chassis. Although it has only a heat-sink, there is a 2-pin standard GPU fan connector add in a fan if desired. The card also has 3 additional mounting holes patterns for aftermarket cooling solutions.

The card features DVI + VGA + TV-Out design on the output and comes with DVD-VGA adapter and a Component + S-Video cable. It also has an SLI connector for working together with another GeForce 8500GT. The package has no games in it and has a paper quick setup guide, CD Manual and driver CD.

Asus GeForce 8500GT Silent Asus GeForce 8500GT Silent
eVGA GeForce 8500GT
Price: $77.99, OC Performance: 2600+

eVGA GeForce 8500GTThis card has the smallest heat-sink + fan cooling solution of the cards in review. By the looks this is not a card of choice to over-clock to make more performance for the money. However, it is also the cheapest card of the bunch, ideal for performance on a tight budget.

Output ports are the usual DVI + VGA + TV-Out with DVI-VGA adapter, S-Video and Component cables. Despite having a small cooling solution, the card still comes with 4 additional mounting patterns. This card has no SLI connector for direct connection.

eVGA GeForce 8500GT eVGA GeForce 8500GT
Gigabyte GeForce 8500GT TurboForce Ultra
Price: $92.99, OC Performance: 3700+

Gigabyte GeForce 8500GT TurboForce UltraThe most powerful card of the review in both name and performance, this card is also the most expensive of all the 8500GT. It has the largest heat-sink + fan setup of all the 8500GT cards in review. Being a factory over-clocked card, the default speed is much higher than the rest of the cards in review, even higher than the other cards being over-clocked.

This card has Dual-DVI output with two DVI-VGA adapter and TV-Out with Component cables. Package includes Dawn of War: Dark Crusade game, paper manual and driver CD. For aftermarket cooling solution it has only one additional pattern of mounting hole. SLI hardware connection is supported on the card.

Gigabyte GeForce 8500GT TurboForce Ultra Gigabyte GeForce 8500GT TurboForce Ultra
LeadTek WinFast PX 8500GT TDH Extreme
Price: $109.99, OC Performance: 3800+

LeadTek WinFast PX 8500GT TDH ExtremeAlthough it features a large copper heat-sink, the fan on the LeadTek card blows air across only half of the heat-sink. The direction of the fan facing toward the rear of the card also makes it unsuitable for BTX chassis design as it will go against the air blown by the CPU fan. The card also runs hot with the factory over-clocked setting. While not extremely hot, it is unsuitable to over-clock this card without additional cooling solution.

Output is similar to Gigabyte card with Dual-DVI setup. However there are neither DVI-VGA adapters nor Component TV splitters. The package includes Joint Task Force flight simulator game, driver CD and paper manual. There is one additional mounting pattern for aftermarket cooling solutions.

LeadTek WinFast PX 8500GT TDH Extreme LeadTek WinFast PX 8500GT TDH Extreme
XFX GeForce 8500GT
Price: $74.99, OC Performance: 3000+

XFX GeForce 8500GTThis card closely follows the nVidia reference design and features heat-sink + fan design that also works well with both ATX and BTX chassis designs. It is also not a factory over-clocked card, having 450MHz GPU, 400MHz 128bit DDR2 speeds. For a reference design it over-clocks very well and stays cool under stress.

Output is DVI + VGA + TV-Out with DVI-VGA adapter and S-Video cable. It has two additional mounting patterns for aftermarket cooling and has driver CD and paper manual in the package. Although somewhat Spartan, it is a very capable graphic card.

XFX GeForce 8500GT XFX GeForce 8500GT


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