ATI Radeon 8500 128MB Review

Bosco - 2007-01-26 17:40:49 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: Bosco   
Reviewed on: August 22, 2002
GF City Computers
Price: N/A

Introduction

When you mention the name ATI just about everybody has heard of them. The 8500 card was ATI's flagship card until this week when the 9700 was released. Now people wanting or looking to upgrade will have a better chance of getting the higher end cards with prices dropping. I always get asked "what’s better the ATI 8500 or the Geforce 4 4600TI"? Well today we will cover this question. ATI has had a history of problems with their drivers for their video cards. Has that problem been fixed? We will cover this as well.


Nice looking box to attract consumers.

Specifications

  • 275 MHZ Core clock
  • 275 MHZ memory clock
  • 400 MHZ Ramdac
  • 8.8GB/Sec Memory Bandwidth
  • 2.4 billion Pixels Per Second
  • HyperZ II
  • Truform
  • Smoothvision
  • AGP 2X/4X compatible
  • DirectX 8.1
  • OpenGL 1.3 support
  • Memory:

  • 128MB On-board DDR memory
  • TV-out:

  • TV-out up to 1024x768 resolutions
  • Driver support:

  • Win 2K, ME, Win 98, WinXP
  • System Requirements:

  • Intel Pentium II/III/Celeron, Pentium 4
  • AMD Athlon/Duron/XP
  • (systems with AGP 2.0 Slot and up to 4.0)
  • Not a great looking card, but since when have ATI had good looking cards. No ram sinks hmm wonder if it will come back to haunt them?

    This is one thing that really bugs me, for a card that is supposed to be the best, why would you put on such a small fan???? Will it hurt the card we shall see.

    As you can see there is a VGA port, S-Video and a DVI Connector for those of you that like your Flat Panel Display Monitors.

    Lots of cables for all your needs.

    Oh sure they put half life in the software package I just bought the game last week. Also included was driver disk.

    What you get:

  • Video Card
  • Driver/DVD Driver CD
  • S-Video Cord
  • DVI Connector
  • Patch cables
  • Game Half life
  • Instructions
  • Warranty card
  • I am going to run a series of tests with 3dmark 2001, Quake and Comanche 4. I will be comparing it to the 4600TI. Please note that the scores on the 4600Ti were tested on a 1800 MHz P4. I will be doing a review on a new 4600TI in a few days because my old one is getting tired.:)

    So let’s get started and see how the card performs. I love this part :)

    Testing

    Test setup:

  • AMD 2100+ (Not Overclocked)
  • GA-7VRXP
  • Memory 512MB DDR(Infineon)
  • WinXP Pro
  • I will be using the Catalyst 2.2 driver for the ATI. So let’s get started and see how it does.

    3dmark2001

    Ouch the ATI didn't fair to well. It seemed like the higher the resolutions the better results it was getting over the 4600Ti. There is quite a clock speed difference between the Two cards, the 4600TI has a GPU clock or 300 MHz and 650 MHz memory clock well above 275 MHz that this 8500 has on its GPU and memory. This is for sure going to have an affect on performance.

    Comanche 4

    Faired a little better here but not much.:/

    Quake

    That is not good at all but clock speeds come into play here I think. I didn't have problems with drivers at all so it appears ATI finally is addressing that problem.

    Conclusion

    For the flagship card I dunno, I was not impressed at all. For the price of the card I thought it would have been better. One thing that I do have to stress is that the clock speeds are a lot higher on the TI card then the ATI. I have to give ATI credit though the picture quality was very good but it lacks performance. I don't see this card much of a challenge to the 4600TI at all. If you are looking for a decent card you could try this one but you may want to look at a 4200 or 4400TI if a 4600TI is to expensive. The price for this card being $269 I think is a little much for the performance that you get in return.

    Pros

  • Good graphics
  • S-Video
  • DVI Slot
  • Games included
  • Cons

  • Expensive
  • Poor Performance
  • Small Fan on GPU
  • No Memory Sinks
  • Poor Instructions