MSI GeForce 8500 GT Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 28, 2007


Introduction

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.

MSI GeForce 8500 GT
click to enlarge
Figure 1: MSI GeForce 8500 GT.

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.

MSI GeForce 8500 GT
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Figure 2: MSI GeForce 8500 GT.

MSI GeForce 8500 GT
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Figure 3: MSI GeForce 8500 GT, back view.

MSI NX8500GT-TD256E

As you could see from the pictures posted in the previous page, this video card uses a very simple aluminum cooler, which doesn’t touch the memory chips.

This video card uses eight DDR2 256-Mbit 2.5 ns chips from Hynix (HY5PS561621AFP-25) as you can see in Figure 4, making the 256 MB of memory this video card has. These chips can run up to 800 MHz (400 MHz x 2) and since on this video card the memory chips are already running at 800 MHz there is no headroom for overclocking the memory inside the chips’ specs. Of course you can even try pushing them above their specs.

MSI GeForce 8500 GT
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Hynix DDR2 256-Mbit 2.5 ns chip.

This video card comes with one full game (Toca Race Driver 3) and one video component cable, as you can see in Figure 5.

MSI GeForce 8500 GT
click to enlarge
Figure 5: CDs, cables and adapter that come with this video card.

Main Specifications

* Researched at Shopping.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only different device was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark03

3DMark03 simulates DirectX 8 and 9 games. Even though this program may be considered “old”, we ran it to see how the tested video cards perform on older games. Since we are comparing mid-range cards, we decided to run this program in two resolutions, 1024x768 (which is considered low for today’s standards and thus providing a simulation for low resolution) and 1600x1200 (which provides a simulation for high resolution). At each resolution we simulated two scenarios, first with no image quality enhancements enabled (this scenario we called “low”) and then with anti-aliasing set at 4x and anisotropic filtering set at 4x (this scenario we called “high”). The results you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer except the cards marked with “OC”, which are cards that are factory-overclocked.

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 –1024x768 Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 20100 147.42%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 18236 124.47%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 17211 111.85%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 15741 93.76%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 14487 78.32%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 13663 68.18%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 10574 30.16%
Radeon X1600 XT 256 MB (HIS) 10271 26.43%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 9557 17.64%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 8984 10.59%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 8935 9.98%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 8124  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 7359 10.40%
Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB (ATI) 6385 27.24%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 5593 45.25%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 4179 94.40%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 -1600x1200 Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 11393 164.15%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 10538 144.33%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 9695 124.79%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 8797 103.96%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 8450 95.92%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 7556 75.19%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 5429 25.88%
Radeon X1600 XT 256 MB (HIS) 5385 24.86%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 5255 21.84%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 5086 17.92%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 4497 4.27%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 4313  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 4011 7.53%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 2915 47.96%
Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB (ATI) 2712 59.03%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 2076 107.76%

GeForce 8

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 -1024x768 AAx4. AFx4 Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 11675 139.59%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 10742 120.44%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 10131 107.90%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 9119 87.13%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 7980 63.76%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 7602 56.00%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 5592 14.75%
Radeon X1600 XT 256 MB (HIS) 5396 10.73%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 4873  
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 4844 0.60%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 4635 5.13%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 4605 5.82%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 3894 25.14%
Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB (ATI) 3376 44.34%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 2617 86.21%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 1745 179.26%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 -1600x1200 AAx4. AFx4 Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 6058 180.20%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 5612 159.57%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 5259 143.25%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 4639 114.57%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 4276 97.78%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 4110 90.10%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 2714 25.53%
Radeon X1600 XT 256 MB (HIS) 2691 24.47%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 2320 7.31%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 2237 3.47%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 2217 2.54%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 2162  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 1917 12.78%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 1212 78.38%
Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB (ATI) 1038 108.29%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 837 158.30%

3DMark06

3DMark06 simulates DirectX 9.0c (Shader 3.0) games and it also puts HDR (High Dynamic Range) into the equation to calculate its final score. So it simulates the most high-end games available today. Since we were comparing mid-range cards, we ran this program in two resolutions, one low (1024x768) and one high (1600x1200). The results you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer except the cards marked with “OC”, which are cards that are factory-overclocked.

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 -1024x768 Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 7248 147.63%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 7002 139.22%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 6154 110.25%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 5743 96.21%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 4292 46.63%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 4192 43.22%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 3369 15.10%
Radeon X1600 XT 256 MB (HIS) 3295 12.57%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 2927  
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 2860 2.34%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 2763 5.94%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 2213 32.26%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 2046 43.06%
Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB (ATI) 1920 52.45%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 1357 115.70%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 741 295.01%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 -1600x1200 Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 4793 168.67%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 4607 158.24%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 4041 126.51%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 3707 107.79%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 2923 63.85%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 2765 54.99%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 2117 18.67%
Radeon X1600 XT 256 MB (HIS) 2086 16.93%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 1796 0.67%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 1784  
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 1781 0.17%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 1281 39.27%
Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB (ATI) 1100 62.18%

Quake 4

Quake 4 uses the same game engine as Doom 3 and since we are comparing mid-range cards, we decided to run this program in two resolutions, 1024x768 (simulating a low resolution) and 1600x1200 (simulating a high resolution), first with image quality set at “low” and then with image quality set at “high”. We upgraded this game to version 1.3 and run the id_demo001 net demo that comes with this version. Click here for more details on how to use Quake 4 to benchmark a system. The results you check below and are given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer except the cards marked with “OC”, which are cards that are factory-overclocked.

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Quake 4 1.3 - 1024x768 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 123.25 99.11%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 123.21 99.05%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 119.93 93.75%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 114.53 85.02%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 109.14 76.32%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 85.44 38.03%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 79.65 28.68%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 77.86 25.78%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 74.81 20.86%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 66.54 7.50%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 61.90  
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 55.69 11.15%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 46.40 33.41%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 35.03 76.71%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Quake 4 1.3 - 1600x1200 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 80.55 171.85%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 77.30 160.88%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 67.55 127.98%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 65.14 119.84%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 61.34 107.02%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 44.18 49.11%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 41.01 38.41%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 39.59 33.61%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 37.63 27.00%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 33.65 13.57%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 29.63  
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 28.01 5.78%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 23.02 28.71%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 16.95 74.81%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Quake 4 1.3 - 1024x768 - High Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 122.21 101.90%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 120.14 98.48%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 117.08 93.42%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 112.95 86.60%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 110.23 82.11%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 78.24 29.26%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 75.27 24.35%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 71.89 18.77%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 70.76 16.90%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 60.53  
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 58.80 2.94%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 49.15 23.15%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 42.87 41.19%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 32.15 88.27%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Quake 4 1.3 - 1600x1200 - High Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 78.95 172.90%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 75.51 161.01%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 65.99 128.10%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 62.23 115.11%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 59.99 107.36%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 41.05 41.89%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 39.05 34.98%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 37.10 28.24%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 35.94 24.23%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 30.75 6.29%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 28.93  
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 25.62 12.92%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 21.47 34.75%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 15.76 83.57%

F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. is a heavy game and we used its internal benchmarking module. We upgraded it to version 1.08 and since we are comparing mid-range cards, we decided to run this program in two resolutions, 1024x768 (simulating a low resolution) and 1600x1200 (simulating a high resolution). We set “computer settings” to “maximum” and then ran each resolution in two scenarios, first with “graphics card” set at “low” and then with this item set at “maximum”. Let’s take a look at the results, given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer except the cards marked with “OC”, which are cards that are factory-overclocked.

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1024x768 - Low Quality Score Difference
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 268 185.11%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 256 172.34%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 247 162.77%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 216 129.79%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 193 105.32%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 186 97.87%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 167 77.66%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 139 47.87%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 121 28.72%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 114 21.28%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 94  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 83 13.25%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 66 42.42%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 38 147.37%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1600x1200 - Low Quality Score Difference
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 123 192.86%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 120 185.71%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 115 173.81%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 99 135.71%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 89 111.90%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 89 111.90%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 75 78.57%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 62 47.62%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 58 38.10%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 54 28.57%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 42  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 38 10.53%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 31 35.48%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 17 147.06%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1024x768 - Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 65 124.14%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 62 113.79%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 56 93.10%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 51 75.86%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 50 72.41%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 46 58.62%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 40 37.93%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 33 13.79%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 29  
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 27 7.41%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 27 7.41%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 26 11.54%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 26 11.54%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 10 190.00%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1600x1200 - Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 27 145.45%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 26 136.36%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 24 118.18%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 24 118.18%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 23 109.09%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 22 100.00%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 17 54.55%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 14 27.27%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 13 18.18%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 12 9.09%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 12 9.09%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 11  
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 11 0.00%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 4 175.00%

Far Cry

Far Cry is a heavy game based on the Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c) programming model. We’ve updated the game to version 1.4. To measure the performance we run four times the demo created by German magazine PC Games Hardware (PCGH) and the results presented below are an arithmetic average of the collected data. We used the HardwareOC Far Cry Benchmark 1.7 utility to help us collecting data.

Since we are comparing mid-range cards, we decided to run this program in two resolutions, 1024x768 (simulating a low resolution) and 1600x1200 (simulating a high resolution). At each resolution we simulated two scenarios, first with no image quality enhancements enabled and graphics details set to “maximum” (this scenario we called “low”) and then with anti-aliasing set at 4x, anisotropic filtering set at 16x and graphics details set to “ultra” (this scenario we called “high”). On all scenarios we set the rendering engine to Shader 3.0. The results, given in frames per second, you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer except the cards marked with “OC”, which are cards that are factory-overclocked.

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Far Cry 1.4 - 1024x768 - Maximum Details Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 145.00 138.33%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 141.84 133.14%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 131.39 115.96%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 129.20 112.36%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 128.86 111.80%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 118.14 94.18%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 97.75 60.67%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 89.96 47.86%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 85.77 40.98%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 81.60 34.12%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 67.03 10.17%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 60.84  
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 50.01 21.66%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 34.90 74.33%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Far Cry 1.4 - 1600x1200 - Maximum Details Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 81.70 167.34%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 78.86 158.05%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 75.56 147.25%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 71.84 135.08%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 68.21 123.20%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 61.09 99.90%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 49.39 61.62%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 46.17 51.08%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 45.07 47.48%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 40.88 33.77%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 34.52 12.96%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 30.56  
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 25.62 19.28%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 17.65 73.14%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Far Cry 1.4 - 1024x768 - AAx4. AFx16. Ultra Details Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 102.97 149.26%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 98.33 138.03%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 87.83 112.61%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 79.72 92.98%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 77.96 88.72%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 74.08 79.33%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 49.96 20.94%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 48.93 18.45%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 45.34 9.76%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 44.59 7.94%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 41.31  
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 40.86 1.10%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 24.88 66.04%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 17.97 129.88%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Far Cry 1.4 - 1600x1200 - AAx4. AFx16. Ultra Details Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 49.86 165.50%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 46.71 148.72%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 43.33 130.72%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 42.10 124.17%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 38.49 104.95%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 38.33 104.10%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 24.81 32.11%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 21.23 13.05%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 21.13 12.51%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 21.04 12.03%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 20.53 9.32%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 18.78  
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 11.44 64.16%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 8.47 121.72%

Battlefield 2142

Battlefield 2142 is the latest member of the Battlefield franchise. We updated this game to version 1.01. We created our own demo based on Sidi Power Plant map (click here to download the demo we created for this test), which provided a very consistent number of frames per second. We ran it and measured performance with FRAPS. Click here to read in details how we benchmarked using Battlefield 2142.

Since we are comparing mid-range cards, we decided to run this program in two resolutions, 1024x768 (simulating a low resolution) and 1600x1200 (simulating a high resolution). First we ran our demo with image quality set at “low” (with texture manually set at its minimum level) and then with image quality set at “high” (with anti-aliasing manually set at 4x). Below you can see the results, given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer except the cards marked with “OC”, which are cards that are factory-overclocked.

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1024x768 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 350.51 175.56%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 335.30 163.60%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 292.06 129.61%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 262.63 106.47%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 254.29 99.91%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 230.79 81.44%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 171.15 34.55%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 164.71 29.49%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 152.17 19.63%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 142.72 12.20%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 127.20  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 124.62 2.07%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 87.63 45.16%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 62.96 102.03%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1600x1200 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 176.40 173.62%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 171.89 166.62%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 147.40 128.63%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 132.60 105.68%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 131.81 104.45%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 117.01 81.50%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 82.04 27.25%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 78.45 21.68%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 75.60 17.26%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 68.07 5.58%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 64.47  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 59.96 7.52%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 42.81 50.60%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 28.47 126.45%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1024x768 - High Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 89.59 159.53%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 86.49 150.55%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 77.27 123.84%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 70.57 104.43%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 69.90 102.49%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 63.95 85.25%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 46.82 35.63%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 38.99 12.95%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 38.71 12.14%
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 36.30 5.16%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 34.52  
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 30.55 13.00%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 20.32 69.88%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 13.96 147.28%

GeForce 8 Mid-Range

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1600x1200 - High Score Difference
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) 43.22 154.99%
GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB (MSI) OC 42.49 150.68%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) OC 39.17 131.09%
Radeon X1650 XT 256 MB (HIS) 35.05 106.78%
GeForce 8600 GT 256 MB (MSI) 33.63 98.41%
GeForce 7600 GT 256 MB (XFX) 31.16 83.83%
Radeon X1650 Pro 256 MB (HIS) 19.85 17.11%
GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB (XFX) 17.94 5.84%
GeForce 8500 GT 256 MB (MSI) 16.95  
GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA) 16.67 1.68%
Radeon X1300 XT 256 MB GDDR3 (HIS) 16.47 2.91%
GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (Zogis) 13.98 21.24%
GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron) 9.38 80.70%
GeForce 6200 128-bit 128 MB (Leadtek) 6.49 161.17%

Conclusions

In our review we were able to compare GeForce 8500 GT from MSI with a vast range of new and old mid-range PCI Express video cards, as you could see on our previous pages.

Costing around USD 100, this video card competes in price with Radeon X1300 XT.

Even though this competitor from AMD/ATI does not feature a Shader 4.0 unified engine – i.e., not supporting DirectX 10 – in our benchmark it achieved better results than the reviewed video card. It is important to note that the Radeon X1300 XT model we compared GeForce 8500 GT to featured GDDR3 memories running at 1 GHz, and there are on the market models with DDR2 memories running at 800 MHz.

Radeon X1300 XT was between 4.27% and 9.98% faster on 3DMark03 with no image quality settings enabled, but when we enabled anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, these two video cards achieved a similar performance at 1600x1200, with GeForce 8500 GT being 5.82% faster than Radeon X1300 XT at 1024x768.

On 3DMark06 both achieved similar results.

Quake 4 is ATI’s Achilles Heel and here GeForce 8500 GT was between 6% and 23% faster than Radeon X1300 XT, depending on the video configuration we used.

On F.E.A.R., however, Radeon X1300 XT was between 14% and 48% faster than GeForce 8500 GT, depending on the video configuration we used.

On Far Cry the same happened: Radeon X1300 XT was between 9% and 34% faster than GeForce 8500 GT, even though both cards achieved the same performance at 1024x768 with image quality settings enabled.

And on Battlefield 2142 Radeon X1300 XT was between 6% and 13% faster than the reviewed card, even though they achieved the same performance at 1600x1200 with image quality settings enabled.

For the kind of user this video card is targeted – someone willing to spend only around USD 100 on a video card – we think Radeon X1300 XT with GDDR3 memories is a better buy.

Also, if you have USD 20 more to spend, we highly recommend the Radeon X1650 Pro video card: spending only 20% more you get up to 79% more in performance. That is definitely the kind of deal we are looking for!

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/MSI-GeForce-8500-GT-Review/452


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