Review: 600MHz core with DDR3 memory
We've tested the Gainward BLISS Geforce 8500GT Golden Sample PCX. It's an affordable DirectX video card in the value range as you can get it for €90 in Germany. Despite the price you will be able to play most of the new games, but more about that further down.
The core-frequency for this card is 600MHz, and 1400MHz for the memory. This is a big step forward for Gainward, from the reference 450MHz frequency. We compliment the decision to use GDDR3 RAM instead of the commonly used DDR2 memory.
With this move, Gainward also increased the memory bandwidth from the default 12.8 GB/s to 22.4 GB/s. Even though the core/memory frequency of the tested card can be compared to the 8600GT, the BLISS 8500GT has got 50% less stream processors, bringing the number down to 16.
ATI’s answer to this card will be the HD2400 XT and HD2400 PRO series, coming out in June. comparing these 2 cards will be interesting, since ATI is using a slower 64-bit memory bus and 8 unified shader units.
We can see that the card has one VGA connector, one Dual Link DVI (max resolution 2560x1600) an S-video/composite/HDTV out port, capable of outputting 1080i video.
The 8600 and 8500 were also given a design makeover, taking a step away from the reference design to fit better with the Gainward image. The result? The 8500GT takes up 2 slots on your motherboard. Beneath the black and red plastic cover is a cooler positioned directly on the core.
The cooler fins are extend all the way to the memory chips, thus the memory chips lacks any cooling of its own, but it is cooled by the air from the fan that is attached to the GPU block. The relatively large fan is very quiet. During our overclocking runs the volume increased just slightly.
The GPU is a G86-300 A2 silicon and its frequency is easily raised above the default 450MHz or even Gainwards 600MHz.
The package fits the price. It is the smallest we have seen from Gainward. The box contains: a driver CD, Gainward EXPERTool tuning kit, an instruction manual, TV out cable with HDTV support and of course the BLISS 8500GT PCX DirectX 10 card.