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MSI NX8500GT-TD256E Geforce 8500GT Videocard Review
MSI NX8500GT-TD256E Geforce 8500GT Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Even if you're only a casual gamer, a DirectX 10 videocard gives you access to a lot of the eyecandy in the latest game titles, and that's not always so with a DirectX 9.0C videocard.
 77% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Jun 25 2007   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > MSI NX8500GT-TD256E

nVidia GeForce 8500GT Technology

The GeForce 8500GT videocard is based on nVidia's 'G86' GPU, which is built on TSMC's 80nm manufacturing process. The chip contains 210 million transistors. According to nVIDIA, the G86 is rated to draw a maximum of 43W of power, well below the limit of what the PCI Express x16 slot can provide.

The GeForce 8500GT has a default clock speed of 450 MHz. The difference between the nVIDIA G86 core and the G84 found in the GeForce 8600 series is the number of stream processors available. With the GeForce 8500GT GPU, there are only 16 stream processors while the G86 has 32 SPs and the G80 has 96/128.

Essentially that means that the GeForce 8500GT has half the rendering power of the GeForce 8600 series.

The nVIDIA GeForce 8500GT GPU can be equipped with either 256MB or 512MB of memory, the MSI Geforce 8500GT has 256MB. Memory runs at 800 MHz on a 128bit memory controller bus. The relatively low memory operating frequency, teamed up with the narrow memory bus width, tells us that high resolutions and enhanced visual effects like Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering are too much for this GPU.

While the G86 core carries onward with nVidia's current thinking of how a graphics processor should be built, there are a few notable changes from the G80. Gone are the hard coded Vertex and pixel shaders, they've been replaced with a more flexible Stream Processor (or unified shader) that calculates both types of data. The Stream Processors runs at 900 MHz incidently. Traditional core clock speeds as we know it are dead, as several internal processors are running at different speeds.

Each Thread Processor has two groups of eight Stream Processors, and each group talks to an exclusive texture address filter unit as well as well as being connected to the shared L1 cache. When more memory is needed, the Thread Processor connects to the crossbar memory controller. nVIDIA's crossbar memory controller is broken up into two 64 bit chunks for a total bus width of 128 bits. By moving the GPU towards a threaded design, the nvidia G86 is much more like a processor than any graphics core of the past. Any type of data - be it pixel, vertex, or geometry shader can be processed within the Stream Processor. This allows load balancing to occur between the various tasks.

nVidia PureVideo HD:

As for miscellaneous core technologies, by default the GeForce 8500GT supports HDCP over both DVI. With the release of the GeForce 8500GT core, nVIDIA is also updating its PureVideo technology. Dubbed "PureVideo HD" the videocard can now handle the entire decoding processor of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies. According to nVIDIA 100% of high definition video decoding can be off loaded onto the videocard at speeds of up to 40Mb/s.

As it is PureVideo HD will be of benefit to Blu-Ray/HD-DVD type movies only, and does not boost WMV9 playback at this time. That means high definition videos using the Microsoft standard will only be accelerated to previous PureVideo levels.

Examining CPU Load with PureVideo

To test PureVideo's High Definition accelerating capabilities on the MSI NX8500GT-TD256E videocard, PCSTATS will play back a video downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase through Windows Media Player 10. "The Discoverers" (IMAX) video is available in both 720P and 1080P formats. AMD processor utilization will be monitored via Task Manager.

When running the 720P version of the Discoverers video CPU usage hovers between 15-20%.

nVIDIA's PureVideo does an excellent job at keeping CPU usage down and here the system is running the 1080P version of the Discoverers video. That's pretty good wouldn't you say?

Next up, PCSTATS tries its hand overclocking the MSI Geforce 8500GT videocard!

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Contents of Article: MSI NX8500GT-TD256E
 Pg 1.  MSI NX8500GT-TD256E Geforce 8500GT Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — nVidia GeForce 8500GT Technology
 Pg 3.  Overclocking the MSI NX8500GT-TD256E
 Pg 4.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 7.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 8.  Entry Level DirectX 10 Gaming?

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