The overall benchmark results of the Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT 256MB are hardly that exciting, but no entry-level video card can shoot it out with the big boys. What it does do is outperform both the GeForce 7600 GS and Radeon X1650 XT 256MB cards on an overall basis, and even challenge the GeForce 7600 GT 256MB on occasion. As with all GeForce 8 series cards, the GeForce 8500 GT 256MB does better with newer games, as these are being tuned for the latest hardware. It still does a very respectable job in older tests, especially for a sub-$100 entry-level video card, and is a very serious contender at this price-performance range.
The Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT 256MB manages to fit into that elusive sub-$100 entry-level graphics market, and will likely attract a lot of potential buyers. Gigabyte offers two versions of the GeForce 8500 GT 256MB, the "TurboForce" model we're reviewing and a fanless edition clocked at lower speeds. Luckily, the price isn't that different, as the standard Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT 256MB checks in at just under $80, while the Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT 256MB "TurboForce" model is just a bit more expensive at $90.
This compares to video cards like the GeForce 7600 GS 256MB ($80), GeForce 7600 GT 256MB ($100), GeForce 8600 GT 256MB ($110), Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB ($110), and GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB ($160). Overall, the Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT 256MB offers a very competitive price-performance ratio, especially when it comes to DirectX 10 cards, with the toughest competition probably coming from the GeForce 8600 GT 256MB.
* Please note that online prices reflect Retail models when possible, only OEM where noted. Prices are taken at the time of review, and are not intended to reflect long-term trends.
The GeForce 8500 GT may not be a world-beating GPU, but after Gigabyte has given it the "TurboForce" treatment, this higher-clocked revision is a far more capable video card, and can easily compete with more mainstream products. Coming in at only $90 for DirectX 10 card, Gigabyte has essentially made the GeForce 7600 GS 256MB cards obsolete, as the GeForce 8500 GT 256MB outperforms it at the same price range. The energy-saving fan design is also a big plus, especially for those with small form factor PC or low-noise systems, and it even comes with a free game. Overall, Gigabyte is offering a very competitive video card for the entry-level buyer.