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    ATI RADEON 8500LE Review
    By Vince Freeman :  March 11, 2002

    Value

    There are really two facets to the Radeon 8500LE price levels. One is how it naturally compares to the NVIDIA competition, but also important is how the 8500LE relates to the ATI line. The Radeon 8500LE's standard retail pricing from ATI checks in at $199, but online searches can yield prices of $185 or even lower. This compares quite well to the Radeon 8500 128-MB's suggested retail of $299 and its online price of approximately $260.

    Where it gets a bit more interesting is in regards to the existing 64-MB Radeon 8500 and 8500LE boards, some of which can be found for very low prices. The OEM 250/250 Radeon 8500LE cards are priced anywhere from $140-$150+, and the retail ATI Radeon 8500 is just a bit more expensive at around $160-$165. This is tougher one to equate, since the Radeon 8500 64-MB card is looking like an exceptional deal. Still, the 128-MB version holds its own attraction, especially those that play high-definition action games with heavy texture use.

    In terms of NVIDIA cards, the Radeon 8500LE matches up quite well against the GeForce3 Ti 500, coming in at well under the approximate $250 for a similar name-brand card. Although a bit slower by The GeForce3 Ti 200 remains a steal of a deal, and at around $140, undercuts the Radeon 8500LE price by a good margin. Both the GeForce4 and GeForce4 MX cards are priced well above or below the Radeon 8500LE and a specific comparison of their relative performance will have to wait for now.

    * Please note that online prices are taken at the time of review and are not intended to reflect long-term trends.

    Conclusion

    Basically, the ATI Radeon 8500LE is an excellent value choice, and may help the Radeon 8500 64-MB board become obsolete for some gamers. Unless you absolutely have to use a dual-monitor or LCD display, the Radeon 8500LE provides a similar level of performance, and at a competitive price. Its 128-MB of DDR memory really doesn't redefine the performance arena, but it does allow for a good overall value, and gets us excited as to what a fully-fledged Radeon 8500 128-MB board might bring to the table.

    Pros:

    • Excellent 2D/3D Video Card
    • 128 MB Does Help Game Performance
    • Potentially High Overclock Speeds
    Cons:
    • 250/250 MHz Speed
    • No Dual Monitor Support
    • Lower SmoothVision Performance

    Ratings:




    Page 1 Introduction
    Page 2 The ATI Radeon 8500LE
    Page 3 Radeon 8500LE Specifications
    Page 4 Performance
    Page 5 3DMark 2001 Pro Performance
    Page 6 Quake3 and Serious Sam 2 Performance
    Page 7 Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Aquanox Performance
    Page 8 Smoothvision Performance and Benchmark Analysis
    Page 9 ATI RADEON 8500LE Overclocking
  • Page 10 Value and Conclusion


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