ATI Radeon 8500LE Overclocking
One of most obvious benefits to this new Radeon 8500LE model is the potential for overclocking. After all, we've got a card that looks very similar to the original Radeon 8500, and with 3.3 ns DDR to boot. Add in the low price of the Radeon 8500LE and ATI may have cash-strapped gamers breaking down the walls looking for an overclocking fix.
Since 3.3 ns DDR roughly translates into a 300 MHZ memory speed, that's where we started. Using PowerStrip, we easily attained this overclock, so we proceeded to test the core speed as well. While we didn't force the card into the outer limits, we were able to overclock the core to over the 275 MHz level of the Radeon 8500 and took the memory to a bit over 300 MHz. This is pretty incredible given the card's low price, and the fact that many OEM Radeon 8500LE cards have a lower card voltage that makes overclocking a bit tougher.
With the retail Radeon 8500LE we experienced no such difficulty and it was incredibly easy to hit these high points. Please note that this was an overclocking test performed on a single Radeon 8500LE retail card, so your mileage may definitely vary.
Using a standard 275 MHz core/300 MHz memory overclock speeds, we ran a few Quake 3 benchmarks and have included both the raw framerate data, as well as a graph detailing the percentage increase at each resolution.