The 3D-video landscape continues to change at very high rate, with both NVIDIA and ATI launching newer and faster products like never before. NVIDIA has been busy with their GeForce3 Ti 500 and 300 cards, while redefining the entry-level market with the impressive GeForce2 Ti. ATI's answer has been to introduce the RADEON 8500 and 7500 cards, which the company hopes will serve NVIDIA notice at both ends of the performance spectrum.
The RADEON 8500 is the high-end entry from ATI and represents their biggest challenger to the NVIDIA GeForce3 lineup. This card is based on the new R200 core and brings with it a host of features and enhancements, as well as core and memory speeds that actually exceeds the best NVIDIA can offer. The RADEON 7500 and its RV200 core is a bit different release, as it seeks to give NVIDIA some much-needed competition in the low and mid-range areas.
One very positive change has been ATI's adoption of numerical model numbers for their newest RADEON cards. Previously, you needed to work at ATI to determine which RADEON product to buy or what features each card included, but even Joe Six-pack can figure out that 8500 beats 7500 and is likely a faster product. This also follows the new GeForce3 numbering scheme and should make things a lot less tricky when picking a new video card off the shelf.
New model names and high specifications are all fine and dandy, but the key for both the ATI RADEON 8500 and 7500 is exactly how these new products fit into the current selection of 3D video cards, from both a price and performance viewpoint. These are some of the most pressing concerns for ATI and are also the main questions we are looking to answer in this review.