Budget Graphics Card Roundup

3. Sapphire Radeon HD3450 512MB5. XFX Nvidia 8600GT 512MB


Point of View Nvidia 8500GT 256MB

A funny looking creature decorates the box of the POV 8500GT card. You will find only basic information about the card written on the box, which mainly focuses on HDCP support. Inside the box you will find a good installation manual, a drivers CD, a DVI to D-Sub adapter, a mini-DIN to HDTV adapter and a mini-DIN to S-Video cable.

The POV 8500GT 256MB card is built on a standard full size green PCB. A typical aluminum heatsink and fan solution is used, which is more than enough for the cooling requirements of this particular model. The 8500GT is based on the G86 core, which has 80 million transistors less than the G84 core of the 8600GT cards, half the stream processors and a lower clock speed of 450MHz.

We found Qimonda HYB18T2561618F-25 2.5ns memory chips on the card, right on spec for the 800MHz memory clock. The card requires no external power and has a D-Sub port, a mini-DIN video out and a dual link DVI port. The card is HDCP ready but it cannot transfer audio over the HDMI connector if you use a DVI to HDMI adapter. Finally there is an SLI connector at the top left.

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