We guess you are troubled by one single question: why RADEON 8500 again when there has already been so much talk about it already. Well, it does make sense. First of all, out benchmarking proved that RADEON 9100 64MB is identical to RADEON 8500LE with the same amount of memory. Second, we saw that there is no reason to buy a 9100 card with 128MB memory: this extra memory will not pay back as efficiently as in case of RADEON 8500!
Third, and most important of all, these cards are most appealing today from the pricing point of view. We have already mentioned in the beginning of the review that RADEON 9100 and 9000 PRO based cards cost about the same amount of money. Meanwhile, the first one is faster nearly everywhere (the incident with the OpenGL driver is surely going to be amended soon). Moreover, the card from CP.Technology boasts that VIVO feature – an excellent choice if you are into video editing.
Overall, RADEON 9100 is a nice buy today (you can find a brand-name GeForce4 MX440-8x for the same money, but this GPU doesn’t have as many features to boast).
There is only one question left: do the re-marked RADEON 8500LE spoil the day for RADEON 9000/PRO? Aren’t ATI and its partners running into the same trap once again?
Or will they reduce the price for RADEON 9000/PRO even lower? Just to give a warm welcome to upcoming GeForceFX 5200? :) It’s none of our business, though – let them decide for themselves. We deal with what we have – low-cost graphics cards supporting all necessary features and technologies (DirectX 9.0 won’t come onto the scene in the next half a year, at least, while DirectX 8.1 offers enough functionality). That’s good for users, while game developers might get an incentive to use such functions in their products.
Yeah, GeForce FX 5200 GPUs are going to flood the market soon and they will probably cost even less. But how many “cripples” is there going to be among them? Those with the 64-bit memory bus or downright slow memory (and we have already seen such cards in stores). Even DirectX 9.0 support won’t help them become very popular.