Mainstream GeForce 8 Series Round-Up: MSI & Gigabyte

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The MSI NX8500GT TD256E

The MSI NX8500GT TD256E
GeForce 8500GT Chipset Features 
NVIDIA CineFX 5.0 Shading Architecture 
  • Microsoft Vista Features
- Next-generation Instancing
- Geometry Shaders
- Steamed Output
- 8 MRTs
- 32 bpp HDR Formats
- Shadow Maps
• Vertex shaders
- Support for Microsoft DirectX 10.0 Vertex Shader 4.0
- Encompass' Transform and Lighting
- Displacement mapping
- Geometry instancing
• Pixel shades
- Support for DirectX 10.0 Pixel Shader 4.0
- Support for full pixel branching
- Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
- Infinite-length pixel programs
• Next-generation texture engine
• Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline,with native hardware support for 32 bpp,64 bpp,and 128 bpp rendering modes. 
64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending 
  • Full floating point is supported throughout entire pipeline
• Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion
• Floating point texturing drivers new levels of clarity and image detail
• Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions 
NVIDIA Intellisample 4.0 Technology 
  • Advanced 16X anisotropic filtering (up to 128 taps)
• Rotated-grid antialiasing for removing jagged edges for incredible edge quality
• Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture,and z-data at higher resolutions and frame retes
• Fast z-clear
• Support for normal map compression
• New transparent supersampling and transparent multisampling antialiasing modes. 
NVIDIA SLI Technology 
• Patented hardware and software technology allows two GPUs to run in parallel to scale performance
• Scales performance on over 60 top PC games and applications
• Support for NVIDIA nView multi-display for scalable performance across two displays.

NVIDIA UltraShadow II Technology
  • Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games,like id Software's Doom 3 

NVIDIA PureVideo Technology
  • Patented hardware and software technology allows two GPUs to run in parallel to scale performance
• Three dedicated video engines
• MPEG-2 HD and WMV HD video playback up to 1920 X1080p resolution
• H 264 hardware decode acceleration
• Decryption supported for all standard HD Video formats-AES-128 CTR mode,AES-128 CBC mode,and AES-128 ECB mode.
• Industry's most advanced video algorithms
• Overlay color temperature correction
• Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) support for multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window
• Integrated HDTV output.
Advanced Display Functionality
  • Dual integrated 400MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including 2048 X 1536 at 85 Hz
• Dual MIO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders
• Full NVIDIA nView multi-display technology capability
Advanced Engineering 
  • Designed for PCI Express X16
• Designed for high-speed GDDR3 and GDDR4 memory
• Cooling as low as 24 dB delivered by adcanced thermal managemenet and thermal monitoring
NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 Technology 
• DVC color controls
• DVC image sharpening controls
API Support
  • Complete DirectX support,including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 10.0 Shader Model 3.0
• Full OpenGL support,including OpenGL 2.0
• Graphics Bus Technology: PCI Express 
• Memory: 256MB 
• Memory Interface: 128-bit 
• Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 12.8 
• Fill Rate (Billion pixels/sec): 3.6 
• RAMDACs (MHz): 400

The MSI NX8500GT TD256E is a budget class GeForce 8 series card with a GeForce 8500GT GPU at its core.  MSI sticks close to the reference model, clocking the GPU at an expected 450MHz and the 256MB of DDR2 at 400MHz (800MHz DDR).  The card comes with a small circular cooler and sports no additional ramsinks.  The card is equipped with a single DVI-I port and a VGA port.  The card requires no supplemental power, drawing all of its power from the PCI Express x16 slot.

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With a 128-bit interface, the NX8500GT TD256E provides a maximum bandwidth of 12.8GB/s, while the GPU sports a fill rate of 3.6 billion pixels/s.  The NX8500GT TD256E fully supports DirectX 10, however, bridged SLI is not an option.  Teaming two of these budget cards together requires scene data to be sent over the PCI Express interface. This model supports a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 over its VGA connection or 2560x1600 on DVI.

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