HDMI based graphics cards are clearly becoming something that more and more home theater PC enthusiasts want, and like we have mentioned it seems only fair since it is the best connectivity option to our TVs these days.
From a HDMI stand point both cards perform excellent and have no troubles putting out 1920 x 1080; they don't have any dramas with playing a Blu-ray at native resolution thanks to the inclusion of PureVideo HD, and they generally seem to be pretty well rounded.
The 8500GT offering is fantastic; thanks to its passive cooled heatsink and low profile nature it really is the more versatile option. It does miss out on the standard TV-Out that the 8600GT sees, but it's not the end of the world. Of course if you wanted to do a bit of big screen gaming you're not going to be having a whole lot of luck as it simply isn't a performance video card.
The 8600GT also has its pros with the ability to do a bit of low resolution gaming and of course offer the standard TV-Out port. It's good for those people who are looking for a HDMI video card in future but need something now.
The biggest let down on both the packages is of course the complete lack of HDMI cables, and especially in the 8500GT offering as this card really does seem focused purely for that environment. The inclusion of low profile brackets was really above standard, so to see them skip out on the HDMI cable is just disappointing. Hopefully Leadtek try to address this in the near future, it doesn't have to be long as we understand they're quite pricey, but a 0.8m or a 1.2m should be plenty. It's not that hard most the time to re adjust your HTPC to fit.
All in all we have two good cards which really market to two different kinds of HDMI users.
Leadtek WinFast PX8500 GT TDH HDMI
Leadtek WinFast PX8600 GT TDH HDMI
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