Both boxes are very similar with the cards coming in under the Winfast naming scheme. You can clearly see the model of the card along with the fact that it has HDMI. HDMI is actually plastid at both the bottom and the top of the box which is good.
Both cards support Direct X 10, use a PCI Express interface and come with 256MB of memory. The only difference is that the 8600GT comes with DDR3 while the slower 8500GT comes with DDR2. From a gaming point of view this is a problem, but from a home theater point of view people will enjoy the cost cut using DDR2 that the 8500GT brings.
The back of the boxes are almost identical with just extended information on what the cards are capable of. We again see the mention of HDMI and the bottom left corner shows us the main specifications of the two cards.
Moving inside the boxes, as far as the Manual/CD goes both packages include exactly the same disk and quick installation guide.
Diving deeper inside the package we can see the 8600GT comes with an S-Video to Component cable, DVI to VGA connector and an audio connector so you can get sound out of the HDMI port.
While the 8500GT package is similar with the audio connector and DVI to VGA connector being present, thanks to the low profile nature of the 8500GT Leadtek have also included some low profile brackets for people who are going to be making use of the feature.
The packages are pretty standard; the lack of a game is to be expected considering the main focus of the cards is for the home theater. What is disappointing is that Leadtek have gone out and included low profile brackets for the 8500GT which is simply awesome, but chosen not to include a HDMI cable.
This seems to be a bad habit across most companies; so far we have seen MSI, Palit, Twintech, Albatron and now Leadtek HDMI video card offerings with none of them having chosen to include a HDMI cable. The inclusion of one in the 8500GT would have made it almost the perfect HTPC graphics card bundle.
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