This is where it becomes interesting, the card is clearly out of the ordinary, the whole cooler is quite full on and in your face. The big gold heatsink looks great with the GIGABYTE logo up top with a little silver shard on the left side of the cooler that shows us this model is part of the Turbo Force series.
The cooler pretty much takes up the whole front if the card and a little bit more. As you can see on the right of the card the heatsink continues going over the edge of the card making it a little longer than your standard 8500GT.
This particular cooler uses a feature that GIGABYTE call "3D-Active Fan" which is just a fancy name for "Fan only spins in games." It's designed to help keep noise down along with power usage at a minimum.
Turning the card over we can see where the heatsink hangs off the edge of the card, it grips onto the back of the PCB to prevent it from wiggling around. The whole design feels very sturdy and of quite good quality which is always important with active cooling.
With the 8500GT being an NVIDIA card it of course carries the ability to support SLI, so spinning the card around we can see the SLI connector sitting across the top of the card. Unfortunately GIGABYTE didn't choose to include an SLI bridge. If you're looking to SLI a mid-range card though we would generally recommend something like the 8600GTS which works out better value.
I/O wise the GIGABYTE 8500GT Turbo Force Ultra is packing dual dual-link DVI connectors that support up to 2560 x 1600 along with the TV-Out port which the break out box plugs into.
Looking at the specifications the card is pretty hard core, the stock 8500GT sports GDDR2 at 800MHz DDR. GIGABYTE's Turbo Force not only packs GDDR3 memory like the 8600GT but also carries with it the same 1400MHz DDR memory clock that comes with the higher end 8600GT.
Core/Shader Clocks come in at 450MHz/900MHz on the stock 8500GT. the 8600GT offers 540MHz/1180MHz while the Turbo Force Ultra from GIGABYTE carries 600MHz on the core and a hefty 1300MHz Shader Clock. It's not all rosy though, unfortunately due to the actual core limitations the 8500GT only carries a maximum of 16 Steam processors while the 8600GT has 32. Hopefully the increased speed can make up for this, and we know there's only one way to find out.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Package]
- Page 3 [The Card]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and 3DMark05]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Lost Coast HDR)]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Prey]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Company of Heroes]
- Page 10 [Temperature and Sound Tests]
- Page 11 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 12 [Final Thoughts]