This chip is presented by Manli RADEON 8500 64MB (250 MHz), AGP card.
By the end of the month the product belongs to the $70-90 range; supports DirectX 8.1; closest rivals: GeForce3 Ti 200, GeForce4 MX440, MX440-8x.
On the 10th of January 2003 the latest drivers from ATI are 6.243, 6.255 and 6.275 for Windows XP.
I shall note there's Radeon2.ru, web-site that tracks all software novelties from ATI and offers improved drivers versions with preset registry settings for increasing RADEON cards perfomance.
As the drivers differences are equal for the both RADEON 8500 cards with DDR memory, there's no sense in comparing drivers separately for each of these cards. See ATI RADEON 8500 (275 MHz) section for more information about drivers.
Some versions have problems with refresh rate setting in some resolutions.
And now I want to attract your attention to another important 3D feature - filtering. As many of you know, all chipsets support bilinear filtering that is an important instrument in MIP-mapping, some chipsets support trilinear filtering (true, not the approximation) and only few support anisotropic filtering.
Due to the fact that Radeon does support anisotropic filtering, I recommend you to pay attention to the article concerning this feature. You should read it attentively, as the ATI anisotropy is very ambiguous.
As there are no real application using Pixel Shaders 1.4. So, below are some demonstrations of one of water realization methods based on Pixel Shaders 1.4. you may compare these shots with X-Isle's water in the GeForce3 section, for example.
Pity again, but it's still impossible to demonstrate this technology at work on examples of games or demos. The same X-Isle uses NVIDIA cards specificial OpenGL extensions disabling this demo on non-GeForce cards. Certainly, the above demo was made with PS 1.4, so it works with RADEON 8500 only. You can also pay attention to the new 3DMark2001 SE with pixel shaders v1.4 test. Read more about it in the Gigabyte MAYA RADEON 8500 review.
Nevertheless, these technics allow to create masterpieces of 3D-graphics:
As you know, RADEON 8500 supports the very interesting feature and advantage - N-Patches (TruForm). All details are in our
R200 analysis and in mentioned RADEON 8500 review. Screenshots below demonstrate TruForm capabilities for creating a detailed human face.
I want to recommend to read the review of Review of SuperGrace RADEON 7500/8500, describing TRUEFORM technology in detail on the example of Serious Sam.
Below are some screenshots taken on RADEON and reference ones taken on NVIDIA GeForce3.