• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Life with a Radeon 8500DV All-In-Wonder

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


Inactive Moderator
Jan 4, 2001
Northern VA
Well, after living with my new Radeon 8500 AIW, I thought I write a little bit and share experiences and thoughts I've had about this card.

First off, I'll go ahead and answer the one question I knew I'd have to answer for my own personal knowledge -- Was it worth it?

As you know, the Radeon 8500 AIW is a relatively expensive card...I paid around $300 for mine, which, btw, isn't too far off from a good quality Geforce3 ti500. For me, the features of this card have been great, and I've really enjoyed the past week with it, so the verdict is in: This card is definitely worth its pricetag when compared to other alternatives.

Now lets get back to the start of things, mainly last Monday. I got home to find the 8500 waiting for me, and promptly got to work on it :)

The first thing I did notice was the large amount of things contained in that box. A few books, about 4 CD's, lots of cables, batteries, the remote control, the connection dongle, and ofcourse the card itself...to put it bluntly, ATI included everything you'll need in the box...well...except a coaxial cable for the TV-tuner...but I had a few lying around anyways...

I then went ahead and removed the drivers for my Geforce2MX and then the card. It felt kinda wierd...have to give that card credit...I kinda miss it...not to worry, it'll be ressurected in another system once I decide to grab another socket A mobo and hdd...

The installation of the card appeared pretty seamless. I followed the onscreen instructions, but will admit that in my haste to play with the card, I didn't even TOUCH the installation manual. However, ATi put it all together, so the card's drivers, software, and directX8.1 are all installed at the same time.

However, upon the reboot, I hit the "TV" function and got an error message. Don't remember it offhand, but I decided to take my time and reinstall the drivers again...I basically was in a hurry and didn't take my time to watch what I was doing :)

I knew that was right, I reinstalled the drivers and software, and when it rebooted everything worked great. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong the first time, but I'm pretty sure it was some sort of a user error...

The first thing I checked out was the TV function. This is a pretty neat function...I don't watch TV all that much, but sometimes there is something on I'd like to watch and I don't have my computer in a place where I can see the TV...so...now I can watch shows and still work on my computer.

The quality of the picture from the TV tuner is actually not that bad. I was hoping for something spectacular, but was quickly reminded of the limitations of standard TV signals...while it does look good, when your only a foot or two away from your screen, its easier to see how blurry standard TV can get. But back away, and it looks as good or even better than a normal TV.

Next I decided to see how Unreal Tournament played...its a favorite between my brother and I to LAN, and at higher resolutions my GF2MX struggled a bit. Not wasting any time, I quickly bumped the resolution to 1600x1200, and started a game on a small map with 16 bots. Much to my amazement, the game was completely smooth no matter what happened...

On my old card, things would skip a beat when there were 3-4 bots and there was lots of close range chaingun fire...the muzzle flash is what would usually cause things to get choppy...but no more...even at 1600x1200, a resolution that didn't work all that great before.

So in that respect, I'm very happy. Ofcourse, I was curious of the 3dmark scores, and also seeing some of the tests that my old vid card wouldn't support.

I managed to get 6800 in 3dmark2001, with a 1.2ghz AXIA at 1365mhz. Keep in mind my FSB is only at 107mhz, and the AIW is clocked slower than a standard 8500 and I have not yet OC'd the card. All things considered, thats a pretty respectable 3dmark score...a benchmark that seems to feed of CPU and FSB just as much as it does GPU power...

I will try OCin'g the card, but that's another story, as I plan to add better cooling and RAMsinks.

In the meantime though, in the games I play, things are VERY smooth and look great...so I have absolutely no complaints when it comes to games. I don't feed off of having 200fps, but I certainly do not like it when a game gets choppy or I notice a slowdown at any point.

As for image quality, I do notice a difference in some games, which I didn't really think I would notice...especially in Serious Sam. As for desktop image quality, I didn't really notice a difference, but I will admit looking closely...and I mean REALLY closely, text appears sharper than before.

DVD image quality is improved though, which is cool becuase I watch a fair number of DVD's on my computer.

Over the past week I have really focused my attention on the TV tuner and the "TiVO" functions. I set up my channel list, TiVO'd a few shows while I was out friday night, and also recorded some shows as I've watched them. Its nice becuase I can select the quality to record at, even a custom quality level and format. Becuase of that, I tweaked the record settings to allow me to record a 1 hour show to fit on a CDR...so, for fun, on Wedensday I recorded "Enterprise" and burned it on CD in .mpg format that plays on any machine.

In the future I'd like to try recording to high quality AVI and then converting to DiVX...but, thats just one more thing to play with later...

All in all, i'm very happy with this card. I have yet to caputre video, but I know that I'll use that feature in the future. Making amatuer films and comedy skits has always been a slight hobby, and editing used to be done with a few VCR's and a monitor :)

Aside from the initial installation problem, which was probably my fault, the card has been reliable (running Windows 2000 pro, sp2)

This card has tons of great multimedia features as well as 3dperformance that can beat the Geforce3 ti200 right outta the box with no modifications or tweaking. It'll be interesting to see what kind of performance I get with new driver releases, tweaks, and mods to the card.

So, for any who were curious, those are my observations after a week with the ATi Radeon 8500DV AIW.



Captain Random Senior Evil
Nov 8, 2001
8500 goodness

That new card really sounds nice... <wipes drool from frothing mouth>

Once you OC and bench it some, maybe you'd want to join the overclockers 3dmark team. We should have our website up soon, and you can compare your scores with others from these forums and help us gain a presence in the top spots on madonion's database. Just a thought...

We'll have a sticky in the video/sound section once we're up and running. Keep us posted on your card's no-doubt incredible performance.


Feb 14, 2002
The Bad Lands
Great review !!!


That was a great summary of the card... I am expecting mine to arrive this Monday... So if there are more "did you know tips" please do share them with those who have not...



Cisco Kid

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2001
Great review on the 8500 DV, I am currently considering selling my 7500 and TV Tuner capture card and move to an 8500DV or an 8500 and keep my capture card. Although the 8500DV will offer more multimedia functionality but will be slightly less of a gaming card, not by much though.

Looking forward to and info you can post on benchmarks when you have the time.

Cisco Kid:D