I bought his card 2nd hand to replace an old gpu that exploded on me. I bought as a temporary solution so was not expecting much.
Desktop performance was very good, with the card turning in a Windows Experience Index score of 4.8, enabling it to run Windows Vista's Aero interface with all its features enabled. The card supports PureVideo HD; both DVD and high-definition content played back smoothly with top-notch visuals during our tests.
Based on the Nvidia GeForce 8500 GT engine, it supports the full suite of DX10 special effects found in games such as Company of Heroes. The EN8500GT was a poor performer in some 3D tests. I managed to get it to maintained frame rates much better at higher resolutions than its GeForce 8400 GS little brother did, managing 12fps in F.E.A.R. at a resolution of 1,600x1,200, compared with just 4fps for the 8400 GS. Still, none of these frame rates was fast enough to be playable, and i had to drop to a grainy 800x600 resolution or turn down the details to get an average frame rate higher than 30fps in these games. Older games will fare better at higher resolutions, though, such as counter-strike: source, which played well.
The overall poor 3D numbers leave GeForce 8500 GT cards in an odd place in nVidia's lineup. If 3D performance doesn't matter at all, then a less-expensive 8400 GS card will likely suffice. If performance is a concern, however, spending the extra cash on an 8600 GTS card will deliver playable frame rates at higher resolutions. The EN8500GT should interest people who value a noise-free environment enough that they're willing to turn down game visuals to achieve it.