Cards like the 8500 GT that have 512 MB (to me) don't make any sense. The cards lack enough GPU muscle to take advantage of the extra memory... so here's my question...
What kind of user (if any) would benefit from an 8500 GT 512 MB card over an 8500 GT 256 MB card? Does the 512 MB version purely exist because some marketing guy thought that 512 MB cards would sell better? I'm not considering purchasing one... just curious why the cards exist in the first place. Maybe I'm missing something.
Same thing applies to the 8600GT 512MB and 1GB versions (Yes this is by far the funniest of the bunch), they are obviously just a marketing scheme for the uneducated. I wonder the same thing you do, except I'm not questioning what kind of user would make use of a 8500GT 512MB, but even a 256MB version of it. Because let's face it, there is no gaming to be done on those cards.
They'll all play WoW fine but that's 3 years old now and Intel's newest integrated graphics will do that just fine as well. I was just curious if there was some niche market that I had overlooked... I was thinking drafting, desktop publishing, something along those lines. We see posts on here from time to time by gamers asking "Will my eMachine work with an 8500 GT?" ... so I guess that should have answered my question. Clueless buyers are why these cards exist. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.