If you look at the pure fill rate and memory bandwidth data, Radeon 8500 should easily beat GeForce3. That's what we expect and that's what ATi expects too. We will have to see if Radeon 8500 will be able to live up to those expectations, or if NVIDIA's Detonator 4 release was is able to spoil the show.
If you should (like me) have thought that all the fancy game demos and benchmarks made for the GeForce3-launch would run with full feature settings on Radeon 8500 as well, then you are sadly mistaken. Even though Radeon 8500 should indeed run with vertex programs, pixel shader stuff and bump mapping enabled, neither Dronez, nor Vulpine's GLMark would actually allow that. Obviously both games were not programmed for DirectX 8, but for GeForce3 only. AquaNox as well as 3DMark2001 are well able to recognize the DirectX8-features of Radeon 8500. It's a shame that Dronez and GLMark were obviously not programmed properly to check for the features of a 3D-card. Both games are only looking for GeForce3.
Radeon 7500 has a high memory bandwidth and a good texel fill rate, but its pixel fill rate is far worse than GeForce2 Pro's. Let's see how the new ATi midrange card sticks up against its competitor from NVIDIA.