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Product: Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra
Company: Guillemot International
Website: http://www.hercules.com
Estimated Street Price: $419.00
Review By: Julien JAY

Features

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: First Look & Features
3: Installation & various Features
4: Tests
5: Conclusion

The Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra 64Mb card is built around the NVIDIA GeForce II Ultra chip code named NV16. This new 3D board has the following amazing features:

  • 64MB (only that!) of Ultra Fast DDR Ram composed of 4 DDR Ram chips

  • 128bits memory interface

  • Memory clock: 230 MHz (x2) that make it operates at 460 MHz

  • Core Clock: 250 MHz

  • RAMDAC/Pixel cycle: 350 MHz

  • Internal chipset bandwidth: 7.36GB/s

  • 4 dual texturing pipelines, mapping 8 texels per clock cycle

  • Texels/sec: 2 Giga Texels per second

  • Triangles/Sec: 31.25 million

  • Build In TV Out and DVI out for digital LCD monitors adapters

  • AGP 4x with Fast Writes (also compatible with AGP 2x)

Now we can compare the features of this new board to the Hercules 3D Prophet II 32MB:

3D Prophet II 32Mb

3D Prophet II Ultra 64MB

GPU clocked at 200 MHz

GPU clocked at 250 MHz

DDR RAM clocked at 333 MHz

DDR RAM clocked at 460 MHz

6.0ns DDR Ram

4.0ns DDR Ram that can operate at the maximum speed of 250 MHz (equal to 500Mhz)

GPU engraved at 0.18

GPU engraved at 0.18

Bandwidth of 6.4GB

Bandwidth of 7.36GB

Fillrate: 1G pixels/s Fillrate: 800M pixels/s
Fillrate multitexturing: 2 GTexels/s Fillrate Multitexturing: 1.6 GTexels/s

The 3D Prophet II Ultra 64MB NVIDIA GeForce II Ultra GPU doesn’t bring any new 3D features compared to the NVIDIA GeForce II GTS except increases in speed and geometry power.

3D Features

The 3D Prophet II Ultra is packed with tons of 3D features intended to make your games look as best as you could ever dream. The 3D features are:

  • Per-Pixel Shading Rasterizer: Realistic Textures with real time rendering of per-pixel shading that can adds depth to flat surfaces.

  • Hardware Lighting Engine: This provides rich, lifelike cinematic effects as well as faster texture-mapping on objects and characters.

  • Hardware Transform Engine: Handles complex objects of over 100K polygons with smooth and fast movements.

  • Cube environmental mapping, Bump Mapping, Vertex blending, Projective Textures, Texture Compression, Lighting, Shading…

  • Hardware Transform & Lighting engines (T&L)

  • Hardware Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) to make your games more realistic than ever with a high quality resolution and look out.

  • S3TC

  • Full support for DirectX 7 and OpenGL APIs.

2D Features

Hercules and NVIDIA didn’t forget, like other 3D cards manufacturers, that a 3D board should be as excellent in 3D as in 2D. So the 2D features of the 3D Prophet II Ultra are as good as the Matrox G450 (the reference for 2D graphics) to bring rapidity and optimal visual comfort for imaging, internet, and business applications. This is a real strong point of the board since most users will also use it to touch up pictures under PhotoShop, create websites, etc. The build in 350Mhz Ramdac ensures them to have outstanding resolutions of up to 2048*1536 in 16 million colors. Now an important thing for cards that support high display resolution is the refresh rate as a minimum of 75Hz is required to comfortably watch your screen:

Resolution

640*480

800*600

1024*768

1152*864

1280*1024

1600*1200

1920*1440

2048*1536

Refresh Rate in 32 bit

Up to 240 Hz

Up to 240 Hz

Up to 120 Hz

Up to 100 Hz

Up to 100 Hz

Up to 100 Hz

60 Hz

60 Hz

As you can read the refresh rates are more than good except in very high resolutions (1920*1440) and highest were the refresh rate is too weak to enable users watch their monitor comfortably during hours and hours of intensive gaming. However who uses resolutions higher than 1600*1200??? Maybe the lucky guys that have got a 29-inch screen!

Multimedia Enabled

The 3D Prophet II Ultra is the first NVIDIA based card we’ve seen that is so complete in terms of multimedia features. Its DVI output will give high-resolution display on digital monitors with a real digital output so there won’t be any quality loss due to an analogical conversion. The TV/Video Output will display on NTSC and PAL TVs the image of the current scene or the DVD you’re watching (640*480 and 800*600). Finally with the provided Power DVD 2.55 you’re sure to watch high quality movies using the 3D Prophet Ultra motion compensation engine. We sincerely regret that the 3D Prophet II Ultra doesn’t include a full built in hardware MPEG 2 decoder like the ATI Radeon that provides a fluid DVD playing on modest computers that are Pentium II or slow Pentium III. Also unfortunately don’t expect the same high level of output to TV or monitor features as with the Matrox G450 DualHead technology.

 <-- Introduction  Installation & Various Features -->

 

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