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Product: Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra
Company: Guillemot International
Estimated Street Price: $419.00
Review By: Julien JAY


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

Now let the tests speak for themselves! Here is the detailed configuration of our PC we used to benchmark the Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra 64mb:

  • Intel CC820 motherboard (with latest P16 bios) running 256Mb of PC800 ECC Rambus memory,

  • Pentium III 1Ghz B,

  • Hard disks: Maxtor 45Gb UDMA 100, Maxtor 30Gb UDMA 66 & Seagate 20Gb UDMA 66 (all the hard drives turn at 7200 rpm),

  • Adaptec AHA 19160,

  • Sound Blaster Live Platinum,

  • Creative DXR3,

  • Pinnacle Studio DV Plus,

  • MiroVideo DC30+,

  • Internal Pioneer IDE UDMA 33 DVD Rom drive (16x/40x),

  • Yamaha 8824S Internal CD burner,

  • Iomega ZIP 250 SCSI and Iomega JAZ 2Gb SCSI,

  • Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro, Microsoft TrackBall Explorer,

  • Everything was running under Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition.

For the testing we closed every running program by making a clean Windows Boot. The only programs that were running during the tests were Explorer & Systray. By doing so we’re sure that performance would remain unaffected.

Quake III Arena Test

As shown in this test the 3D Prophet II Ultra is really the most powerful 3D card out on the market today. Its performance leaves the Voodoo 5 5500 in the dust and even surpasses the Creative GeForce II GTS 32MB. However the gain in terms of performance comparing to the GeForce II GTS is slim (only 15%).

This test uses 32 bit color and is intended to show that when using the 3D Prophet II Ultra instead of a 3 Prophet II Ultra 64Mb or Creative GeForce II GTS you’ll really gain a lot of performance.

ZDNet WinBench 2000

ZDNet has imposed its benchmarking tools as the worldwide standard to test PCs and PC devices. So we tested the Hercules 3D Prophet Ultra II with the ZD Winbench 2000 1.0 set of tools and we obtain the following results. Be warn that the WinBench 2000 runs 123 tests that are used to determine the quality and the performance of the 3D card. Note that the WinBench 2000 test program now supports the Transform & Lighting features of DirectX 7 and tested it.

As shown by this test the 3D Prophet II Ultra largely surpasses the Creative GeForce II GTS and Voodoo 5 5500 board performances. In terms of quality the card passed all the tests successfully as it supports a wide variety of 3D features.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000b test

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 is probably one of the highest 3D resource demanding game out on the market today. In consequence we decided to test the Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 (running the latest patch b).

As shown by the results of this test the performance gains are really few when comparing the 3D Prophet II Ultra to the competing 3D cards. However one of the enhancements for this card compared to other cards is the whole fluidity of the games when switching between many views when flying.

Unreal Tournament

As you have seen there’s no major difference between the three 3D boards even if the Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra continues to excel. Note that with the 1600*1200 16bit test the Voodoo 5 5500 obtains the fewest results since the drivers we used are bugged. Unreal Tournament intensively uses the core CPU and it explains why there’s practically no difference except in high-resolution mode where the 3D Prophet II Ultra is a top-notch card.

Full Scene Anti-Aliasing

To test the FSAA performance of the 3D Prophet II Ultra 64Mb we ran once again the Quake III Arena test and we get these results:

When one activates Full Scene Anti Aliasing, Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra remains at the head.  However, this advantage is more than relative.  Indeed, since the FSAA 2x of Voodoo5 is almost of the same quality than the 4x used by GeForce 2 enabled cards, we can almost say that Voodoo5 and 3D Prophet II Ultra are worth with regard to the performance (pure performances and quality) of the FSAA, with an advantage for the FSAA to Voodoo5 with regard to compatibility. 

Game Tests

We tested the 3D Prophet II Ultra 64MB board with many recent games and for all of them we get a marvelous display quality: 3D scenes are sharp, brighter, clear giving life to our games. Sure the Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra 64MB also bring to this games more fluidity especially for Flight Simulator 2000 and Starlancer. The games we tested the board with were:

  • Microsoft Midtown Madness II

  • Microsoft Crimson Skies

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000

  • Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2
  • Microsoft Starlancer

  • Quake III Arena

  • Unreal Tournament

  • Need for Speed III, IV, V

  • and more!

The board shown an excellent compatibility with games and we didn’t encounter any bugs caused by the card as it can occurs with some other 3D cards.

Crimson Skies Powered by the 3D Prophet II Ultra 64Mb

Microsoft MechWarrior 4 Vengeance Powered by the 3D Prophet II Ultra 64Mb

 <-- Installation & Various Features Conclusion -->


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