Features and Overclocking

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

Hercules 3D Prophet II GeForce 2 GTS 64mb - Graphics Cards 24
(Click for Larger Image [front])
Hercules 3D Prophet II GeForce 2 GTS 64mb - Graphics Cards 25
(Click for Larger Image [back])
Let’s take a look at the card physically. The obvious advantage is the cool blue color of the PCB. While this is NO WAY affects the speed or performance, anyway to add to the hipness of your product is an advantage. The fact that the fan, and ram heatsinks match the color just compliments this fact further.

The card, as you will notice, is also physically smaller than the 32mb version of the Hercules 3D Prophet II. This is possible simply because Guillemot compacted the components that were on the outer edge on the 32mb version, to underneath the TV-out device (which we’ll get to later). I for one was glad to see the size of the board shrink, when compared to its rival, the Voodoo 5. While I’ve had plenty of video cards in my system before, try to fit the new Voodoo cards in my system required the modification of my IDE cable setup, which simply just pissed me off, and didn’t make me happy about the card initially. Even the 32mb Hercules card was a little tighter than I would have liked. So, the point is: smaller = better.

As with the 32mb version, there are RAM heatsinks on the memory of the video card. Each heatsink covers a pair of memory chips making a total of 8 memory chips at 8mb each. Where as on the 32mb version, the heatsinks were flimsy and light feeling, these appear to be heavier and more solid, and made out of better quality material. Also, the fan/heatsink combo on the video processor itself is heavier and bulkier, and is attached more firmly to the card with plastic clamps.

Hercules 3D Prophet II GeForce 2 GTS 64mb - Graphics Cards 26
(Click for Larger Image [connectors])
Hercules 3D Prophet II GeForce 2 GTS 64mb - Graphics Cards 27
(Click for Larger Image [RAM])
You’ll also notice the addition of the extra connectors on the Hercules 3D Prophet II 64mb version. First, we have the standard TV-out, by the use of a SVGA port. Included in the retail packaging is an SVGA-RCA adaptor for those who have do not have the newer video input configuration on their televisions. The TV-out device worked fairly well on my aging television and was able to show 640x480x16 resolutions on a 32” screen. It was fun to play Quake III on this size screen, but getting an HDTV for higher resolutions would make this much sweeter.

Next is the DVI connector, which is used for digital flat-panel monitors. Unfortunately, I do not own one of these yet, so testing the quality or compatibility of it was impossible. However, it is nice to see some gaming companies working to provide compatibility with the higher end equipment and Hercules’ offer is excellent.

In the box, there is just the standard issue items. A single CD, holding the Hercules drivers and the PowerDVD playback software, and a manual for the video card and a manual for the PowerDVD software. Add the SVGA-RCA adaptor, and you can see why some complain that a video card that is this expensive should have a more appealing software package, but we can’t win them all.

Before we go on to the benchmarking of this video card, I felt I needed to point out something of interest. While the specs on the box and website show the card to be running at 200 MHz CPU and 333 MHz memory speeds by default, Hercules has indeed overclocked these modules before shipping them. What customers will receive is a 220 MHz core CPU speed and 360 MHz memory speed, right off the bat. This assures me that the quality of the components, including processor, memory and memory heatsinks, is greatly improved over the 32mb version. While pushing the 32mb versions memory speed higher and CPU speed higher was difficult because of persistent crashing, the 64mb version was able to reach 250 MHz CPU clock speed and an astounding 400 MHz memory speed.

Here is the system setup for the coming benchmarks:

Test System Setup
CPU AMD Athlon 750 MHz
Memory 1 x128mb Mushkin PC133
Motherboard Abit KA7
Hard Drive 20.5 GB 7200 RPM Western Digital
Video Card Hercules 3D Prophet II GTS 64mb
Video Drivers 5.22 Reference Drivers
Operating System Windows 98 SE
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