Hercules 3D Prophet II GeForce 2 GTS 32mb
Features and Overclocking
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(Hercules 3D Prophet II 32mb[front])
(Hercules 3D Prophet II 32mb [back])
The basic improvement we saw between the GeForce and the GeForce 2 chipset is the increased fill-rate, which translates into a higher frames-per-second.
The first difference we see when looking at the card is its unusual color. Though this is technically no big deal doesn’t affect the cards performance, this is just an attempt by Hercules to make the cards stand out and seem a little bit ‘cooler’ than the rest of the hordes of GF 2 GTS’ that are sure to arrive on the market very soon.
You will also notice that the card is a bit longer than the reference design of the GeForce 2. Also, Hercules went the extra step in encouraging the overclocker’s to purchase this card. The added heatsinks on the DDR RAM contribute to the overall stability of the hardware at speed greater than those factory assigned. Though the problem is not nearly as severe as it is with current RDRAM (Rambus), the heatsinks are a good thought towards the marketability of 3D Prophet II.
A heatsink and fan cover the GeForce 2 processor, a .18 micron, to protect it from the heat it generates. The fan, though small, is adequate enough to transfer the heat from the heat sink into the air around it. The Conexant chip on the backside of the card is used for the video output of the card, through the S-Video port.
(RAM Heatsink on Infineon chip)
(Fan on GeForce 2 GTS Processor)
The video out port is complimented by the DVD playback feature of the standard GeForce 2 GTS chipset. While still not quite as smooth and silky as a stand-alone DVD decoder, the feature is an added benefit that users of the Hercules card who are also owners of DVD-ROM will enjoy and take advantage of.
The manual of the Hercules 3D Prophet II GTS is simple, yet gets the job done. The simplified instructions that tell the user how to seat and install the drivers for the card are in several different languages; typical of a foreign (French) company. I would however liked to see a lot more of a description in the manual about the tweaking of the card using the Hercules drivers. There is nothing mentioned anywhere about the overclocking or other features built right into the drivers. The software that comes with the Hercules 3D Prophet II consists of only the drivers and Power DVD to take advantage of the MPEG2 playback. A few games to keep us happy also would have been nice, but it wasn’t pivotal.
Overclocking the Hercules 3D Prophet is as simple as setting a slider in the driver configuration. Again pointing out that they are after the power users, Hercules has a setting in the software, easily accessible, that allows the user to push the clock speed of the processor and RAM higher than the manufacturer had set. This leaves the user to be able find the best point at which their system is able to perform on the hardware.
The fab of the processor, .18 micron, allows the processor to increase is speed while decreasing the amount of heat generated by the processor of .22 micron at the same speed. Using the simple software we were able to get the Hercules card up to 235 MHz processor speed and up to 370 MHz RAM speed. The heat sinks on the RAM no doubt had a play in the overclocking of the Infineon RAM chips, as this was the highest speed I have seen on these Infineon chips anywhere.