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      Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro Review

     
     Date: October 5th, 2002
     Type: Review
     Supplier: Guillemot
     Author: mayhem
     RRP: $389 AUS

    Introduction:
    W
    ith the new Radeon 9700 Pro being the hype of the video card market at this time, many people are overlooking the new 9000 and 9000 pro that are also on offer, these cards are aimed at the more budget end of the market with similar specs to that of the not so old Radeon 8500 and the low end of the GeForce 4 Ti market.

    Technology:
    The first new noticeable technology feature of the Radeon 9000 is full DirectX 8.1 support, with programmable vertex and pixel shaders.
    As with most ATi based cards there is multiple monitor support available combined with the inbuilt TV-Out chip which is capable of resolutions upto 1024x768.

    The card features four pixel pipelines, each capable or processing two textures per pipe and six textures per pass. With "SmoothVision" there are FSAA sampling rates of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and 6x, this allows you to customise the your system on a performance vs. quality perspective, giving you full control of the card via the advanced display properties.

    Product Overview
    Graphics Processor ATi Radeon 9000 Pro
    Memory 64MB DDR Memory
    Memory Clock Speed 275 MHz
    Core Clock Speed 275 MHz
    Bus AGP
    Supported API(s)

    DirectX 8.1 & OpenGL 1.3

    Features: DVI and TV-Out
    Options 128MB version available

    Features:

  • High-resolution TV/Video Output to display up to 1024x768 on NTSC & PAL TV sets.
  • VIDEO IMMERSION™II technology for high quality playback of DVD movies with minimal CPU resources
  • FULLSTREAM™ technology for accelerated hardware de-blocking of RealVideo™ video streams
  • Hardware HDTV decoder (iDCT & Motion Compensation), MPEG-2 decoder, Adaptive Per Pixel
  • De-Interlacing
  • HYDRAVISION™ flexible management of the display on multiple screens

  • SMARTSHADER™ technology for full DirectX® 8.1 hardware support in games (Pixel Shaders 1.4 & Vertex Shader 1.1) and OpenGL®1.3.
  • HYPERZ™II bandwidth-saving technology
  • CHARISMA ENGINE™II, accelerator engine for Transformation, Clipping & Lighting
  • SMOOTHVISION™ technology to improve image quality, featuring Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic filtering
  • TRUFORM™, the revolutionary solution to smooth 3D shapes edges
  • Hercules know-how in hardware combined with ATI’s next generation Radeon 9000 Pro graphics processor result in this AGP board providing impressive 3D rendering in complex, texture-rich games 64MB of fast, high quality DDR RAM for impressive performance in all graphics applications, especially for massive texturing.

    As you can see above the card conforms to Hercules "Blue" theme of PCB design, with the blue PCB, blue orb like fan and even blue ram sinks this card not only performs but also looks the part, this is good for people these days with window kits and neons as the card will look far from ordinary in your setup.

    One good thing to see is that the Radeon 9000 Pro card doesn't require as much power as its bigger brother the 9700 Pro, this means that there is no additional power connections required in order to supplier the correct amount of power to the card.

    With a standard monitor connection, a TV-Out S-Video connection and finally a DVI connector (with converter for standard monitor connection) you can really tell its an ATi based card. This is always one of the advantages, all ATi based cards come with dual monitor support as standard (but unfortunately adds a bit to the price tag).

    Its interesting to see that the 3D Prophet 9000 Pro comes with ramsinks, something that is one of the first mods people do to their video card in order to get the best overclocking results. This is the sort of thing that we would have really liked to see on the ATi Radeon 9700 Pro that we recently reviewed here.

    NEXT: Testing and Performance

     

      Supplier Information

     

    Hercules Australia (a division of the Guillemot Corporation) have a wide variety of computer gaming and multimedia products from the Graphics cards to Sound Cards, TV cards and also gaming equipment, they are one of the leading brands in todays rapid computer technology market. If you would like more information on the company then please visit there site: www.guillemot.com.au, alternatively if you would like to browse the Hercules product line then you can visit there Australian site: au.hercules.com.

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