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      Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro Review

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

    Testing:
    In order to test the card we used a fairly standard spec machine for todays gamers, that is a AMD XP1800+, ThermalTake Volcano 7 HSF, Gigabyte GA-7VRXP Rev 1.1 Motherboard, 512MB Kingmax DDR333 Memory running Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1.

    To get an idea of how the Radeon 9000 Pro stack up with todays cards we also used an ATi branded Radeon 8500LE and a Leadtek GeForce 4 MX440 card, all cards came with 64MB DDR memory.

    Three main gaming benchmarks were used, the good old Quake 3 Arena demo, 3DMark 2001 SE and finally one of the new games on the block (soon to be fully released) Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo (which really puts your system to the test as it requires alot of grunt).

    The latest Catalyst drivers where used for best results (the release at time of this review was version 6.13.10.6166), this was used for both ATi based graphics cards. For the nVidia GeForce 4 graphics card the latest Detonator drivers (version 30.82) was used.

    3DMark 2001 SE:
    These days everyone is interested in what 3DMark a graphics card can help them achieve, so here is a comparison of all three cards. For better results we tested the system both at stock CPU speed of 1.54GHz and then overclocked to 1.61GHz to give you an idea of how much a faster CPU can influence the results.

    As you can see the Radeon 9000 Pro is well ahead of the GeForce MX440, this is no surprise as the MX series of GeForce cards are rather cut down in power (though for the price, they are a decent budget card).

    Overclocking the system produces an across the board increase of about 100-200 3DMarks, this is rather interesting seeing as there is only a 70MHz CPU speed increase, this means that all cards should do considerably better on a newer system such as the AMD XP2600+ or Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz systems, which is of course expected.

    Surprisingly enough the Radeon 8500LE came out on top, this was a bit of a shock as the LE is the OEM version and only runs its memory and core and at a frequency of 250MHz, where the 9000 Pro runs both at 275MHz by default.

    Quake 3 Demo 001:
    Being a high rated OpenGL game of the past Quake 3 is still a great indication of the power of graphics cards, it also allows comparison with other system specs on a level playing field. The following results were achieve using the Quake 3 Arena demo version with map demo001 (sound disabled).

    As you can see the 9000 Pro is a good 15-20 fps ahead of the GeForce 4 MX chip, and at lower screen resolutions has similar results as the 8500LE.

    UT2003 Demo:
    Being the latest game on the market this is a rather good indication of what to expect from a graphics card. Unreal Tournament 2003 is rather resource hungry, so if a card runs this nicely then you can expect to be able to run all the current games and hopefully some into the future (lets face it, who knows what is around the corner).

    NEXT: DVI TV-Out, Overclocking and Conclusion

     

      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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