AUS (Base Model)
that the fast pace gaming industry is helping to push computer technology
to its limits, from this massive market many new products are developed
to bring reality to games, new technology is brought about before
you even purchase what you think may be top of the line, this is
why products my strive to be the best not only in performance but
in costs also.
a brand that many people recognize and recommend in the market place
and this review is mainly about comparing two KRYO based graphics
cards produced by Hercules, the first being the entry level card
aimed at the lower end of the market, the 3D Prophet 4000XT 32MB
Kryo based card and the high performance 3D Prophet 4500 64MB KryoII
with TV out.
models up have the option of TV out or 64MB memory.
models up have the option of TV out or 64MB memory, or 64 with
For full specifications
on these products then visit the Hercules site: http://au.hercules.com/
KRYO is not a commonly recognized chipset, these days most people
are thinking about nVidia GeForce based graphics cards, I know this
because until I purchased my 3D Prophet 4500 I had never heard of
it before, many of my friends had thought I bought a no-name brand,
but to their shock it was a great buy.
The card is mainly a entry level card, aimed at those who want performance
but don't want to have to fork out large amount of cash, it features
tile architecture and 32MB on-board RAM. Before we get down to the
testing it is a good idea to fill you in on the technology behind
behind Tile Rendering is that the display is split into small areas
called tiles that are independently rendered. This card also used
Hidden Surface Removal (HSR), this means that section of frames
scenes that are not visible on screen are not rendered or processed,
this allows the full use of memory bandwidth to those things that
A 3D scene
is made up of triangles. The 3D Prophet 4000XT Kryo chipset determine
which surfaces are displayed and which remain hidden and created
3D Triangles for displayed surfaces, it then maps textures only
onto the visible surfaces, this results in:
use of the RAM bandwidth
- Higher filler
- Solid 3D
acceleration in high-textured scenes, because it only draws what
can be seen onscreen
- Gain in
performance due to an increased CPU.
It also uses
8-layer Multi-texturing, which means that it uses up to 8 layers
of different textures that can be combined together in order to
obtain lifelike 3D environments, with most realistic details on
features is the Internal True Colour, whether you have chosen 16-bit
or 32-bit, all the blending operations on all pixels in each tiles
are performed on-chip in full 32-bit colour (that is 16.7 million
colours). There is no loss of colour precision during the process.
Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) smoothes the edges of all 3D objects. Tile
rendering supports full speed FSAA, even in high resolutions. HSR
reduces the number of surfaces to handle, making FSAA process easier
that in traditional 3D.
Finally the card
uses Environmental Bump Mapping (EBM), this is used to simulate
rough or bumpy textures with irregularities in their shading. The
3D Prophet 4000XT performs true EBM, by adding for example a base
texture, plus a bump texture, a light textures of an environment
The memory chips
(4 in total) are Samsung with 7 ns access time, which works out to 143
MHz. But the memory of the card works at 115 MHz, this is the same as
the chips, mainly because the frequencies of the graphics processor (GPU)
and the memory are synchronized for performance. That is the main reason
why the memory has a good overclocking potential, but unfortunately, limited
by the chip's speed. The card itself (PCB board) is blue in colour, and
you can notice spaces where the TV-Out chip and S-Video / RCA connectors
are placed in the TV-Out models.
Attached to the GPU
is a rather effectively designed head sink, being placed on both sides
of the PCB board the top section (as you can see in the above pictures)
has a Blue Orb style fan which proves to be quite affective at keeping
the card cool.
4500 64MB with TV-Out
This card is based on the newer KryoII chipset which has all the
features (mentioned above) of the Kryo but with some added power.
By increasing the memory and core clock speed the new chip is able
to process graphics information a great deal faster.
An added bonus
for those people with a DVD player is the TV-Out feature. Many people
think that TV out quality on-board graphics cards is not of the
quality of third party TV In/Out cards, it really depends on your
TV, as you will see further on for most situations the on-board
TV out is exactly what is required.
The extra Samsung
memory modules for the 64MB card are actually placed on the exact
opposite side of the PCB board directly in place with the other
memory chips, by looking at this card and comparing it with the
Kryo 4000XT you can notice the BRAND TV-Out chips. The heat
sink and fan setup is the same as the 4000XT (except that there
is no heat sink on the underneath of the card) and this also included
the blue coloured PCB board. The overall size of the two cards is
quite different, the 4000XT is a normal video card size (80mm x
150mm) whereas the 4500 is a larger sized card (100mm x 185mm).
Both the 4000XT
and the 4500 have the option for TV Out (that is if you want the
TV out model you can get it for a little extra on the price tag),
this is provided by a S-Video connection on the back of the video
card next to the normal 25pin monitor connection. By plugging in
the supplied S-Video to RCA converter you can plug the cards output
into your TV, this must be done before you start you computer (i.e.
your system must be off when you connection the TV Out) as it it
resizes your desktop to 800x600 so that it can display on your TV.
For those people
looking for a cheap TV Out option then on-board is the way to go, unfortunately
these Kryo cards don't support TwinView and the same images is displayed
both on your PC monitor and your TV screen (where as with TwinView you
can have two separate displays). If you want serious TV functionality
then It is recommended you buy a decent video card and then spend approx.
$100 (AUS) on a separate TV In/Out card as it will give you more functionality
and slightly better quality.
Testing and conclusion