In the Forums...
Posted: December 1, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
Just a few days ago I reviewed Elsaís Gladiac Ultra, a GeForce2 Ultra based card. And now, another GeForce2 Ultra card comes into the lab. When will the GeForce insanity end? Hopefully Iíll get more to test, heh.
Today weíre going to take a look at Herculesí rendition of the GeForce2 Ultra -- the 3D Prophet 2 Ultra. Does this card have what it takes to take on the Gladiac Ultra? Or will Elsa take the speed crown once again?
If you own Hercules products, you own products that surely make you happy. First and foremost, Hercules spends a little more time into differentiating its products from the next guy -- you can tell by just looking. Usually, youíll find that Hercules designs its own board layouts rather than following a reference design. This enables Hercules to tweak its products beyond everyone else. But it also delays a productís release date sometimes. Luckily, this isnít the case with the 3D Prophet 2 Ultra.
Letís take a look at the card shall we?
The front side (click on the image to view an actual size snapshot):
There are a few things here to notice about the Prophet. The first is that itís very blue. This is becoming a signature color for Hercules, as its entire 3D Prophet 2 line is blue. We donít have any complaints about the color. The second thing to notice is that Hercules includes a DVI flat panel output port. For those of you wanting to buy flat panels, consider looking into ones that support a digital interface and an analog interface. Avoid ones that just have the standard analog VGA connector. Using DVI will give you a much sharper image.
The reason youíll get less quality when using the analog connector is simple. A video card must convert its digital data inside memory to analog and send it to the LCD flat panel where it then gets converted back into digital. This 3-step conversion takes a toll on overall image quality. If you use DVI, the signal will stay digital and wonít be affected by noise -- giving you excellent sharpness and saturation.
You then notice the video module on the card. This is not a VIVO (Video in/Video out) module that you might have heard about. This daughter card add-on only outputs video; it doesnít accept video in. You can purchase a VIVO module from Hercules or Elsa. Modules from both companies will work.
The back side (click on the image to view an actual size snapshot):
Thereís nothing special about the back of the card. I donít know why people insist on seeing backs of cards. Have you ever noticed that when people open a CD jewel case to look at the CD, they always take out the CD to look at the back? Why do people do that? Anyhow, letís move on.