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Hercules 3D Prophet Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB Review - Features

Since ATI's Radeon 9700 Pro started appearing on shop shelves nVidia have had to keep pace with their GeForce FX series. Recently ATI launched the Radeon 9800 Pro which is essentially a Radeon 9700 Pro with higher clock speeds to keep competitive against nVidia. Today Shawn "Toxic" Baker takes a look at the funky-looking Hercules 3D Prophet Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB video card that costs $660 US which certainly does not make it a product for the faint of heart.

| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jun 6, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.0%      Manufacturer: Hercules

Package Contents

 

Apart from the killer looking card which we will look at a little later also included in the box is the 3D Prophet Radeon serious manual, the installation CD with a host of goodies including Drivers, Demos, Screensavers and some software to overclock the card, also a copy of Power DVD and Raven Shield complete the software package from Hercules. Moving onto the other components we receive an S-Video to RCA adapter, an RCA video cable, the DVI to VGA converter and finally a power splitter so you don't loose any that run off your power supply.

 

 

The Card

 

- The Front

 

At first glance the card looks simply amazing; you really do notice the excellent attention to detail that Hercules has put into the card, as per usual with their products. The copper based clear heatsink fan looks excellent especially with the head of the mascot straight in the middle. The copper heatsinks on the memory help you get those few more megahertz out of the card. Top right of the front is the new four pin molex connector instead of the previous three pin connector that was used on the previous generation of cards. As far as we seen, all models of the 9800 Pro have chosen to follow the new four pin design by ATI.

 

 

 

- The Back

 

Moving around to the back you notice more copper, again on the memory heatsinks but also on the rear of the VPU. All this copper does give the card a fairly hefty weight but this won't bother a lot of people. AGP locks were invented for cards like these, saying that if you don't have one it won't be a problem. Overall the back is very simply but it is nice to see the inclusion of a copper heatsink on the rear of it to assist in heat dissipation.

 

 

 

- The Face Plate

 

On the face plate you simply have your normal VGA adapter to plug standard CRT monitors into but also we have the inclusion of the popular DVI and S Video. S Video gives you the ability to export the picture from your card onto a television. In the case you do not have an S Video port on your television; you are able to use the S Video to RCA adapter that was included with the card thus keeping you in the game.

 

DVI offers two functions; one is so people running a DVI LCD monitor will be able to get maximum image quality out of the card and their monitor and the other is so you can use multiple VGA monitors. The DVI to VGA adapter comes into play here and is used so you can plug one monitor into the standard VGA connection and the other into the DVI port using the provided adapter.

 

 

R350 and its cooling

 

ATI R350 core is what powers the card, some people may wonder what the R350 is, and it is simply the code name of the core which many know as the 9800. With core speeds getting faster and faster these days, fans are getting louder and louder.

 

Hercules hasn't gone out and splurged on a massive heatsink that takes up two PCI slots or anything like that, they have installed a simple and extremely quite fan. Included is a little blue LED and while it doesn't make your card run any cooler or let you overclock more it is defiantly very nice. It's little things like these that separate Hercules from the other cards that simply follow the reference design and provide the end user nothing exciting.

 

 

 

 

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