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Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro 128MB
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 15th November, 2002
Rating : 3 out of 5 stars  

About The Card

If you have read our recent Gigabyte MAYA RADEON 9000 Pro 64MB review, the Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro 128MB would look highly familiar in terms of layout. One can tell that it is a standard reference design, as all of the components including the teensy resistors have remained unchanged in layout throughout the graphics card. Usually such practices are often interconnected with reasoning such as timely market penetration coupled with affordable prices, but somehow the Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro 128MB did not quite catch the same boat as ATI and Gigabyte as Hercules launched their products a tad later.

The front view of the Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro 128MB.

And here is the rear view too.

The heatsink and cooler combination resemble a modified Thermaltake Blue-Orb, but it is definitely a different cooler all together. On a RADEON 9000 Pro core, this cooler is more of a decoration than an absolute necessity as that is how cool it operates (it can even get by with a passive cooler)

Cute RAMsinks protect the eight memory chips, which again serve as a touch of decoration than of much aid in cooling. Oh well, if it wasn’t for these finishes, it would be hard to classify it as a Hercules, don’t you think so?

Thermal tape is the heat transfer material and adhesive between the RAMsinks and the memory chips themselves. Our opinion is that RAM chips hardly require heatsinks for efficient operation; in fact RAM chips hardly operate hot at all. In the context of a graphics card, most of the time RAM chips heat up due to the proximity from the GPU rather than the RAM chips itself.

128Mbit Samsung 3.6ns memory chips at work for the Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro 128MB

The standard rear faceplate consists of an analog RGB connector, TV-out and DVI-I connectors.

It seems a little odd that the 7-pin mini-DIN connection is labeled as an S-Video output, but it is accurate. It fits any standard S-Video cable and it should output high quality video signals to your TV screen. Even previous Hercules cards that we have encountered sported this same 7-pin mini-DIN and we believe that Hercules just uses a single connector type to standardize among all their products whether be it a video-in and video-out (VIVO) connection or just plain video-output. Just in case you are not aware, the video output encoding is handled by the ATI RADEON 9000 Pro chipset itself as this function has now been integrated within the graphics core.

Using the supplied ATI HYDRAVISON software, you can configure and manage multi monitor display outputs effortlessly. You have the choice of using an Analog monitor, a DVI capable monitor and a Television in any combination. Unfortunately, Hercules did not equip the Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 Pro 128MB package with a DVI-I to DB-15 analog converter for use with dual analog monitors. This would only be of an issue if you intend to do dual display on two analog monitors.

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