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Reviewed: Hercules 3D Prophet 4500
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: July 20th 2001
Page: 3

The driver set for the Kyro II allows all the usual options -- VSync on/off, texture compression, ansiotropic filtering, W buffering, stencil buffer -- as well as control over FSAA options. The architecture is designed to facilitate two things: 32-bit color and FSAA. While the card's memory is only SDR, there are 64 MB of it instead of the normal GeForce MX 32, adequately providing enough memory to keep 32-bit pages with antialiasing data within the card's memory at higher resolutions. Facilitating 32-bit calculations is the fact that the core takes a trick from Matrox's book, and renders everything internally at 32-bit, chopping to 16 only when asked at the end of the rendering cycle. The card doesn't perform quite as highly as one might think at 16-bit and lower resolutions, but pushing the options up doesn't hamper it nearly as much either.

DVD hardware decoding is something just about every card has had for a long while now, and the Prophet 4500 will do the same things -- provided you have the right software. PowerDVD 3.0 uses it; PowerDVD 2.55, which still ships with many DVD drives, doesn't. If you're planning to use the card for DVD playback, double-check for this option or make sure you have enough processor for software decoding.

Overclocking: Nothing in the drivers supports overclocking, but the latest beta of PowerStrip will overclock the card... well, sort of. The architecture works with the core and memory locked to the same clock cycle, and while the board ships at 175 MHz you'll be lucky to get to 180 before something fails; our board would only go to 178. 

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Added:  Friday, July 20, 2001
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 3/6

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