The Hercules 3D Prophet II MX is an excellent video card, with a very good build quality and excellent output source. However, you should be aware that the drivers are not as fast as the nVidia Detonator drivers supplied on the nVidia site. However, these drivers under Windows 98 provided me with a second output that I couldn't get rid of. This stopped a lot some DirectX-based games from working, though the core Windows functionality (and many programs) were unaffected, though graphics programs believed I was running in 256-colour mode. The same problem didn't happen under Windows 2000, but I have not tested the same software under 2000 because it won't run under 2000 in any event. So it's a trade off - blazing performance, at a price you can afford, but in order to make it work, you need to ensure your drivers are right. You can get the blistering performance of the Detonator drivers, yes; but be aware of the potential pitfalls if you do.
I bought this card a little while ago and havent looked back since! I was looking for a card which not only was highly recommended but was actually going to be afffordable as well. At the time a Geforce 2 GTS was about £250, I bought this card for less than £100. Thats good value. As far as its technical specifications go, its not THAT much different to the GTS chip in that it has the built in T&L (transform and lighting) the biggest difference under the "bonnet" is that it only has two texture pipelines, reminiscent of the old TNT2. This still isnt too shaby but will mean that when masses of pixels are being pushed around the screen its going to lag more than the GTS. Another big difference is that NVIDIA have decided that, so as to differ the GTS from the MX chip, not to allow it to use a 128bit bus when using DDR ram, this is a big limitation if the company you buy from decides to go the DDR route, as overall going down the route which hercules have with this card seems to be the best way. Hercules have used SDRam, however it has a 128bit bus, thus meaning that its memory bandwisth is much more acceptable. This is the biggest factor that should be considered when choosing this card oer rivals, such as Creative (who did use the 64bit DDR and suffered because of it!) Hercules, although they dont actively encourage it, do have a reputation for produing very overclockable cards, this one is no exception, by choosing fast 5.5NS (nonasecond) Hitachi (good brand!) RAM they have effectively made the card very "versatile" they also actually ship the card running with a RAM clock speed of 183MHZ, rather than the stock NVIDIA setting of 166MHZ, which most other brands use, its also worth noting that this only applies to the Retail version, the OEm comes equipped with higher NS rated (bad!) RAM which is clocked at 166MHZ. OK, onto the chip specs a bit more. basically it runs at 175MHZ as this is the stock speed for the chip. Hercules have only provided a
heatsink without a fan for this card, however using this solution i have mine currently clocked at 200MHZ, stabily! Although you can buy a more mutimedia friendly version for a few more bucks, i only have the basic model with the standard monitor output, which i fine for my needs. You should buy the model which corresponds to your requirements. Although the card doesnt come bundled with any games or the such its price perfectly warrants this. it has all the usual drivers etc and the Hercules site is updated often, it even comes with some nifty stickers for your PC case! This card returns a healthy 4500 odd 3DMark 2000 score (without overclocking) and a equally healthy 2800 off with 3DMark 2001, again at stock speeds. As you may have guessed, i thouroghly recommend this card and urge you to choose it as your GF2 MX soloution.
The 3D Prophet MX II is a good mix of price and quality. When I was looking to buy a video card, I wanted to keep in the relatively "budget" category, that is to say not over £300! It seems that there is a big gap between those cards around £100 - £150, and then those at £300+. This is a top-end card for this price bracket. The card itself may look a bit funny, but this is, as you all know, irrelevant. The specs are shown above, and are impressive. I own many 3D-oriented games, and none have problems with this card aside from FIFA 2000. Using this as an example, the game just doesn't recognise the card, and it is forced to run in 640 x 480 resolution, which is low, especially for a 19" monitor. However, all of my other games worth their salt automatically detect the card and run at 1024 x 768 (high-resolution) without any problems at all. If you haven't bought a video card before, or you have but haven't physically installed it, don't be put off. The instructions provide a step-by-step guide for even the most naive user, and give you most tips for all scenarios. I had problems initially with mine, but that was a faulty power supply in my machine. The drivers (software that controls the card and interfaces with your PC) are sound, and there are multiple options on the desktop for altering the display of your card to your preference. The graphics it creates are stunning, as many of my friends and myself will testify. For £100, I wouldn't have expected better, and a friend has recently bought the same card on seeing mine. It has 32MB memory, which is ample for anyone but the hardcore gamer. I also noticed a marked difference in quality when playing DVD's on my PC. The picture quality is superb even up close, and if you can get your hands on the version of this card with a TV-out, then do. Overall, a cheap card with very good results. Perhaps not quite reputable in old games, but n
ew ones will recognise it and work beautifully.
what can i say i am stunned to find such a good graphics card at so low a price excellent - Advantages: you can use nvidias drivers , it is easy to install, it matches my other card that csot me £220 - Disadvantages: not to hot on resolutions past 1024, none, none
This card is easy to install and configure, and very fast. I've got the 32Mb version. It comes with an overclocking utility which I haven't touched yet because it doesn't have a fan, and I think it's quick enough. It handles Grand Prix 3 and Colin McRae Rally 2 really well, and I'm yet to come up against a game that doesn't run smoothly in 800x600. Most popular games run smoothly at higher resolutions, and Quake II and the Thief 2 demo that came with the card are happy at 1024x768 (with Quake II running in OpenGL mode). As far as I can tell the drivers for the card are very stable - no real problems so far with most of the games I play. I suppose I have to stress that this is really a gamer's card, because in Windows it's nothing special, and no better for word processing and internet work than my old 4Mb ATI card was. Still, throw 3D work its way and it really flies. The only problem I have with this card is that the latest drivers for Windows Millenium Edition are now quite old, but apparently that might be nVidia's fault and true of all the GeForce 2MX cards. The card is at present selling with 64Mb of RAM for a little more than £100 from Dabs Direct, and I think at that price it's probably the best value for money on the market.
These days, with most new computers being sold with processors clocked at over 800Mhz, it is no longer your CPU that holds back your computers gaming performance. These days, the major bottleneck in pc systems is the graphics card, meaning that if you want faster graphics, you want a faster graphics card. And this is one of the good ones, for a diminuitive price. I got mine for £85, and it made an astounding difference to my P3 500 based system, I was previously using a 32Mb ATi Rage Fury card, which can handle itself in most game situations, until recently. For example, before, on Hitman: Codename 47, as soon as the action got going, my pc started to creak on a resolution of 640x480, with medium detail. I installed the new card and all of a sudden, I could play the game on 1024x768, full detail, with no slowdown. Hitman is a very demanding game graphics wise. The card is easy to install, runs like a dream and is one of the cheapest cards you can get. It won't be able to perform at the same pace as its bigger brothers, which cost two to four times as much, but then who wants to play quake3 at 120 frames per second, when your monitor only refreshes 80 times a second? The only other negative thing is that if you do any major 2d graphics work in windows, the display isn't quite as good as the Matrox G400, but then the Matrox can't boast the Guillemots inccredible game performance. If you don't have a geforce based card already, this is a great value buy to make your games slicker.
When I bought my PC cash was in short supply so I opted for a system with on-board graphics and sound...Big mistake! As soon as I got past the "isn't it pretty" stage and actually tried to do something with the bloomin' thing it was very clear that I needed a graphics card so I promptly went out and bought a voodoo 3 2000 PCI and the card served me well for about a year and I had no intentions to upgrade but when I saw the Hercules Prophet II MX in my local PC World had been reduced from £129.99 to £99.99 I decided that it was the right time to get a faster card. In the box was the card itself, A CD with the drivers, a rather unusual utility (more of that later) and a rather thin but easy to follow manual. The unusual utility that I spoke of earlier was an overclocking program. Hmmmm we are constantly reminded that overclocking a card (forcing it to run faster than it was intended to) voids the warranty on the card so why did Guillemot include one in the pack? A cunning plan to get people who were tempted to squeeze a few extra Mhz out of the card to buy a new card when it all goes wrong maybe? hmmmm... After a painless installation I fired up Counter-Strike, Half Life, Unreal Tournament etc etc but none of them seemed any faster with the 32MB AGP Prophet II MX than they did with the 16MB PCI Voodoo 3 2000. To say I was dissapointed was a bit of an understatement. I expected a AGP 32MB card to outpace a 16MB PCI, Wouldn't you? So, Summing up, I would say that this is a good card at a good price but if you have a fairly recent card save that little bit longer and get a better one so you actually notice a difference when you install it!
I am now the proud owner of a 900MHz AMD Athlon based PC. Oh how happy I am. Trouble is, when you have a fast PC, you really do need to have a decent graphics card to get anywhere near what you want from your computer. Now, when I bought my spangly new PC it only came with an old Riva TNT2...Time for some upgrading methinks! The 3D Prophet 2 MX is the "budget" version of NVidias mighty GeForce 2 chipset and this is why it is much cheaper than other models such as the GeForce 2 GTS or Ultra. It will set you back around £99. However in this case budget does not mean poor performance. The card is great and I can play Quake 3 on 1024x768 without as much as a millisecond of a jerk. Cool huh? The card supports Bump-Mapping and Transform and Lighting (to add a bit more speed and graphics to your games!). It has 32MB of onboard memory (the same as the TNT2 but dont let that dishearten you) and unlike the Creative Labs Geforce 2 MX, has a 128bit data path. The Creative has a 64bit one (it may make up for it with slightly faster memory but overall, the Hercules takes it). If you want great graphics at an affordable price then this is definately the card for you. Its faster than the much more expensive Voodoo 5 and faster than the most expensive GeForce 1 card around. Go on, take the plunge...its well worth it!