Hercules 3D Prophet 9500 Pro review

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Introduction

imageview.php?image=129Product: Hercules 3D Prophet 9500 ProManufacturer: Hercules
MSRP: 269
Compare prices: spotted this product for 160 USD

Today we are going to take a look at another product from Hercules, the 3D Prophet 9500 Pro. This product is of course based on the immensely popular R300 chip from ATI. This same graphics core is responsible for graphics cards like Radeon 9500, 9700 and 9700 Pro. It seems that ATi is extremely eager to dominate the entire graphics card market with a card for any budget. I mean right now if you go to the store to buy yourself a 3D graphics card to play some games then you'd have the choice of Radeon 9000, 9100, 9500 and 9700 .. not to mention that Radeon 9900 is also on the way. Each version also has a Pro sister/brother.

The card we will test today is the 9500 Pro, like stated it's based on the Radeon 9500 Pro GPU yet clocked lower and with slower memory. So here you have this product that is extremely affordable but yet harbors the power of the 9700. Also and let me quickly get over this, the difference between the 9500 Pro versus the normal 9500 is hiddin in the graphics core. The Pro version has 8 rendering pipelines while the normal 9500 version has only 4 enabled. This has a significant impact in performance. Let's get started shall we ?

What an awesome design, hey 100% ATI reference based but again in a blue Hercules' PCB, ramsinks all over the place, GPU heatsink at the back-side of the card and a blue ORB kinda cooling unit that makes you wonder how far we are able to overclock this card. You will able to witness breathtaking performance numbers, numbers that will amaze you and get you a lot of bang for your bucks.

Specifications:

  • 0,15 micron GPU
  • 110+ million transistors !
  • 8 pixel rendering pipelines, 1 texture unit per pipeline, can do 16 textures per pass
  • 128-bit DDR memory bus (128-bit DDR = 256 bit per cycle)
  • up to 256MB of memory on board, clocked at over 2x275 (resulting in a minimum of 8,8GB/s of memory bandwidth)
  • AGP 8X Support
  • Full DX9 Pixel and Vertex Shader Support

Before we go in-to detail let me specify what you'll find in the retail package:

  • 3D Prophet Radeon 9500 Pro
  • external power cable (hooks up to the power supply)
  • Svideo to composite plug
  • DVI to CRT gender changer
  • PowerDVD XP 4.0 full version
  • Driver CD
manual and Hercules stickers

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3D Prophet 9500 in actionĀ - As you can see just like it's big brother the 9700 the card needs extra power from the power supply.

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