Hercules 3D Prophet 9700 review

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Hercules 3D Prophet 9700

rounddefault.gifProduct: Hercules 3D Prophet 9700
Manufacturer: HerculesMSRP: 399
Date: January, 2003

Read it again .. yes 9700 .. not 9700 Pro ! ATi really is saturating the market quite good with a card that fits any budget and system. Therefore ladies and gentlemen next to the 9000, 9000 Pro, 9100, 9500, 9500 Pro and 9700 Pro they now introduce you the Radeon 9700.


The Radeon 9700 that we received from Hercules my friends is one fast piece of machinery. It's 100% the same as the Pro series and just slightly slower. So what's the big difference between the Pro and normal model you ask ? Very simple, a little performance. The normal version is exactly the same as the Pro version except a slightly lower core frequency (275 MHz vs 325 MHz) and slower memory (550 MHz vs 620 MHz), yet with the raw power of the R300 core. The benefit here is that is that is offers a huge stack of performance for a price lower then the Pro version. This product is going to be 100 bucks (Euro) cheaper than it's big brother. Let's get started shall we ?

An awesome design, again in a blue Hercules' PCB, ramsinks all over the place, GPU heatsink at the back-side of the card and a copper cooling unit that makes you wonder how far we are able to overclock this card. You will able to witness several breathtaking performance numbers, numbers that probably not one game needs right now. But with an eye focused on what's to come next year this might be the card you should opt.

Please let me present to you by photo the Hercules 3D Prophet 9700.

3D Prophet 9700 - frontside

When we compare the PCB's of both the Radeon 9700 and it's brother the Radeon 9700 Pro there simply is no difference that the eye can see except that the ramsinks are not colored blue but gold/copper'ish.

Let's quickly go through some rough Radeon 9700 Pro specifications.

  • 0,15 micron GPU
  • 110+ million transistors !
  • 8 pixel rendering pipelines, 1 texture unit per pipeline, can do 16 textures per pass
  • 256-bit DDR memory bus
  • up to 256MB of memory on board, clocked at over 2x275 (resulting in a minimum of 17,6GB/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 9700
  • 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
  • No one lives forever 2
  • manual and Hercules stickers

Speaking in general this is a pretty awesome software package combined with one of the most powerful graphics cards to date.

3D Prophet 9700 - As you can see the card needs extra power from the power supply.
3D Prophet 9700 in action

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