A brief description of two cards

More similarities... and a (big) difference

The drivers

The tests (1)

The tests (2): overclocking

The tests (3): PCs slightly ancient


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Cards GeForce2 MX: Creative 3D Blaster against Hercules 3D Prophet II MX


Logotype of the chip NVIDIA GeForce2 MX

It already does more than one year that NVIDIA snatched the head position to 3dfx on the market of graphic cards of upper intermediate scale for PC, and at present it turns out to be difficult to find someone who has not heard speaking about TNTs, GeForces, GPUs or T&L... although really he does not know what they mean these words.

Making the excellent yield of his chips separate, undoubtedly one of the causes of the success of NVIDIA is the fact that they do not make graphic cards: only they provide the graphic chips and a design of graphic card of reference, leaving the rest of the decisions and manufacture in hands of the specializing manufacturers. His archirrival 3dfx decided to do everything opposite, and like that it him has gone...

Nevertheless, this politics has very important consequences: not all the graphic cards are equal, although they take the same chip. Certainly, the chips provided by NVIDIA are all almost identical ones, but to design a good graphic card is much more that to weld to her a chip. And this is what we are going to see in the following article, two based cards both in the GeForce2 MX... but by no means be equal.


A brief description of two cards

Photo of Hercules 3D Prophet II MX

First of all, we go with the manufacturers. In this paragraph, there seems to be tie: Hercules is a name that goes back to the origins of the PC, always associated with the graphic paragraph, although the rawest perhaps know more that of his current proprietress, Guillemot, under whose name some of the best videocards have appeared of last years, like famous Maxi Gamer.

And as for Creative, it is necessary to say little. Who does not know the name SoundBlaster? How many million sound cards (and graphs, and peripheral...) will have made up to the date? Anyway, a manufacturer "of confidence", with an extraordinary capacity of manufacture and good quality controls. The above mentioned, a tie. Photo of the Creative 3D Blaster GeForce2 MX

Well, as we have already said, both they use the same chip, the GeForce2 MX of NVIDIA to 175 MHz. Nevertheless, the first difference hits in the eye: in the Creative, this chip is "naked", while in Hercules it is under a heat spendthrift of good size.

According to the NVIDIA specifications, the heat spendthrift would not need, since the chip warms up much less than his predecessor the "infernal one" GeForce256. Nevertheless, always it is good to eliminate the heat, for child who is; it is a quality detail, it places more trust; it facilitates the overclocking...: and it is cheap, please! Anyway, a positive point for 3D Prophet II MX, nothing for the Creative.

Otherwise, seemingly only they differ for the form, with the Creative something longer and narrow and Hercules something shorter and high. None incorporates gone out for television or the second monitor, which according to why users can be a pity, but in Hercules an empty rectangular hollow demonstrates that the same model is foreseen with this capacity (and we suppose that something similar will happen with the Creative).

In any case, most of users do not have a TV set in which it is worth playing (the quality of a monitor of modern computer is very top), so this function will not be lacked either and helps to support the price in reasonable limits.


More similarities... and a (big) difference

Since they use the same chip, with RAMDAC of neither more nor less than 350 MHz, they can reach absurdly high resolutions, up to 2048x1536 píxels (small monitor we should have...), and calculate up to 20 million triangles per second (that are not the 25 of the GTS, but they are more than sufficient).

Also both have 32 MB of memory... but there similar one finishes everything and we come to the (big) difference: the type and speed of the memory is different in both cards:


Hercules 3D Prophet II MX

Creative 3D Blaster GeForce2 MX

Speed chip

175 MHz

Speed memory

183 MHz

286 MHz

Type of memory



Memory bus

128 bits

64 bits


2,9 GB/s

2,3 GB/s

In fact, there is a little how to choose between increasing the speed limit in a narrow highway (the memory DDR-SDRAM of 64 bits) or increasing the number of rails (the "classic" SDRAM, but of 128 bits). Theoretically it might not matter, but as we will see it is not like that...

... And also is the question of the MHz: NVIDIA proposes that memory SDRAM to be used to 166 MHz, but that of 3D Prophet II MX works to 183 MHz. This gives him an additional advantage opposite to other cards with SDRAM (like ELSA Gladiac MX) and he allows to face successfully the DDR.

(Of course, the best thing is to use memory DDR of 128 bits, as they do the cards with chips GeForce2 GTS and GTS Ultra, but then we would be speaking about them...: and of an expense of the double or more!!)


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