Graphic Card Decision

I'm building a PC for college and I'm split on the graphics card. I'm deciding between the Gainward GeForce2 twin vivo Golden sample and the Hercules 3D prophet 4500. They're about the same price so I can't just go with the cheaper one. Which do you think is better, or is there a better one for my money?

PS the specs of my system are:
Mobo - To Be Determined.. hopefully Asus w/ SiS735
chipset - SiS735
CPU - AMD athlon 1.2
HDD - IBM 20gig 60GXP
HSF - Alpha Pal6035 w/ sunon fan
Case - Enlight EN-7237
FDD - Mitsumi
CD/DVD - Pioneer116 16X
Sound Card - SB live value
mem - 256 Crucial DDR
Thermal - Arctic II
LAN card - To Be Determined
natural keyboard & Logitech Optical mouse
Moniter/Printer/Speakers - To be ordered at college for shipping reasons
Cost so far is a bit over $800

If you have any suggestions on the rest of the comp those would be welcome too!
13 answers Last reply
More about graphic card decision
  1. Ummm... the Kyro 2 (Prophet 4500 i believe) is probably a better choice. However, it doesn't support hardware T&L so you'll sacrifice some features that are commonly found in today's games. The Kyro 2 is fast. I personally own a GeForce 2 Pro. I don't think i'll ever buy anything non-nVidia =)

    -MP Jesse

    "Signatures Still Suck"
  2. Are these features like required, or are they just like add-on's? Also how much does the GeForce2 Pro cost?
  3. "it doesn't support hardware T&L so you'll sacrifice some features that are commonly found in today's games"

    that is a BIG LIE
    (I am not calling you a lier maybe you are only uninformed)
    there are no features that requires hardware T&L
    you don't get hardware T&L but you will get software T&L this is the same thing... one is made by the video card and the other is made by the cpu.

    your's athlon 1,2 is fast enough to do that T&L .
    and you will get better performance if you get hercules 4500 (kyro 2)

    more:
    hercules 4500 can do 8 layers in a single pass (so you will get more performance and better image quality with todays and future games)

    hercules 4500 have enviromental bumpmapping (geforce 2 don't have that)

    Hercules 4500 have TBR (tile based rendering) so you will get more performance in the future when the complexity (overdraw) of games inrease ...

    go with hercules 4500 (kyro 2) you will get much better 2d quality also..

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by powervr2 on 06/15/01 06:07 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  4. <i><font color=red>I would recommend the Kyro II although I personally own 2 nvidia cards (Geforce2 GTS and Geforce2 GTS Pro), Radeon LE, and the G400Max for my business oriented needs. If you plan on using your system for cutting edge 3D games (like the power hungry Tribes 2), I would have to recommend either the Kyro II or the Geforce2 GTS Pro. The Kyro II has great driver support evident in their newest driver release which boosted an additional 10 frames in Tribes 2 (making it currently quicker than the Geforce2 GTS Pro in Tribes 2). The Geforce2 GTS, however, has very few compatibilty problems and usually requires much less tweaking at the price of 2D and 3D worse than that of the Kyro II. The Radeon DDR based cards have better 2D and 3D quality than both these cards but are also slower. The Radeon cards also have the best DVD playback.

    1)need head spinning frame rates but at lower quality -> Geforce GTS Pro or Kyro II
    2)need head spinning frame rates and great quality AND have alot of money to spend -> Geforce III (about 3 times the price of the Kyro II and Geforce2 GTS Pro)
    3)need great DVD playback, 2D and 3D quality but at slower frame rates -> Radeon DDR (Radeon DDR All-in-Wonder if you absolutely need great TV output and video input)

    I've only used the Kyro II (haven't owned one yet) and have never used the Geforce III, but I currently own every other recommended card in this message. </i></font color=red>

    this was taken from here:
    <A HREF="http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=31&threadid=467199" target="_new">http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=31&threadid=467199</A>
    go there...

    look at these topic on this forum...
    here you see that with newer games (more overdraw) kyro 2 is actually better than even geforce 2 pro...
    and with software T&L...
  5. You can get a GeForce 2 Pro for the same price as a Kyro2 ($143). T&L is built into the chip- it can't be "added on". Though, there is such a thing as software T&L, but it's slowwwwww... I personally think your better off with a GeForce 2 Pro- you can overclock it to GeForce 2 Ultra clock speeds and get a better performing card.

    -MP Jesse

    "Signatures Still Suck"
  6. It is not a big lie. Software T&L boggs down the system- big time. Software T&L is a heavily CPU dependent operation. You sacrifice major frame rates if it's not hardware based. As for enironmental bump mapping- only one engine supports it right now (the evolva engine). DOT3 bump mapping is the standard right now.

    -MP Jesse

    "Signatures Still Suck"
  7. first kyro 2 have dot 3 bumpmapping...

    second it does not bogs you down at least with kyro ...

    even with that low software T&L scores with nvidia, nvidia users are getting better results with 3dmark with T&L in software not in hardware in some resolutions...

    If you have a good cpu it will not bug you down...
    look at these game nascar 4

    Take notice that this game is allways in T&L mode with kyro 2 (software)...
    here they compare kyro 2 to geforce 3

    pentium III 1 ghz:

    it appears that T&L in software is better bogging more the geforces than kyro 2:

    <font color=red><i>
    D3D- Vsync off
    1024x768x32

    Race Start-
    GF3- 30fps
    KII- 37fps

    Race Average-
    GF3- low-27 high-44 lap average-33
    KII- low-34 high-49 lap average-46

    notes-
    do not run the GF3 in D3D without TnL-
    KII image quality is almost equal in 16 or 32 bit
    KII D3D performance was very solid, no issues, excellent image rendering
    </font color=red></i>
    with hardware T&L geforce get more fps than kyro but not that much fps

    go there:
    <A HREF="http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?start=61&catid=31&threadid=445821" target="_new">http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?start=61&catid=31&threadid=445821</A>

    tribes 2 (another example of a T&L game)
    kyro 2 is getting better results (with the last driver update) than even geforce 2 pro... and maybe ultra (even if those are with hardware T&L)

    evolva is getting incredible results with kyro 2 also..
    and giants is great with kyro 2 (with dot 3)
    software T&L is viable with kyro 2 if you have a better than a 800 mhz cpu.

    but that is with kyro 2 not with geforce .

    geforce software T&L needs better than 1,5 ghz cpu ..
    ;)
    I am sure that you will agree with me that tribes 2 and nascar 4 is 2 of the most T&L intensive games out there..
    ;)<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by powervr2 on 06/15/01 02:28 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  8. With a fast CPU, T&L is a non issue as far as I see it. The first real test for the Kyro2 will probably be Max Payne when it comes out this summer, a DX8 hardware T&L heavy game. Most other games with a fast CPU the Kyro2 does very well as far as benchmarks. For the price it is hard to beat. Please note that the newer Radeon64 Retails are a faster version (SE) then the previous Radeon64 retails, and they are available for $150. They are clocked at 200/200 core/mem vice 183/183 previously. Also they overclock 225/225 plus. Performance obvisously has gone up and in 3dMark2001 with a fast cpu they are getting around 4200 points (Ultra range). Compairing 3d quality of a GF2 card to a Radeon card is a joke. Radeon wins hands down. Compairing a GF2 card 2d to a Radeon 2d is also a joke. Compairing DVD/Video of the Radeon and GF2 is the same also. GF2 pro and above cards have FPS advantages but not all games (Serious Sam, Unreal Tournement Radeons does better) except maybe against the Radeon SE (Newer Radeon64's) but so does the Kyro2 in certain games. Nvidia supposenly have better drivers, I've havn't seen the better drivers of nVidia myself. All three choices have pluses and minues, all three are much better then the previous generation of graphic cards. I own a Radeon64 Retail (183/183) and a GF2 MX400 myself. My recommendation is a Kyro2 or a Radeon64 Retail (SE).

    Well to eat your <b>C :smile: :smile: kie</b> and have it too, gotta get <b>Rade :smile: n II</b>
  9. Are the SE Radeon's labeled as such. Or do you just have to be lucky to get one?

    Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
  10. All the new shipments of the Retail 64 Radeons are SE's. No obvious difference from the box end. Same box. The memory will be from EST last number 5, if 5.5 then it is not a SE version. Best Buys seems to have the SE version now if it is a recent shipment. Also the HSF for the GPU is larger with a bigger fan. Rage3d.com has places where you can get the SE version. You can always get a Radeon 64 at Best Buy $199 and check out the memory rating, return and get the 3d Prophet 4500 if not a SE version. Plus the SE will be clocked at 200/200.

    Well to eat your <b>C :smile: :smile: kie</b> and have it too, gotta get <b>Rade :smile: n II</b>
  11. This may or may not be a ridiculus question, but what is the difference between OEM and Retail versions of a card? The retail of the KyroII at neutronet is about 20 bucks more...is there a reason?
    Also, I noticed the Hercules 3d prophet doesn't have TV-out, does the Innovision, and is the innovision card any good?
    Thanks again

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phiz on 06/15/01 05:09 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  12. there are different models of hercules 4500...
    and there also a tv-out model .

    the retail box in u.s. have the game myst 3 I think,
    and a 3 year garanty. oem only provides 1 year I think... (not sure about this)
  13. Oh found the TV-out edition thanks. One more question though, that really has nothing to do with the card. I'm trying to decide between windows 2000 and windows98SE...I've heard 2000 is like a rock but it's not always supported, plus it's more expensive. Is it worth it?
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