Keep in mind that I'm saving my conclusions until the end of part 3 where we can consider all the factors before making decisions. However, I would like to discuss a few things.
It's sad to see the business go under with such a great product line. I still included the card in the review for the folks that might be able to still get a hold of one. I'm sure they're still floating around in some warehouses. I will definitely miss the performance and quality of Hercules TNT family of products. I felt the same way when Canopus stopped making cards for the U.S. market. The real loses came to the consumers who couldn't get the high-end products anymore.
For a low-end solution this card isn't too shabby as long as you don't play games above the 640x480 resolution. I just wish they would get the driver quality to an acceptable quality level. With drivers like these, will we really feel confident about the Savage 2000 product? Maybe they're focusing on the driver development of the newer cards but that's still no excuse.
I'm still waiting for a better OpenGL driver from the Matrox folks. If they can whip so much ass with the DX driver, why can't they put out the same performance with the OpenGL? This really bugs me. It seems to be a great card but if this issue is going to hinder their product, I don't think they're do well with the high-end gamers.
I want to make it clear that our test suite was geared to test video cards and not to make any "select few" cards look better. It just so happens that we decided to include a few 32-bit tests in our suite but that doesn't mean I think these cards suck because they fail to run in 32-bit. The Voodoo3 3500 is on the fastest cards in 16-bit color, especially when running Glide-based games. In Shogo as well as Expendable the TNT2-Utlra-based cards score better though, and they offer 32 bit mode. People need to decide on the feature set they need before making judgments on card x and card y. If 32-bit isn't your thing yet, the Voodoo3 3000 and 3500 is not a bad choice at all.
After getting a ton of e-mail, I had to make sure to address this. I DO in fact have a PCI TNT2 card. Asus told us that this IS a shipping product and if that were not the case, I wouldn't review the card. I will try to get Asus to clarify the situation of this card because there is a strong interest for it. Many people have stressed to me that they would love to upgrade their non-agp motherboard with a high-end PCI video card. I hope to have an update on the release of this card soon.