Hercules Dynamite TNT
Hercules is having a rough time lately. The Savage3D card was not exactly a success so far and the previous products did also have a hard time against competitors as Diamond or the likes. Hercules got the reputation of being a provider of rather cheap and unexciting products. Then in the second half of 1998 we learned that Elsa was planning to buy Hercules for a rather small sum, which had an impact on Hercules' reputation again. The worst thing for Hercules was when Elsa announced that the financial situation of Hercules was so bad that they would decline from the deal.
Finally Hercules sat down and thought things over. What was needed was a really good product that would get them back into the positive news. The Dynamite TNT was pretty much the last product with NVIDIA's TNT chip of all the major card manufacturers, but it turns out to be one of the best as well. It seems as if Hercules did indeed put a huge effort into this card and that seems to pay off now.
The Dynamite TNT is next to the V3400TNT the second TNT card with an active cooler, that does a pretty good job as you can see in the heat comparison. Hercules is courageous enough to team this small and well designed card up with a set of drivers that overclock the Dynamite to 98/125 MHz by default. This makes the Dynamite faster than all the others right after you've installed it. The memory and the card layout seem to be very good, because only the Asus card is also able to run the memory as fast as the Hercules card, all others fail at 125 MHz. The Dynamite does not include a video out, but if you look at the board you will find that the layout is ready for it, so that I expect a Dynamite TNT with video out sometimes soon as well. The drivers set is one of the best, and it's the only one that offers you a full overclocking tool by default. I have got three Dynamite TNT boards to make sure that the quality and stability of this product is not only found in one specially prepared 'reviewers board'. All boards are running rock stable at the 98/125 MHz, one of them even at 115/125 MHz, the other two go up to 110/125 MHz.
The driver offers a scaringly large amount of features, but there's no way of changing the refresh rate of the monitor, which I consider as a bit of sad. However, except of that little glitch, the drivers are excellent, particularly for speed freaks.
The Hercules Dynamite TNT is my other winner of this comparison. This board is the number one choice for the 3D gaming speed freak.