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HERCULES 4500 KYRO 2

"Hercules 3DProphet 4500 Kyro 2 review featuring the Kyro 2 GPU which we last tested 2 years ago in our Videologic VividXS Kyro 2 review. In this article we test the Hercules 3DProphet 4500 Kyro2 against the Elsa Gladiac 511 GeForce2 MX 400. Software used for benchmarking is as follows:- 3dmark 2000, 3dmark 2001 SE, GLexcess, Quake and Quake 2."
HERCULES 3DPROPHET 4500 KYRO 2

2001 saw the release of the PowerVR Kyro2 chipset, the first two video cards to use this chipset was the Hercules 3DProphet 4500 and the Videologic VividXS. The Hercules 4500 was fitted with 64mb memory while the cheaper Videologic VividXS had 32mb. Later versions of the Videologic VividXS were fitted with 64mb memory. Other makes of Kyro2 were later released by such companies as Apollo (Inno3D), Powercolor, Shadow and Suma. The main difference between the Kyro2 and the earlier Kyro chipset was a speed increase from 115mhz to 175mhz.

WHY IS TILE BASED RENDERING SO SPECIAL?

The Kyro2 uses tile based rendering instead of the more common immediate mode rendering used in such cards as the GeForce2. With immediate mode rendering all of the scene is generated, with tile based rendering only visible parts of the scene are rendered. This approach is obviously more efficent and it means that the video card has to process less information thus saving memory bandwidth.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SAVE MEMORY BANDWIDTH?

Even though video cards are getting more and more powerful all of the main graphics chip producers face the same problem, memory bandwidth. The higher the resolution, colour depth or number of polygons the more memory bandwidth you will need. You can only pass a certain amount of information over the video card's memory bus, this is the problem they are all facing. ATI was first to tackle the memory bandwidth problem with their HyperZ technology which provides a huge 40% performance increase in some tests. Nvidia introduced the Lightspeed Memory Architecture for the , however none of these go far enough to prevent the latest video cards from being limited by memory bandwidth.

There's one chipset which doesn't use immediate mode rendering, it uses something very different. Something efficent, something called tile based rendering. Tile based rendering is nothing new, it's been around for quite a while but so far has never really caught on. However with the release of the powerful Kyro2 chipset I'm sure that's all about to change.


NAME CHIPSET GPU SPEED MEMORY AGP SPEED
HERCULES 4500 KYRO II KYRO2 175mhz 64Mb 175mhz SDR 2x
ELSA GEFORCE2 MX 400 NV11 200mhz 64Mb 166mhz SDR 4x

GENERAL SYSTEM INFORMATION

PROCESSOR AMD ATHLON XP 2500
AMD DURON 1.3GHZ (MORGAN)
VIDEO CARD HERCULES 3DPROPHET 4500 KYRO2
ELSA GEFORCE2 MX 400
POWERVR DRIVER POWERVR v2.01.21.0007
NVIDIA DRIVER DETONATOR v53.03
MOTHERBOARD ASROCK K7S8X
MEMORY 512MB CRUCIAL PC2700 DDR
OPERATING SYSTEM WINDOWS XP
DIRECTX VERSION v9.0b

SYNTHETIC BENCHMARKS

HERCULES 3DPROPHET 4500 KYRO2

3DMARK 20006343
3DMARK 2001 SE3780
GLEXCESS3588

ELSA GEFORCE2 MX 400

3DMARK 20003472
3DMARK 2001 SE2960
GLEXCESS3571

3DMARK 2000 3DMARK 2001 SE GLEXCESS

COMMENT "The Hercules 4500 Kyro2 beats the ELsa GeForce2 MX easily with the older 3dmark 2000 dx7 benchmark. With 3dmark 2001 benchmark which is a dx8 benchmark (both video cards are dx7 so are unable to run the dx8 benchmarks) the scores for both video cards was reduced, however the Hercules 4500 Kyro2 still finished ahead of the Elsa GeForce2 MX by 820 points. Both video cards perform roughly the same with the opengl benchmark gl excess. Now onto the detailed game results for 3dmark 2000 and 2001."
BENCHMARK SETTINGS

3DMARK 2000

1024x768 Resolution
32Bit color
D3D Hardware T&L
Triple Frame Buffer

3DMARK 2001 SE

1024x768 Resolution
32Bit color
D3D Hardware T&L
Antialiasing Disabled
Double Frame Buffer
Compressed Texture Format
24Bit Z-Buffer Depth

GLEXCESS5

1024x768 Resolution
Scene 1 Intro
Scene 2 Waver
Scene 3 Facescape
Scene 4 Exploding Logo

3DMARK 2000

HERCULES 4500 KYRO 2

ELSA GEFORCE2 MX

3DMARK 6343 3472
GAME 1 HELICOPTER (LQ) 89 61
GAME 1 HELICOPTER (MQ) 79 47
GAME 1 HELICOPTER (HQ) 43 24
GAME 2 ADVENTURE (LQ) 135 56
GAME 1 ADVENTURE (MQ) 112 53
GAME 1 ADVENTURE (HQ) 71 48
COMMENT "The Hercules 4500 Kyro2 wipes the floor with the Elsa GeForce2 MX with this benchmark, all of it's scores apart from one result are above 60fps which is very impressive. The Elsa GeForce2 MX however can only manage to get above 60fps with one benchmark which is the low detail helicopter test."

3DMARK 2001 SE

HERCULES 4500 KYRO 2

ELSA GEFORCE2 MX

3DMARK 3780 2960
GAME 1 CAR CHASE (LQ) 68 46
GAME 1 CAR CHASE (HQ) 27 26
GAME 2 DRAGOTHIC (LQ) 63 49
GAME 2 DRAGOTHIC (HQ) 26 26
GAME 3 LOBBY (LQ) 85 45
GAME 3 LOBBY (HQ) 29 26
COMMENT "Now we are using a more advanced benchmark program than 3dmark 2000 which supports the use of pixel shaders. Unfortunately both of the video cards are now unable to complete the fourth game test which is called nature because they don't have pixel shaders. As you can see the high quality tests make both video cards fail to deliver 30fps. The low quality tests are much more impressive and the Hercules 4500 Kyro2 scores are in the 60's while the Elsa GeForce2 MX can only manage scores in the 40's."

QUAKE

HERCULES 3DPROPHET 4500 KYRO2

640x480294
800x600202
1024x768135

ELSA GEFORCE2 MX 400

640x480314
800x600182
1024x768120

640x480 800x600 1024x768

BENCHMARK SETTINGS

GLQuake v1.13a
Full Screen Size

COMMENT "We have decided to test both video cards with new and old games, mostly to show compatibility with older titles rather than performance. Both video cards perform very well which is to be expected, the Elsa GeForce2 MX wins the low resolution test while the Hercules 4500 Kyro2 wins both of the higher resolution tests."


QUAKE 2

HERCULES 3DPROPHET 4500 KYRO2

640x480251
800x600205
1024x768138

ELSA GEFORCE2 MX 400

640x480237
800x600171
1024x768109

640x480 800x600 1024x768

BENCHMARK SETTINGS

3dnow OpenGL Driver
Demo1.dm2 benchmark
Fullscreen enabled
Texture Quality Full
8Bit Textures Disabled
Sync Every Frame Disabled

COMMENT "Quake II is a more demanding than Quake and this shows in it's scores especially at higher resolution. Once again both video cards performed very well however the Hercules 4500 Kyro2 was able to deliver better performance at all of the resolutions."

HERCULES 4500 KYRO 2

PAGE 1 HERCULES 4500 KYRO 2 INTRODUCTION
PAGE 2 QUAKE 3 AND UT 2003
PAGE 3 UNREAL 2, MAX PAYNE 2 AND X2 THE THREAT

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