Have you heard of the Hercules 3D Prophet 4800 / Kyro II SE?

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by erek, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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    Just learned about this Hercules 3D Prophet 4800 series... cancelled Kyro II SE... some consider it even more rare than the Voodoo 5 6000...


    I'm on the hunt for one, might have located one but the word is still out ... won't be nice and boxed like this from http://ixbtlabs.com/news.html?01/37/78


    kyro2se-box.jpg

    kyro2se-complect.jpg

    kyro2se-card-front-with-cooler.jpg

    kyro2se-chip.jpg
     
  2. defaultluser

    defaultluser I B Smart

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    It was canceled because it didn't offer enough performance improvement to catch-up with the GeForce 3, let-alone the GeForce 4 released that year. It was just an overclocked version (15% faster) of thew same core.

    The previous model matched the Geforce 2 GTS, and lagged the Ultra and Geforce 3.

    The GeForce 4 MX 440 was a little slower than the GeForce 3 in DX7 games, so that would have been it's competition IN OLDER GAMES. With no hardware T&L in 2002, it would have been dead-in-the-water with games like Battlefield 1942 and Halo 1 thirsty for hardware lighting.

    It was a one-trick pony just like the Voodoo 5. PowerVR only survived because they had no need to figure out how T&L worked until the smartphone revolution.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  3. Maddness

    Maddness Gawd

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    I love seeing old cards like this. Brings back some cool memories as a teenager and all the Lans we used to go to. I would love manufacturers to also bring back the very cool box art. That was always just as good as what was inside.
     
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  4. {NG}Fidel

    {NG}Fidel [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have now! and I have to second Maddness minus the LANs due to my area not having many.
    They just make me miss the simple times. X800 and its single slot cooler.
     
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  5. RamonGTP

    RamonGTP [H]ardness Supreme

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    Box art was so much better back then.
     
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  6. heslo

    heslo 2[H]4U

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    Most things were so much better back then
     
  7. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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  8. revenant

    revenant [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes!

    AC161525-2E42-4907-A826-B5AEF565BC2B.jpeg
     
  9. fullvietFX

    fullvietFX [H]ard|Gawd

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    I actually owned a Kyro 2. I upgraded from a TNT2, I think it ended up being a sidegrade though. Paired it with my AMD Athlon Slot-A 1GHz at the time.
     
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  10. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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    i'm looking to trade my 2900 XTX prototype for the Kyro II SE

    upload_2018-12-2_19-40-12.png
     
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  11. Absalom

    Absalom Limp Gawd

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    The original Kyro was considered a budget GPU. It was definitely a thing you could buy for a while.

    The hype for the Kyro II was probably so short lived, most have never heard of it. If there was any hype, I don't recall any from memory.

    Kyro II was too late to the party, as by the time it launched (if seems that it didn't really launch), it was a generation behind. Back then, things were so fiercely competitive, that being a generation behind was pretty much fatal.

    The Matrox Parhelia suffered a similar fate.

    Yet another obscure-yet-failed-to-market-gpu for collectors.
     
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  12. McCartney

    McCartney Gawd

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    yes,

    my first video card was a Guillemot GeForce 256.

    i believe the hercules line was a part of Guillemot for a bit.
     
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  13. Absalom

    Absalom Limp Gawd

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    Here's a now ancient Anandtech review of the Kyro II 64MB circa 2001.

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/735

    Mind you, this is not the exact same card this thread is discussing, but they are very similar since they are from the same family.

    I found this bit from the PowerVR Wikipedia entry rather interesting:
    Compared to the competition, Kyro II does really well at 640x480:

    UT_640_avg.gif

    But the performance tanks, embarrassingly so, once you crank the resolution. Mind you, that back then running things at 16-bit gave a significant performance boost to pretty much all the big three's products. The Kyro II, however, ran 16-bit equally slow as its 32-bit, which was viewed as a failure back then. By today's standards, we'd have been more forgiving of this.

    UT_1600_avg.gif

    And now we see why Kyro II was considered a budget card back then. Its original asking price was $200. For comparison, I think I paid ~$400 for a GeForce 2 GTS 64 MB at launch back then, which was a lot of money for a gpu. (I recall paying $180 for a Voodoo 1 and $250 for a 12MB Voodoo2 at launch)

    Kyro II would have made sense for someone who couldn't budget more than $200, especially if their 15" CRT could only do 640x480 or 800x600 anyway.

    Tile based rendering was so hype back then. Sadly it was never the panacea they made it out to be. It didn't help that the Kyro II was being held back by its peasant 128-bit bus. Bandwidth woes, indeed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  14. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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    aswesome info, i was wondering if the enhanced T&L was actually HW based or not
     
  15. Sorameth

    Sorameth n00bie

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    Intel getting into the game to me is like when about the time these came out everyone was cheering for the Parhelia from matrox to be the greatest thing and to sadly be a horrible gaming disappointment. Man I’m old.
     
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  16. Majinhoju

    Majinhoju [H]ard|Gawd

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    Same here. A week ago I was sorting papers before our move and found a receipt for a 32mb Geforce 2 gts that I bought back in 2000. It was the first GPU I purchased myself with my own money. I had a Voodoo 2 before it but I think my dad bought me that one. Brings back memories of all the systems I built back in the day and all the cool artwork they put on the boxes and cards themselves.
     
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  17. viivo

    viivo Gawd

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    Great memories - all moist with nostalgia here - but still would never pay $400+ for old hardware that will never serve a purpose, or increase in value like other collectible items. Surely looking at the box and documentation would lose its novelty after the first dozen times, then back it goes on the shelf or into storage until Ragnarok.
     
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  18. Lghost

    Lghost Limp Gawd

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    I'm pretty sure I have a Guillemot Kyro 2 in my parts bin, right next to my Diamond Monster 4MB Voodoo and my 8MB Voodoo 2. All of them seemed too neat to throw away.
     
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  19. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I used to play in 16 bit back then as well. A little color banding was acceptable if it meant playable frame retes at 1024x768 and up.
     
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  20. Absalom

    Absalom Limp Gawd

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    By most accounts, the Kyro II's 16-bit looked better than the competition's. 3dfx used to tout how their 16-bit dithering was superior to everyone's and really looked more like simulated 22-bit color.

    I think most consumers cared more about the fps back then than color depth. Personally, I couldn't wait for 32-bit color to go mainstream. Unfortunately, Kyro II came out around the time that 16-bit was on its way out.

    I didn't start appreciating 32-bit color until I went with a nice 22" Iiyama flat CRT with component BNC driven by a Matrox G400 MAX. Those were glorious days. I don't miss 16-bit color at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 4:29 PM
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  21. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    3dfx did have superior dithering. After voodoo1 the riva128 looked awful. 16bit was a necessary bad, not something anyone wants back. By the end of the nineties almost every game had 32 bit option even if you needed to edit ini files for it.
     
  22. Absalom

    Absalom Limp Gawd

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    The Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2's 16-bit wasn't what was grossly offensive. It was that god damned pass-through for the 2D. That thing mutilated whatever input you had going through it.
     
  23. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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    what about shielded pass through cables and a high end 2D card with the best RAMDACs?
     
  24. STEvil

    STEvil 2[H]4U

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    Better RAMDAC's helped with the V1 and V2 but they still suffered.

    I have a Kyro 2 somewhere in the pile. Used it for a while then went back to my V5 5500AGP. In games where the culling feature of the GPU worked correctly it was great but they were far and few between in reality and nV and ATi were already adding macro/micro-tiling to their stuff anyways. Playing with some of the driver options for the old Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO SE I had after the V5 5500 netted some pretty decent performance increases back then, plus it overclocked like a champ.
     
  25. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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    check out the capture quality here for the Voodoo 1