Advantages works with anything
Disadvantages not a GeForce III
|Ease of Installation|
|Ease of use|
|Memory / capacity|
Well having built my new PC (getting sick of saying that), I need to pick my graphics card, that I was going to use to power my 3D games. After all that's what I built it for. The only thing was that I had to go for a sort of budget graphics card that could hold its own in anything I threw at it. I had considered going for a GeForce card, but then I heard of the PowerVR graphics-processing unit.This card is based on the Power VR Kyro II Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which it uses to create all of those lovely pixels you admire when playing games. After I had bought the card, I began wondering why I had gone for this card when it appears nVidia basically own this part of the market. Then I went and read a review on the card, and saw the benchmarks. It is benchmarked to perform as well as the GeForce 2 Pro cards, yet it costs £50 or so less.
The difference between the Kyro cards and the GeForce cards is the way in which they process the information. The GeForce draws everything in the image, but the Kyro only draws what can be seen. This make it far more efficient that the GeForce cards. So it doesn't really need to be as fast since it is more economical. It also comes with 64mb of onboard SDRAM, which gives it more than enough bandwidth for all those games. DDR RAM would have been nice, but I guess SDRAM will have to do. There are a few draw backs in this, that will probably be seen in the future, but with today's games, this is more than up to the job.If there is anything I don't like about this card is the amount of wasted space on the card. There is a lot of empty space on the top of this card, since I went for the version without the TV Out, which I am guessing this space is for. You would think though that they would have cut down on the size of the card for the version without the TV Out. Oh well too late now I suppose. The main problem I have with this is that it means I can't access my memory banks on the motherboard (this problem is also partly caused by the motherboard layout). The card blocks access to all three of the latches on the memory banks.
At the minute my PC is a right picture. I have a red motherboard, a blue graphics card and a black soundcard. Yes you heard me a BLUE graphics card. Hercules has decided to go with a blue PCB for this card. It has also included a fan for the Kyro II GPU. It also looks pretty good.The main reason I went for the Hercules version of the Kyro II is mainly because of the fact that they release fairly up-to-date drivers for their cards frequently on the website. This has been very important for me because when I tried the reference drivers on the Power VR site, they didn't work. The Hercules version of the drivers was only a couple of releases behind though.
If you are looking for a middle of the range graphics card and don't want to fork out hundreds of pounds just on your graphics card or you are looking for a card to tide you over until you can afford the GeForce III Ti500 or ATI Raedon 8500, then this card will do the job perfectly. I have no problems with it whatsoever.David
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