Hercules Dynamite TNT2 Ultra
Currently, it seems that there is no shortage to the flood of video cards, and the chipsets that they are built on. Of course, it would be perfectly confusing if each chipset had its own fair share of marketing hype, as well as consumers throwing out random numbers for fill rates and specs, so that's just what we're seeing is going on recently. Add to this mix the rumored chipsets that are supposed to be coming out in the fall, that have become solid fact all over the internet, and you have a perfect melee!
nVidia is one such company that has spawned much consumer hype, not by any fault of their own, but rather by creating a loyal following to a great product. The TNT chipset proved to be the 2D/3D solution that many were looking for. It was fast, had great image quality, and a good price point. Thus, the great video card schism began. Consumers were forced to choose between an attractive, 2D/3D video card that offered great image quality versus a setup that pumped out a fillrate that was so high it could make your head spin. This, of course, was the TNT vs. Voodoo2 battle, that until recently, was the Battle of Battles.
The battle now rages on, and has taken a new shape. Both 3dfx and nVidia have released new chipsets, and both chipsets come in a variety of versions to cover the low, middle, and high-end markets. Today, we're going to consider the high-end video card market for gamers and home users. This market space is currently somewhat unoccupied, because the cards that are slated to compete haven't been released yet. In the case of the Voodoo3 3500, the word is that poor yields for either the RAM or the cores are keeping it from being produced in mass quantity. The TNT2 Ultra hasn't "officially" been released yet, but we wonder if they have the same problems with memory yields. Perhaps the TNT2 Ultra will have an advantage in production, since it is being manufactured by a variety of companies, whereas the Voodoo3 is strictly through STB.
The specific card that we are dealing with today is the Hercules Dynamite TNT2 Ultra. Hercules has had an illustrious past with their Dynamite TNT series, and their infamous "Hercumeter" utility. How does the next in the Dynamite line hold up? FiringSquad will show you what we discovered.