Hercules Dynamite TNT2 Review
A while back we had the good fortune of getting our hands on Hercules' Dynamite TNT2 Ultra, in a pre-production model. We were very impressed with the card, as it was a solid performer and came clocked at an unbelievably high default setting of 175MHz core speed and 200MHz memory speed.
Many of you, and some of us in the office as well, carried a good amount of skepticism with us. It's no secret that there have been cases in the past where golden samples of hardware are "seeded" out in the hardware community during the pre-release period, in order to grow favor and hype about the card. The only thing is, when the hardware actually ships in its "real" release form, we find that it is not as golden as it once was.
The TNT2 Ultra reference specification originally called for 175MHz core speed and 200MHz memory speed. However, this specification was slightly modified to the current spec of 150MHz core and 183MHz memory speeds. It was speculated that both TNT2 chip yields and 5.5ns memory yields spawned this decision by nVidia. As a possible "save face" move by nVidia, they encouraged hardware manufacturers to explore various settings for their respective cards. As a result, the TNT2 market is flooded with cards coming with different clock speeds. In addition to the different features such as TV-out, and video in and out that manufacturers are offering, the TNT2 market is all the more confusing.
Hercules, however, has amazingly stood firm with their original announced clock speeds for the TNT2 Ultra. The cards are shipping out at 175Mhz core and 200MHz memory, and are guaranteed to at the least run at those speeds! What else does the card have?