If blisteringly fast graphics are what you're after, then you'll be pleased with the results you'll get from Guillemot's latest card, the Maxi Gamer 3D Prophet. It easily outpaces the Voodoo 3 3500 card. But speed isn't everything, and that alone isn't enough to command the £220 price tag that this card carries - although it does sport a TV-out connector and DVD support, along with 32Mb of memory.
What is really noticeable about this card when you pull it out of its bag is the graphics chip on the card. Not only is this graphics chip going to be working hard enough to warrant a heatsink to help keep it cool, it also has its own fan. What makes the 3D Prophet a card of the future is that under all that cooling equipment lies a Geforce 256 chip, produced by Nvidia.
This chip, or graphics processor unit (GPU), is set to revolutionise graphics on a PC because it handles tasks usually performed by the processor, but even faster.
What normally happens is that the processor works out the geometric calculations necessary for an image to be drawn, this is then fed to the chip on the graphics card which adds all the texture. By getting the GPU to do all this, more realistic detail can be given to computer-generated images.
This is exciting stuff, but it's still off in the future. The first games to make use of the Geforce's abilities won't be arriving until next year.
Ignore the Geforce's features and what you've basically got is a TNT 2 Ultra graphics processor - so you might as well stick with a less expensive card such as Guillemot's Xentor and wait for the software to catch up with the technology.
Contact: Guillemot, 0181 686 5600
Minimum requirements:Windows 95b or 98, Pentium II or higher, 32Mb of memory, AGP slot.