Guillemot/Hercules 3D Prophet II GTS 64MB GeForce 2 GTSby Matthew Witheiler on June 29, 2000 4:29 AM EST
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As mentioned before, the 3D Prophet II GTS 64MB's blue heatsink comes bonded to the GPU surface via a thermal pad. This means that the only thing keeping the heatsink on the GPU are the side clips, a fact which results in poor thermal transfer from the core to the cooling surface.
This poor heat transfer can be seen by the relatively low core overclock that the 3D Prophet II GTS 64MB was able to achieve: a relatively meager 230 MHz. As we suspected, the card had no problem reaching its original shipping speed of 220 MHz. The use of a better thermal compound would most likely help for further overclocking, however we found in our Overclocking the GeForce 2 GTS guide that core speed does not really effect card speed to greatly due to the fact that the GeForce 2 GTS is severely memory limited.
Speaking of memory bandwidth, it is time to see how those memory heatsinks perform. While the heatsinks may seem like a novel idea, they actually provide little benefit for maximum speed of the memory chips. This is due to the fact that memory chips actually act like a capacitor, producing a charge or discharge for the 1's and 0's that are sent to it. Due to this, memory chips do not produce a substantial amount of heat. The low heat generation from RAM can be seen by placing one's finger on a RAM chip. They generally prove to be only warm. This is in contrast to the transistor based world of processors, which generate substantially more heat. As a result of this, heatsinks are most commonly found on transistor based devices, such as the GeForce 2 GTS processor itself. We almost never see system memory (which works the same way as video card memory) with heatsinks on the RAM because they do not produce enough heat to necessitate cooling.
With or without RAM heatsinks, the card should perform the same. We were able to get the memory clock up to an impressive 200 MHz DDR (400 MHz effective), however this was not a result of the RAM heatsinks but rather a product of chip quality, design, process, ect, elements which we have found to be generally good for Hyundai RAM.
We can therefore conclude that the RAM heatsinks are generally only tack on additional price to a card. With or without the RAM heatsinks, the 3D Prophet II GTS 64MB should perform identically. It seems that the heatsinks were merely added by Guillemot/Hercules to provide visual eye candy to lure in potential buyers and offer little real world application.
Regardless, the memory clock of the 3D Prophet II GTS 64MB proved to overclock well. The 400 MHz memory clock in collaboration with the 230 MHz core clock provided for one fast card.