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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [01.10.01]
Manufactured by: Hercules
MSRP: $59.99 (!)


FSAA Scores

The 4000XT was unable to complete any 4X benchmarks without serious graphical corruption, and the 2X marks shown here illustrate the fact that the Kyro1 GPU simply can not keep up when forced to process even 2X FSAA. We can't recommend using this card in any FSAA mode due to our results here. This mark was run identically to the Unreal Tournament benchmark

The 4000XT shows up as unplayable at all but the lowest resolution and color depth.

Fill Rate Scores

Serious Sam and 3DMark2000 will tell us the actual fill rate of cards as they see them. For some reason, 3DMark reports single and multi-texturing fill-rates as identical 100% of the time so far, while Serious Sam does show them as different, but only on the Kyro-based cards. It doesn't even show the MX card reaching its theoretical fill rate here. While the 4000XT has a respectable single-texture fill rate, it just can't cut it as a multitexturing card.

Well, the Kyro GPU was a respectable chip in its day. It still manages to hold its own these days in certain situations, but only barely. For a person who only plays occasional games, or doesn't play games at all, this may be a good card. It's got great 2D quality, and it has very simple drivers, as opposed to NVIDIA's 8 dialogs worth of configuration menus. And it is about $20 cheaper than either one of the other cards listed here. But if you play games fairly often, it's worth the extra amount to buy the 4500 instead. The Kyro had its day, but it's gone, and the Kyro2 is the king of the tile-based hill. I could see Kyro chips making wonderful laptop GPUs, since in some cases they can outperform GeForce2MX chips (The laptop-only GeForce2Go is basically an MX core) and the lower micron-process Kyros generate very little heat. Kyros would probably make a good integrated video GPU as well, but as a separate video card, I just can't recommend the 4000XT to most gamers.

Those looking for ordinary 2D performance will be very satisfied with the 4000XT, but those who play games will want to carefully weigh the choice between the 4000XT and the 4500. Certainly the 4000XT is more affordable, but are you willing to pay the price in performance? If you only play games once in a while, the answer may be yes. But if you find yourself playing a lot, you'll probably start leaning more towards the 4500 instead. The old axiom "You get what you pay for" is perfectly valid here. And the fact is, some people might not need any more than the occasional lightweight 3D boost. For these people, the 4000XT is a very good buy indeed, since it is light on the wallet. It would make a pretty good upgrade for anyone stuck with an on-board video system, or an older system that they can't afford to upgrade very much. And certainly people with older systems will not be able to see the full performance gain for any card on the market except for the 4000XT. But those with newer systems should consider spending an extra $20 for the 4500 instead.

  • It's tile-based
  • Smaller dimensions than the 4500
  • Great drivers
  • Cheap 3D performance

  • Not as powerful as some more recent cards
  • Not such a good performance delta when scaling resolutions up
  • It gets warm enough to worry about

Final Score: 80%