News 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 Comes Back To Life Better Than Ever

Dantte

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You completely missed 3DFX's biggest thing, they invented SLI, this is how the chips would talk to eachother. Nvidia bough out 3DFX when they went under and took the technology for their own.

LOL, still remember having (2) Voodoo 2 with the VGA cable chained through them... the good old days! Then I got a TNT card and it left the voodoos in the dust.
 

dehdstar

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I had the Voodoo 5000! As well as the Voodoo 1 and 2. The real problem with the Voodoo 5 was that it took too long to release and by that time the competition (Nvidia) was releasing DX8 GPUs e.g. would not have been able to perform the per pixel lighting that Geforce could, in preparation for Doom 3 and future titles. That was a catastrophic turn of events. But? It ran Unreal Tournament and Soldier of Fortune well enough! This was also the first GPU I performed a cooler mod on. Back then the cool thing to do was JB weld a large heatsink to the GPU and memory...using nothing more than Radio Shack heatsinks and effectively turning it into a 2 slot GPU. This afforded you some more OC headroom. Back then memory modules were naked and the GPU had a thin sliver of metal for a heat sink with a noisy rattley fan attached to it lol
 
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spongiemaster

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You completely missed 3DFX's biggest thing, they invented SLI, this is how the chips would talk to eachother. Nvidia bough out 3DFX when they went under and took the technology for their own.
It's unknown whether any of 3dfx's SLI tech made it into Nvidia's. Despite using the same SLI label, the acronyms are different and their rendering methods are completely different. With 3dfx's SLI (scan line interleave), the cards drew alternating horizontal scan lines in every frame, while with Nvidia's SLI (scalable link interface), the cards drew alternating complete frames.
 
Reactions: Conahl
Jan 29, 2021
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I picked strawberries for two weeks so I could buy a 3dfx voodoo. Great memories of that card, it really transformed 3d gaming. Remember you had to pair it with a 2d gpu?
 
Reactions: Krotow
Oct 29, 2020
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I picked strawberries for two weeks so I could buy a 3dfx voodoo. Great memories of that card, it really transformed 3d gaming. Remember you had to pair it with a 2d gpu?
i forgot you had to pair it with a standard vga card . your right (y)
it was damned expensive at the time ,but the first time i fired the rocket launcher in Doom 1, I said to myself it was worth it .
no more blocky graphics .
we are going back a long way.
now its state of the art graphics ,except i cannot buy them (scalpers)
funny old world
 
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tommo1982

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It's unknown whether any of 3dfx's SLI tech made it into Nvidia's. Despite using the same SLI label, the acronyms are different and their rendering methods are completely different. With 3dfx's SLI (scan line interleave), the cards drew alternating horizontal scan lines in every frame, while with Nvidia's SLI (scalable link interface), the cards drew alternating complete frames.
nVidia had a pending lawsuit for using 3dfx's tech. I'm not going into argument wether it was vaild. nVidia bought them, which wasn't surprising since 3dfx had financial issues. Bought the competitior, no problems with lawyers.

I owned Voodoo 2 at the time. It was heluva fast. No fans, no noise and if one remembers how PC cases were cluttered with IDE cables at the time. Air flowe non existent ehehe.
 
Dec 12, 2020
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It's unknown whether any of 3dfx's SLI tech made it into Nvidia's. Despite using the same SLI label, the acronyms are different and their rendering methods are completely different. With 3dfx's SLI (scan line interleave), the cards drew alternating horizontal scan lines in every frame, while with Nvidia's SLI (scalable link interface), the cards drew alternating complete frames.
AFR is one of several nvidia SLI techniques.
 

spongiemaster

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nVidia had a pending lawsuit for using 3dfx's tech. I'm not going into argument wether it was vaild. nVidia bought them, which wasn't surprising since 3dfx had financial issues. Bought the competitior, no problems with lawyers.

I owned Voodoo 2 at the time. It was heluva fast. No fans, no noise and if one remembers how PC cases were cluttered with IDE cables at the time. Air flowe non existent ehehe.
They both sued each other over patent infringements.

Another problem with the Voodoo1/2 implementation was the need for pass thru cables to a 2D card also added a layer of blurriness to the CRT picture.
 
Feb 19, 2021
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"Each VSA-100 had up to two pixel shaders; "

AFAIK, No 3DFX had pixel shaders or a geometry unit... just pixel pushers...
 

waltc3

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Couple of corrections...3dfx's patents & 3dfx itself were sold to nVidia at a fire sale. 3dfx went under because after buying the STB factory in Mexico to manufacture the V3 (3dfx's combined 2d/3d card--I had one--it was the best thing 3dfx ever made, imo--better than the V5 5.5k, which I also had purchased after the V2s), the company was broadsided by ~$512M in debt attached to the property that STB neglected to tell them about when 3dfx bought the factory. How that ever happened is a mystery. But it killed 3dfx. I guess engineers shouldn't oversee major financial transactions.

Also, 3dfx never supported AGP texturing at the time, choosing to texture from its own onboard ram that was at least 20X faster than the AGP bus at the time--nVidia did the same, only the company pretended to support AGP texturing while it textured from its own local memory just like 3dfx, and for the same reasons, with the same amount of local ram 3dfx used--16mbs. The dimwitted Internet pundits at the time practically orgasmed over AGP texturing even though it was a grossly inferior technology for 3d acceleration. Today, we still have huge amounts of onboard ram on our GPUs that are many multiples of times faster than even the PCIe4.0 bus. 3dfx was right about many things in those days--including FSAA--which nVidia officially opposed (until it could make a competitive FSAA'ing GPU). Today, onboard ram and FSAA are the rule in GPUs, not the exceptions, of course. When 3dfx was shipping the V3, ATi was not remotely competitive. ATi did not hit the big leagues in 3d acceleration until R300 in 2002, purchased from ArtX which ATi bought. (I had one of those, too--and it destroyed everything at the time...;))

Also in those days Intel bought a discrete 3d-card company, Real3D (IIRC), which had designed 3d cards dependent on AGP texturing. Intel marketed the i7xx (I owned two models, the 4mb and the 8mb model, and returned both.) The local texturing GPU by 3dfx and nVidia ran circles around the Intel i7xx's, causing Intel to completely withdraw from the discrete 3d GPU markets. It was sort of amusing, actually, to see Intel give up and quit so easily, I can remember thinking...;)
 

mrv_co

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I still have a couple 3dfx cards stowed away somewhere. My first 3D card, a Voodoo2 IIRC and a Rush card (which was a self-contained 2D and 3D card I believe).
 
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Chadrach000

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Nice job Anthony! Reminds me of my Diamond Stealth card back in the early K6 days. My card was actually ISA(if anyone can remember that-pre PCI or AGP) and 2mb I believe for the memory. Ahh, graphics at it finest :)
 

jonpeddie

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Congratulations Anthony - a work of love. Did you get it to run? Did you use a glide driver? I saw the original add-in board at 3Dfx, I think Tony Tamatsi showed it to me. One of the above commentators mentions SLI. That's right, it did use SLI, and 3Dfx did invent it. Nvidia bought the assets of 3dfx, not the company. Buying the assets gave Nvidia all the IP, patents, customers, list, manufacturing tools, and plans, but none of the debt or facilities (and leases). However, each 3dfx employee that ultimately went to work at Nvidia did so on their own, and as an individual, not a 3dfx employee. And I agree with Waltc3 about the STB deal. (I also visited STB's production facility in Mexico). The board fab needed an upgrade to the next-gen manufacturing level and that was beyond 3Dfx financial resources, so instead of becoming an asset and providing a competitive edge as planned, it became a money sink and liability. The company had great engineers and very poor business managers.

You should post some benchmark results to show how far we've come.

Once again, congratulations on the project. How long did take?
 

jpe1701

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You guys make me wish I had been into pc gaming back then. I was a console gamer then because it was what I was familiar with because when I was growing up we were very poor and the only computers I had access to were the ones at school. I didn't become a pc enthusiast until I was much older. I have fond memories of console gaming but it sounds like I would have had a blast with PC's back then because of the technical aspects.
 

Keng Yuan

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Hm, maybe Retro PC Gaming System is a business. A lot of effort to find/clone all the old stuff... Would pay for it if someone done it elegantly.
 

OMGPWNTIME

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It mentions that the VSA-100 chips cost $18.95 apiece, does that mean there's still stock somewhere of unused VSA-100 chips?
 
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Four GPUs on one card is or was attainable until the Nvidia and ATI/AMD intervention. Now we can't get a half of GPU or so it seems.
 
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Actually 3Dfx's big thing was the Glide API. While a lot of other game developers struggled with D3D, Glide was way better with better functionality. Unreal came out with native Glide support and trying to get OpenGL or D3D rendering on that was a nightmare initially and it never performed or looked better than Glide. Similarly even for titles such as Quake 2, the 3Dfx's mini-OpenGL ICD was faster than the full OpenGL implementation on Nvidia hardware - That's another story that Nvidia caught up.
 

liffie

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You completely missed 3DFX's biggest thing, they invented SLI, this is how the chips would talk to eachother. Nvidia bough out 3DFX when they went under and took the technology for their own.

LOL, still remember having (2) Voodoo 2 with the VGA cable chained through them... the good old days! Then I got a TNT card and it left the voodoos in the dust.
Your also forgetting about GlideFX API it was amazing, I remember playing the OG GTA, the top down one for you youngsters, and the GlideFX version was night and day better than the D3D version.
 

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