News Retro Graphics Card Brings Voodoo, PowerVR GPUs to New PCs

I think this was meant more for retro gaming builds where finding a video card in decent condition is hard.

Putting this in a modern system is going to be an exercise in frustration given:
  • Finding a modern board with a PCI slot. They do exist and I've spotted a B550 board on PCPP with one, but the chances of one appearing only increase if you go older
  • Software support is likely non-existent
    • You can forget about any modern Windows because the drivers aren't WDDM compliant, if it's even compatible with Windows NT based kernels.
    • Linux might be better, but I'm also doubtful considering LGR tried using an early 2000s PCI based ATi card in modern Linux and it was barely functional
    • And then there's the issue of the games even running on a modern OS. If you have a popular older game, chances are it's sold on Steam or GoG and it works more or less fine on a modern system. Anything else will likely crash and burn.
I mean, the hardware itself is interesting. But putting it in a modern system is laughable at best.
 
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mikewinddale

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But putting it in a modern system is laughable at best.
And it's probably easier to just make a VM anyway. Before the original Diablo was re-released on GoG, I wanted to play it, but it wasn't compatible with my Radeon RX 580 (at least, not with the AMD driver at the time). So I made a Windows XP virtual machine in VMWare, which can emulate a DirectX-capable 3D accelerator card. Diablo played great.

For older games, you could create a VM with whatever OS was popular at the time.
 
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I got a M3D by Matrox to supplement my Millenium 2. That was a PVR chip and I loved that thing. FS 2000 looked so much better on it.

And I LOVED wing commander. Some serious nostalgia there.

Does anyone make a PCI slot any more?
 

LolaGT

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I had a Voodoo 3 back then, it excelled in the most popular FPS games(UT, Quake, etc) using glide.
I think I still have that card in the box around here somewhere.
 
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The Wing Commander games are called out specifically in this article, but the vast majority of them were software rendered. Wing Commander 5: Prophecy is the only one I know for sure offered 3DFX support. Any game in the series (polygonal 3D or not) that doesn't support hardware accelerated graphics will get no benefit from this card.
 

Joseph_138

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That actually is the easy part: simply use an x1 to PCI adapter/riser for ~$50 if your preffered board doesn't have built-in PCI.
If you're using a system that doesn't have a PCI slot, you're better off running the games under an emulator. This card is meant for vintage computers, not modern ones. I can't see these cards being sold for less than $250, plus you're going to have pay another $50 for the adapter that you mentioned. Is it really worth it when you can already play the games for nothing? The games that this card would support are going to be DOS and Windows 9x games, that you need an emulator to run, anyway. If you're already going to be using an emulator, then you don't need this card at all. Another point to consider, where are you going to get drivers for Voodoo 3 and PowerVR for any version of Windows past XP for V3, or Win 9x for PowerVR? The newest version of Windows that has drivers for both chips is Windows Millenium Edition. XP only supports the Voodoo 3.
 
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InvalidError

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Another point to consider, where are you going to get drivers for Voodoo 3 and PowerVR for any version of Windows past XP for V3, or Win 9x for PowerVR? The newest version of Windows that has drivers for both chips is Windows Millenium Edition. XP only supports the Voodoo 3.
As long as the BIOS still supports legacy mode, you can probably install Windows 98SE on it, albeit with a truckload of caveats such as no support for hardware like USB2/3 that didn't have generic class ID drivers back then. Get your PS/2 keyboard and RS232 mouse ready in case the chipset doesn't support UHCI (USB1.x) backwards compatibility for EHCI/XHCI (USB2/3.x) ports!
 

dalauder

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And it's probably easier to just make a VM anyway. Before the original Diablo was re-released on GoG, I wanted to play it, but it wasn't compatible with my Radeon RX 580 (at least, not with the AMD driver at the time). So I made a Windows XP virtual machine in VMWare, which can emulate a DirectX-capable 3D accelerator card. Diablo played great.

For older games, you could create a VM with whatever OS was popular at the time.
That's where I am. If it's not on Gog or that system doesn't work well, I can just run a VM. If I want to get REALLY fancy, I've got access to some Core 2 Duo machines with PCI slots that I can install 32-bit Windows XP on. That retained compatibility with most Windows 95 games while being easy to send files to with USB.
 
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As long as the BIOS still supports legacy mode, you can probably install Windows 98SE on it, albeit with a truckload of caveats such as no support for hardware like USB2/3 that didn't have generic class ID drivers back then. Get your PS/2 keyboard and RS232 mouse ready in case the chipset doesn't support UHCI (USB1.x) backwards compatibility for EHCI/XHCI (USB2/3.x) ports!
There's also the problem that Windows 98 tends to freak out if you have more than more than 1GB of RAM installed (https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/?p=42903)
 

somethingbrite

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I used to be quite into collecting classic old PC components. I think I might have a couple of working voodoo 5 5500's kicking around in a box as well as some other classic 3dfx stuff (voodoo2 I think)

However, to say that a retro card like this is the only way to do old games isn't so true. People continue to post up glide wrapper variants for retro gaming. I've even seen glide wrappers for Win 10.
Last game I used with a glide wrapper was a replay I did of I-War quite a few years ago. That used to be an epic game. It was well worth revisiting.
 
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A graphics card maker by the name of Anthony Zxclxiv has made a custom graphics card that houses the infamous Voodoo 3 3500 and PowerVR PCX2 GPUs in one card.

Retro Graphics Card Brings Voodoo, PowerVR GPUs to New PCs : Read more
"Like Quake, Wing Commander, and Tomb Raider. These games are so old that they will not work at all on any type of modern hardware, which is where cards like these come into play."

This is completely, false... Aaron Klotz, shame on you! lul.

https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Quake

https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Wing_Commander

 
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I used to be quite into collecting classic old PC components. I think I might have a couple of working voodoo 5 5500's kicking around in a box as well as some other classic 3dfx stuff (voodoo2 I think)

However, to say that a retro card like this is the only way to do old games isn't so true. People continue to post up glide wrapper variants for retro gaming. I've even seen glide wrappers for Win 10.
Last game I used with a glide wrapper was a replay I did of I-War quite a few years ago. That used to be an epic game. It was well worth revisiting.
You beat me to it, although I’m way late to the party. I remember preordering a Diamond Monster 3D, just for Quake. I didn’t care what else ran on the M3D, I wanted all those gorgeous textures and anti-aliasing that 3Dfx provided for Quake. It was sublime.

I‘m also surprised by how many seem to know so little about these 3D accelerators? These cards were heavily reliant on OpenGL, which is still very much in use. 3Dfx made it very easy to leverage OpenGL via their GLide API. It worked so well that a cool dude wrote a GLide wrapper to allow any game dependent on GLide to run via a wrapper on any card that supports OpenGL. He’s apparently taken it a step further and written a “universal” wrapper for Windows 10.

There’s nothing preventing anyone with a PC with a empty PCI slot from leveraging a 3dfx card? All this talk of overwhelming complexity and low likelihood of success is simply nonsense. Voodoo 3 was the first product where 3Dfx integrated both 2D and 3D processors onto a single card. Even though it had a single PCB, it still used separate discrete processors for 2D and 3D. Anything before Voodoo 3 was strictly a 3D accelerator with a passthrough. You’d launch the game, Voodoo would detect the API, pause pass through, your screen would go dark, then the game would present with all those gorgeous 3D effects from the Voodoo. After the game, the screen resyncs and graphics are handed back to 2D card for desktop use.

The reason so many people spent $600 in today’s money for a “part-time” 3D-only accelerator card, in addition to a 2D graphics card, was because of the insanely dramatic improvement in made on 3D games. The improvement these cards provided wasn’t just night and day, it was a quantum leap in 3D performance. We could finally game at or near 60 fps with 3D effects enabled! The debate before Voodoo wasn’t whether a card could do 4K60 vs 4K120, it was whether a card could support anything greater than SVGA (800x600).

Even at those pathetic resolutions, Quake (the first true 3D game engine) was glorious to play, especially at LAN parties (Google it). Because so many games and mods that followed Quake were based on the Quake engine, ALL of them ran great on Voodoo. The Voodoo cards spoiled us because we assumed that each new video card would offer the same dramatic improvement in image quality and rendering that we saw on our original Voodoo cards. Alas, nothing came close to that first massive jump from basic 2D cards to the Voodoo cards. The increase in 3D performance I saw with Voodoo is what inspired me to continue building expensive gaming rigs over the past 25 years. Some we’re absolute beasts, while others were disappointing, but I never stopped learning. I assumed setting IRQs and COM ports might be useless today, until I started tinkering with Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
 

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