Sykes wrote:I have a very innocent question. If you could just buy a high end NVIDIA or ATI card and surpass anything 3dfx, why do you still use them? I'm just curious! I know how serious you are about this stuff.
My dad repairs old, almost useless BMW cars and trades parts with other people in a little community they have set up. The old Beamers are kind of useless, and expensive, but I'm guessing it's something like what you do? He has tons of fun doing it.
Well I alreqdy have High end NVIDIA and ATi cards I collect VGA cards like your dad collects beamers and such it's acollectors issue @ 3dfx they only ciollect 3dfx cards and yes I used to do this in the past but over time I kinda lost interest and wanted to collect other cards besides the 3dfx ones then Descent & Freespace gaem collecting was added and so on things kinda changed.
it's like an obsession you have a few and all you want is more and more and more, it's like a drug but a healthy one
as for 3dfx well that is possible to explain, why so many people colelct these cards and still use them because 3dfx as being one of not many companies that have brought numerous revolutions to the gaming industry thx to their Glide API a sollution Microsoft and other vendors could con compete to in 1996. Voodoo Graphics changed gaming for good. from this day we had 3D accelerated games the pixels were gone and everything looked smoothed out. 3Dfx patches for Descent 1 and 2 also came around because back then you had no stable OpenGL or Direct3D games all the games were mainly glide based.
So if you wanted the best the 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics 3D add on card was the key to this freedom, in 1998 came Vodooo2 this one gave the abillity to add a second for a SLI setup aka Scan Line Interleave the real SLI.
1999 came Voodoo3 & Velocity 1000 these used the 3dfx 355 Avenger graphics chip and in 2000 came Voodoo5 5500 AGP, PCI & PCI Macintosh and somewhat after that came Voodoo4 4500 AGP, PCI & PCI Macintosh.
Voodoo4 and 5 had Rotated Grid FSAA, as where the Voodoo 5 had extra's like Motion Blur, SOft Shadows, Soft Reflections and Depth of Field Blur this all combines the T_Buffer for hardware rendered Cinematic Effects.
3dfx Interactive as walso the first VGA vendor in the world to have taken usage of SLI & Rotated Grid Super Sampled FSAA.
And over time other vendors took use of these effects and with the 3dfx clubs we are reliving these cards by the day because it's always cool to play with the cards that originated these idea's, to relive these revolutions and so on, and then there are the cards that never released the market these are the most interesting to tinker with to get them running you have to find a driver that hopefully allows them to operate and if you have gotten this far you can either send this card to the driver team so they can imporve drivers for it or keep it in the state it is as being an elusive Engineering sample thuus a valuable collectors item.
As you can see here I am not the only one that collects:
http://www.3dfx.ch/gallery/v/3dfx_colle ... 21de0962c6
I'm Gold Leader in that gallery hehe.
And yeah I can tell you that these 3dfx cards are like gold mines today.
the card I have the Voodoo5 5500 PCI mac can go on ebay loose like I have for like 120 euro's boxxed the prices can go beyond the 200 and sealed 350 euro's
3dfx Voodoo5 5000 AGP 32MB Rev.A0 3700 prototype these go around 650 to 850 euro's
3dfx Voodoo5 5000 PCI Rev.A1 0900 goes for 1000 euro's or more
3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP 128MB Rev.A 3700 go for 2000 euro's or more
a boxed 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI can go for 150 euro's or more
a boxed Voodoo4 4500 PCI macintosh can go for like 200 euro's or more.
3dfx Voodoo5 5000 AGP top PCI bottom:
Now the reason why these cards are so expensive, is that they have become true collectors items, and this has a mian reason. in 1996 3Dfx Interactive introduced the 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics aka Voodoo 1, this card changed the face of graphics with games like some kinda of mega revolution the second revolution was the 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics 2 aka Voodoo2, this one had a slightly smaller impact than the Voodoo1, but still was the company's most successful design since V1., the Voodoo Rush which was a V1 with an Alliance Semiconductor AT-25 2D chip or a Macronnix 2D chop, this actually came after V1 as the first 2D/3D sollution by 3Dfx but it seemed to be some sort of a flaw performancewise because it was 30% slower than a V1, then came Voodoo Banshee, Voodoo3, Voodoo5 and then Voodoo4
The Voodoo5 came too late i was faster than a GeForce 256 DDR but slightly slower than a GeForce 2 GTS but the drivers of today have changed this alot, the Voodoo5 6000 never came, iit was a design project that started on week 36 year 1999 and ended on week 39 year 2000:
Voodoo5 6000 AGP Rev.A 3900 The last of the Voodoo5 6000's made:
55 weeks and still no product this had ccost 3dfx Interactive alot of time and like we all know times costs alot of money for any company, this also killed 3dfx slowly, but their major fallback was the Banshee and the Voodoo3, Banshee was the main fallback, 3dfx used half of the 3dfx Rampage design team to design Banshee instead, it was planned that Rampage would come afer Voodoo2, the thing is it was delayed til week 46 year 2000 and week 47 the Rev.A1 was completed in a time that 3dfx was allready closed down for 2 weeks, the people that worked there were working in abankrupt company just to see how Rampage would of performed, it's speed was phenominal they reached core/mem speeds of 250 / 500Mhz DDR 128Bit and bandwidth iof .8 GB per sec for a single chip budget line card, these cards would been called 3dfx Specter 1000 series.
Here the Revision aka Rev A1:
Here the PCB Date which is 4700
there were another two types, but these never came:
1 Rampage/1 Sage w/64MB
2 Rampage/1 Sage w/128MB [in practical 2x 64MB 128Bit DDR SGRAM]
Note- The flagship product Specter 3000 would have been a killer piece of hardware for the time frame. 2 Rampage chips in SLI mode with Sage combined with DDR ram would have had 10.2 GB/S bandwidth with a fillrate of 1600-2000Mpixels/S.
Rampage 3000 would of been like Voodoo5 5500 with 2 Rampage chips and a Sage T&L chip, this card was DX8.1 complaint and has Shader Model 1.1 on board, it would of anailated the geForce 3, since ram bandwidth does not have te meann everything on speed
In mose cases the Voodoo5 6000 beats the GeForce 3 today, however back then when the drivers were very buggy the GeForce 2 Ultra performance was about the same, but today thanx to SFFT from 3dfx zone.it he has managed to make the drivers this good that the 6000 even can beat a GeForce 3 Ti 500 ! so it does mean that even drivers can sclae these monsters up to a formdable speed increase.
And yes drivers are still being made today, by ex-3dfx driver programmers and some fans which have improved the 3dfx code by the many, the entire 3dfx community has over 20.000 members , and this is also the driving force of this large and still alive community, we are keeping Descent alive by playing it as improving it with DXX-Rebirth and such, @ 3dfx we make the drivers better, we collect the cards ,w e experiment with the cards and even new-gen games like Half Life2, Doom3 or Formula 1 2008 run on a Voodoo5 5500 for example and without any hesitations.
Forumula 1 2008 on a Voodoo5 6000 AGP 128MB Rev.A 3700:
"Mikepedo used a Windows XP SP3 machine including, like hardware components, an Epox 8K5A2+ motherboard, an AMD AthlonXP-M 2.5Ghz cpu, a 1GB OCZ RAM (2-2-2-5), besides 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 rev. 3700A video card.
The configuration of 3dfx hardware was executed by the latest SFFT driver, and so the SFFT 1.5 release at this moment. In those conditions followinf video shows a "nice gameplay and a good average frame rate with 2X FSAA @ 32-bit and 22 cars on track" according to our moderator."
And this for a prototype that never hit the market and 8 years older than the game it's self and then such high settings fluidly, well this explains at the least something the futureproof design of the Voodoo5 6000 it's self, just phenominal, there has been no other VGA brand that has repeated such futureproof design not even ATi's 9700 Pro can do this today.
The Voodoo5 6000 has no T&L unit, it's partually DX7 and it has 4 1.4Million transistored Rasteriszers each with 32MB 128Bit SDRAM< so intotal it does have 128MB with a 512Bit bus hence the ram is devided oevr 4 chips but in theory it's ram size is only 32MB, this is because each chip uses a 32MB buffer and there are 4 of them on thsi thing in Scan line Interleave the real SLI.
this is the latest driver for the Voodoo4 & 5 cards is also the most advanced 3dfx drivers up to date, which is is SFFT 1.5:
SFFT 1.5 is dated from November 29, 2008.
And still new drivers are being made for a company that has not been around for over 8 and a half years.
Anyways the 3dfx spirit is still very strong even today as back when it all began.
here's my ex-3dfx colelction, take a good look around
http://www.3dfx.ch/gallery/v/3dfx_colle ... /album204/
The only cards I have now are these two and the Voodoo5 6000 AGP box replica which was a gift from razrx from Canada:
http://www.3dfx.ch/gallery/v/3dfx_colle ... r/album85/
As Moderator from V6K team as creator of that place I made a list of all the Voodoo5 6000's found , I also keep this list up to date, and razrx sent m me that box as a thank you for keeping the V6K [short name for Voodoo5 6000] community up to date and also thank you greatly for your subtile support , here's my work @ x-3dfx.yuku.com , since you need a membership to view the posts @ V6K Team
V6K Team was created by osckhar and me to ive the Vodooo5 6000 people a place for their own, since this part of the 3dfx galaxy was quite large, and that the old place The Voodoo5 6000 Resource Group was off the air, Osckhar and I decided thatwe should make a better repalcement, well a better one , just a good replacement so that all those poepl e can discuss thier complicated frombles, since the Voodoo5 6000 isn't a simple designs, it's extremely complex, also the most complex card of it's time made in the world.
We both wanted to create a place for teh V6K people, so we did have the same type of idea
Osckhar did the programming and came up with a forum idea, we both were thinking about aname, but my choice seemed to ahve been the best Team V6K, but then we both renamed it to V6K team which does suit us well. I also created the idea of a website so the V6K Poeple can go somewhere for their business so osckhar made it a forum and we both did this together and now it's still running great.
here's the main page of V6K team:
Anyways this is why 3dfx interactive drivers are being made, this is also what drives the 3dfx communities.
Anyways my heart for Descent is the same I have for 3dfx it's just something cool to keep busy with and I guess any fan of something they really love and adore has alittle bit of obsession with them, the same as you guys are obsessed with Descent 1 and2 with D2X-XL and the guys at Zico's place have that with DXX-Rebirth well at the 3dfx clubs we have that with 3dfx cards and any thing that can be run with 3dfx cards every new challenge that ends with a success brings a big smile to our faces just as that happens over here and over there @ Rebirth.