Voodoo 5 5500 AGP review
Posted by Thomas
McGuire on September 13, 2000 - Page 4/5
Interactive Product: Voodoo
5 5500 AGP
the Voodoo 5 3dfx have re-introduced us to SLI (Scan Line
Interleave), in many ways it is a more advanced
form & in some it is a step backwards, e.g. With the
original Voodoo 2 all you needed to do was purchase another
Voodoo 2 to gain SLI capability, with the VSA-100 chip you
cannot perform such a feat, e.g. put 2 Voodoo 4’s in the
same machine for SLI, or 2 Voodoo 5’s together for that
purpose (Before anyone emails me with “But there’s a
special motherboard that allows it”, that’s for Quantum3D’s
Aalchemy – not a retail level item).
than the old approach to SLI with the Voodoo 2 (One card
renders odd, the other even lines) the Voodoo 5 (&4)
uses a programmable band approach. The display can be spilt
from 1 to 128 lines or certain lines may assigned to a
particular VSA-100 chip, e.g. If a display is split into 64
lines then one VSA-100 chip would render the 1-32 band,
while the other would render the 33-64 band & so on.
total 32 VSA-100 chips can be used in SLI, although 3dfx are
only going to be retailing a maximum 4 chip card, the Voodoo
5 6000. Quantum3D are offering VSA-100 based hardware
using up to 32 VSA-100 chips.
the worst, ummmm, feature (failing) of SLI is that texture
data needs to be replicated on each VSA-100 chip. That said,
only texture’s are replicated nothing more, for all
intents & purposes the Voodoo 5 5500 has 64MB memory
on-board, not dual-32MB – The video memory is unified.
Besides, texture compression helps reduce the amount of
texture memory needed.
regards AGP support the Voodoo 5 5500 AGP supports AGP4
& earlier, but it only supports the AGP 1x
data transfer rate. Basically it means you can install the
Voodoo 5 5500 in any AGP slot, new or old, but data transfer
rate will remain constant (AGP 1x) no matter what the slot
latest 3dfx drivers include an option for AGP Command
FIFO to be set to AGP 1x or AGP 2x though.
The Voodoo 5 (& 4) do not support execute mode.
This is of little consequence though as AGP texturing is
relatively slow & no good 3d card uses AGP texturing
anyway (Generally because they have more than enough video
Voodoo 5 5500 AGP was quite good at overclocking, but only
as long as the AGP bus was at 66Mhz. When it was at this
(standard) speed I could reach 186Mhz core/memory speed with
no lockup’s. Unfortunately, when I overclocked my system
itself to a 124Mhz FSB (83Mhz AGP bus) I couldn’t get it
past 170Mhz core/memory without locking up in games after a
few minutes. The default (166Mhz) is perfectly stable at
this speed though & has been for quite some weeks now
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