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3dfx Voodoo 4/5 Tweak guide

The 3dfx Voodoo 4 & 5 represent the latest, & last, graphics cards from 3dfx. You can read our in-depth Voodoo 5 5500 AGP review here (Albeit it with most pictures lost after a server change). Although they are already very fast (Even faster with the latest drivers), particularly when FSAA is enabled (in comparison to other cards capable of it that is) you can still do quite a few things to improve performance &/or image quality.

This guide has been prepared in Windows 9x/Me & Windows 2000 using the latest drivers (Although it will apply just fine to previous or newer driver releases). Where appropriate alternative driver download locations are listed.

Drivers

You should start by downloading the latest drivers for the Voodoo 4/5 you can find the latest Windows 9x\Me driver here, the latest Windows 2000 driver here & the latest NT4 driver here. Should you need drivers for other Operating Systems (Or different versions) then try Voodoo Files. Once these are installed you might also want to try the new beta drivers from x3dfx, although you must have a current driver installed before installing these. NOTE - Before you install the x3dfx drivers ensure you backup your current 3dfxvs.dll/3dfxvs.vxd (Depending on which Operating System is installed). Once the x3dfx driver is installed then replace their 3dfxvs.dll (Or 3dfxvs.vxd) with the version you backed up. This is because the x3dfx Direct3D driver is basically messed up.

You also should have DirectX 8 or later installed also.

You may also want to try the WickedGL for OpenGL games, particularly Quake 3 engine games (such as FAKK 2) as it can give better performance & visual quality than the 3dfx OpenGL driver. Those of you playing older Quake 1/2 engine games may find that the 3dfx MiniGL 1.49 delivers significantly better performance than the 3dfx OpenGL driver in those games too.

Troubleshooting

There may be some incompatibilities between the Voodoo 4/5 & some games. To rectify these problems there is usually a patch available for the game. Try Fileplanet for game patches.

If you are encountering issues with installing 3dfx Tools (or rather you just canít). Take the following steps.

1.       Uninstall the current (If any) 3dfx Tools installation. This is required & you should have already done this.

2.       Ensure you have the latest Windows Installer installed. The latest version is 1.2 & is already included with Windows 2000. You can download it from Windows 9x/Me here & Windows NT 4 here.

3.       Install the latest version of Internet Explorer. This is required for the installer to function correctly as well. Although you donít need the latest version it is recommended as these are better optimized than the 4.x versions.

4.       Reboot & re-attempt installation. If it still fails to install try the remaining steps;

5.       Open x:\Program Files\Common Files\, where x represents the appropriate drive letter, e.g. C. Rename the InstallShield folder to InstallShieldBackup (Or something like that).

6.       Re-attempt installation. The renamed directory will be re-created during the install procedure.

Check the BIOS guide for optimized BIOS settings that can improve your graphics cards performance & may also fix some problems that can occur. 3dfx also recommends that you Disable Ė Hidden refresh, Byte merge, VGA palette snoop, DAC snoop & any Caching/Shadowing.

If you are experiencing problems with an AMD based system running Soldier of Fortune try adding/editing the following line to your config.cfg file (located in the SoF\user\ directory). set ghl_no_texture_stack "1".

If you are having difficulty running your Voodoo 4/5 on an overclocked AGP bus (i.e. running at greater than 66Mhz). Try the following BIOS settings (as suggested by Reverend): 1. Increase the I/O voltage in the BIOS. 2. Increase the CPU voltage in the BIOS. 3. Toggle SDRAM Precharge Control, i.e. if Enabled, try Disabled & vice versa.

 


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