The History of the Modern Graphics Processor, Part 2: 3Dfx Voodoo, the game-changer

By Julio Franco ยท 30 replies
Apr 3, 2013
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  1. cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,660   +1,948

    Wonderful continuation on the first article! At last I remember the first graphical card that I bought separate from computer - GeForce2 MX400.
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,472   +126

    Yep they were something back then and there was issues with drivers once those were solved you had fun with them.
  4. danhodge

    danhodge TS Member Posts: 80   +13

    My dad knows nothing about computers, and gave me his old graphics card one or two years ago, because I didn't have one (couldn't afford it, I'm 17). Turns out, its an Orchid Righteous 3d, and it's sat here right in front of me.

    I must have spent about 2 or 3 hours looking for drivers for it to work with Vista, but I am fairly certain now that my i5's integrated graphics are more powerful... Still, nice to have a relic of a graphics card in my room :)
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Love these articles. Ah yes, those were the days.
  6. NeoFlux

    NeoFlux TS Booster Posts: 104   +14

    Still remember the moment I hooked my first Voodoo and running Hexen (if I remember correctly) with all that texture filtering, max resolution.... Oh boy I was impressed. And the upgrade from Voodoo 2 to GeForce 256 - like riding a bike and then straight behing Ferrari's wheel :D
    Julio Franco likes this.
  7. Very nice article, thanks for the memories...
  8. Still have my Voodoo 3 3000 lying somewhere (y)
  9. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TS Guru Posts: 383   +54

    One of these days I'm going to post a list of all the graphics cards I've ever owned. I just have to get my mind ready.
  10. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,648   +1,091

    I start reading and I can't stop. The good old day are back. Thank you.
  11. highlander84

    highlander84 TS Booster Posts: 108   +30

    I think I had at least 5 of the mentioned cards at various points... I remember endless hours spent on drivers and overclocking the processor to bump up the frame rate ever so slightly... wow good memories....
  12. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    I had both a Voodoo 3 3000 AGP and PCI version, the PCI version had a orange colored box. To this day those are some of the sweetest videocard boxes. I also liked the futuristic fighter when I bought my Viper V770.

    I was going to participate in the 'what GPU's have you owned thread' but for me, a shorter list would be which ones I haven't owned. Not many.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    How can we give Graham Singer our gratitude for presenting these articles?
  14. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,667   +987

    For posterity you may want to post that list here:

    In addition to the yellow "did you know" box, I should add the photo on the homepage with the Voodoo 3 box was actually taken by me, on my mother's kitchen when I was 17 years old. Here's that old review, too.

    I sometimes wonder the same thing. But I think getting his work out of the shadows is a first good step since Graham had written this a long time ago to never post it anywhere. We are all getting a healthy dose of nostalgia out of it.
    dividebyzero and cliffordcooley like this.
  15. trgz

    trgz TS Addict Posts: 221   +50

    Like my first cycle/motorbike/car I kind of regret selling my Orchid now though it'd never be of any use to me. I fried my Spectrum 48k but bought one off of my brother-in-law about 15 years ago but it's never the same as the one you owned. Maybe there's a Virtual Box that'll run that old card for you (or scavenge around for an old copy of Win98 and build something around it) :)
  16. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Great read as usual.
  17. oomjcv

    oomjcv TS Rookie

    It seems like this period was such an exciting time for graphics card development, all kinds of companies having a go with different ideas and failures, seeing how it all unfolded to create today's empires (much like the mobile revolution currently under way). I wish I could have witnessed it all back then, but alas....'twas just before my time.
  18. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    Really awesome work with these articles Graham, I'm already eager for the next part just as I was after finishing the first one!
  19. Brewskie

    Brewskie TS Rookie Posts: 28   +6

    I have a really old video card that has Voodoo FX or something like that on a chip. It's about a foot long or so. Where would I go to identify it?

    I've had it for years and years. Maybe 10 or more years I'd say.
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I'd suggest vgamuseum, although judging by the length, it is more likely to be a professional board. There are plenty of sites dedicated to the die-hard 3dfx crowd (including driver support and backround info).

    The Dodge Garage has a nice collection of high res pictures and a lot of information regarding 3dfx's evolution. You may need to try more than a few of the links at the left of the page. If the board is ~12" long, I'd suggest checking out the Quantum3D links first.

    You could also upload a high resolution image for us. There are many who enjoy playing VGA-detective - myself included.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  21. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    The best part was the bit on TechSpot history. Perhaps a picture of Julio from '98 would be appropriate. haha
    Julio Franco likes this.
  22. Carleton Wu

    Carleton Wu TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Anyone remember when the game Descent was patched for 3Dfx Voodoo? Gamechanger!!!! Shame Descent isn't around today. My favorite game series of all time.
  23. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 855   +121

    I see where Nvidia got their fairy demo idea from... Matrox.
  24. I remember asking my dad to buy a Diamond Monster 3D I (4MB) card. Microsoft's Monster Truck Madness never looked better and never ran faster on my Pentium 100 with 8MB of RAM.

    I think it cost between $130 and $190. I'd spent ages figuring out what card was the best and provided the most bang for the buck. The Voodoo2 wasn't out yet.

    Now my CPU has more L3 cache than my first computer had total in RAM, and 12x more RAM than I had hard drive space. We won't talk about my grandparent's pre-consumer grade 286 DX12 with a turbo button. ;-)
  25. I had bought a *second tier* 3dfx Voodoo Graphics card under the Best Data brand (it was actually sourced from Diamond Multimedia. which sold 3dfx cards under the Monster 3D and Monster 3D II imprints). I do still have (and it still works) an actual Diamond Monster 3D II, specifically a 12 MB Revision E.

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