Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Mar 2007 22:42 UTC
3D News, GL, DirectX 3Dfx died in the fourth quarter of 2000 and Windows XP came to life a year after. But seven years after, drivers for 3dfx cards still appear. First of all, it is nearly incredible that enthusiast community managed to support an operating system which was still in the works. Secondly - it is incredible that drivers that support both 32- and 64-bit Windows have just came out.
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Hmm
by Xaero_Vincent on Wed 7th Mar 2007 23:15 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Whats funny is that these cards actually work on Vista, even without Aero.

Also, how did they write the drivers? Where the hardware specs opened?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmm
by mmebane on Thu 8th Mar 2007 00:11 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
mmebane Member since:
2005-07-06

The source code for the drivers was leaked shortly after 3Dfx was bought out.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hmm
by obi_oni on Thu 8th Mar 2007 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm"
obi_oni Member since:
2006-02-15

Maybe, but the specs were opened too. 3dfx released some pdfs with docs, and made quite a big deal about them opening up that info. The Open Source community loved it.

Of course then they died off. Bummer.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hmm
by rayiner on Thu 8th Mar 2007 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The SST-1 and Voodoo3 programmers manuals are both openly available. They're actually extremely good pieces of documentation. Unlike most of Intel's specification sheets, they're not just simple register descriptions. 3dfx's documentation describes the general theory of operation of the graphics chip, describes how to do specific tasks, and provides both detailed register descriptions and implementation notes.

You can find the Voodoo 3 specs here: http://v3tv.sourceforge.net/download/voodoo3_spec.pdf

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Hmm
by jelway on Fri 9th Mar 2007 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm"
jelway Member since:
2006-05-14

All this talk about 3dfx is openness is absurd - why can't you guys accept the fact that the drivers were leaked?

j/k

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Hmm
by rayiner on Fri 9th Mar 2007 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmm"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

What do you mean its absurd? I posted a link to the doc in this thread!

Reply Score: 2

Community
by vermaden on Wed 7th Mar 2007 23:19 UTC
vermaden
Member since:
2006-11-18

3Dfx always have had great community.

It's big pity that so great 3D card manufacturer that started it all has died.

RIP 3Dfx.

Reply Score: 5

Wow
by milatchi on Wed 7th Mar 2007 23:21 UTC
milatchi
Member since:
2005-08-29

Wow, 3Dfx just will not die. I had a friend 5 or 6 years ago and he was a die hard 3Dfx guy.
Good community.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wow
by riha on Fri 9th Mar 2007 13:01 UTC in reply to "Wow"
riha Member since:
2006-01-24

Is he not your friend anymore, do you know if he is 3dfs hardcore now? 5-6 years ago doesn´t count for today.

I had an 166 MHz pc 6-7 years ago and i it was hardcore for me, but not today.

Reply Score: 1

Too Bad for 3Dfx
by crazybob on Wed 7th Mar 2007 23:24 UTC
crazybob
Member since:
2006-11-25

When they were around, they were the best cards by a wide margin. But no, they had to keep Glide to themselves and carved themselves a niche in obscurity (as well as only catering to the gaming crowd and basically ignoring the rest of the market).

I'm glad that there are those that still support the cards. I hope they'll be able to build Vista drivers as well. It's disappointing to see the support doesn't extend to the Voodoo 2 cards. I know someone who has an old gaming rig in the basement with two Voodoo 2 cards in SLI. It was a sweet system.

Does anyone have any experience in how well they're supported in Linux?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too Bad for 3Dfx
by vermaden on Thu 8th Mar 2007 00:10 UTC in reply to "Too Bad for 3Dfx"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

Does anyone have any experience in how well they're supported in Linux?

Generally very good, I have Voodoo3 2000 AGP card in my 2 x AthlonXP 2000 FreeBSD box. Works very good with X11 drivers.

Edited 2007-03-08 00:11

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Too Bad for 3Dfx
by Doc Pain on Thu 8th Mar 2007 00:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Too Bad for 3Dfx"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Generally very good, I have Voodoo3 2000 AGP card in my 2 x AthlonXP 2000 FreeBSD box. Works very good with X11 drivers. "

Can confirm this. Along with a 500 MHz Intel CPU, the Voodoo3 (without fan!) was my first run of RTCW, glquake and lsdldoom some years. On FreeBSD 4 with XFree86 drivers. Fine hardware. Well supported and very silent. :-)

Reply Score: 4

Italians do it better
by Tanner on Wed 7th Mar 2007 23:25 UTC
Tanner
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm joking..

The drivers came from an italian community called 3dfxzone.it

Reply Score: 3

RE: Italians do it better
by NixerX on Thu 8th Mar 2007 16:07 UTC in reply to "Italians do it better"
NixerX Member since:
2006-01-04

No...its true. We really do.
LOL
-nX

Reply Score: 1

Test
by Eagle101 on Wed 7th Mar 2007 23:44 UTC
Eagle101
Member since:
2007-03-07

Can someone please test these drivers under Vista and tell me if they work or not. I wont switch to Vista because my second monitor (3dfx card) would not work under vista, even though i never tried any drivers ( i thought vista should have em already)

Please Help,

Thanks

Reply Score: 1

RE: Test
by JrezIN on Thu 8th Mar 2007 17:11 UTC in reply to "Test"
JrezIN Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't have one of theses cards to test... but, IIRC, Vista can only handle ONE graphic card drive. That means you can use several ATi or nVidia video cards, but you can't have mixed card in your setup.

That probably falls in the same case for your only 3dfx card used in your second monitor...

Not sure, but one of reasons to this limitation (by design) may be the content security using HDCP and because Aero.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Test
by Eagle101 on Thu 8th Mar 2007 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Test"
Eagle101 Member since:
2007-03-07

Are you sure about that? It just sounds a little odd to not be able to use mixed video cards in my setup...It worked fine under all other verisons of windows...Anyways, i was wondering if it will work under vista with these new drivers from the community.

Thanks

Reply Score: 1

Coolness
by deathshadow on Thu 8th Mar 2007 00:16 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

I still own a win98 box with a V5 5500 which is used not just for retrogaming, but for ProDesign 3d, an old DOS based CAD program that had glide support (I still prefer it to 3ds max for a number of things - like floating point accuracy to more than three decimal places)

For non shader applications, the Voodoo 5, or even a SLI voodoo 2 setup can give both nVidia and ATI's 'top end offering' from five years ago a run for their money, easily being the equivalent of a Ge2 or Radeon 8500.

It's hard to justify throwing away anything that still works and can perform a needed job - so it's nice to see fan support like this.

Now if we could just get some X11 drivers better than the reference ones ;)

Reply Score: 5

Blast from the past
by Phloptical on Thu 8th Mar 2007 00:31 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Yeah, I remember the outcry when 3dfx went under. That was a sad day indeed. I don't remember anything about graphzilla, though. I was always under the impression that NVidia bought 3dfx and the first GeForce was based on a hybrid combo of the Rage and Voodoo chipset. Apparently I was wrong.

Good for the community to keep things going. Kudos to them.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Blast from the past
by rayiner on Thu 8th Mar 2007 01:09 UTC in reply to "Blast from the past"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

GeForce was not a combo of any of 3dfx's designs. Undoubtedly 3dfx stuff went into NVIDIA's later designs, but that was post GeForce.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Blast from the past
by voidlogic on Thu 8th Mar 2007 04:14 UTC in reply to "Blast from the past"
voidlogic Member since:
2005-09-03

The Inquirer refers to nvidia as graphzilla
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx

Does anyone know if any opensource hardware projects are based around the released 3dfx designs?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Blast from the past
by brewmastre on Thu 8th Mar 2007 16:20 UTC in reply to "Blast from the past"
brewmastre Member since:
2006-08-01

I was always under the impression that NVidia bought 3dfx and the first GeForce was based on a hybrid combo of the Rage and Voodoo chipset.

Do you mean Riva? Rage was/is a GPU from ATI.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Blast from the past
by Phloptical on Sat 10th Mar 2007 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Blast from the past"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

That's the one. My mistake.

Reply Score: 1

The first 3dfx tech in a GeForce was...
by jrronimo on Thu 8th Mar 2007 21:44 UTC in reply to "Blast from the past"
jrronimo Member since:
2006-02-28

The first time nVidia 'admitted' that they were using 3dfx tech in their cards was the GeForce FX line (you remember the FX5800 dust buster?) There was a video presentation that showed the 'fx' from the 3dfx logo combining with 'GeForce'.

As it turns out, though, if I remember correctly, nVidia had been using 3dfx 2D intellectual property in at least the GeForce 4. I think the FX series was just supposed to be the first 'collaborative' release between the two sets of engineers.

Reply Score: 1

NVidia bougth them
by werfu on Thu 8th Mar 2007 01:31 UTC
werfu
Member since:
2005-09-15

I dont know what the hell it is with that GraphZilla, but I can tell that it's NVidia that bougth them (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3dfx). I would have like to see those Voodoo5 in SLI. I guess it would have been a killer scene, in particular with the 4 GPU card. Wish 3DFx would still be alive ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: NVidia bougth them
by Ventajou on Thu 8th Mar 2007 03:03 UTC in reply to "NVidia bougth them"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

I think the author was attempting some wordplay and meant nVidia when he wrote Graphzilla...

Reply Score: 2

can anyone tell me...
by Darkelve on Thu 8th Mar 2007 09:53 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

what was/is so special about these cards?

Reply Score: 2

RE: can anyone tell me...
by Kroc on Thu 8th Mar 2007 10:12 UTC in reply to "can anyone tell me..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

3DFX took a different approach to producing cards. It was a sad day when 3DFX died, in the same way it was sad when the last PPC Mac was replaced. Sure the new stuff is better, but it's boring having everything just x86.

Reply Score: 3

RE: can anyone tell me...
by brewmastre on Thu 8th Mar 2007 16:25 UTC in reply to "can anyone tell me..."
brewmastre Member since:
2006-08-01

what was/is so special about these cards?

I think it was a combination of two things, GLIDE and Image quality. Glide provided a low-level API for game developer so that they could squeeze the max performance out of the chips. As far as image quality, they were definitely one of the best. I think only Matrox beat them as far as 2D quality, but for 3D they were the king.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: can anyone tell me...
by rayiner on Fri 9th Mar 2007 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE: can anyone tell me..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, by the time the TNT came out, 3dfx was behind in image quality. The "3dfx look" that was a revolution with the Voodoo 1 was by the time of the Voodoo 3 dismissed as overly filtered and washed-out. They were behind NVIDIA in offering advanced filtering modes and graphics effects, and totally dropped the ball on 32-bit rendering.

Reply Score: 2

RE: can anyone tell me...
by jrronimo on Thu 8th Mar 2007 22:28 UTC in reply to "can anyone tell me..."
jrronimo Member since:
2006-02-28

3dfx was a pioneer in the 3D add-on card business. And they were a fun company -- they had commercials talking about how their chips could perform so many operations a second and how this could be used to save lives... and instead they play games.

Plus, the Voodoo 2 cards were the first cards to be end-user expandable in terms of parallel...ity (I guess? haha). It's where SLI originally came from: Scan Line Interleave -- the two cards would render every other scanline, thus improving performance by allowing each card to render 'half' the screen. The Voodoo 5 5500 expanded on this idea in a single card (being two processors on one card), with the would-have-been follow up, the Voodoo 5 6000 having 4 processors. (There are some V5 6k's out there, but most have a problem of some sort).

As touched on by one of the above posters, their Image Quality (IQ) is /still/ considered some of the best by some people. Their method of Anti-Aliasing was absolutely amazing. The Rotated Grid SuperSampling method employed by them had some of the most amazing 4xFSAA available. That being said, it was also /incredibly/ memory and computationally expensive, so running Counter-Strike (original) at 1024x768 w/ 4xFSAA is... playable, but not amazing, performance-wise.

Really, they were just a cool company. It's hard to say why their cards were so cool.

Reply Score: 1

anyone remember Rampage?
by REMF on Thu 8th Mar 2007 13:36 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

the rumoured next chipset from 3DFX before they went bust. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: anyone remember Rampage?
by jrronimo on Thu 8th Mar 2007 22:35 UTC in reply to "anyone remember Rampage?"
jrronimo Member since:
2006-02-28

Rampage would've been great. There's a lot of good information about it out there, most notably on Rashly's 3dfx page: http://www.rashly3dfx.com/products/rampage.html.

Somewhere there is even a Rampage in the hands of a collector (probably Italy). I think they found some drivers for it and fired it up. ;)

Reply Score: 2

64 bit? signed?
by zdzichu on Thu 8th Mar 2007 15:37 UTC
zdzichu
Member since:
2006-11-07

I was under impression that all drivers for 64 bit Vista must be signed. How they overcomed this requirement? Or did they pay to have drivers signed by MS?

Reply Score: 1

RE: 64 bit? signed?
by SReilly on Thu 8th Mar 2007 20:16 UTC in reply to "64 bit? signed?"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I'm currently running Vista 64bit with unsigned, beta drivers by nVidia. I also have unsigned, beta drivers for my Creative sound card. I don't think signed drivers are a must as my system would not be running.

If you think about it, nobody will pay to have beta drivers signed. Think of the outcry by hardware vendors if they could not get the general population to test they're drivers. MS would very soon be dealing with allot of pressure.

Reply Score: 1

Not Vista
by jrronimo on Thu 8th Mar 2007 22:36 UTC in reply to "64 bit? signed?"
jrronimo Member since:
2006-02-28

I don't think these drivers are for 64-bit Vista -- I think it's 64-bit XP.

Reply Score: 1