Regrettably, there is little to read about the hardware invented around 1996 to improve 3D rendering and in particular id Software’s ground-breaking title. Within the architecture and design of these pieces of silicon lies the story of a technological duel between Rendition’s V1000 and 3dfx Interactive’s Voodoo.
With the release of vQuake in early December 1996, Rendition seemed to have taken the advantage. The V1000 was the first card able to run Quake with an hardware acceleration claiming a 25 Mpixel/s fill-rate. Just in time for Christmas, the marketing coup allowed players to run the game at a higher resolution with a higher framerate and 16-bit colors. But as history would have it, a flaw in the design of the Vérité 1000 was to be deadly for the innovative company.
I had never heard of Rendition or its V1000, and this story illustrates why. An absolutely fascinating and detailed read, and be sure to also read the follow-up article, which dives into the 3Dfx Voodoo 1 and Quake.