3dfx Voodoo 33000

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The 3dfx/STB Voodoo3 3000

 
 

 
     
  Hey... Do you see that? What synergy we have here! These colors look great on us! Hot Hardware and Voodoo3. Black and Orange, an unlikely combination but oh sooo pretty! :-) We were one of the lucky few sites that got first dibs on a the first retail run of Voodoo3 3000 boards. I would like to thank Brian Burke at STB/3dfx and Megan Prest for keeping us on "the short list". You are the best!  
 

 


 
  First let's give you some background on our approach to this review. We feel these are some of the most exciting times ever for the Computer and Gaming Industry. New products that are capable of "leapfrogging" the current technology come out about every six months. No other High Tech Industry has that kind of new product cycle time. It is truly amazing and we the end user community are the benefactors.

It is with this spirit that we approach the extremely competitive graphics card market. We are very fortunate to be able to choose between all of the excellent product available to us. We at Hot Hardware do not subscribe to the various graphics card fanatic camps. Instead, we will be looking at each new technology as it is introduced to the market, on its own merits. We feel that ultimately, it is the personal experience you have with a product that is important, versus some "Spec War" that someone is waging on the net to say one product is better than another. Keep this in mind while reading our review. We will try to be unbiased, fair and thorough for you.
 
     
 

Voodoo3 - The Next Generation

 
  There have been several iterations of 3dfx product that have come to the market over the past few years, but none so highly anticipated as the Voodoo3. The product is the result of today's leading edge semiconductor process technologies coupled with the powerful intellectual properties of the 3D Graphics Wizards at 3dfx.

The Voodoo3 is manufactured on a .25 micron, five layer metal process. Today Semiconductor Fabs like TSMC and UMC are beginning to characterize product in .18 micron processes. It won't be long before we are all drooling for Voodoo4! Reducing chip die geometries means that vendors like 3dfx can fit more and higher complexity functions into the same small package that sits in chip form on your video card. Older versions of 3dfx product were manufactured on .35 micron technology. By going to .25 3dfx made the tiny traces or "routes" in the Voodoo3 much smaller which meant they had more room in the die to add features or digital logic. It also meant that the clock speeds would go up significantly!
 
     
 

Here is the Voodoo3 3000 genetic makeup...

  • 16MB SDRAM
  • 166MHz Core Clock Speed
  • 7 Million Triangles/sec
  • 333 Megatexels/sec.
  • Supports resolutions up to 2048x1536
  • Full 128-Bit 2D accelerator
  • 350 MHz RAMDAC
  • TV/S-Video out
  • DVD Hardware Assist
  • Supports DirectX, Glide and OpenGL
  • Alpha-Blending
  • Single Pass, Single Cycle Bump Mapping
  • Single Pass, Single Cycle Trilinear MIP-Mapping
  • Patented Multi-Texturing
  • Programable Fog Tables
  • Sub-Pixel and Sub-Texel Correction
  • Gouraud Shading
 
  This is the Voodoo3 incarnate...  
 

 

 
 

 
     
  OK, let's look at the obvious. That is one big heat sink! It is there for a reason. This card gets hot. It is almost too hot to touch when fully warmed up after a Quake2 session. The good news is that the sink is the hot part and it is obviously doing a good job of conducting heat away from the Voodoo3 processor. By the way, did we mention that the Voodoo3 is indeed a processor, all 8 million + transistors of it!

The other thing to notice is that this card has a quality layout. It is a single sided board with no components on the back side. It is a well designed quality piece of hardware. Standard on the card is an S Video TV video out connector and 3dfx included an S-Video to RCA converter cable with the board. The card has a nice neat low profile and doesn't take up a lot of room in your case like previous versions of Voodoo product. So, let's see how she runs!
 
     
 

 Our Test System

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, 1 Pentium 2 -333 Overclocked to 500 MHz., Shuttle HOT-649A Dual Processor Motherboard, 128 MB of PC100 CAS2 RAM, IBM Deskstar 10GXP 10GB 7200 RPM EIDE UDMA Hard Drive, IBM 4.5GB DDRS34560D 7200 RPM Ultra SCSI 2 Drive, 3dfx Voodoo3 3000 w/ 16MB, Monster Sound MX300 PCI Audio Card, Toshiba SDM1202 3rd. Gen. 4.8X DVD/32X CDROM, Windows 98 w/ 3dfx release drivers, mini GL and DX6.1

 
     
 

 2D Performance and Image Quality

The 2D image quality on the Voodoo3 3000 is absolutely superb. We felt it had better clarity at higher resolutions than our STB Velocity 4400 TNT card. This card definitely rivals the current 2D Image champ, the Matrox G200. We twisted the resolution all the way up to 1600X1200 without the least bit of blur.

Wintune 98 Offline Test Results

1024X768 - 16 Bit

 

Video 2D Speed

Voodoo3 3000

 

106

Don't spd entoo much time worrying about 2D speed. This card is PLENTY fast for any of your desktop needs. 106 puts the Voodoo3 just ahead of the TNT1.

 
     
  Let's move on to 3D!    
     
 

 

 
 

 3D Performance and Image Quality ---->

 
     
         

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