Voodoo 5 Final Release Driver Benchmarks and Rating!

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The 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 AGP
Update!  New Drivers, Benchmarks and Full Review Rating!

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla
5/12/00

Welcome back folks!  This is an update to our initial Voodoo5 PREview article on 4/24/00.  We aren't going to spend a lot of time with flowery verbage here.  You came here for one thing.  You want to see how the Voodoo5-5500, in its full retail final release state, will perform.  That's why you are here and that's what you'll get!  For reference, if you would like to skim back through our initial hands-on PREview of the Voodoo5-5500 with Pre-Release drivers, please look here.

Enough with the talk, let's rock!  Bring on the benchmarks!

 

Hot Hardware's Test Systems For The Voodoo5-5500
Built for speed

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Pentium III 866EB, Soyo SY-6ICA i820 Motherboard, 128MB of  800MHz (400MHz. DDR) Techworks  RDRAM, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, 3dfx Voodoo5-5500 AGP w/ 64MB of SDRAM , Kenwood 72X CDROM, 3dfx Voodoo5 Release Drivers Version 4.12.01.0542 - 5/2/00, Win 98SE, DirectX 7.0a

 
 
Benchmarks with the Voodoo5-5500
Faster?  OH YEAH BABY!

 

First let's look at the performance of our new drivers and prerelease board, across various resolutions with and without FSAA.  We are told that our specific card will be representative of the exact same product you will receive if you buy a card in the coming weeks via the retail channel.  Also, the drivers we are testing here are the "Gold" Release Version that will be packed in with the V5-5500 retail product.  Again, our results should be exactly what you can expect from the retail boxed product.

Quake 3 Arena 16 Bit Color

Here is my interpretation...  I don't know about you folks but the low res scores are indeed lower than a GeForce2.  Who cares?  Not this Analyst, that is for sure.  These days 17 and 19" monitors are mainstream and resolutions that we care about are at least 800X600 and preferably 1024X768.  Look at 2X FSAA, it is almost 60 FSP @ 1024X768.  You can compare these results with the GF2 on the same system here in our Leadtek Winfast GeForce2 GTS Review

 

Quake 3 32 Bit Color

This chart is self explanatory.  Without FSAA enabled, the V5-5500 is neck and neck, in the higher resolutions, with a GeForce2 GTS.  See for yourself here in the 32 Bit Color score of the Winfast.  In addition, if you compare the 2X FSAA scores here to the GeForce2 FSAA scores, the GeForce is left in the dust.  For all out frame rate performance WITHOUT FSAA, the GeForce2 does beat the Voodoo5 by approximately a 10% margin.  When you enable FSAA, the Voodoo5 scores about 50% better in 2X mode.  The scores in 4X mode are within a couple of frames faster or slower when compared to the GeForce2.  This is pretty impressive, in my opinion, for a card that is running on first generation drivers.  If their track record is any indication, you can bet 3dfx will wring out more performance in the months to come.

 

Quake 3 16 and 32 Bit Color With Max Textures

Here within the Max Texture scores we see that the V5 barely takes a hit at all versus medium texture detail in Quake3.  For Max Textures, we had the slider pegged all the way to the right.  For the "default textures" scores, we left it set at about 2/3, which is the default setting in "High Quality" mode.  Again, you can compare notes here versus the GeForce2.  The GeForce2 drops from 1 - 4 frames per second and the V5 drops 1 or less.

 

We then decided to try a new Direct 3D benchmark for the Hot Hardware Test Suite.  Rage Software's "Expendable" is a game with a lot of eye candy and the latest features.  It also has built in support for FSAA.

Expendable Timedemo - 32 Bit Color

Expendable looks really nice at 1024X768 in 32 bit color with 2X FSAA.  At 40 FPS, it is VERY playable and really nice.  Here are a couple of screenies with No FSAA and 2X FSAA.  Both are taken in 32 bit color at 1024X768.

No FSAA

2X FSAA

 

Well folks, we have seen it all now.  From pre-release to final release product, the Voodoo5-5500 has impressed us an exceptional 3D Graphics Accelerator.  It has great performance and new features that improve image quality and over all experience, dramatically.  In the weeks and months ahead with new driver releases, we are very optimistic that performance still has room for improvement over what we feel is already quite good.  It's time to rate the Voodoo5 since it is now officially ready for prime time.  It should be on retail store shelves very soon, we are told.

We give the 3dfx Voodoo5-5500 a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of....

Again, if you would like to see our complete Voodoo5 PREview article based on the Pre-Release Drivers, please look here.

-Davo

So, what do you think? 
Get into the HotHardware Conference Room and tell us!

  To HotHardware!

 

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