Ultra-Rare 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 GPU Prototype Bids Soar To $14K With 5 Days Left
Do you remember playing games on a Voodoo 5 6000 graphics card? Neither do I, though only because 3dfx Interactive, a pioneer in discrete graphics accelerators, never actually released the card before the company fell on hard financial times, prompting a sale of assets to NVIDIA. However, the Voodoo 5 6000 did reach the prototype stage, and one of the surviving models is listed for sale on eBay.
You can see in the photo above that there are four cooling fans. That's not a clever Photoshop job—the Voodoo 5 6000 was to ship with four VSA-100 processors clocked at 166MHz, each with 32MB of SDRAM that were also clocked at 166MHz. That made it the first graphics card to flaunt 128MB of memory, which of course is dwarfed by today's models—NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4090, for example, boasts 24GB of GDDR6X memory.
Still, the Voodoo 5 6000 was to be a beastly graphics accelerator for its time. Early testing showed it could compete with and beat the GeForce 2 Ultra, and could even spar with the GeForce 3 series. Unfortunately, the prospect of attaching a bulky power brick, AGP compatibility issues, and what would have been a high retail price doomed the card.
None of those issues matter today because at this point, the Voodoo 5 6000 is a rare collector's item. The one that's up for auction is said to be "from the later stages of the 6K prototype project where the vast majority of bugs have been ironed out," according to the seller.
"I have come to the conclusion that this card just isn't the holy grail for me and that I have other pieces in my vintage hardware collection that simply mean more to me and will always mean more to me. This card has been considered to be the ultimate holy grail piece for most if not all 3DFX enthusiasts/collectors. Which is why I'm wanting to pass it on to someone that will truly view it as such and get that warm and special feeling for it," the seller states.
There over 60 bids currently, with the high bid sitting at $14,000. It will undoubtedly fetch even more before the auction ends in five days, though where exactly the winning bid lands is anyone's guess. One thing I do know is that collectors are willing to pay big money for vintage tech. Case in point, a sealed first-gen iPhone, which isn't even all that vintage, is expected to clear $50,000 at auction.