Voodoo 5 In House PREview

Voodoo 5 In House PREview - Page 1

The 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 AGP
An "In House" PREview and Test Of Alpha 2 Product

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla


This product review needs no introduction.  We have been waiting a long time for the next coming of Voodoo Graphics.  In what seems like a deluge of market hype over next generation 3D Graphics chipsets from various vendors, 3dfx unleashes one of their most lethal weapons in the battle for 3D dominance.  Currently in an "Alpha 2" stage, we received, what 3dfx would classify as their mid range product, the Voodoo5-5500 AGP. 

We at HotHardware want to emphasize again that the board we will show you in the following pages, is indeed built on "Alpha 2" Silicon with very early Beta Drivers backing it up.  There is still a lot of optimization that will take place in the next few weeks before the official Retail and OEM release.  However, we intend to give you full detail with respect to every aspect of its performance and feature set, at this point in time.  If you want to know EVERYTHING there is to know about the Voodoo5 to date, you came to the right place.  Let's rock...

Voodoo5 5500 AGP Specifications / Features
Voodoo On Steroids

Click all images for full view

- 64 MB of Graphics Memory
- 667-733 Megapixels Per Second Fill Rate
- Real-time Full-Scene HW Anti-Aliasing
- T-Buffer Digital Cinematic Effect: Motion blur
- T-Buffer Digital Cinematic Effect: Depth of Field Blur
- T-Buffer Digital Cinematic Effect: Soft Shadows
- T-Buffer Digital Cinematic Effect: Soft Reflections
- FXT1 and DirectX® Texture Compression 8-bit Palletized Textures
- 32-bit Rendering
- 32-bit Textures
- 2k x 2k Textures
- 24-bit Floating Point Depth Buffer (Z or W)
- 8-bit Stencil Buffer
- Fully integrated 128-bit 2D/3D/Video Accelerator
- The industry's most complete API support: DirectX, OpenGL, and Glide
- DVD hardware assist: planar to packed-pixel conversion

We won't re-hash the specifics on each of the Cinematic Effects but if you would like a refresher, please look at our 3dfx Tech Summit Article or V5 Incarnate articles.  We go into fair detail in those two pieces.  For this preview we will go into depth on the hardware, software drivers, relative performance and FSAA (Full Scene Anti-Ailiasing).

The board we received was as clean as a whistle.  The lay out is neat and organized.  The card is however, rather large.  This is a picture of the V5-5500 installed on our Abit KA7 Athlon Motherboard and housed in a removable ATX Motherboard Tray.  As you can see, it sticks out beyond the even this larger type ATX Motherboard.  However, it still is within the ATX case dimension spec.  Also, as you can see in this shot, the Power Connector is mounted on the top of the board for easy access to a spare mate inside your case.  This will provide abundant and clean regulated power to the Voodoo5, a feature we have come to appreciate.  You will not have to worry about whether or not your motherboard can supply enough juice via the AGP slot.

This was to be expected, with two VSA-100 chips on board and 64MB of SDRAM, there are a lot of pins and traces to route.  There are only 4 SDRAM chips on the Voodoo5 which is surprising for a 64MB board.  Here is a shot of the RAM that came with our unit.  They are 64MB devices in a X32 organization, 8K refresh and rated at 166MHz.

Will you look at that!  There is also an IDT (the daytime gig for yours truly) QuickSwitch in this shot.  The QS3861 is a 10 bit Bus Switch that is great for muxing DRAMs.  Regardless, we'll make sure we maintain our objectivity even in light of 3dfx's excellent vendor selection.  Being from the Massachusetts area, I don't have the luxury of 3dfx as a customer, so not to worry. :)

The photo shoot was long and torturous for us, getting all these pictures together.  We were itching to just plug it in and let it rip!  So, enough with the beauty pageant.  Let's get some Voodoo, shall we?


Setup, Installation and FSAA


Tags:  Pre, House, voodoo, preview, review, view, IE

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