File this one under ‘plenty of salt, please, waitress.’ An unverified Twitter account calling itself ‘3dfxofficial’ is making some very big claims about a return for much-missed GPU manufacturer 3dfx Interactive, last seen being absorbed into Nvidia as fast as the intellectual property lawyers could manage it, on August 5th.
Despite being aesthetically similar to 3dfx branding of the past, the artwork accompanying the tweet can be traced back to DeviantArt and an artist called vermaden.
As much as we want to believe this is real - and not just someone with an internet connection, a basic knowledge of social media, and a wry sense of humor determined to tickle the nostalgia glands of PC gamers of a certain age - we feel the chances are low. Developing a new GPU architecture is hard, as Intel knows, and doing so silently would have taken billions of dollars. Still, is a special edition GeForce card with 3dfx branding too much to hope for?
For those born this century, 3dfx was a San Jose-based manufacturer of graphics cards whose Voodoo brand was well-regarded around the turn of the millennium. Unfortunately, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002, and its trademark was canceled in the US in 2007.
The company pioneered GPU features such as hardware transform and lighting, and MPEG decoding, but its consumer products were outclassed by early Nvidia boards such as the Riva TNT. Its final board, the quad-processor Voodoo 5 6000, was thought capable of taking on Nvidia’s GeForce 3 and ATI’s Radeon 7500 but suffered from a bug so severe it halved its AGP speed down to 2x and broke compatibility with Pentium 4 motherboards.
We have contacted Nvidia for comment and will update this article if it arrives.