Anyone can own one of the best graphics cards, but not everyone can get their hands on the iconic 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 graphics card. However, this unreleased gem won't come cheap. The card is currently at $12,600 in an eBay listing and has several more days of bidding before the selling price becomes known. We thought the price was notable a few days ago when it was going for 'just' $5,500.
The Voodoo 5 6000 is a valuable artifact because it was the last graphics card that 3dfx made, but it never arrived on the market. It's the equivalent of EVGA's unreleased GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card that eventually went to a collector for a whopping $12,400, except the Voodoo 5 6000 has more history, and it'll be interesting to see what the highest bidder is willing to offer.
As spotted by Twitter user Löschzwerg (opens in new tab), a graphics card enthusiast and collector put up a Voodoo 5 6000 prototype for auction on eBay (opens in new tab). This is the real deal, unlike the Voodoo 5 6000 replicant we saw a couple of years back. With six days left on the auction, the coveted graphics card will likely end up selling for a small fortune.
This is a Voodoo5 6000 revision 3700A prototype with the full PCI rework. According to the eBay listing, 3dfx engineer Jindrich (Hank) Semenec was the one who personally reworked the graphics card to operate stably at FSAA 8x mode. The seller has reportedly tested the graphics card, and it's "rock solid at 8X." He also claims that this prototype hails from the later stages of the 6K prototype project, and consequently, most bugs have been ironed out.
The graphics card leveraged four VSA-100 processors at 166 MHz, each sporting 32MB 166 MHz SDRAM. In addition, the Voodoo5 6000 was the first consumer gaming graphics card to boast 128MB of onboard memory. Unfortunately, the power requirements were so demanding that the AGP slot could not adequately feed the Voodoo5 6000. As a result, the retail samples relied on an external power supply connecting to an AC outlet. Nonetheless, some Voodoo5 6000 prototypes, such as the one from the eBay auction, use a Molex adapter, and others have the Molex connector soldered to the PCB.
The Voodoo5 6000 was a marvel of a graphics card during its time, but the high production cost derailed its launch. In addition, the graphics card used a multi-chip (four VSA-100 chips) design where competing GeForce and Radeon models stuck to a single chip. Furthermore, the 128MB VRAM and external power brick didn't help the Voodoo5 6000's cause. Long story short, 3dfx eventually went bankrupt in 2002, and all that is left are these precious, unreleased Voodoo relics of the past.
Just wow. Must be nice to have money to burn.
Yes, this. Someone in the first article on this commented that the prototype EVGA 4090 at this price is worth more because of the performance - but performance is NOT why people pay a fortune for these sorts of things (even if I personally find it all a bit silly). A bit like an ancient Apple prototype that went for something ridiculous.
If anything I'd say the EVGA card price made me shake my head in disbelief far more than this ever could. There's no way of knowing if, in the future, EVGA might return to the business of making graphics cards whereas 3Dfx are never going to come back. That automatically adds far more value to items such as this, and I'm almost positive that whoever ends up with it will never let it anywhere near an AGP slot.
It also has 128 megabytes of ram!
Should I start the bidding at $5800 ?
And even then it would still be a prototype.
I'm not saying that these prices make sense but at least these are prototypes which makes them rare and somewhat desirable, they are not mass produced nintendo cartridges that go for millions even though there are many of them still around.