Preview of 3Dfx Voodoo3


Banshee, the last chip that 3Dfx released, could not really impress any of us when it was released last year and since Comdex 1998 we are highly anticipating the Voodoo3, a chip that's supposed to prove 3Dfx's leadership in the world of 3D-acceleration. The specs sounded good, 183 MHz chip and memory clock for the Voodoo3 3000, two pipelines, 350 MHz RAMDAC, optional digital out and fast 2D. Now we've finally reached the time when 3Dfx is giving out boards for us performance-hungry press people and we can see how far this Voodoo3 lives up to our expectations.

This picture shows the final Voodoo3 board, not the sample that I received.

Specs Were Changed Last Week

It's only a few weeks ago when 3Dfx announced that there will be three different Voodoo3 chips or cards, the Voodoo3 2000 will now be running at 143 MHz and not at 125 MHz as anounced at Comdex 1998, Voodoo3 3000 will now come with reduced specs, 166 MHz for chip and memory clock while Voodoo3 3500 takes over the specs of the previously announced Voodoo3 3000, with 183 MHz chip and memory clock. This seems a bit odd already, making it look as if 3Dfx is not getting a good yield of 183 MHz parts, so that the majority of Voodoo3 chips will only run at the 166 MHz clock and the 183 MHz chips will only be available in limited numbers. 3Dfx is also facing the fact that there's hardly any memory that runs at 183 MHz, which complicates things additionally.