Overclocking Of The Voodoo2 - Does It Make Any Sense?
Since I found out how to overclock Voodoo2 boards and published it, you can find this information all over the web. However, it's questionable if there's any point in overclocking the Voodoo2 at all, since after all you're always taking a risk of system instability as well as even damage of the Voodoo2 board.
Simply said it's not really worth it unless you've got a really powerful CPU. If you understand the above said you will know why. It doesn't really matter how fast the Voodoo2 chip runs, if it has to wait for the CPU to complete its task anyway. You can see an impact of overclocking only when the Voodoo2 is the bottleneck rather than the CPU. Again this requires at least a Pentium II CPU, don't even bother about it as long as you've got a Socket 7 system.
Benchmark data that shows the effect of overclocking of the Voodoo2 can be found at the page 'Overclocking of the Vooodoo2 - What can we expect? '.
Reviews Of The Actual Boards
Lately I'm asked many times which Voodoo2 board out there is the best to get, which manufacturer is better? If you mean this in terms of performance I can give you two answers:
12 MB boards hardly show any improvement over 8 MB boards, regardless which actual game you're running. The hype with the additional texture memory having any significant impact on your gaming performance is pretty pointless. As long as the Voodoo2 is waiting for the geometry data from the CPU, it has got all the time in the world for downloading additional textures from main memory. Even in case of systems with fast CPUs the impact is minimal, the difference in rendering time between textures in local memory against textures loaded from main memory is unnoticeable in game play. I really doubt if this will change in the future, so please do me the favor and don't jump on the marketing hype train. I do admit that I would go for a 12 MB board just to make me feel better, but this does only make sense if there's no big price difference and you shouldn't be surprised if your neighbour's games run just as fast, although he's only got an 8 MB board.
In terms of performance, there is NO difference between the different graphic vendors at all. The base drivers are provided by 3Dfx and the vendors only make very small changes to it (as actually the case in most other 3D chips as well). This means that the drivers are pretty much all offering the same performance. From the speed point of view you should go with the cheapest board you can get.
This is different if you are looking for special features. Neither Diamond nor Creative Labs are offering e.g. 'video out' on their boards, so if you fancy that you may prefer getting a board from Canopus or Quantum3D. The other difference is overclocking stability. The vendors are using all the same kind of 25ns EDO memory, but some tiny difference in components used can decide if you can overclock the Voodoo2 board to e.g. 100 MHz or not. Now as said above, this isn't really an important issue, because overclocking doesn't make a lot of sense anyhow, but maybe this could help you making a buying decision. Diamond's Monster 3D II is for example running a lot more stable when overclocked than Creative Lab's 3D Blaster Voodoo2 . In some games the Creative board fails at 100 MHz within 5-10 minutes even when cooled.
OK, enough said, here are the reviews of Voodoo2 boards I've tested so far:
including SLI results
comparison to Diamond's pre-release Voodoo2 board
the first on line review of a Voodoo2 board world wide