3dfx Voodoo5 6000 Clone

erek

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Russian creator Anthony Zxclxiv has now built several clones of the 3dfx Voodoo5 6000,

Most recently the "Snow White" Limited Edition:

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https://www.modlabs.net/articles/return-of-the-king-zx-c64-voodoo-5-6000-review/p/2
 

cdabc123

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Thats super cool.

I wonder. Surly a modern high performance FPGA could emulate a few of those chips? Is their design open enough to do so? I would have to imagine there is quite abit out there on them due to there are and the fact this dude can build a custom pcb around them.
 

erek

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erek

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More information from the Google Drive posted Owner's Manual:

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RazorWind

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pendragon1

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Thanks. That looks amazing. Although it's PCI. Interesting.
yeah i read a blurb about its for compatibility with "newer" systems that have pcie/pci. you can have a pcie main gpu and then this in pci, there is also something about how its got a 33/66 switch too.
 

GiGaBiTe

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So what's the deal with those? 3DFX just made a crapton of them, expecting to mass produce the Voodoo4 and 5 series, and then went under? So there was a whole production run of 3D accelerator chips, but production stopped before actual cards could get made?

Tons of them were made because Quantum 3D used them in their flight/military simulators. Their AAlchemy 8164 boards used eight VSA-100 chips and 512 MB of RAM per card and could be interlinked with other systems/cards for multiple displays and such.
 

Centauri

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I've been paying attention to this since he first started putting info out.

Any idear what they cost to purchase from him?
 

D-EJ915

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I need this.. His site isn't working. Where do I place my order?
his facebook page, not sure why erek didn't link it lol

https://www.facebook.com/zxc64.hw

I've been paying attention to this since he first started putting info out.

Any idear what they cost to purchase from him?
I think they were like $1500 from what I remember. I would like one but that much for me would amount to just wall art is a bit high lol.
 

Chris_B

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I was so ready back in the day to lay some coin down for the original Voodoo 5-6000.

Same, the card was just massively impressive looking. Had they not had issues with the bridge chip it might have hit the market at some point, it was delayed after they went through numerous revisions and just never seen the light of day, in retail at least. :(
 

GiGaBiTe

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Same, the card was just massively impressive looking. Had they not had issues with the bridge chip it might have hit the market at some point, it was delayed after they went through numerous revisions and just never seen the light of day, in retail at least. :(

The V5 6000 had more problems than just the bridge chip. It was an outdated design that was outclassed by both Nvidia and ATI if it were to have been released. The V5 5500 was already obsolete at launch, and hideously expensive at $700, compared to ATI and Nvidia solutions in the $150-300 range. The V5 6000 would have been there or higher due to the ridiculously complex PCB required to support four VSA-100 chips and a pile of SDRAM.

For that incredible cost, you got DirectX 6.0, and AGP 2x that was really just serving as a fast PCI bus. This is when competitors were working on DirectX 8.0 cards utilizing the AGP 4x/8x bus to their fullest extent. AGP 2x was dead at that point and motherboard vendors were already dropping support for it, making all of the Voodoo5 series cards useless. That is, except for the V5 4500 which bizarrely was the only card to have an AGP 4x interface, though still it wasn't utilized properly.

3dfrx was in such a sad state at that point that even if they pulled a miracle out of their hat and got the Rampage working and released, it wouldn't have saved them. They had been too badly mismanaged for years at that point and were burning through cash like it was going out of style.
 

erek

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The V5 6000 had more problems than just the bridge chip. It was an outdated design that was outclassed by both Nvidia and ATI if it were to have been released. The V5 5500 was already obsolete at launch, and hideously expensive at $700, compared to ATI and Nvidia solutions in the $150-300 range. The V5 6000 would have been there or higher due to the ridiculously complex PCB required to support four VSA-100 chips and a pile of SDRAM.

For that incredible cost, you got DirectX 6.0, and AGP 2x that was really just serving as a fast PCI bus. This is when competitors were working on DirectX 8.0 cards utilizing the AGP 4x/8x bus to their fullest extent. AGP 2x was dead at that point and motherboard vendors were already dropping support for it, making all of the Voodoo5 series cards useless. That is, except for the V5 4500 which bizarrely was the only card to have an AGP 4x interface, though still it wasn't utilized properly.

3dfrx was in such a sad state at that point that even if they pulled a miracle out of their hat and got the Rampage working and released, it wouldn't have saved them. They had been too badly mismanaged for years at that point and were burning through cash like it was going out of style.
what about the lost Dreamcast partnership?

Reasoning into why PowerVR was selected instead of 3Dfx
 

GiGaBiTe

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That wouldn't have saved them, we all know how poorly the Dreamcast did compared to the PS2, even though it had a two year head start. Dreamcast sold short of 10 million and the PS2 did over 15x that number.

What would have kept them going longer is if they didn't axe their 3rd party AIB partners. Back in the V1/2/3 days, they were selling tons of chips for 3rd party boards and OEMs like Dell and HP. But they got greedy and wanted everything.
 

Starfalcon

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That wouldn't have saved them, we all know how poorly the Dreamcast did compared to the PS2, even though it had a two year head start. Dreamcast sold short of 10 million and the PS2 did over 15x that number.

What would have kept them going longer is if they didn't axe their 3rd party AIB partners. Back in the V1/2/3 days, they were selling tons of chips for 3rd party boards and OEMs like Dell and HP. But they got greedy and wanted everything.

Yeah that is pretty much what sunk them, greed for all the money and not wanting the AIB's to get any of it. They got saddled with all the expenses of making their own cards and lost the profit from just selling their cores, when the AIB's told them to go pound sand. By that point their tech was already edging to be obsolete and they didnt have the cash or RnD to get things moving forward.
 

erek

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That wouldn't have saved them, we all know how poorly the Dreamcast did compared to the PS2, even though it had a two year head start. Dreamcast sold short of 10 million and the PS2 did over 15x that number.

What would have kept them going longer is if they didn't axe their 3rd party AIB partners. Back in the V1/2/3 days, they were selling tons of chips for 3rd party boards and OEMs like Dell and HP. But they got greedy and wanted everything.
Yeah that is pretty much what sunk them, greed for all the money and not wanting the AIB's to get any of it. They got saddled with all the expenses of making their own cards and lost the profit from just selling their cores, when the AIB's told them to go pound sand. By that point their tech was already edging to be obsolete and they didnt have the cash or RnD to get things moving forward.
i'd like to see the 3Dfx-based BlackBelt in the wild, including the motherboard and seeing the 3Dfx chip, etc

Picture of Sega's 3Dfx-based 'BlackBelt' console

 

Chris_B

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The V5 6000 had more problems than just the bridge chip. It was an outdated design that was outclassed by both Nvidia and ATI if it were to have been released. The V5 5500 was already obsolete at launch, and hideously expensive at $700, compared to ATI and Nvidia solutions in the $150-300 range. The V5 6000 would have been there or higher due to the ridiculously complex PCB required to support four VSA-100 chips and a pile of SDRAM.

For that incredible cost, you got DirectX 6.0, and AGP 2x that was really just serving as a fast PCI bus. This is when competitors were working on DirectX 8.0 cards utilizing the AGP 4x/8x bus to their fullest extent. AGP 2x was dead at that point and motherboard vendors were already dropping support for it, making all of the Voodoo5 series cards useless. That is, except for the V5 4500 which bizarrely was the only card to have an AGP 4x interface, though still it wasn't utilized properly.

3dfrx was in such a sad state at that point that even if they pulled a miracle out of their hat and got the Rampage working and released, it wouldn't have saved them. They had been too badly mismanaged for years at that point and were burning through cash like it was going out of style.


Already well aware of the history of what happened, they did have a version of rampage up and running but they were shut down mere days later.
 
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Wat

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The V5 6000 had more problems than just the bridge chip. It was an outdated design that was outclassed by both Nvidia and ATI if it were to have been released. The V5 5500 was already obsolete at launch, and hideously expensive at $700, compared to ATI and Nvidia solutions in the $150-300 range.
Hold on there, cowboy. I bought a 5500 the day it was released fot MSRP, and it was $249.

It wasn't obsolete, it just didn't surpass its contemporary rivals. The anti aliasing was awesome when playing at 800×600 or 1024×768. I do not regret getting a 5500 at all.

but I wish I would have waited and gotten the pci version instead.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Hold on there, cowboy. I bought a 5500 the day it was released fot MSRP, and it was $249.

3dfx MSRP was $299, but brick and mortar retailers like CompUSA were selling it for $699.99. I remember walking into a CompUSA in Austin when they launched and they were going for that much.

It wasn't obsolete, it just didn't surpass its contemporary rivals. The anti aliasing was awesome when playing at 800×600 or 1024×768. I do not regret getting a 5500 at all.

VSA-100 was obsolete and outclassed at launch. The single chip V4 4500 fared much worse, being outclassed by a Geforce 2 MX. You can go back and look at Anandtech benchmarks to see just how badly they fared.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/641/6

VSA-100 didn't have T&L, DX7 or AGP 4x/8x support, while virtually every other card did. Had the cards been released a few years prior, they would have done much better. I like 3dfx gear as much as anyone else, but without the rose tinted glasses. I'll give them credit for having good AA/AF that didn't tank your frame rate like on other cards at the time, but that was really their only strength.

but I wish I would have waited and gotten the pci version instead.

You really didn't want the PCI version. It was 50% slower than the AGP version because of the much slower shared PCI bus. The only case where this didn't happen is if you had a workstation board with PCI-X slots that ran at 66 MHz, with a dedicated PCI bus controller for that specific slot. Boards that had this were rare even back then, outside of Apple and their G3/G4 machines, which had a dedicated 66 MHz PCI slot for graphics cards. This is one of the reasons the PCI version existed at all, was for the Mac market, and they of course had "apple tax" and were even more expensive than their PC counterparts.
 
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TrunksZero

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3DFX being late with the VSA-100 stuff was the final nail in the coffin. Sadge, but they had also made a series of mistakes before that and it all added up.
 
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Chris_B

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3DFX being late with the VSA-100 stuff was the final nail in the coffin. Sadge, but they had also made a series of mistakes before that and it all added up.


That was down to management, just about every product released after the voodoo 2 was a stopgap product which delayed rampage more and more.
 
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erek

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That was down to management, just about every product released after the voodoo 2 was a stopgap product which delayed rampage more and more.
opinion? didn't mean to drag this back up again, but did this panel reveal any details about and related to your explanation? ^^



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Chris_B

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opinion? didn't mean to drag this back up again, but did this panel reveal any details about and related to your explanation? ^^



View attachment 431146


Watched that a long time ago, they didn't really go into much detail from what i can remember. The dodgegarage rampage section had an article saying it was delayed due to feature creep and personnel being taken off the project to work on filler products. Though the sites currently offline it seems.

This page also has some talk about it from back in 2000:

https://boards.fool.com/and-would-you-believe-its-actually-the-truth-when-13938566.aspx
 
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Forge

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3dfx MSRP was $299, but brick and mortar retailers like CompUSA were selling it for $699.99. I remember walking into a CompUSA in Austin when they launched and they were going for that much.

You really didn't want the PCI version. It was 50% slower than the AGP version because of the much slower shared PCI bus. The only case where this didn't happen is if you had a workstation board with PCI-X slots that ran at 66 MHz, with a dedicated PCI bus controller for that specific slot. Boards that had this were rare even back then, outside of Apple and their G3/G4 machines, which had a dedicated 66 MHz PCI slot for graphics cards. This is one of the reasons the PCI version existed at all, was for the Mac market, and they of course had "apple tax" and were even more expensive than their PC counterparts.
Well, I can't speak to whatever nonsense was going on in Austin, but that had to be an isolated incident. CompUSA's pricing followed MSRP for the V5 5500 for the entire run that it was in stock, I bought and sold quite a few at the PA CompUSA where I worked. There was never any listing in the national system at a price other than 249.99$ (edit) and 299.99$.

Also, the dual K7 systems had 66/64 PCI-X slots all over the place. It was a lovely place to drop a Voodoo5.
 
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[Spectre]

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Watched that a long time ago, they didn't really go into much detail from what i can remember. The dodgegarage rampage section had an article saying it was delayed due to feature creep and personnel being taken off the project to work on filler products. Though the sites currently offline it seems.

This page also has some talk about it from back in 2000:

https://boards.fool.com/and-would-you-believe-its-actually-the-truth-when-13938566.aspx
Dodgegarage is up for me
 
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GiGaBiTe

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Well, I can't speak to whatever nonsense was going on in Austin, but that had to be an isolated incident. CompUSA's pricing followed MSRP for the V5 5500 for the entire run that it was in stock, I bought and sold quite a few at the PA CompUSA where I worked. There was never any listing in the national system at a price other than 249.99$ (edit) and 299.99$.

Yeah, no idea either. I just remember going there to get a video card and was blown away when I saw the sticker for $699.99. I got a Geforce 2 instead. I later got my Voodoo5 5500 from a friend in highschool for $60 in 2002/2003.

Also, the dual K7 systems had 66/64 PCI-X slots all over the place. It was a lovely place to drop a Voodoo5.

You talking about the Athlon MP? That wasn't released until a year after the V5 5500. There were dual Slot 1/PGA370 boards for PIII systems, but I don't remember if there was a dual Slot A motherboard for the classic Athlon.

But you don't just need a board with PCI-X slots, you need a board with PCI-X slots that has a dedicated PCI bus controller for individual slots, or groups of slots to prevent bandwidth from being shared with other devices. Motherboards that did this are a lot more uncommon than just regular PCI-X boards. Out of all of the PCI-X boards I've had, I only ever had three that did this, and only one that had a PCI bus controller for each individual slot. There were definitely others, but again, uncommon.

X5DPL-iGM - three independent PCI buses
P5E-WS Pro - two PCI buses
Poweredge 7150 - I believe it had eight PCI bus controllers and nine slots, eight of which were PCI-X and one was regular PCI for a generic video card.

The P5E-WS Pro is probably the board you'd want to use with a PCI V5 5500, you can go up to a Q9650. I'd be a smokin fast machine, definitely wouldn't bottleneck the card.
 
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