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3dfx troubles continue
December 2nd 2000, 00:04 CET by godZero

According to The Register, Voodoo 3 and Voodoo 5 5500 cards can't be used with Intel's new P4 motherboards. Here's the spicy bit from the story:

3dfx's top-of-the-range Voodoo 5 5500 graphics card won't be of much use to gamers keen on getting their hands on Intel's top-of-the-range Pentium 4.

While the 5500's VSA-100 3D graphics chip and its drivers are fully compatible with P4 and Screaming Sindy's second set of Extensions, the card isn't compatible with P4 mobos, 3dfx has admitted.

Voodoo 3 cards are incompatible too. Only Voodoo 4 boards can be plugged into P4-equipped PCs.

"3dfx does not advise the purchase either Voodoo 3 or Voodoo 5 products for Pentium 4 systems," the company has warned its customers.

This surprised us. Heck, we thought, isn't AGP a standard now - and plug'n'play solution at that? Turns out, it is... sort of. The AGP 1x, 2x and 4x specs. all provide for multiple connector slots, depending on the voltage drawn by the add-in card.

And Intel's P4 mobos don't support 3.3V signalling - even though that's part of Intel's own AGP spec.

3dfx's P4 FAQ shows the problem rather neatly, but to summarise: 3dfx's Voodoo 4 4500 has a universal AGP edge connector - it's got two guide notches cut into it - and so will connect to 3.3V, 1.5V and Universal AGP ports. The Voodoo 3 and Voodoo 5 5500 boards, on the other hand, have 3.3V edge connectors - you can tell from the single guide slot at the back-plane end of the card - and so won't fit into 1.5V AGP ports.

And the best bit is:

And... er... Intel's P4 mobos only have 1.5V AGP ports. Had Intel implemented universal ports, 3dfx wouldn't have run into trouble.

However, it's the only 3D company that appears to have. ATI's Radeon boards all appear to sport universal edge connectors, as do its Rage 128 Pro boards. Nvidia's reference boards also appear to use universal edge connectors.

Home » Topic: 3dfx troubles continue

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#1 by "SubcommandantePedro"
2000-12-02 00:07:50
FIRST biznaaAAAATCches!!!!
#2 by "piramida"
2000-12-02 00:46:39
3dfx? Are they still around?
#3 by "rizzuh"
2000-12-02 01:03:19
I don't think this is 3dfx's trouble as much as it is Intel's trouble. Their roll-out has been horrid, this is just another low blow to Intel's P4 launch.
#4 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-12-02 01:29:48
And it is not the first launch that intel has blown - i820 Rambus, the original Pentium, there are probably more.

I find it amazing though, that they seem to have waited until after the launch to find out there is a problem. I do not necessarily see how that happened - how do you market test and miss that your mobo does not support one of the top video boards on the market.
#5 by "Vexor"
2000-12-02 01:30:55
So what?  Nvidia has pretty much killed 3Dfx anyway, plus AMD's Athlon is starting to get the upper hand over Intel.  Bascially, living people can fuck, but dead people can't.

(Okay, bad anology, but you get my point, right?)

Support the teenybopper holocaust!
#6 by "szcx"
2000-12-02 01:31:36
3Dfx blamed Microsoft when Voodoo 2's wouldn't work under Windows 2000 ("it's impossible because Microsoft don't support [whatever] interface" -- of course, people had already tweaked the NT4 drivers to operate under Windows 2000.  Impossible indeed.)

Now they're blaming Intel for their cards not working on P4 motherboards.  It seems problems are never 3Dfx's fault.  I'm sure they'll issue a press release soon stating that P4's are totally unneccessary and how their cards actually perform better on P3-based systems. ;)
#7 by "rizzuh"
2000-12-02 01:38:02
Vexor: What a stupid point. "So what?" Doesn't help people who bought a P4 or Voodoo 5 recently. Oh, I forgot. You're obviously better than them. You bought an AMD and nVidia combination. Sorry for even mentioning your name without saying Sire.

szcx: Since the card doesn't FIT IN the motherboard, they really have a right to blame intel.
#8 by "FritzTheCat"
2000-12-02 01:56:09
I really want TDFX to come back, right now their stock is dirt cheap and I have yet to recover from not buying Nvidia when it was $14.00 / share, it's the kind of thing that keeps you up @ night. Hopefully they can hang on till the debut of their next gen chipset, and when it comes out it is competitive with the rival Nvidia chips.
#9 by "mcgrew"
2000-12-02 02:58:48
[3] rizzuh "I don't think this is 3dfx's trouble as much as it is Intel's trouble. Their roll-out has been horrid, this is just another low blow to Intel's P4 launch."

Starting with having fucked up instructions. What is a mad scientest? A researcher with a P4. Intel should scrap it and move on to P5.

Actually, I think they're overreaching with the newest chips.

[8] FritzTheCat "I really want TDFX to come back, right now their stock is dirt cheap..."

Last night Leno said "You have any money in the stock market? Well NOT ANY MORE!
#10 by "Chromag"
2000-12-02 03:17:31
3DFX always struck me as a company that didn't feel they had to work awfully hard - they had a rabid fanbase and were the acknowledged kings of 3D for a while there, and it just seems that they figured they didn't have to actually do anything to continue their supremacy.  They got bogged down in proprietary crap (probably better than anyone else's crap, but proprietary is more and more becoming a kiss of death) and stopped really innovating.

How did they and Intel manage to make stuff that didn't work together anyway?  Did Intel keep their P4 mainboard slot specs secret until today or something?  Or was 3DFX just amazingly shortsighted in not making cards with the universal connector?
#11 by "None1a"
2000-12-02 03:21:20
Since the card doesn't FIT IN the motherboard, they really have a right to blame intel.

Why it's a fuck op on both sides. 3dfx could have used a universal connection and had no problem, had an external power connection if needed (which would have been smart, it would have also be smart not to create a need for more power as well). Intel could have used a universal connection on the boards as well (which would have also been smart).

As it stands the P4 boards will probably be revised in a few week and there'll be no problem.
#12 by "legion88"
2000-12-02 03:50:34
It is just an example of more poor management on the part of 3dfx for not using an universal connector like the rest of the world.  Hell, they used it for their Voodoo4 4500.  Why didn't they use it for their Voodoo5 5500, their current flagship product?

Intel is just being Intel.  Their decision to use a 1.5V connector would not have impacted anyone if 3dfx made the right decision.  Will Intel rework the mobo to use a universal connector or will they simply make a new mobo?  That is, have two mobos on the market: one with 1.5V and the other with the universal.   Is 3dfx big enough and important enough to Intel to even consider any changes to current plans?  Like I said, it seems that Intel's decision only affected one video card manufacturer--3dfx--and that manufacturer will be releasing a next generation product in Spring of next year.  Is it even worth it for Intel?  It is December already.

[shameless plug]Check out my hardware crap at[/shameless plug]
#13 by "godZero"
2000-12-04 09:30:20
It's neider Intel's nor 3dfx's fault, according to their press releases. One thing's for sure, though: 3dfx is the only company which didn't implement universal voltage connector. Regardless of what Intel does with their chipsets, it's a glich which shouldn't happen to a company like 3dfx. You must be ready for everything in this business.

Not to forget that Intel always tries to minimize power consumption, so they threw out the 3.3 V connectors. If this wasn't the case, you'd still have your P90 consuming 364 Watts instead of cool P III's (the same applies for AMD or any other semiconductor manufacturer, of course).

3dfx didn't catch the train with .18, so I'd say it's their fault.

I wouldn't like 3dfx to disappear, though. In such case, nVidia would be the only player in graphics business and thus rule the market. The prices are high enough already, so try to imagine what they'd be like in that case. A terrifying thought.
#14 by "godZero"
2000-12-04 09:31:08
"Glitch", damn it!
#15 by "maDDog"
2000-12-04 10:53:25
if 3dfx is out of the race it would be shitty for the endusers anyway , no doubt. ATI is a comparable competitor but nvidia would rule the market like godzero said before. 3dfx missed the tech-train in any case...no1 can survive on that market with an "234454-chips-on-one-board" graphics solution. if 3dfx wont change the point of view of the market they can only be a chip-developer for a small part of the market , like high end users or professional endusers.
#16 by "godZero"
2000-12-04 12:42:08
But: we still don't know anything about "Rampage" (?). Might as well be nVidia killer...we'll see.
#17 by "KalanKier"
2000-12-04 18:34:35
Standardization is HARD.  (yuk yuk)

Seriously though, both parties look sort of silly on this one.  3dfx has much more to lose, however.  And I don't see them redesigning their legacy products.  Would be interesting to find out just how much of their market is going to be impacted by this.

Sad sad sad if we end up with nothing but ATI or nVidia to choose from.  (Disclaimer: I'm a diehard nVidia man, but I enjoy the innovation that results from competition.)

Oh well, it'll make my job easier at least.  Fewer compatability hassles.
#18 by "None1a"
2000-12-04 19:42:56
But: we still don't know anything about "Rampage" (?). Might as well be nVidia killer...we'll see.

Given what we do know (which is only that it will be chip used on the last line of video cards produced by 3dfx) I'm betting Rampage will be a slightly updated VSA-100 (VSA-200?) at a smaller die size and with a few new features. Possibly including T&L support.

Performance wise I'd suspect the two chip version to hit just around the same level as the GeForce 2, of course Nvidia should have the NV20 ready by then.

IMO 3dfx is out of it untill they can get Mosic to market, but even then it'd still be a large risk (since they'll be selling it to the same companies Nvidia it selling their stuff to).
#19 by "smsMorpheus"
2000-12-07 02:14:52
With my troubles with my voodoo2 (no win2k support, no dx8 drivers, lack of technical support whatsoever... this list goes on for another mile) I can safely say that I will never invest in any 3dfx product of any kind, shape, or form, ever again.  Their lack of care for their customers disgusts me, especially seeing as 3dfx cards are more expensive, while they are still slower and are not as pleasing graphically.  When I go to get my next video card, I'm going with either a GeForce or a Radeon, nuff said.
#20 by "ilian"
2004-11-13 21:56:23
i'm gonna kill you all
#21 by "ilian"
2004-11-13 21:56:39
#22 by "ilian"
2004-11-13 21:56:52
#23 by "ilian"
2004-11-13 21:57:27
and after kill ya all, next 'll fuck ya in the big hairy ass
#24 by BobJustBob
2004-11-13 22:47:24
Like Nvidia did with 3dfx?

#25 by VeeSPIKE
2004-11-13 22:56:02
#24 BobJustBob
Like Nvidia did with 3dfx?

Just like that - only without all the money.

The media doesn't educate, it sensationalizes. That's why there's no learning curve, just repeated bouts of gross stupidity. Bailey
Home » Topic: 3dfx troubles continue

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