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Who do da Voodoo? You do? Woohoo!
May 26th 2000, 07:00 CEST by andy

Contrary to what other less-reputable sites are reporting, 3dfx is NOT recalling the Voodoo5. Oh no. What the company is actually doing is "bringing the boards back" to determine if they have any problems. Definitely not a recall, so let's be clear on that. Oh puh-lease...



Following an earlier announcement that the Voodoo5 "may be experiencing field failure rates at very low levels in certain configurations", here's what 3dfx's Brian Burke had to say on the matter, quoted from Blue's:

After careful consideration, 3dfx has made the decision to bring back the Voodoo5 AGP products that have been shipped.

3dfx has a business model that allows us to maintain a limited number of direct customers, while still being able to maximize availability points to the end user. This means that the boards we have shipped were sent to less than a half dozen distributors, who we maintain a very close working relationship with.

We are bringing the boards back to determine if those boards exhibit the same problem. We believe that the overwhelming majority of those boards will test out fine.

We are taking this step to minimize any consumer returns through our retailers and to ensure that the products we ship will be of the highest quality.

Apart from this transparent PR ploy, with recalling a faulty product being presented as a demonstration of quality control, there's another reason for featuring this story on the 'Crap. And that is to ask 3dfx's critics: What the hell is your problem?!?

Take a trip over to Blue's message board about the recall and you'll see that the first four comments (and maybe more by now) are from people rejoicing in the possible demise of 3dfx. For over a year now, any mention of 3dfx on a message board or newsgroup is usually accompanied by someone laughing about how they're "not long for this world" or some such phrase. Why?

Once upon a time, 3dfx were the heroes of the gaming world. No 3dfx, no glQuake - remember that. This is a company that delivered low-cost quality 3D acceleration to the home gaming market, but nowadays - simply because their products have been superseded - people take great pleasure in predicting, anticipating and rejoicing in the company's death.

3dfx's worst sins are its lack of a decent OpenGL driver and some hyperactive marketing, claiming that minor technical advancements are going to revolutionise gaming. Real-time motion blur? Yeah, thanks for that, but if I wanted blurry games I'd have bought a cheaper monitor. Give me some of that hardware geometry stuff and a hundred zillion gigatexels per second and then we'll talk.

If you ignore the hype, though, the only thing 3dfx has done wrong is not be as good as some other companies. Well gee whiz - just don't buy their cards. You don't need to wish the plague upon them.

To wish 3dfx into the ground just because other chip manufacturers have been more successful is much the same as applauding the closure of Looking Glass because they didn't sell as many games as other companies. If 3dfx goes out of business then that is a shame - a tragic fall from grace - not something to laugh about or celebrate.

C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Who do da Voodoo? You do? Woohoo!

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#1 by "Andrew Stine"
2000-05-26 07:08:47
linguica@doomworld.com http://www.doomworld.com
The new Voodoo's antialiasing looks pretty damn good, I must say... but my loyalty to NVidia remains intact.  Too bad for 3DFX.
#2 by "Clorox"
2000-05-26 07:08:50
isaacb@loudeye.com http://www.trepan.com
Cool.  See, hardware and software development gets more alike every day.
#3 by "Andy"
2000-05-26 07:12:22
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#2</b>, Clorox:
<QUOTE>
Cool. See, hardware and software development gets more alike every day.
</QUOTE>
Yep. :)

At first this story was going to be something along the lines of "nowadays even hardware gets patches", also talking about the recent Intel recall.

But I thought it would be more interesting to go with the "let's all laugh at these guys we once loved" angle.
#4 by "Clorox"
2000-05-26 07:18:14
And as far as 3dfx's public image, or at least my own lack of interest in their products, I admit, has no basis other than a purely emotional one.  I resented their buyout of STB.  Not because I had any stalwart loyalty to STB, though I was very satisfied with my first Velocity Riva 128-based card.  I just didn't like that a company that had successfully spurred a hardware acceleration revolution by providing chipsets for 3rd-party manufacturers to build from (and improve over reference board designs) decided that they should just jump into the consumer market and become video card producers.

In the many planes of hell (somewhere near or in Redmond), the greedy spend eternity in financial ruin.
#5 by "Jeremy"
2000-05-26 07:31:50
jnthornh@eos.ncsu.edu
At this point in the history of 3dfx, I'm honestly not all that concerned what they end up doing.

3dfx failed to read the market, to comprehend what was happening, to see just how wrong they were in not moving to 32 bit color or having real GL.

They tried to use hype to disguise their error, and it worked; their stuff still sells; primarily because of their huge name recognition.

Ever since my TNT1, I've been sold on Nvidia.  It was just so much better than V2 in so many ways...

I don't think 3dfx is dead by any means; anybody who is jumping to that conclusion doesn't appreciate how powerful the company is.  They have the marketing force to keep selling their products, buying them lots of time to produce something GOOD.

If 3dfx can come out with a card that tops Nvidia's, then more power to them; I'll switch over in a heartbeat.  But where 3dfx seems out of touch, always playing catch-up, Nvidia seems to always be a step ahead.

While they may still be alive, I certainly don't expect 3dfx to come and reclaim the crown of 3d hardware which for so long they took for granted.

Jeremy<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "Jafd"
2000-05-26 07:32:40
jafd@whatthefuck.com
Rather than improving their products, they spent an assload of money on an advertising campaign, including television commericials, designed to implant their brand name into the minds of our youth.

Fuck 'em.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#7 by "None-1a"
2000-05-26 07:38:32
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
While I'm a happy Voodoo 2 1000 owner, there have allways been issuse with how they did buisness that have disturbed me. The slap on another chip way to preformance, while bringing the rest of the product up to last years standereds is extreamly bad (I don't give a crap about T-buffer since you also lose 32-bit texture support for using it), so what do I plan to do about it, never buy a 3dfx product untill some thing truly grand some out of there (o say moving the entire 3d pipe line to the graphics chip, Nvida still has one section being handeled by the CPU).


<QUOTE>No 3dfx, no glQuake</QUOTE>

Um, andy that's not ture by a long shot. Carmack created gl as a toy for use on there Rendiation graphics workstations (ie cards that cost nearly $2000-$4000 and where deisgned with much more complicated 3d task then games in mind). All 3dfx did was hack together an opengl driver with support for the OGL functions used mostly to get the one killer 3d accleation app to consumers. glQuake would exist with out 3dfx, but would have taken a few years to be useable by the average gamer.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-05-26 07:55:12
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
Personally, I'm just glad to see nVidia doing so well against them and people finally coming to their senses over 3dfx. Yes, in the Voodoo and Voodoo2 days, 3dfx did a lot of great things for 3d gaming. Their cards were the fastest and had the most features, plus, with the Voodoo2, they were expandable (woohoo SLI!). Even nicer, is the fact that even today a V2SLI setup will give you respectable framerates on any game out there, so that $600 investment I made a few years ago is still worth something today (about $50, what I sold the 2 cards for a few months back to someone who is very happy just being able to run at 1024x768 with good framerates).

As for what 3dfx has done since the V2 glory days that has so many people turning their backs on them, well, I can at least explain my own opinions.

 The announcement of the Voodoo3, an extension/remake of the Voodoo Banshee, but of course faster and better than the Banshee. What I (and many other 3dfx customers) wanted from 3dfx was another 3d only board that I could plug into my PCI slot to replace my V2SLI setup, oh, and an SLI option for later would've been a nice plus too.

 Also, being the owner of a Diamond Viper V550 at that time, I would've liked to have seen 32bit colour support put down as part of the feature set for the Voodoo3, after all, my TNT could do it. Instead, 3dfx comes along in one of their marketing moves and says that gamers don't need 32bit colour, 16bit is fine (when the TNT2 and TNT2U come along, they pull back a step and say wait, we can do 24bit and it looks just as good). Either way, 3dfx started back-pedaling and started trying to tell gamers what they wanted rather than listening to them.

 Top all of that off with 3+ years of no OpenGL support (especially once Q2 came out and everything started supporting OpenGL) and a proprietary API that 3dfx tried so hard to keep game companies using (and that gamers had to continuously petition against so that they wouldn't have to have a 3dfx card to see their favorite upcoming games at their best, even including the upcoming Diablo2, which part way through development had Direct3d added after getting numerous emails from TNT/GeForce users due to their announced support of only Glide and software modes), and you have a mix that leads to some people being quite angry with 3dfx.

There was a time when 3dfx was making the best 3d chipsets available. There was a time when they didn't have to twist things to make their cards look good or try to tell the gamers that the features they wanted weren't needed. There was a time when Glide and Direct3d was good enough, as long as that OpenGL driver is on it's way. Guess what, the OpenGL driver is here, and it's decent (not good, not great, but decent all the same), those features 3dfx told us we didn't need are becoming standard (and are supported on the next set of Voodoo cards), the things 3dfx says about their cards don't quite ring true, and the best 3d cards available don't have 3dfx or Voodoo printed on the chips (at least it doesn't seem like the 3dfx cards are the best any more to me). Why should anyone put up with the crap 3dfx is shoveling when nVidia seems to be doing better, and improving more quickly?

Who knows, maybe 3dfx will turn around and find their way back to the top. I, for one, would be fine with that, because competition is good. Can anyone imagine how long it would have taken 3dfx to support OpenGL and 32bit colour if Carmack hadn't decided to support them (and even more importantly NOT support 3dfx with a MiniGL driver)? As many things as have been said on this board about Carmack/Q3 lately, I think most of us can agree that he basically single-handedly forced 3dfx' hand on the issue of OpenGL support. Instead of the developers having to support 3dfx or die, 3dfx had to support Q3 or die, and the may still die anyway.

Now, if you really want to talk about a company that pissed me off, let's talk about Diamond...

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#9 by "Jafd"
2000-05-26 08:09:06
jafd@whatthefuck.com
<b>#8</b> "PainKilleR-[CE]" wrote...
<QUOTE>3dfx started back-pedaling and started trying to tell gamers what they wanted rather than listening to them. </QUOTE>

you hit the nail <b>precisely</b> on the head there; baaaaaaastards! I hate that! 3dfx can take a long walk off a short pier.... er, no wait, we need them around to drive prices down. :)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#10 by "None-1a"
2000-05-26 08:13:17
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
Yeap carmack had really been pushing every 3d company for a while now (hell like I said 3dfx's mini gl drivers where basicly forced on them as well). In fact it wouldn't supprise me in the least if there next game forced T&L into 3dfx's chips since by that time every other card will support this feature (so far only ATI and matorx are the only major companies still lacking, I'm propably wrong about matorx though).Franckly I'm a little supprised he hasn't ousted there T-buffer for being no more then a video buffer hack.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "Andy"
2000-05-26 08:19:33
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#10</b>, None-1a:
<QUOTE>
Franckly I'm a little supprised he hasn't ousted there T-buffer for being no more then a video buffer hack.
</QUOTE>
He has: <a href="http://www.quakefinger.com/plan.asp?userid=johnc&id=14356">here</a>. Quote:
<quote>
The T buffer is really nothing more than an accumulation buffer that is averaged together during video scanout. This same combining of separate buffers can be done by any modern graphics card if they are set up for it (although they will lose two bits of color precision in the process). At around 60 fps there is a slight performance win by doing it at video scannout time, but at 30 fps it is actually less memory traffic to do it explicitly. Video scan tricks also usually don't work in windowed modes.
</quote>
BTW, I think you were wrong in #7 but I'm still checking. I'll get back to you later and let you know either way, but I'm fairly sure you're confusing glQuake with the QuakeEd level editor.
#12 by "Emjoi Gently"
2000-05-26 08:41:36
I've noticed this in the Computer world.
The common line is "If I dont use it, then it SUCKS and MUST DIE!"

Both Apple and PC fans don't just think that their systems are better, they actively hurl abuse at each other.
When Apple dropped the Newton, alot of Mac users posted "Glad to see it Die" messages, despite the fact that the gadget was being used by alot of people who had their businesses hurt by it's cancellation.  If I dont use it personally, it sux.

Anyway, this whole mentality flows on into Games, Languages, CPUs, and of course Video cards.  And it's really not a very adult way to act.
#13 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-26 08:44:35
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#11</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>BTW, I think you were wrong in #7 but I'm still checking. I'll get back to you later and let you know either way, but I'm fairly sure you're confusing glQuake with the QuakeEd level editor. </QUOTE>

Umm no .. the opengl32.dll originally shipped with glQuake was a 3dfx minigl but rename it and you can use any arbitaryt ogl implementation. works groovy on my g400 :P<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "Andy"
2000-05-26 08:51:17
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#13</b>, RahvinTaka - methinks ye are confused sire.
#15 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-26 08:55:04
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#14</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>#13, RahvinTaka - methinks ye are confused sire. </QUOTE>

possibly .. then what ya talking about ?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#16 by "Andy"
2000-05-26 09:01:08
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#15</b>, RahvinTaka:
<QUOTE>
possibly .. then what ya talking about ?
</QUOTE>
Well as I understand it, and he can correct me if I'm wrong, None-la is saying that this was the sequence of events:

1. Carmack created glQuake in-house for use on Rendition cards.
2. 3dfx released the first Voodoo card.
3. 3dfx created a mini-driver that allowed glQuake to run on the Voodoo card.
4. Carmack released glQuake to the public.

My recollection of events is this:

1. The Voodoo came out.
2. Carmack decided to implement hardware acceleration in Quake.
3. 3dfx created the mini-driver.
4. Carmack released glQuake.

As I remember it, glQuake was only created because there was a consumer market for it. None-la, if I've understood him correctly, is saying that glQuake already existed in-house at Id.

As I said, I think he's getting it confused with the QuakeEd level editor, which <i>did</i> exist in-house and <i>was</i> used on Rendition cards.
#17 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-05-26 09:05:48
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<quote>possibly .. then what ya talking about ? </quote>

The minigl drivers implement a subset of OpenGL functions -- just enough to run the program in question, in this case glQuake.  It might run other games too.  Hell, it might even run your own programs that you write.  But if you try to use a function that it doesn't implement, you're SOL.

In other words, they aren't full OpenGL implementations ... thus the preface "mini".  :)
#18 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-26 09:10:08
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#16</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Well as I understand it, and he can correct me if I'm wrong, None-la is saying that this was the sequence of events:

1. Carmack created glQuake in-house for use on Rendition cards.
2. 3dfx released the first Voodoo card.
3. 3dfx created a mini-driver that allowed glQuake to run on the Voodoo card.
4. Carmack released glQuake to the public.

My recollection of events is this:

1. The Voodoo came out.
2. Carmack decided to implement hardware acceleration in Quake.
3. 3dfx created the mini-driver.
4. Carmack released glQuake.

As I remember it, glQuake was only created because there was a consumer market for it. None-la, if I've understood him correctly, is saying that glQuake already existed in-house at Id.</QUOTE>

oh i c :P.

well I was uner the impression that this happened ...
1. The Voodoo came out.
2. Carmack decided to implement hardware acceleration in Quake as a thought experiment. He did it for rendition.
3. Carmack/3dfx created the mini-driver.  (I was under impression Carmack did all the coding  and then gave it to 3dfx ?????)
4. Carmack released glQuake.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#19 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-05-26 09:10:12
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
Andy

I don't think Carmack did glQuake specifically to make the Voodoo1 look good.  I seem to remember that he was doing research into rendering stuff, and decided to give OpenGL a shot since he had accelerators at id.  This was the ground work for his work on Quake2.

I think actually releasing glQuake to the public was something that he hadn't planned on doing, but once 3DFX came up with their minigl driver, he decided to go for it...

Of course, maybe I'm wrong.  :P
#20 by "RedLine"
2000-05-26 09:39:21
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
[5] Jeremy

<quote>Ever since my TNT1, I've been sold on Nvidia. It was just so much better than V2 in so many ways...<quote>

Yeah, in so many ways apart from having a decent framerate in 32-bit.... sure it ran ok in 16-bit, but a single V2 in multitexture games was faster than a TNT1... so it's kinda pointless to have 32-bit colour when you couldn't use it if you wanted a decent framerate...  and V2 SLI just beat on anything else that was around at the time, period.  That isn't a subjective view, it's fact (Benchmarks anyone).

I don't disagree that 3dfx went downhill, but the V2 was the high point... it went downhill from there.

Right now I have a V2 SLI rig and a TNT2 Ultra (One of the original Hercules cards from before they went under and got bought by Gullimont (However you spell it ;-)) in the same box.  In terms of performance, SLI running a GLiDE game will edge out the same game doing D3D or OGL on the TNT2U, with both doing D3D they are either the same or the TNT2U edges out the SLI... but either way, the TNT2U has much nicer image quality though, all these comparisons would be with the TNT2U running 32-bit... drop it to 16-bit and it still looks a bit nicer than the V2, and runs either "same speed as GLiDE" or faster.

[General Viewpoint]

Yeah at the moment nVidia have the cards to buy, and ATi and Matrox are really the ones to watch... 3dfx just don't seem to have it anymore, I think they lost too many of the original staff members... they need a new team. ;-)

Most of the trouble is caused by a few stupid, loud-mouthed nVidia zealots flaming with a bunch of equally stupid and loud-mouthed 3dfx zealots... they just yell really loud so it seems as if there are more of them... a bit like the football voilence, a couple of hundred people out of 60 odd thousand at a match cause trouble and suddenly every football fan is a hoooooligan. ;-)
#21 by "G-Man"
2000-05-26 09:43:08
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
Rendition/Verite Quake came BEFORE glQuake by a few months. Dig through ftp.cdrom.com and you'll see it.

RahvinTaka is correct in his sequence of events... except obviously it wasn't glQuake.

Andy, I'm surprised btw... reading the start of this article I fully expected you to rip into 3dfx tooth and claw. At any rate the reason that people SHOULD hate 3dfx are because they tried to dominate the market and halt progress (through competition) by pushing for a closed standard, but I suspect that most people dislike them simply because it's more fun to cheer for the current winners.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "RedLine"
2000-05-26 09:45:09
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
[20] RedLine

You stupid ass, close the damn quote tag...

Andy / Morn:

PlanetCrap needs a "preview post" option... and don't tell me to use CrapSpy... if you're gonna say to me "We don't need any features on the web-based posting bit because you should be using CrapSpy anyway" then I say to you... remove the web-based posting completely and require me to download CrapSpy.  I can't use CrapSpy everywhere... I post from like 5 diferent machines on a slow day (I work in a college, I post from anywhere), most of which I can't run CrapSpy off...  Anyways, just a thought... Surely it wouldn't take more than an extra form/extra subroutine in the PHP code to get a nice preview option ?
#23 by "Illbuddha"
2000-05-26 10:06:31
ck@databass.com http://www.databass.com/ck/
If my home hardware was simply about pure gaming, I would definitely be running the next available voodoo card I could get my hands on. Hardware T&L just doesn't factor into most of the games I play, and doesn't look like it's going to any time soon. 3Dfx has FSAA that blows Nvidia out of the water.

But I'm not just about pure gaming, and my Geforce provides accelerated previews for all my modelling software, so for me the choice was simple.
#24 by "Andy"
2000-05-26 10:40:31
andy@planetcrap.com
None-la - you were right. From John Carmack:
<quote>
I originally wrote it to exercise my intergraph workstation and experiment with OpenGL.

When 3dfx was trying to get me to do a glide version of quake, we decided that it would work out better to do the original GL minidriver and just clean up the glquake work I had already done.
</quote>
#25 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-05-26 10:40:34
tc10@nospam.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom
<b>RedLine:</b>
<QUOTE>PlanetCrap needs a "preview post" option... </QUOTE>
Oh, god forbid that you should have to proofread your post before hitting the button...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "Prodigy"
2000-05-26 11:27:09
prodigy@gamedata.com http://www.gamedata.com
My problem today is that 3D cards seem to me more like a toy for developpers than for gamers.

I mean, sure, we could not play without 3D acceleration anymore (try Quake in 320x200 in software mode), but frankly, who gives a **** about T&L, FSAA, EBM until it is actually IN the games -- and most people won't even notice it anyway. I'm tired of those "hardware geeks" that seem more concerned by benchmarks and tech features than the game content itself -- Quake III is the perfect example to me.

So the all "3D cards war" and "3dfx bashing" is really pointless to me : I'll buy any card that will last long enough to let me enjoy the games I like without playing at 10 fps, and today my Voodoo 3 is still perfect for that.

My 2 cents comments (TM).
#27 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-26 11:50:25
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
<b>#26</b> "Prodigy" wrote...
<QUOTE>I mean, sure, we could not play without 3D acceleration anymore (try Quake in 320x200 in software mode)</QUOTE>

Not an argument, I can name you many decent games that don't have or require 3D acceleration :)
(And oh yes, I am playing Quake in 320x200 almost every day, it never gets old, just like chess - it's deathmatch classics).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "Prodigy"
2000-05-26 11:59:17
prodigy@gamedata.com http://www.gamedata.com
<QUOTE>
Not an argument, I can name you many decent games that don't have or require 3D acceleration :)
</QUOTE>

Yeah, of course, me too, I'm not saying "a game has to be 3D & accelerated to be good", not at all, I'm just saying that 3D cards have installed some kind of "comfort" for the gamers, and that it would be hard (or so I think) to play those damn pixelated games again :) (look at all the GlDoom, GLHeretic, GlHexen & even GLDark Forces and GLDuke there is around). <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Timdog"
2000-05-26 12:07:51
TheTimdog@hotmail.com
Prodigy:
<quote>but frankly, who gives a **** about T&L, FSAA, EBM until it is actually IN the games </quote>

Sorta, except these features have to be on a consumer level card before anybody is going to make games to use them.  Developers aren't going to go out of their way to utilize technologies that nobody has access to.

Don't knock T&L(&C now, apparently). It is extremely simple to implement in a ground up fashion (patching it in later might be tough, however) and it absolutely rocks. From my own little experimental engine, using the D3D T&L implementation is extraordinarily fast (of course my rendering pipeline sucks rocks, which might explain the speed up). But I got a feeling the next round of game engines should have a complete implementation.

EBM might be a little while before it is implemented as it requires not only coding changes, but adding a bump-map to textures. It also has a tendency to not play well with others. Attempting to do an EBM implementation on a card that doesn't support it will not be emulated in software, it'll just crash the program.

And FSAA, in the case of the Voodoo 5 and GeForce 2 (OGL only), is implemented at the driver level. No software changes required.

--The Timdog<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Desiato"
2000-05-26 14:13:14
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
Actually, I don't want 3dfx to die. I prefer to have some competition when it comes to hardware. (Software too.) I personally have a old Voodoo 1 (A friend recently gave me a Voodoo 2 he wasn't using, so that's cool.) and I'm running a TNT2 in the same box.

I like the combo approach -- do D3D on the TNT2 card, and use Glide on 3dfx.

I'm not too much of a fan regarding 3dfx's recent design philosophy, but if they hang in there perhaps they can stun us all over again like they did in the Quake1 days.

Features are nice -- but I would really like to see an approach that would minimize transfer of data across the bus from the CPU. I'm talking -- CPU hands the GPU a bunch of instructions, and all the math,texturing,transform,manipulation and physics calculations (Physics Processing Unit, PPU?) could be done on board.

But then I'd probably have to have a small generator to power it. Who knows. The promising thing is that fabrication technology is still advancing. Perhaps entangled quantum pair chips are the answer.

I look forward to a future that has as many competitors as possible. Then, I can buy what I want at a price that is reasonable.

Desiato..
#31 by "Bad Mama Jama"
2000-05-26 14:20:14
Regarding non-accelerated games, Age of Empires looks great as well as plays great.  If memory serves me correctly, it is even in 8-bit color amazingly.  Is Age of Empires 2 in 8-bit?
#32 by "Prodigy"
2000-05-26 14:31:47
prodigy@gamedata.com http://www.gamedata.com
<QUOTE>Is Age of Empires 2 in 8-bit? </QUOTE>

I guess it's in 32 bits.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-26 14:48:35
palutkek@asme.org
<quote>. . .but frankly, who gives a **** about T&L, FSAA, EBM until it is actually IN the games</quote>

They may not be in <i>today's</i> games, but what about the future?  I'm still running the TNT board that I've had for 1.5 years, and I won't be replacing it for another six months.  The replacement card will also have to last me a year or two. . .  I'd like to be able to buy a video card that will still be useful (if not top-of-the-line) in a year or two, and that's not likely if I only look for features that are used in today's games.
#34 by "BarneyQue"
2000-05-26 14:54:23
BarneyQue@hotmail.com http://N/A
<b>#32</b> "Prodigy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Is Age of Empires 2 in 8-bit?


I guess it's in 32 bits. </QUOTE>

No soup for you!

It's 8-bit from what I read over at AOK Heaven.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "Jeremy"
2000-05-26 15:21:42
jnthornh@eos.ncsu.edu
<b>#20</b> "RedLine" wrote...
<QUOTE>Yeah, in so many ways apart from having a decent framerate in 32-bit....</QUOTE>
I remember running the Q3 IHV on my TNT in 32 bit, and it was actually playable.  It was a feature I seldom used, but was glad to have.

<b>#20</b> "RedLine" wrote...
<QUOTE>V2 SLI just beat on anything else that was around at the time, period. That isn't a subjective view, it's fact (Benchmarks anyone). </QUOTE>
You also have to keep in mind that V2 SLI was using 2 cards which each cost about the same as the TNT did at the time of its release.

I had V2 SLI also, and my framerates in Q2 were a bit better on that than with the TNT... but V2 image quality just looked so pathetic in comparison, I couldn't force myself to play on the SLI.

Even had the image quality been the same as Voodoo, I <I>still</I> would have probably used the TNT because of opengl alone.

I do remember the excitement of getting my V2 the first days it hit stores though... playing Quake with that was a completely new experience.  The early days of the V2 must have been the height of 3dfx's existance; it really was exciting, I can't remember ever drooling over a piece of hardware like I did the V2 SLI setup.

But once the TNT came out... I never looked back, unless I had to deal with games which had pathetic/nonexistant D3D/OGL support (like Unreal), in which case I blew the dust off my SLI so I could play.

I honestly think Glide is a big reason so many people are so vehemently against 3dfx.  I can certainly understand that; it's no fun to have to <I>downgrade</I> your hardware to even be able to play games because they support only a certain chipset.  If they hadn't forced the glide issue so long, perhaps 3dfx would still have more respect in the eyes of gamers.

Jeremy<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#36 by "RebThor"
2000-05-26 16:07:03
eventodd@adelphia.net
I distinctly remember that vquake came out for Rendition Verite well before glquake came out.  It made me buy a Rendition v1000.  
If I recall, Carmack said that a lot of the code in vquake was written by the engineers over at Rendition.  He then coded up (or maybe had already coded up) glquake to run on the big iron stuff that they had there (Intergraph WildCatz I think) as an excercise/cool test.  A couple of 3dfx guys came over, saw it, and said - "Hey, we can write a minigl that will accel. those gl functions that you are using. If we do that, will you release glquake?"  Obviously he did, and history was born.
I remember at the time all of the flame wars going on between 3dfx owners and Rendition owners about which version was better (Rendition's didn't have colored lights).  Interestingly enough, Rendition's version did have the option to turn on FSAA, 2x supersampling I think, that was basically only usable in 320*240 because of speed issues.
#37 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-26 16:17:50
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
<b>#16</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>#15, RahvinTaka:
1. Carmack created glQuake in-house for use on Rendition cards. </QUOTE>

Ah...no.

A common mistake: Carmack created glQuake in-house for his Intergraph Realizm TDZ workstation (we had one when I was working at NBC around the time glQuake shipped...it was amazing). He made VQuake for use on Rendition cards.

-jason
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#38 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-26 16:19:56
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
Oh, and an afterthought on VQuake:

It used full-screen ant-aliasing long before anyone else. It was DOS based, but it was pretty as all hell.

-jason<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "MCorleone"
2000-05-26 17:34:26
john_st123@hotmail.com
Fact is that 3dfx has very poor engineers.  They "got lucky" with the Voodoo.  

Ever since, they've been riding the Voodoo.

Here's a "fly-on-the-wall" recording of the engineering lab at various times:

"Damn, that NVidia company looks pretty good with that upcoming TNT thing.  Too bad we don't have anything that could compare.  Wait!  I know, let's slap two of these Voodoo's together!"

Later...

"Damn!  We kicked ass with that VoodooII, but NVidia's back with this TNT2/Ultra chipset!  What are we going to do??  I know!  Let's slap two of those Voodoo2's together!  Nevermind the fact that it's got a four year old feature set and doesn't support 32bit colour...  That's what we have a marketing department for:  To off-sell that feature."

Later still...

"DAMN DAMN DAMN!  They saw through our shoddy marketing ploy and we STILL don't have a good chip!  GeForce ate our lunch and we're bleeding cash like a pig on a punji stick!  Let's try slapping two of those Voodoo3's together...  I know, it'll suck WAY too much power and the power supply of the computer can't support it, but we'll just supply it with a big-ass out of the computer power-supply...  Fuck 'em if they get a surge..."

3dfx's engineers are garbage.  Their strong-arm marketing tactics backfired and they kept such a close eye on glide that people just dumped it.  

Fuck them.

If you sit by the river long enough you'll see the body of your enemy floating by...
#40 by "Sastan"
2000-05-26 17:41:25
sastan@tpg.com.au
I can't remember any of the details right, but I remember about 2 years ago, some programmer from M$ was working on a private project, something to do with allowing other cards to play Glide only games.
Then 3dFx goes down hard on the programmer, threatened him and almost gets him fired from his job.
They did get rather nasty with him, which went to show the lack of concern 3DFX had for the gaming community.
Maybe we aren't being unfair in taking shots at 3DFX.
#41 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-05-26 17:49:23
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#40</b> "Sastan" wrote...
<QUOTE>I can't remember any of the details right, but I remember about 2 years ago, some programmer from M$ was working on a private project, something to do with allowing other cards to play Glide only games.  </QUOTE>

Actually, Creative Labs created a Glide wrapper for their cards which basically translates Glide to Direct3d. The 'official' version from Creative only works on their cards, but there are hacked versions out there that work on all cards. It's basically the only thing Creative Labs has going for them, and the performance is decent considering what they're doing. Older Glide only games will probably perform pretty well on new cards using the wrapper. Oh, and if I remember correctly, 3dfx did take CL to court over that, too, but it fell pretty much within the same realms as Bleem.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#42 by "MCorleone"
2000-05-26 17:58:26
john_st123@hotmail.com
Yes, PK:  I remember that well...

Quite a few graphics/3dfx sites had wrappers posted from various programmers.  3dfx then sent out a form-letter "Cease and Desist" order telling them to take the wrappers down or face the fury of their lawyers in court.  

Joe-Website-Owner obviously succumbed to their strong-arm tactics.  That pissed me off.  

At the time, I had a CL-TNT.  "Unified", CL's Glide-Wrapper, was released and caused a stir.  That triggered the knee-jerk "Must sue them!!" reaction from 3dfx, as essentially the only thing that they had going for them at the time was Glide, (Myth 2 was released around this time, Tribes, etc. which ran BEST in Glide).  

The court resolved that since CL did not reverse-engineer Glide to figure out it's workings and code a "hack" around it, that CL was clear.  

BURN, 3dfx, BURN!!!!  MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

(Sorry, I really can't sympathize with these pricks)
#43 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-26 18:08:57
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
I have been told, the only thing more vocal then a computer game geek is a hardware geek.  This thread should get real colorful.

I own a Voodoo 3 card. The reason I bought it was because it's was cheap (it had just come out and was 99$)  and it seems every game I played with my old Voodoo card worked fine (that was the low tech voodoo1 with 4 megs I also got really cheap). I'm just a computer game geek for the record. I would rather play games then run time demo. I have played Glide games as well as D3D games with no problem (System shock 2 comes to mind as a D3D only game). I have yet to pour over a read me file or had to download a beta driver to get a game to work ( IE.. Mess-sigh-ahhhh). I'm not saying that Voodoo 3 rules or it eats anybody's lunch. Just in my life, I load a game and it plays. I don't know what my frame rate is, don't know what features are in use. But it looks fine to me.

I feel I should comment, about 32 bit color. In the male dominated world of computer gaming, I find it kind of hard to believe even 10% can really tell the difference. Men have, as a rule, pretty bad color perception. Most can not tell the difference between Navy and Black and that is the sort of difference 32 bit color makes. So the fact one card has 16 and the other 32 seems to me to be somewhat of an academic matter.

Seems the next topic should be "dose size really mater?"

Happy Cow ( the colors duke!)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "Reuben Rosa"
2000-05-26 18:14:00
Reuben@digink.com http://www.digink.com
Wow Its amazing reading all this tripe.. and bashing of 3dfx.

Lets see Nvidia Releases the Geforce knowing it has compatibility issues with Athlon based chipsets... Where Is Andy the great defender of consumers to post about that fiasco?

When ogl was getting envangelized by John Carmack and many developers wanted to support him.. the first company to support it was 3dfx.

Microsoft was angry about it because they wanted to Push d3d..

So they had an intern hack a wrapper for OGl using D3d... On an Nvidia Card.

Oh yeah.. Nvidia has really supported gamers.

Oct"99"  Geforce is being released.. Nvidia hypes 31 brand new titles with T&L. They call it the friggin second coming of Christ for 3d.


December "99" we get one title that supports half of T&L ... q3.

another  4 months pass and we get Soldier of Fortune that is the first full Supporting T&L title.

Now Another month later.. We get Evolva.

3 out of 31.. isn't so bad huh?

Then We get beyond3d.com and even a couple of Nvidia Fan sites who by using 3d mark 2000 are able to prove that Nvidia's T&L is not as powerful as software T&L found on Coppermines and Athlons... Proving that while T&L is a good solution for Mid-to low-end cpu's those who do upgrade in the life of the card will not notice
a large improvement... Also proving 3dfx right.

OF course These things are ignored.


Now Criticizing 3dfx from preventing a product from being released that could have a defect in it from hitting the public is Absolutely Idiotic.

Oh yeah they would be better off pulling an Nvidia and bsing consumers and releasing defective products. Oh yeah.

And as far as 3dfx goes.. Nvidia is no longer the little underdog anymore.

With money continually coming from MS and the 6 month window of oppurtonity they had while 3dfx has been working on Voodoo5 they have become the majority.

Nvidia only added FSAA has a check-list feature that they could say they had...

FSAA makes a difference Now.

Old and New and Future games.

T&L only makes a difference if you can get a title that is coded around it.
#45 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-05-26 18:21:05
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#43</b> "Happy cow" wrote...
<QUOTE>I feel I should comment, about 32 bit color. In the male dominated world of computer gaming, I find it kind of hard to believe even 10% can really tell the difference. Men have, as a rule, pretty bad color perception. Most can not tell the difference between Navy and Black and that is the sort of difference 32 bit color makes. So the fact one card has 16 and the other 32 seems to me to be somewhat of an academic matter. </QUOTE>

Actually, the difference between Navy and Black isn't invisible to us, it's just that most of us don't care ;) Personally, I can tell the difference between 16bit and 32bit colour, and I can see a big difference between 16bit on an nVidia card and 16bit on a 3dfx card (the V3 cards have a washed out look to them that's pretty hard to explain). Also, something most people miss about the 16bit vs. 32bit debate is that most games that use 32bit colour utilize it for special effects like fog and smoke, and the colour depth allows for the overall appearance of such effects to look better (by blending colours into the transparency). Really it's not the difference between Navy and Black, it's the difference between the various colours that can be seen on my dad's dark green 'vette according to the light.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#46 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-26 18:52:07
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#44</b> "Reuben Rosa" wrote...
<QUOTE>Wow Its amazing reading all this tripe.. and bashing of 3dfx. </QUOTE>

It's amazing to reading the tripe you shovel out too so I am sure the feelings mutual.

<QUOTE>When ogl was getting envangelized by John Carmack and many developers wanted to support him.. the first company to support it was 3dfx. </QUOTE>

They didn't "support" it. IIRC Carmack wrote the minidriver as a wrapper over glide. They had dick to do with supporting ogl. The reason ogl was released on their cards first was because they were first hardware company. 3dfx has actively tried to squash ogl/d3d usage by pushing glide.

<QUOTE>December "99" we get one title that supports half of T&L ... q3. </QUOTE>

ahh ... do you actually know what your talking about ? Quake1gl supported T&L as did virtually all the q2 based titles so you obviously are either ignoring facts or don't know dick ....

<QUOTE>Then We get beyond3d.com and even a couple of Nvidia Fan sites who by using 3d mark 2000 are able to prove that Nvidia's T&L is not as powerful as software T&L found on Coppermines and Athlons... Proving that while T&L is a good solution for Mid-to low-end cpu's those who do upgrade in the life of the card will not notice
a large improvement... Also proving 3dfx right. </QUOTE>

well whats more likely and cheaper ? Buy a new cpu/motherbpoard etc or buy a new card .. I sure know which option I would go  ....

<QUOTE>Nvidia only added FSAA has a check-list feature that they could say they had...

FSAA makes a difference Now.
</QUOTE>

FSAA is a gimmick .. it could be implemented in arbitary hardware accelerators now besides those who have it as a checkbox feature ... It would even be cheaper in some cases (ie have higher frame rates). Besides most people who but high end accelrators play action/fast games and thus get very little benefit if at all of FSAA

<QUOTE>T&L only makes a difference if you can get a title that is coded around it. </QUOTE>

you mean virtually anything coded in ogl .. or most titles under dx7 ?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-26 18:54:49
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#43</b> "Happy cow" wrote...

<QUOTE>I feel I should comment, about 32 bit color. In the male dominated world of computer gaming, I find it kind of hard to believe even 10% can really tell the difference. Men have, as a rule, pretty bad color perception. Most can not tell the difference between Navy and Black and that is the sort of difference 32 bit color makes. So the fact one card has 16 and the other 32 seems to me to be somewhat of an academic matter.
</QUOTE>

10% (or to be precise 7%-13% depending on nationality) of men have bad color perception for the rest of us we can easily see difference between 16 and 32 bit color :P. Re Navy and black .. we can distinguish between the shades but it doesn't mean we can accurately categorise them (or even care to categorise em) :P<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "JeffD"
2000-05-26 19:12:13
jefdaley@microsoft.com
<b>#16</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>
As I remember it, glQuake was only created because there was a consumer market for it. None-la, if I've understood him correctly, is saying that glQuake already existed in-house at Id.

As I said, I think he's getting it confused with the QuakeEd level editor, which did exist in-house and was used on Rendition cards. </QUOTE>

Andy's right.  GLQuake was created *after*, not initially.  It'll work with any OpenGL implementation, it's just for the longest time 3DFX had the only partial implementation.

Read Abrash's Black Book of Graphics Programming, he's got a history of GLQuake in there.  

=JD<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "JeffD"
2000-05-26 19:15:17
jefdaley@microsoft.com
<b>#31</b> "Bad Mama Jama" wrote...
<QUOTE>Is Age of Empires 2 in 8-bit</QUOTE>

AOK uses an 8 bit pallete, from what I remember.  It might be 16 bits, but it's *definitely* not higher than 16.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "MCorleone"
2000-05-26 19:16:19
john_st123@hotmail.com
I notice the difference, and I must say that I've installed a cushion on the floor beneath my gaming chair to avoid the pain caused by my jaw dropping to the floor for the 50th time while playing Evolva.  

Like religion, zealots on both sides will blindly trust their faith regardless of _facts_ that would normally (and logically) dissuade them.  

It cannot be denied that 3dfx has not had one major breakthrough feature since their initial voodoo1.  As a result, their only tactic that they have to combat their competitor is to kick up smokescreens.  Each and every claim by 3dfx that their hardware was somehow better or that NVidia was radically over-hyping their product was promptly "smacked down" on various 3dhardware websites by NVidia execs, citing real-world tests that anyone at home could do to disprove 3dfx's claims.  I don't blame 3dfx for this tactic:  They're getting shit-kicked on the playground and the only thing they can do is cry and whine...  I'd be crying too.


Andy, I don't understand this thread:  3dfx has demonstrated in the past their "anti-gamer" attitude by so tightly guarding glide that they've hampered development, threatened consumers and hobbyists, and attempted to thwart or slow down an industry that you claim they have been instrumental in producing.  You defend 3dfx for the very reason that in another thread you attempt to crucify Valve.


Valve produced a great game and subsequently supported their users.  3dfx hasn't done so.  

I also take offense that you compare 3dfx to LGS.  That's disgusting and inflammatory.  Look at the track-records of both companies.  Your analogy is ridiculous on so many levels, but to sum it up in one statement:

If LGS was like 3dfx, then they would still be in business, with us looking forward to their next title "Deer Raider 8"

Death to 3dfx.  Long live the new NVidia!
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