Many of you may not remember this, but there was a time when graphics cards weren’t from NVIDIA and amd uniquely. And it is that, in the mid-90s, appeared 3dfx Interactive and dominated the market 3D accelerator cards until it is purchased by Nvidia in 2002. Now, after a long time, his chart Voodoo 5 is updated to make it compatible with 16:9 and 21:9 monitors.
If we look at the last century, especially the the 90’sthe main graphics card companies were NVIDIA, YOURS, S3 Yes 3dfx. As we know, these last two no longer exist today, at least with their original names and functions. Among these, we cannot forget the great impact that 3dfx had when it came to talking about 3D accelerator cards in the 90s. Founded in 1994 by Ross Smith, Gary Tarolli and Scott Sellers; catapulted to glory with the first Voodoo graphicss in 1996.
3dfx and its Voodoo graphics focused on 3D acceleration 25 years ago
The 3dfx company acted as an OEM supplier, being designers, manufacturers and sellers of its own graphics cards. So with your first chip Voodoo 1, began their journey focusing entirely on 3D. In fact, the Voodoo 1 had no mode 2Dthus requiring another card to take care of it, but that did not prevent it from gaining popularity over its rivals.
We’re talking about graphics that have kept the same frequency in the core and the Memorywhere version 1 had 50MHz and until 8 MB from memory by PCI. Then the Voodoo Rush was developed in 1997, which already included a 2D + 3D processor, although it lost power for it. Therefore, the latter was updated several times until reaching 80MHz and thus solve the slowdowns.
Later, its successor was launched, the Voodoo 2with a larger bus (192 bit vs 128 bit), up to 12 MB from memory to 90MHz and a maximum resolution of 800×600. In addition, this generation introduced the “SLI” of the time, called Scan line interlacingwhich could join 2 Voodoo 2 and reach a resolution of up to 1024 x 576. Later it was to be part of the chip of the future SEGA Dreamcastbut by mistake the 3dfx company broke the confidentiality agreement and was not chosen.
From that moment 3dfx bought STB systems and ceased to be a supplier OEM, thus losing its main customers. This change caused the fall of the company, where its following products Voodoo 3, 4 and 5 barely sold. This was when 3dfx was defeated by NVIDIA and its graphics GeForcelaunching his latest chart, the Voodoo 5 6000with quad-core on the same card, although only a few dozen units were made.
Updated 3dfx Voodoo 5 Glide driver to enable higher resolution monitors
Therefore, the latest version of 3dfx trading charts is the Voodoo 5 5500with two cores on a single card. Despite all the years that have passed, it shows that it has a very applied community, since they have updated the glide pilot Voodoo 5 to support modern resolutions such as FULL HD and 16:9. Glide was the APIs who developed 3dfx based on OpenGL to help game developers.
Thanks to Glide, the slowdowns utilize Direct3D or OpenGL, because it was implemented directly in the Material of the graph. Today, this driver is still present and thanks to the functionality “Glide Override Resolution“, it is possible to change the resolution to support widescreen formats.
For example, in 16:9 format, it is allowed to go up to 1920×1080although it is recommended 1600×900 maximum for the Voodoo 5 5500. For 21:9 recommend 1920×800 at most, a resolution very rarely used for this format. Now, if we skip the rules, one of the forum users implements up to 3840 x 2160 as a replacement, effectively 4K.
Now, for today’s standards, the resolutions can be very low or lower than what we are used to seeing, but we must bear in mind that we are talking about graphics cards of more than 20 years. We are sure that neither ATI (former AMD) nor NVIDIA have users who have done this work for older graphics cards. It just shows the great community that 3dfx interactive and its VGA managed to unite in those 90s.