VOGONS


First post, by squareguy

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I am having a little trouble finding definitive information on 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics PCI (Voodoo 1) DirectX compatibility.

DirectX 3.0 compatible according to all sources seen.

DirectX 4.0 was never released.

DirectX 5.0 compatible according to some sources.

I am guessing that when released it was DirectX 3.0 compatible because that was the current DirectX version and of course 3Dfx wanted to support it. Later, drivers were written to support DirectX 5.0. Very logical and 100% understandable.

So I guess my real question is this. Since I do not know what hardware requirements were needed for those early versions of DirectX was it just a difference in drivers/software? I know when DirectX 6.0 and later were released there were documented hardware features that were required for full support. Did DirectX 5.0 have hardware requirements that the 3Dfx Voodoo 1 lacked? Like a Voodoo 3 running DirectX 7.0 but lacking T&L so in reality it was a DirectX 6.0 part?

Thanks.

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 1 of 3, by squareguy

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Hehe I guess nobody knows.

It looks like there were at least two things in DirectX (Direct3D) that could be emulated to work. I found these in the D3D.INF for DirectX 5.0.

Ramp Emulation - Microsoft Direct3D Mono(Ramp) Software Emulation
RGB Emulation - Microsoft Direct3D RGB Software Emulation

Maybe if I dig through all the ini files I can get the definitive answer.

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 2 of 3, by swaaye

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squareguy wrote:

Ramp Emulation - Microsoft Direct3D Mono(Ramp) Software Emulation
RGB Emulation - Microsoft Direct3D RGB Software Emulation

Those are reference software renderers that are part of DirectX.

Voodoo1 is definitely Direct3D 5 compliant. Direct3D 5 was a partial overhaul that added the DrawPrimitive API that finally made Direct3D appealing. It also has Voodoo-inspired features like palettized 8-bit textures and table-based fog that were painful for other GPU manufacturers. Direct3D 3 was based on a concept that programmers hated called Execute Buffers. AFAIK, Direct3D 6 added a software T&L engine with SIMD optimizations that apparently few games bothered with, introduced some bump mapping tech, texture compression, stencil + W buffers and multi-texturing support (critical for Voodoo2). None of the pre-D3D 7 chips supported all of that AFAIK. Savage 4 seems most compliant maybe.

In practice what I saw was Voodoo1 became too slow for later Direct3D 6/7 games more than it was lacking the features to render them properly. Its typical 2MB texture memory is a problem among other things like just relatively low fill rate. But you can play complex games like Quake 3 and UT99 fairly well with reduced texture settings.

Reply 3 of 3, by squareguy

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Thanks swaaye, that answers my question.

You, as always, are awesome

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE