were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

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were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby EdmondDantes » 2019-1-08 @ 19:24

So just everything got me wondering.

It seems whenever the Voodoo line is discussed, the early stuff is where its at (to use a deliciously 90s term). I see no end of youtube videos and forum discussions talking about how Voodoo graphics literally changed the face of gaming, how SLI was so awesome, and very often I'm told that for compatibility as well as graphics, the Voodoo 3 is the best one-size-fits-all solution (As good as any one-size-fits-all ever is, anyway).

But I almost never hear about the Voodoo 4 or 5 except about how they were the last cards 3DFX made and didn't compare to other cards out at the time.

So like... I basically want to ask two things:

First of all... is there anyone here who bought a Voodoo 4 or 5 when they were new? If so, what was your lived experience at the time?

Secondly, from a modern perspective is there any reason a person might want a Voodoo 4 or 5 besides collector value/prestige? Like, what's it like in actual use?

Thanks for indulging my weird whims!
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby meljor » 2019-1-08 @ 20:18

V1 and V2 are the best when it comes to compatibility (easiest ones at least) and v2 in sli is just cool :cool:

When it comes to performance the v5 5500 is simply the fastest, can do 32bit color unlike the v1, v2 and v3 which are 16bit color AND most importantly can run games with AA so it can make the old 640x480 games look a lot better. Okay v5 6000 is ofcourse faster but pretty much unobtainable....

The V4 can do everything that the v5 can do except only 2xAA instead of 4xAA. It also has one vsa-100 chip instead of two so it is half as fast and nearly on par with the v3 speedwise (and therefor slower when AA and or 32bit color is used).

Bach then I only had the V1 and v2 new but I like em all. V5 was too expensive back then and I went for the Geforce2 MX as it was much faster as the v4 and also a bit cheaper.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-08 @ 20:37

That is one question I have had for a while too. Do glide games even exist that would need faster voodoo card to run at good frame rates?
What would be the fastest voodoo card you would actually need for a glide game?
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby Dominus » 2019-1-08 @ 20:41

I got the V5 back in the days, liked it, loved it... was devastated by 3dfx' death ;(
Still have the card in its box on my shelf ;)
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-1-08 @ 20:47

I would be more than happy to have a Voodoo 4; it's interesting to me if only for the fact that its anti aliasing stuff was so visionary.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby blurks » 2019-1-08 @ 20:49

Dominus wrote:I got the V5 back in the days, liked it, loved it... was devastated by 3dfx' death ;(
Still have the card in its box on my shelf ;)

Still own the exact Voodoo2 CIB I bought in 1998. Makes me always smile when I look at it... :)

Back when they were new I bought a V4 4500 PCI to replace a Matrox Millennium + V2 1000 PCI combo. It actually did what it was meant for. Absolutely no problems, it was decently fast (while no competition for nVidia at the time) and the drivers felt solid. I had that card for around 2 or 3 years, ultimately sold it and jumped on the nVidia Geforce 3 hypetrain. Pretty happy to have both (V4, V5) CIB back in my collection.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby havli » 2019-1-08 @ 21:06

Baoran wrote:That is one question I have had for a while too. Do glide games even exist that would need faster voodoo card to run at good frame rates?
What would be the fastest voodoo card you would actually need for a glide game?

Depends on the game and resolution. But once you want to run higher than 1024x768, then even V5 5500 isn't fast enough in some cases. For example in Unreal Tournament at 1600x1200x16 (glide) V5 5500 can do 40 fps avg. V4 4500 (and also V3 3000/3500) around 24 fps.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-08 @ 21:45

havli wrote:
Baoran wrote:That is one question I have had for a while too. Do glide games even exist that would need faster voodoo card to run at good frame rates?
What would be the fastest voodoo card you would actually need for a glide game?

Depends on the game and resolution. But once you want to run higher than 1024x768, then even V5 5500 isn't fast enough in some cases. For example in Unreal Tournament at 1600x1200x16 (glide) V5 5500 can do 40 fps avg. V4 4500 (and also V3 3000/3500) around 24 fps.


But you can play unreal tournament with other cards that are not voodoo, right?
I kind of meant games that you can't play at all if you don't have a 3dfx card.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby meljor » 2019-1-08 @ 22:11

For ''glide only'' games I think a Voodoo1 can be enough and voodoo2 (sli) you can run most games perfectly fine that support glide and direct3d. Only for higher resolution and or AA a faster card is needed with some games.

A lot of games that support Glide and direct3d look better with glide imho and that justifies a faster 3dfx card even more. There is no ''best'' in retro gaming when it comes to hardware and that also is true for 3dfx cards. That's why we build multiple systems with different cpu's, Operating systems, sound cards, video cards etc. etc.

And sometimes you just need a mighty fast Geforce or radeon...... or Trident?
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby blurks » 2019-1-08 @ 22:14

Baoran wrote:But you can play unreal tournament with other cards that are not voodoo, right?
I kind of meant games that you can't play at all if you don't have a 3dfx card.

Glide exclusive games were pretty rare in 2000, when the V4 and V5 hit the retailer shelfs. In that regard such cards didn't make lot of sense. But for multi-API games (which there were a few in 2000) owning a Napalm card was very reasonable. Expecially considering the backwards compatibility (MS Windows, DOS was always pretty messy).
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-1-08 @ 22:37

As someone who bought a brand new V5-5500 in a store and still has it, I can say that the V5-5500 is worth having IF you can find one for a good price.

I even bought a spare about a year ago for less than $100 shipped. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anyway, there are some games that look better with Glide when compared to the D3D version.

I always liked Need For Speed Porsche with my V5-5500. Most fun and addicting NFS game there ever was. The only "bad" thing was the smoke was greenish with Glide if I remember correctly.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby SPBHM » 2019-1-08 @ 23:33

cyclone3d wrote:As someone who bought a brand new V5-5500 in a store and still has it, I can say that the V5-5500 is worth having IF you can find one for a good price.

I even bought a spare about a year ago for less than $100 shipped. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anyway, there are some games that look better with Glide when compared to the D3D version.

I always liked Need For Speed Porsche with my V5-5500. Most fun and addicting NFS game there ever was. The only "bad" thing was the smoke was greenish with Glide if I remember correctly.


yes NFS Porsche has better looking smoke in d3d 32bit
actually I don't think the game has any advantage in glide compared to d3d 32bit, perhaps performance.
also at least on my V4 "Schwarzwald" has pretty poor performance compared to other tracks.

oh and for the V4 to run in glide mode you have to edit something on the registry anyway I think, so it's not out of the box support.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-1-09 @ 00:37

I would say by the time the 5500 came out it was not the best card to have for new titles that were d3d. My 5500 AGP was purchased new and is now sitting in its retail box since I use other cards (ATI/Nvidia) and the earlier Voodoo cards (1,2,3) play glide games just fine.

A Voodoo1, Voodoo2 12MB SLI, Voodoo 3 3500 are the most usable models for GLIDE games.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby firage » 2019-1-09 @ 02:11

"even worth owning", yes, for image quality and the unique filtering options already mentioned. Worth buying at $100+? Maybe not.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby lvader » 2019-1-12 @ 10:45

It’s often overlooked how good the Voodoo 3/4/5 are good with old 2D dos games, very compatible with clean and crisp output. The MAC DVI verion of the 5500 has the best DVI DOS 2D compatibility of any card.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby SPBHM » 2019-1-12 @ 23:23

lvader wrote:It’s often overlooked how good the Voodoo 3/4/5 are good with old 2D dos games, very compatible with clean and crisp output. The MAC DVI verion of the 5500 has the best DVI DOS 2D compatibility of any card.


the only problem really that I have with my 4500 PCI is with some lower DOS resolutions running with some sort of "artifacts", like vertical lines...
but it seems so specific and the card works completely fine outside of that, so I don't know if my unit is defective or what... but it's one of the main reasons that I want to use something else with my P3.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby Justin1091 » 2019-1-12 @ 23:50

SPBHM wrote:
lvader wrote:It’s often overlooked how good the Voodoo 3/4/5 are good with old 2D dos games, very compatible with clean and crisp output. The MAC DVI verion of the 5500 has the best DVI DOS 2D compatibility of any card.


the only problem really that I have with my 4500 PCI is with some lower DOS resolutions running with some sort of "artifacts", like vertical lines...
but it seems so specific and the card works completely fine outside of that, so I don't know if my unit is defective or what... but it's one of the main reasons that I want to use something else with my P3.


No, your card is fine. My V5500 has the same with 7th Guest. I did read somewehere that it's possibly an AGP setting in the PC BIOS (sideband addressing or something) but I don't know about it.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby greasemonkey90s » 2019-1-13 @ 03:34

The v5 yes its a manditory card to own if your into glide. V4 i always struggled with the idea but i might pull the trigger on one local to me just because i traded my v3 for v2 sli. V4 to me is usually odd man out because just owning a v3 is more then enough for someone curious about building a glide rig. Think of the v4 as a 32bit capable v3 though it is the last one.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby EdmondDantes » 2019-1-13 @ 04:19

Glad to hear the V4/5 still works fine with DOS games... if I were to ever seriously want one, being bad for pure DOS would be an immediate turn-off.

My Windows 98se rig is built to handle as many oldschool games as possible, from old CGA RPGs up to whatever it can handle with its hardware. That's why I never replaced its Soundblaster 16 despite becoming more aware of its shortcomings ever since hearing what an Audigy 2 sounds like, because any potential replacement risks breaking compatibility with the legion of DOS games my SB16 (ISA) supports naturally.

I actually never knew not all video cards were DOS-compatible until just recently, and now that I do know its always an issue if I'm ever seeking one for the sake of this particular PC.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby doaks80 » 2019-1-13 @ 10:01

The v5 is simply put a great card. It has a proper opengl driver and does that as well as d3d and glide superbly. It has excellent image quality and does AA well, and can perform well beyond its era when paired with a fast CPU. And yes it has more cool factor than most other cards out there. Its my card of choice for most games between 99 and 2001. Im currently playing one of my favorite games from this era (clive barkers undying, a game that makes Amnesia feel like a fairy tale) with Glide rendering and it looks stunning (in a dark and scary sort of way). I also have the original half life trilogy tested and ready to go. And if you can't afford one just get a voodoo3 which does all the same stuff without AA.
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