VOGONS


First post, by RichB93

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Hey everyone,

Been on the lookout for a Voodoo3 3000 since I gave away my one to my brother (and he understandably wants to keep it in his retro PC!).

Anyway, after some misfortune (got a DOA card from Spain, but the seller was very understanding and refunded me), I got my hands on a card from eBay, but it was a later model with a glued on heatsink instead of being mounted with push pins. Not a problem, but I prefer the earlier cards because the holes in the heatsink make it possible to mount a fan very neatly.

Anyway, waffling on, long story short, I got another 3000 (the earlier kind) and it has a v1.00.01 BIOS. The newer card has the 2.15.07 BIOS on it.

Now I'm all for 'if it ain't broke', but I just wonder if there are any real benefits to updating the BIOS on my v1.00.01 card, or should I just keep it as-is? I've found the BIOS archive recommended here (https://3dfxbios.cl-rahden.de/index.php?title=Voodoo3) so I can at least find the BIOSes, but just curious.

Thanks as always!

Reply 2 of 9, by schlomoe99

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You might try here:

http://www.3dfxzone.it/dir/3dfx/voodoo3/bios/roms/

Several (but not all) of the BIOS files hosted on that site have release notes for different revisions.

Reply 3 of 9, by darry

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Updating the BIOS fixed a snow issue in VGA mode for me and for cde .

Voodoo 3 snow/glitches and AGP vs PCI BIOS questions
Re: 70Hz in pure DOS at 1600x1200 (or other) over DVI on an old card (FX5900) with modern monitor is possible

Reply 5 of 9, by RichB93

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Thanks for the replies! Much appreciated. I'll probably leave it myself unless I do actually run into any issues with games.

Semi on-topic (it makes more sense to post it here than to create a new thread), does anyone know if you can just flash a Voodoo3 2000 with a 3000 BIOS? I just bought a cheap (<$30!) Voodoo3 2000 AGP in need of some TLC (a couple of caps and a heatsink, but otherwise working)... anyway, it has 6ns RAM and you can see it uses the same 3000 board design, minus the TV out components. Can I just flash the 3000 BIOS to it, or would it make more sense to modify the 2000 BIOS with 3000 speeds? I didn't know if there's any magical stuff in the BIOS for the TV out stuff, or if its just detected based on card components? Ideally I just want to flash the 3000 BIOS as it would be the neatest method.

Reply 6 of 9, by cyclone3d

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I would test with manual overclocking first.

And also make sure to use a fan to cool the heatsink.

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Reply 8 of 9, by RichB93

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Doornkaat wrote on 2020-10-21, 17:33:

Yes you can just flash the 3000 bios on a 2000 card.
I also recommend testing wether it runs stable at 3000 clocks first like already cyclone3d suggested.

Awesome, thanks guys. Fingers crossed it does - the card has 6ns RAM so at least from that perspective it should be okay, it just depends if the chip itself can run at that speed. Would love to find a good heatsink to install; it'll be getting an old Dell northbridge heatsink attached via thermal tape with a 40mm fan, plus a rear heatsink, and I have some small RAM heatsinks, so I'll install one of those on the voltage regulator. It also needs a couple of caps replacing that have been knocked off, but I've ordered replacements, so they should be easy enough to replace. It'll need some TLC removing the old thermal glue but again, should be okay if I'm careful. It has otherwise been tested as working okay, although I hope the seller didn't test anything too extreme if they were running it without a heatsink at all 😖

Reply 9 of 9, by 386SX

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I don't know if it was just a feeling or a real improvement but I remember having upgraded a Voodoo3 2000 bios to the latest one in the classic AGP version and with the monitor I was using back then I felt the image quality improved in the analog video output stability and sharpness. But who knows, it might have been just a feeling.