VOGONS


Reply 23 of 57, by Cuttoon

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Stiletto wrote on 2022-03-15, 00:47:

Well, it doesn't need to be something bad. For example, sometimes when the mood strikes me, I fix people's spelling and/or formatting. But thankfully, I am usually too busy 😀

I tend to speedread through every post on VOGONS... and your typoing "truckloads" as "trucklaods" offended my parsing. Simple as that. 😜

Haha, I used to work as a copywriter in advertising, so people have paid me good money for that exact service. Funny, I'd noticed that typo in preview but made the concious decision to be a little less anal that day. You never know... 😁 Thank you, much appreciated!

BitWrangler wrote on 2022-03-15, 02:24:

They were very much the generic grade card in Pentium 4 class systems for the first 2 or 3 years of the century. I guess GF2 MX were too fancy.

That was my observation of today's market - they are everywhere. And I can't remember each of my friends haven two of them back in '98-99.

Unknown_K wrote on 2022-03-15, 04:33:

Not sure the original Geforce 256 SDR/DDR cards are that plentiful either to be honest.

They definitely are not. They've become pretty rare and can reach three figures (EUR/$) in auctions. They never were inexpensive when new and were sold (as the flagship card) for mere months before being replaced by the gf2 and the gf2 MX.
Phil's computer lab has a video about using the gf2 MX to recreate a semi-authentic gf256 system - it's pretty much the same chip, but affordable and lower power consumption.

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Reply 24 of 57, by Dolenc

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First, I have zero brand loyalty, gpu, cpus, motherboards I just dont care, what works best for me, no matter what tag is on it 😀

Video cards, in this period, have one job, to run video games. Thats it. Long pause.
Performance, image quality, compatibility, then other also relevant stuff, how noisy it is (yes having an apache helicopter next to my head, affects my gaming experience more than 3fps more), video outputs, drivers.
So you look at what experience you get out of it.
Yea there are many other "interests" in this hobby, like collecting, re-living old hardware/software or playing around with it. But, again, video games, thats what Im after and thats what the cards are meant for.

First time I tried a 3dfx card, voodoo 3, not 20y ago, but more like 4 months ago 😁. I didnt like it, just too slow for the games I want to run. So I sold it to a friend for the same amount I got it, about 12eur. But I did notice in quake3, while some textures were blurry, colors, specially red, really popped. It just had nice colors and texture filtering. So.... maybe there is something here, maybe if it was twice as fast?

And I got one of Anthonys voodoo 5 cards. Original one, just isnt for me, I wouldnt buy it even for 50eur, that small tweaks he made, what makes it worth for me.
First, I didnt get that color pop, as with the v3. Kinda dissapointed there. And the performance is... A compromise 😀. Im fine with some compromise, playing old games at 4k (made up example) adds nothing to the experience, because the assets are just too low quality, textures too low-res and higher resolutions only amplify the problem. Still there is a point where I dont want to go lower.

Anyway investing quite a lot of time in getting to know the card, more than I have ever done for a piece of hardware, because I did like some parts of it. I managed to replicate the nice filtering/colors pop, with the LOD and some filtering settings. Performance though, is quite lackluster compare to gf2/radeon and never.

But what I do like about it, is its texas open chaotic state of the card. Theres some software/drivers that improve quality of life. You can get the drivers source, so if something (lets say some resolutions) are missing(and they are), you have an option to get it sorted, and Ive been enjoying Drakan at 21:9 aspect ratio for a few weeks, and its great, just amazing I can run it this way with win98 that also gives me a3d goodnes. Would also like 2xaa, that makes everything really soft, but just too slow for that.

Compare to other cards I own, gf2 pro, fx5900xt, radeon x850xt this is the slowest one. Sometimes painfully slower 😀, drivers as they come, are very limited for running on newer displays, but they can be fixed. (I was quite dissapointed, to find out the software community is basicly dead 🙁 ).

So why its still in the system? Are 3dfx cards really something special? No 😜... Well Im slowly fixing the resolution limitation that has, compatibility is great. Performance, I might get a bit more out of it, when new revision chips arrive, but overall, there are waaaaaayyy faster cards. The card is quiet, new, so Im not exacly in fear it will die tomorrow, this model has hdmi, thats great. Im still undecited if this will be my main card, or will the performance hit, compared to x850 start bothering me, but for now it stays.

Are 3dfx cards overpriced? Yes. Are they worth it in some way? No. Anthonys cards are the exception 😜. Is 3dfx uber alles? No. But you know, its not bread. You want one, doesnt matter what reason, buy it. You want something else, buy something else 😀. Are you a cult fanatic? Welcome to the 3dfx family!

Reply 25 of 57, by Shponglefan

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kolderman wrote on 2022-03-15, 06:14:

They aren't overvalued if you value nostalgia and history and the short remaining time left to experience that history.

It's the relative value of cards of that era I find odd having lived through that time in history.

The TNT and TNT2 cards were generally lauded over the Voodoo cards at the time. For example, the Voodoo3 was typically a 'budget' option compared to the TNT2, given the higher specs and original price of the latter.

That's why I find it odd that contemporary prices have the Voodoo cards going for as much as 10x the respective nVidia cards of that era.

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Reply 26 of 57, by Shponglefan

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Unknown_K wrote on 2022-03-15, 04:33:

You have to remember that 3dfx is what made 3d games a reality and not that many cards were produced compared to the flood of TNT and Geforce cards that came later from many different companies (while later 3dfx were all STB cards).

The original Voodoo and maybe the Voodoo2 I could understand in that respect. Certainly when the first Voodoo launched, it was the top end for 3D accelerated gaming (though there were a lot of competitors at the time).

But by the time the Voodoo3 came out, it was superseded by nVidia cards with better specs. I looked up an old Voodoo3 review in CGW and on the literal opposite page there is a Diamond V7700 TNT2 card ad boasting various features and performance that the Voodoo3 lacked.

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Reply 27 of 57, by Tetrium

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Shponglefan wrote on 2022-03-15, 12:57:
Unknown_K wrote on 2022-03-15, 04:33:

You have to remember that 3dfx is what made 3d games a reality and not that many cards were produced compared to the flood of TNT and Geforce cards that came later from many different companies (while later 3dfx were all STB cards).

The original Voodoo and maybe the Voodoo2 I could understand in that respect. Certainly when the first Voodoo launched, it was the top end for 3D accelerated gaming (though there were a lot of competitors at the time).

But by the time the Voodoo3 came out, it was superseded by nVidia cards with better specs. I looked up an old Voodoo3 review in CGW and on the literal opposite page there is a Diamond V7700 TNT2 card ad boasting various features and performance that the Voodoo3 lacked.

This featureset goes both ways btw.

Many of those features the TNT2 had were overrated though, like support for 32 bit color depth which few people of the time actually were using. I sure hope it's significantly better than the 32 bit that TNT1 supported (Diamond Viper V550, with the Viper V770 being its successor) because in this regard the TNT1 sucked. It just plain sucked even with games of that era and back then I tried a few. I ended up gaming in 16 bit exclusively.
TNT2 having up to 32MB where Voodoo 3 was 'just' 16MB was also of very little practical concern. And also the Diamond Viper V770U (TNT2 Ultra) came with a fan which can fail and make noise, which the Voodoo 3s all went without (ignoring any debate as to how justified this acting cooling necessity is, at that time this was significant for me).

Voodoo 3 gained a lot of popularity for being the cheaper Voodoo 5 while TNT2 is basically outclassed by almost all of it's direct successors in every way except perhaps for some niche driver related stuff. So I'm not at all surprised to see TNT2 being cheaper these days compared to Voodoo 3.

So sure, TNT2 in itself is definitely not a bad card. It's just that there's so many (sometimes arguably) better alternatives out there, which is less the case with Voodoo 3.

Btw, now that I think about it, my TNT1 of my first ever own PC is probably the one card I feel the least nostalgic about. Except perhaps that it was made by Diamond.

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Reply 28 of 57, by BitWrangler

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Direct X being good, is a 21st century thing, as is the assumption the Microsoft knew anything about games, and didn't get in the way more than enable good gaming experiences. Late 20th century, Direct X seemed like an "also ran" API. It got less awful from 5 though 6 and was passable at version 7 but didn't get good until 8 and 9. So what you cared about in '98 '99 was openGL support or Glide.

Image60.gif

The stock clock TNT2 Ultra is bracketed by the V3 2000 and 3000, the ones above it are overclocked.... Voodoo 3s also could overclock. Voodoo 16bit looked way better than TNT2s 16 bit, their 32bit was only a hair ahead, due to cheaping out on filtering, and this is probably the highest resolution it looked better at, due to that lack of filters degrading the image more significantly at higher res.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 29 of 57, by Shponglefan

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-15, 13:45:

So sure, TNT2 in itself is definitely not a bad card. It's just that there's so many (sometimes arguably) better alternatives out there, which is less the case with Voodoo 3.

I guess I'm a bit mystified as to why at the time, the TNT2 cards were favored so much more than the Voodoo3's by both reviewers and system builders of the era.

For example, this is an excerpt from a Tom's Hardware review circa 1999 (https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-r … tnt2,102-6.html):

NVIDIA called their new product 'TNT2', clearly marking that this new chip is based upon its predecessor 'TNT'. Still the performance of that 'TNT2' lies at magnificent 70 to 100% above the performance of TNT. At the same time 3Dfx created a new chip that is only some 5-15% faster than their previous top-performer 'Voodoo2'. Instead of honestly calling this chip 'Banshee2', which would come close to the truth, they call it 'Voodoo3', suggesting a new technology. It seems pretty obvious that NVIDIA overtook 3Dfx only by continuously doing their homework properly. The mediocre performance increase of Voodoo3 over previous 3Dfx-products as well as Voodoo3's lack of new technologies like e.g. AGP-texturing or 32-bit rendering make it look as if 3Dfx's developers either got lazy or they are simply not up to doing their job right anymore. It may sound harsh, but the time was due for 3Dfx to lose their leading position. The Romans used to say 'Carpe diem!' - NVIDIA did, 3Dfx didn't.

Is this a case where things look different in retrospective compared to the thinking at the time?

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Reply 30 of 57, by Dolenc

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Link with LOD image comparison in Quake 3 on Voodoo 3. One of the benefits you do get with the cards(not sure if only v3 and beyond).

https://quake3tweaks.tripod.com/lod.html

Lod0 (default, which is already better to, lets say, nvidia)

lod0.jpg
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

Lod-2

lod-2.jpg
Filename
lod-2.jpg
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98.17 KiB
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302 views
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

Lod-4

lod-4.jpg
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302 views
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

Bottom left, pit wall is a good example. It does add a bit of shimmering, just like modern sharpening effects, so not worth overdoing it.

Edited, added images as attachment, source on link.

Last edited by Dolenc on 2022-03-15, 15:07. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 31 of 57, by BitWrangler

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Shponglefan wrote on 2022-03-15, 14:45:
I guess I'm a bit mystified as to why at the time, the TNT2 cards were favored so much more than the Voodoo3's by both reviewers […]
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Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-15, 13:45:

So sure, TNT2 in itself is definitely not a bad card. It's just that there's so many (sometimes arguably) better alternatives out there, which is less the case with Voodoo 3.

I guess I'm a bit mystified as to why at the time, the TNT2 cards were favored so much more than the Voodoo3's by both reviewers and system builders of the era.

For example, this is an excerpt from a Tom's Hardware review circa 1999 (https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-r … tnt2,102-6.html):

NVIDIA called their new product 'TNT2', clearly marking that this new chip is based upon its predecessor 'TNT'. Still the performance of that 'TNT2' lies at magnificent 70 to 100% above the performance of TNT. At the same time 3Dfx created a new chip that is only some 5-15% faster than their previous top-performer 'Voodoo2'. Instead of honestly calling this chip 'Banshee2', which would come close to the truth, they call it 'Voodoo3', suggesting a new technology. It seems pretty obvious that NVIDIA overtook 3Dfx only by continuously doing their homework properly. The mediocre performance increase of Voodoo3 over previous 3Dfx-products as well as Voodoo3's lack of new technologies like e.g. AGP-texturing or 32-bit rendering make it look as if 3Dfx's developers either got lazy or they are simply not up to doing their job right anymore. It may sound harsh, but the time was due for 3Dfx to lose their leading position. The Romans used to say 'Carpe diem!' - NVIDIA did, 3Dfx didn't.

Is this a case where things look different in retrospective compared to the thinking at the time?

It's true though that Voodoo 3, 4 and 5 even were only meant to be stopgap cards, awaiting the vaunted "Rampage" technology which was gonna be 3DFXes geforce/radeon and blow them all out of the water. The V3 gain over V2 only looked minimal in older games where V2 didn't get into texture thrash where in those situations V3 was a huge improvement over it.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 32 of 57, by BitWrangler

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Dolenc wrote on 2022-03-15, 14:49:
Link with LOD image comparison in Quake 3 on Voodoo 3. One of the benefits you do get with the cards(not sure if only v3 and bey […]
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Link with LOD image comparison in Quake 3 on Voodoo 3. One of the benefits you do get with the cards(not sure if only v3 and beyond).

https://quake3tweaks.tripod.com/lod.html

Lod0 (default, which is already better to, lets say, nvidia)
lod0.jpg

Lod-2
lod-2.jpg

Lod-4
lod-4.jpg

Bottom left, pit wall is a good example. It does add a bit of shimmering, just like modern sharpening effects, so not worth overdoing it.

What happened there, first load of your comment the images loaded, second load it's the "hosted by tripod" doodad.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 33 of 57, by Jackal1983

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kolderman wrote on 2022-03-15, 06:52:
Jackal1983 wrote on 2022-03-15, 06:35:

Honestly it seems to me that the Banshees and Rushes are also expensive AF. Upwards of 100 bucks before shipping on ebay.

One of those is not like the other.

I should probably mention I'm talking about PCI versions of the Banshee being expensive. Ok, there were fewer made, but still, if I'm gonna have to pay 100 bucks plus for a PCI GLide capable card I may as well just wait around for a V3 to pop up, I managed to pick up a V3-3000 PCI for about 140ish shipped that way about a year ago. PCI banshees go for about that much shipped when they do pop up, and Voodoo Rushes aren't much cheaper. The cheapest one on ebay is going for 125 bucks plus 25 dollars shipping. For awhile I was interested in the Macronix variant (Gona's dos compatibility matrix suggested it might be decent in DOS) for my MediaGX build so I could play some GLQuake and a few other glide games on it (I figure the MediaGX will be the primary bottleneck anyhow), but at those prices, screw it, I'll just underclock the V3-3000 down to 100 mhz or so.

Reply 34 of 57, by Peter.Mengel

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I always was thinking the high price tag cames from the part that 3dfx ads some Extras to the games like better visuals. And Glide Wrapper tend to be complicated for some compared to the original cards.
So they sold not as much and were not very loved back in the early 2000s so many were dumbed and ended in trash. Recycled and gone foreever, while nvidia/ati cards were sold with the PC you bought so plenty were saved and still on market.

Reply 35 of 57, by Unknown_K

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-03-15, 14:32:
Direct X being good, is a 21st century thing, as is the assumption the Microsoft knew anything about games, and didn't get in th […]
Show full quote

Direct X being good, is a 21st century thing, as is the assumption the Microsoft knew anything about games, and didn't get in the way more than enable good gaming experiences. Late 20th century, Direct X seemed like an "also ran" API. It got less awful from 5 though 6 and was passable at version 7 but didn't get good until 8 and 9. So what you cared about in '98 '99 was openGL support or Glide.

Image60.gif

The stock clock TNT2 Ultra is bracketed by the V3 2000 and 3000, the ones above it are overclocked.... Voodoo 3s also could overclock. Voodoo 16bit looked way better than TNT2s 16 bit, their 32bit was only a hair ahead, due to cheaping out on filtering, and this is probably the highest resolution it looked better at, due to that lack of filters degrading the image more significantly at higher res.

No benchmark for the Voodoo 3500?

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Reply 36 of 57, by Tetrium

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-03-15, 14:32:
Direct X being good, is a 21st century thing, as is the assumption the Microsoft knew anything about games, and didn't get in th […]
Show full quote

Direct X being good, is a 21st century thing, as is the assumption the Microsoft knew anything about games, and didn't get in the way more than enable good gaming experiences. Late 20th century, Direct X seemed like an "also ran" API. It got less awful from 5 though 6 and was passable at version 7 but didn't get good until 8 and 9. So what you cared about in '98 '99 was openGL support or Glide.

Image60.gif

The stock clock TNT2 Ultra is bracketed by the V3 2000 and 3000, the ones above it are overclocked.... Voodoo 3s also could overclock. Voodoo 16bit looked way better than TNT2s 16 bit, their 32bit was only a hair ahead, due to cheaping out on filtering, and this is probably the highest resolution it looked better at, due to that lack of filters degrading the image more significantly at higher res.

Is the Voodoo 3 3500 missing from this table for some reason?

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Reply 37 of 57, by AppleSauce

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Peter.Mengel wrote on 2022-03-15, 17:30:

I always was thinking the high price tag cames from the part that 3dfx ads some Extras to the games like better visuals. And Glide Wrapper tend to be complicated for some compared to the original cards.
So they sold not as much and were not very loved back in the early 2000s so many were dumbed and ended in trash. Recycled and gone foreever, while nvidia/ati cards were sold with the PC you bought so plenty were saved and still on market.

Sure but on the other hand you loose some visuals with the awful passthrough cable signal quality.

Reply 38 of 57, by Tetrium

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Shponglefan wrote on 2022-03-15, 14:45:
I guess I'm a bit mystified as to why at the time, the TNT2 cards were favored so much more than the Voodoo3's by both reviewers […]
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Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-15, 13:45:

So sure, TNT2 in itself is definitely not a bad card. It's just that there's so many (sometimes arguably) better alternatives out there, which is less the case with Voodoo 3.

I guess I'm a bit mystified as to why at the time, the TNT2 cards were favored so much more than the Voodoo3's by both reviewers and system builders of the era.

For example, this is an excerpt from a Tom's Hardware review circa 1999 (https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-r … tnt2,102-6.html):

NVIDIA called their new product 'TNT2', clearly marking that this new chip is based upon its predecessor 'TNT'. Still the performance of that 'TNT2' lies at magnificent 70 to 100% above the performance of TNT. At the same time 3Dfx created a new chip that is only some 5-15% faster than their previous top-performer 'Voodoo2'. Instead of honestly calling this chip 'Banshee2', which would come close to the truth, they call it 'Voodoo3', suggesting a new technology. It seems pretty obvious that NVIDIA overtook 3Dfx only by continuously doing their homework properly. The mediocre performance increase of Voodoo3 over previous 3Dfx-products as well as Voodoo3's lack of new technologies like e.g. AGP-texturing or 32-bit rendering make it look as if 3Dfx's developers either got lazy or they are simply not up to doing their job right anymore. It may sound harsh, but the time was due for 3Dfx to lose their leading position. The Romans used to say 'Carpe diem!' - NVIDIA did, 3Dfx didn't.

Is this a case where things look different in retrospective compared to the thinking at the time?

I already explained at least for a part why TNT2 was favored by contemporary reviewers. BitWrangler added some additional info on this.

And the answer to your last question is a yes, actually pointed out by yourself (and myself before that) as the lack of AGP features is one of the reasons why Voodoo 3 gained more popularity due to better compatibility with the ss7 platform. So this is definitely a 180 degree flip compared to how it was perceived as lacking back then.

Another thing is that Voodoo 3 was indeed a relatively minor improvement performance wise over its predecessor and naming it Voodoo instead of Banshee (which it essentially was) was kinda seen as a marketing move which, imho, was not completely undeserved. However, 2022 now I don't give a shit about 1999 marketing, I just want the best solution for my retro rigs and here Voodoo 3 delivers. The marketing of back then is irrelevant nowdays, the hardware is what matters most now.

And last but not least, you shouldn't forget that even widely known reviewers of back then didn't always get it right so you better not blindly take their word for it. It's just a reviewer and here in 2022 we have the advantage of hindsight.

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Reply 39 of 57, by Tetrium

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-03-15, 14:58:
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-03-15, 14:45:
I guess I'm a bit mystified as to why at the time, the TNT2 cards were favored so much more than the Voodoo3's by both reviewers […]
Show full quote
Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-15, 13:45:

So sure, TNT2 in itself is definitely not a bad card. It's just that there's so many (sometimes arguably) better alternatives out there, which is less the case with Voodoo 3.

I guess I'm a bit mystified as to why at the time, the TNT2 cards were favored so much more than the Voodoo3's by both reviewers and system builders of the era.

For example, this is an excerpt from a Tom's Hardware review circa 1999 (https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-r … tnt2,102-6.html):

NVIDIA called their new product 'TNT2', clearly marking that this new chip is based upon its predecessor 'TNT'. Still the performance of that 'TNT2' lies at magnificent 70 to 100% above the performance of TNT. At the same time 3Dfx created a new chip that is only some 5-15% faster than their previous top-performer 'Voodoo2'. Instead of honestly calling this chip 'Banshee2', which would come close to the truth, they call it 'Voodoo3', suggesting a new technology. It seems pretty obvious that NVIDIA overtook 3Dfx only by continuously doing their homework properly. The mediocre performance increase of Voodoo3 over previous 3Dfx-products as well as Voodoo3's lack of new technologies like e.g. AGP-texturing or 32-bit rendering make it look as if 3Dfx's developers either got lazy or they are simply not up to doing their job right anymore. It may sound harsh, but the time was due for 3Dfx to lose their leading position. The Romans used to say 'Carpe diem!' - NVIDIA did, 3Dfx didn't.

Is this a case where things look different in retrospective compared to the thinking at the time?

It's true though that Voodoo 3, 4 and 5 even were only meant to be stopgap cards, awaiting the vaunted "Rampage" technology which was gonna be 3DFXes geforce/radeon and blow them all out of the water. The V3 gain over V2 only looked minimal in older games where V2 didn't get into texture thrash where in those situations V3 was a huge improvement over it.

It's a shame 3DFX basically ended up letting themselves get outplayed in just a couple years.
It does show just how volatile the hardware market was back then.

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