Yesterday I noticed the prices of 3dfx Voodoo3 3000 have only gone up on ebay since the last time I checked, some lunatic has even paid 200€ for one! As I own both V3 2000 and 3000 greed started to creep in and I figured I could sell the 3k and keep the other as in my use I don't need the extra speed anyway.
So I whipped the 2k out of storage, threw it in and booted up. Black screen, monitor can't find signal. System is clearly booting up just fine, just no picture. Great. After some troubleshooting it looks like the card is dead, using a PCI video card alongside it I can see the V3 is being recognized as somesort of generic pc peripheral by POST, unknown PCI card by Win98SE and HWiNFO crashes as it collects data at launch. I tried to flash its BIOS in hopes that would help but the flasher doesn't recognize the card and aborts.
So seems to me some component has croaked. Maybe some DIY type of guy with the spares and the know-how could bring it back to life but that ain't me I'm afraid, so it's dead Jim.
I could still sell the 3k and get in the money, but as I was using the PCI video card I couldn't help but notice the HUGE difference in image quality. It's ELSA Trio64V+ which I got in advance as I've been playing with an idea of selling the Socket 370 system I currently use for DOS/Win98SE and replacing it with Socket 7 system, but I don't think I want to do that anymore. The V3 really has that much better IQ, the card might be just fine with a CRT monitor but on my LCD V3 is running laps around it. Maybe if by some miracle I'll find a PCI V3 at good price but I'm not holding my breath on that.
So I guess I keep it and the rest of the system. I flashed the V3 3k with 2k's bios in hopes lower clocks will prolong its life and enjoy it as long as I can, no way I'll get another one with ebay prices just to see it die on me within a year. Maybe I'll find a good deal locally like I did with this one too.