VOGONS


First post, by FioGermi

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Hi all! 😁

I found a Voodoo 3 2000 locally from a recycling centre and it seems to be functioning fine. Playing Descent 2 3DFX for a few hours was a blast! But i only have a Pentium 90 right now so the frame rate wasn't the greatest. I figure this card probably deserves a special build of its own but i don't really have any experience with anything past the Pentium 1 era. Basically i want something that "just works", wont cost me a fortune, and runs fast enough to enjoy games like Half Life.

Was looking at a Socket 370 motherboard, but i guess most of those are affected by bad capacitors and/or only support Celerons? Slot 1 it seems is the go-to, but will those even support the latest and greatest fastest P3s? Haha! i'm a bit lost here, was just wondering if anyone had any build suggestions for a stranger of this era 😁

Reply 1 of 33, by leileilol

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Depends if that's an AGP or a PCI Voodoo3. An AGP one would limit your choices for compatible motherboards. P90 mentioned implies PCI... so you could probably toss this in any curbed p4 box you find, as blasphemous as that may sound among the enthusiasts here. Sticking to a proper era appropriate computer means:

Pentium II
Pentium III
Athlon/Duron
K6-2/3
Cyrix M II

However the socket 7 platform's known to be YMMV and buggy and "it just works" won't happen if you like A3D sound and/or dos games in the realm of PCI/onboard sound 😀

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long live PCem

Reply 2 of 33, by Meatball

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Pick any Slot 1 motherboard on this list (You should be looking out for bad capacitors for any purchase you make, but it is one of the easier DIY repairs):
https://www.anandtech.com/show/556

Overclock the FSB to 133Mhz (PCI Voodoo won't be affected as PCI divider adapts to 1/4. AGP Voodoo has no trouble with overclocked AGP bus at 89Mhz 2/3 divider.)

Pickup a Katmai Slot 1 600/133/512 (wider 440BX compatibility for those boards which can be overclocked and perfect for downclocked FSB if necessary for older games)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/253570194010

Add a Sound Blaster Live 5.1:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363532120697

Optionally add ES1868 based ISA board for maximum backwards DOS compatibility and luxury of a Wavetable header for a Dreamblaster X2GS)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/265431976419

Install Windows 98 SE.

Enjoy a frosty beverage of your choice, while marveling at your magnificent creation.

2080Ti
TitanXp/980Ti/260/7950GT-GX2/6800U/6200/5950U/4200/GF3-2/TNT1-2
3dfx 58-55-49-45-35-3-2K/100/2/Fusion/Rush/1/X-24/200SBi/100DB
ATI 75-7200/Rage MAXX-Fury-Ultra-GL-Pro-XL-LT
G400MAX-200/M220/Trio3D/VirgeGX2/DX
Verite V2100/PCX2-1
GLoria Synergy/I/II

Reply 5 of 33, by dionb

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Meatball wrote on 2022-02-22, 00:53:
Pick any Slot 1 motherboard on this list (You should be looking out for bad capacitors for any purchase you make, but it is one […]
Show full quote

Pick any Slot 1 motherboard on this list (You should be looking out for bad capacitors for any purchase you make, but it is one of the easier DIY repairs):
https://www.anandtech.com/show/556

Overclock the FSB to 133Mhz (PCI Voodoo won't be affected as PCI divider adapts to 1/4. AGP Voodoo has no trouble with overclocked AGP bus at 89Mhz 2/3 divider.)

Pickup a Katmai Slot 1 600/133/512 (wider 440BX compatibility for those boards which can be overclocked and perfect for downclocked FSB if necessary for older games)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/253570194010

Add a Sound Blaster Live 5.1:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363532120697

Optionally add ES1868 based ISA board for maximum backwards DOS compatibility and luxury of a Wavetable header for a Dreamblaster X2GS)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/265431976419

Install Windows 98 SE.

Enjoy a frosty beverage of your choice, while marveling at your magnificent creation.

"It just works" and "start by overclocking..." are a bit of a mismatch.

Fully agree that a later slot 1 board would be fine, but if you want 133MHz and 'it just works', I'd go for one that natively supports that. Intel i815 chipset would be the easiest, but Via ApolloPro133a would be fine too. Overclocking can be very fun, but is something for those confident with their stuff, not for absolute beginners.

Same goes for the DOS compatibility. It complicates matters (that ISA slot limits motherboard choices, the SBLive 5.1 isn't ideal etc), OP's not asking for it and already has a P90 which would almost certainly be (more) suitable for any DOS purposes.

I'd keep it as simple as possible given the narrow requirements (Voodoo3 system that just works).

Reply 6 of 33, by Munx

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From what I gather, your Voodoo card is PCI? If so, get:

1. Some Pentium 4 motherboard and a P4 CPU with hit. They are cheap, plentiful and will give all the horsepower your Voodoo needs. Plus they all work great with modern power supplies. Some may even have SATA so you could even hook up an SSD, but it can be hard to find drivers for older Windows versions.

2. As suggested previously - a SoundBlaster Live! card. They are pretty cheap, compatible and offer good 3D audio.

3. Either Windows 98SE or Windows ME. (98 will give you better support for the really old DOS games from around the 80's, while WinME will have better USB support if you want to add more modern peripherals or wanna use flash drives. I know Win98 supports those as well, but from my experience it can get quite flakey)

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 7 of 33, by Meatball

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dionb wrote on 2022-02-22, 09:10:
"It just works" and "start by overclocking..." are a bit of a mismatch. […]
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Meatball wrote on 2022-02-22, 00:53:
Pick any Slot 1 motherboard on this list (You should be looking out for bad capacitors for any purchase you make, but it is one […]
Show full quote

Pick any Slot 1 motherboard on this list (You should be looking out for bad capacitors for any purchase you make, but it is one of the easier DIY repairs):
https://www.anandtech.com/show/556

Overclock the FSB to 133Mhz (PCI Voodoo won't be affected as PCI divider adapts to 1/4. AGP Voodoo has no trouble with overclocked AGP bus at 89Mhz 2/3 divider.)

Pickup a Katmai Slot 1 600/133/512 (wider 440BX compatibility for those boards which can be overclocked and perfect for downclocked FSB if necessary for older games)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/253570194010

Add a Sound Blaster Live 5.1:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363532120697

Optionally add ES1868 based ISA board for maximum backwards DOS compatibility and luxury of a Wavetable header for a Dreamblaster X2GS)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/265431976419

Install Windows 98 SE.

Enjoy a frosty beverage of your choice, while marveling at your magnificent creation.

"It just works" and "start by overclocking..." are a bit of a mismatch.

Fully agree that a later slot 1 board would be fine, but if you want 133MHz and 'it just works', I'd go for one that natively supports that. Intel i815 chipset would be the easiest, but Via ApolloPro133a would be fine too. Overclocking can be very fun, but is something for those confident with their stuff, not for absolute beginners.

Same goes for the DOS compatibility. It complicates matters (that ISA slot limits motherboard choices, the SBLive 5.1 isn't ideal etc), OP's not asking for it and already has a P90 which would almost certainly be (more) suitable for any DOS purposes.

I'd keep it as simple as possible given the narrow requirements (Voodoo3 system that just works).

This isn’t a K6 overclock. It’s a few key presses. Delete, arrow a few times, enter, arrow a few times, enter, save and exit. Besides, this person isn’t brand new, only little experience past Pentium. He knows more than I did when I was new, and I put together a Slot 1 machine with no help at all other than my coworker gathering the parts, and no Vogons in ‘98. And one of the first things I did was overclock AGP using a jumper. He can do it (the overclock).

If he goes with 370 and doesn’t want to “boldly go where every Vogoner has gone before,” I agree with your chipset suggestions.

I said DOS compatibility was optional and listed the ES card in a separate line.

If the scope of the project changes, and almost all do, it’s good to be aware of options. That’s what we’re here for, and that’s what poster asked for.

2080Ti
TitanXp/980Ti/260/7950GT-GX2/6800U/6200/5950U/4200/GF3-2/TNT1-2
3dfx 58-55-49-45-35-3-2K/100/2/Fusion/Rush/1/X-24/200SBi/100DB
ATI 75-7200/Rage MAXX-Fury-Ultra-GL-Pro-XL-LT
G400MAX-200/M220/Trio3D/VirgeGX2/DX
Verite V2100/PCX2-1
GLoria Synergy/I/II

Reply 8 of 33, by Cuttoon

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Did you assemble the V3 machine?

Don't quite get why people talk about the slot P2 and P3 that much. Nice toys. But as a means to an end, I don't like the slots - too fickle, too much trouble, not easy to get quiet cooling.
P4s still smell of "electric room heating" to me.

S370 was clean, simple, and somewhat long-lived.

But, maybe I'm missing something, what's wrong with half a decade of plain old Socket A Athlons?
They should be dirt cheap, very available and work.

ISA will help with sound, if DOS is involved.

I like jumpers.

Reply 9 of 33, by FioGermi

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-12, 03:13:
Did you assemble the V3 machine? […]
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Did you assemble the V3 machine?

Don't quite get why people talk about the slot P2 and P3 that much. Nice toys. But as a means to an end, I don't like the slots - too fickle, too much trouble, not easy to get quiet cooling.
P4s still smell of "electric room heating" to me.

S370 was clean, simple, and somewhat long-lived.

But, maybe I'm missing something, what's wrong with half a decade of plain old Socket A Athlons?
They should be dirt cheap, very available and work.

ISA will help with sound, if DOS is involved.

No 🙁
I actually ended up selling the V3 and a few other bits of my retro stuff as i had a issues with my main PC that needed financial attention. I can go without a Voodoo. I can't go without the PC i need for work....and Apex Legends.

I'll probably just build a P3-600 Riva TNT2 based machine or something budget along those lines. Might even install Windows ME for the laughs. I already have older machines for DOS stuff.

Reply 10 of 33, by Cuttoon

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Voodoos have become quite the fetish, yes.

It has been discussed at length:
Voodoo-series cards overvalued compared to nVidia TNT/TNT2/GeForce cards?

My original V3 I bought in 2000 died eventually but I got one from a friend who discarded his desktop and at a time when "I'll buy you a beer some time" was a perfectly adequate and honest reaction.
Feel a bit silly about keeping it now and would feel a bit silly about selling it, as well...

I like jumpers.

Reply 11 of 33, by FioGermi

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-12, 03:40:
Voodoos have become quite the fetish, yes. […]
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Voodoos have become quite the fetish, yes.

It has been discussed at length:
Voodoo-series cards overvalued compared to nVidia TNT/TNT2/GeForce cards?

My original V3 I bought in 2000 died eventually but I got one from a friend who discarded his desktop and at a time when "I'll buy you a beer some time" was a perfectly adequate and honest reaction.
Feel a bit silly about keeping it now and would feel a bit silly about selling it, as well...

I had a complete Voodoo 2 SLI setup many years back and sold that to buy a 486 machine and i think a Sega CD? I'm not 100%. Some other stuff i was using more.

I have many regrets over that now. Many many regrets. I guess on the flipside, it means extra appreciation to some of the non 3DFX stuff that was rockin' at the time!

Reply 12 of 33, by appiah4

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-12, 03:13:
Did you assemble the V3 machine? […]
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Did you assemble the V3 machine?

Don't quite get why people talk about the slot P2 and P3 that much. Nice toys. But as a means to an end, I don't like the slots - too fickle, too much trouble, not easy to get quiet cooling.
P4s still smell of "electric room heating" to me.

S370 was clean, simple, and somewhat long-lived.

But, maybe I'm missing something, what's wrong with half a decade of plain old Socket A Athlons?
They should be dirt cheap, very available and work.

ISA will help with sound, if DOS is involved.

Socket 370 is convenient but kind of boring too in its own way. For my own "just works" Voodoo 3 build I went with a KM266 Socket A motherboard and AthlonXP 2600+. Voodoo 3 unchained. 🤣

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 13 of 33, by Joseph_Joestar

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-04-12, 07:57:

Socket 370 is convenient but kind of boring too in its own way. For my own "just works" Voodoo 3 build I went with a KM266 Socket A motherboard and AthlonXP 2600+. Voodoo 3 unchained. 🤣

I have Socket A system and I occasionally plug my Voodoo3 there in order to maximize performance in late Glide games like Deus Ex and Diablo 2. It's incredibly fast indeed, even with my lowly AthlonXP 1700+. And the "Geometry Assist" option in the latest reference 3DFX drivers can speed things up even more on that CPU.

However, I wouldn't recommend such a system to someone who wants a rig that "just works". Many Socket A motherboards are very picky with regards to the PSU, needing high amperage on the 5V rail. Additionally, if you use one with a VIA chipset, you run into potential issues with SBLive cards, though that has never happened to me personally. Finding the optimal version of the 4-in-1 drivers for a certain chipset can be tricky as well.

That said, a correctly set up Socket A + Voodoo3 rig can be lightning fast and perfectly stable. But getting it to work like that is not exactly straightforward.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 14 of 33, by Cuttoon

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-12, 09:39:
I have Socket A system and I occasionally plug my Voodoo3 there in order to maximize performance in late Glide games like Deus E […]
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appiah4 wrote on 2022-04-12, 07:57:

Socket 370 is convenient but kind of boring too in its own way. For my own "just works" Voodoo 3 build I went with a KM266 Socket A motherboard and AthlonXP 2600+. Voodoo 3 unchained. 🤣

I have Socket A system and I occasionally plug my Voodoo3 there in order to maximize performance in late Glide games like Deus Ex and Diablo 2. It's incredibly fast indeed, even with my lowly AthlonXP 1700+. And the "Geometry Assist" option in the latest reference 3DFX drivers can speed things up even more on that CPU.

However, I wouldn't recommend such a system to someone who wants a rig that "just works". Many Socket A motherboards are very picky with regards to the PSU, needing high amperage on the 5V rail. Additionally, if you use one with a VIA chipset, you run into potential issues with SBLive cards, though that has never happened to me personally. Finding the optimal version of the 4-in-1 drivers for a certain chipset can be tricky as well.

That said, a correctly set up Socket A + Voodoo3 rig can be lightning fast and perfectly stable. But getting it to work like that is not exactly straightforward.

I see, interesting. That's why I asked.

I have a lot of experience with K7 systems, all of them with VIA sets from KR133 up to KT400 - just none of it retro.
But most of it I remember rather trivial, definitely used cheap PSU and a Live without issue. And in my experience, these things are everywhere, like, go to the basement of any apartment building.

But, I became a bit of an AMD fanboy with the K6-2, mostly because AMD comprehensively outclassed Intel in the "value for money" field and I did not have money.
(Intel made a comeback with the "core" platform.)
So, I completely ignored PII, III and 4.
But the S370 must have done something right, being that numerous. So, if it's about "just work", well, boring is good?

I like jumpers.

Reply 15 of 33, by Joseph_Joestar

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-12, 12:04:

I see, interesting. That's why I asked.

I have a lot of experience with K7 systems, all of them with VIA sets from KR133 up to KT400 - just none of it retro.
But most of it I remember rather trivial, definitely used cheap PSU and a Live without issue.

If you used period correct PSUs back in the day, you probably wouldn't have encountered this issue, as they were designed to support the high amperage requirements of the Socket A CPUs. That said, using the cheapest possible PSU on something like an AthlonXP 3200+ probably wouldn't have worked out so great, even back then.

With today's PSUs, the situation is a bit different. Present day systems pull most of their power from the 12V rail, so their 5V rails often end up being fairly weak. Phil has a video showcasing what can happen in that case. Of course, there are some modern PSUs which can drive even the most power hungry Athlons. They tend to be on the expensive side though.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 16 of 33, by appiah4

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-12, 12:43:
Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-12, 12:04:

I see, interesting. That's why I asked.

I have a lot of experience with K7 systems, all of them with VIA sets from KR133 up to KT400 - just none of it retro.
But most of it I remember rather trivial, definitely used cheap PSU and a Live without issue.

If you used period correct PSUs back in the day, you probably wouldn't have encountered this issue, as they were designed to support the high amperage requirements of the Socket A CPUs. That said, using the cheapest possible PSU on something like an AthlonXP 3200+ probably wouldn't have worked out so great, even back then.

With today's PSUs, the situation is a bit different. Present day systems pull most of their power from the 12V rail, so their 5V rails often end up being fairly weak. Phil has a video showcasing what can happen in that case. Of course, there are some modern PSUs which can drive even the most power hungry Athlons. They tend to be on the expensive side though.

Reworded: A Barton AthlonXP consumes about 70W of power, that on a 5V rail is around 14A. You will find around 16 amps available on shitty 300W PSUs even today. So accomodating the CPU even with a few hard/optical drives is not an issue, most of the time. The issue is also accomodating a power hungry graphics card that gobbles up 5V and 12V from the molex connector. For example, an X800 and FX5900 draw around 12A from the 5V rail. You can now see where it's going to be an issue. Personally, I run my AthlonXP/Voodoo3 rig with a shitty no-name 250W PSU and it works fine, though I will replace it with a better quality FSP 300W PSU with a very strong 5V rail soon. Not because this system really needs it, but I want to be able to test other cards with it later.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 17 of 33, by Cuttoon

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-12, 12:43:
Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-12, 12:04:

I see, interesting. That's why I asked.

I have a lot of experience with K7 systems, all of them with VIA sets from KR133 up to KT400 - just none of it retro.
But most of it I remember rather trivial, definitely used cheap PSU and a Live without issue.

If you used period correct PSUs back in the day, you probably wouldn't have encountered this issue, as they were designed to support the high amperage requirements of the Socket A CPUs. That said, using the cheapest possible PSU on something like an AthlonXP 3200+ probably wouldn't have worked out so great, even back then.

With today's PSUs, the situation is a bit different. Present day systems pull most of their power from the 12V rail, so their 5V rails often end up being fairly weak. Phil has a video showcasing what can happen in that case. Of course, there are some modern PSUs which can drive even the most power hungry Athlons. They tend to be on the expensive side though.

Not to sound too arrogant, but the PSU issue doesn't even register as one with me any more.

It's rather straightforward: Modern PSUs adhere to the "ATX12V" standard and for any motherboard before that, using a "not ATX12V" PSU may be in order.

That video by Phil, all hail to him, but it's more about "can your PSU handle the athlon platform with very high-clocked CPUs and a (by the looks) DX8-era GPU without PSU bypass."
For, the Voodoo:
https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/voodoo3-3000-agp.c3555
- "board design": TDP 15 Watt, recommended PSU: 200 W.
200 W PSUs had 20 Amps at 5 V since the AT dawn of time and many 400W ATX12V ones kept that tradition, merely adding the bigger 12V rails.
Which should be enough for pretty much any system with a Voodoo3.

So, anyone challenged by dividing overall TDP of a system by voltage to estimate the amperage should maybe keep the PC's lid closed, please don't hate me 😉

In the real world, the higher end 70W+ athlons were rare and PSU that can't handle them are somewhat less ubiquitous, so for hassle-free Voodoo work, just keep it average?

I like jumpers.

Reply 18 of 33, by Joseph_Joestar

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-12, 13:23:

That video by Phil, all hail to him, but it's more about "can your PSU handle the athlon platform with very high-clocked CPUs and a (by the looks) DX8-era GPU without PSU bypass."

I forgot how little power a Voodoo3 draws, so you're absolutely right there.

As you say, this mostly becomes an issue with newer GPUs paired with power hungry CPUs.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 19 of 33, by Socket3

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Start with a socket 370 motherboard with the intel i810/i815 or VIA Apollo PRO 133A (VT82C694X) chipsets and add 700 to 1100 Mhz of coppermine pentium 3 into the mix. Sprinkle 256 to 512Mb of SD-RAM into the mix, nothing more, nothing less. Season with a 20 to 80GB IDE HDD or a CF/SD to IDE adapter, according to taste. Bake in your prefered PCI sound card - Yamaha DS-XG, Creative LIVE!, 128 PCI or Aureal Vortex, then carefully add the Voodoo 3 on top.

Perfect hassle-free V3 recipe.

If you like the taste of ISA sound or would like to dabble in some late DOS flavors, go for the Apollo PRO 133A or 133T chipsets. Motherboards with the VIA chipset usually come with one ISA slot as opposed to the intel 810/815 witch only offer PCI.

Slot 1 boards are fine as well, as long as you stick to the rated 100Mhz FSB. And for a Voodoo 3 it's perfectly fine. Overclocking old hardware is never hassle free, and slotkets are a pain in the butt (and wallet) . Socket A builds are good as well, but stick to KT133A, KT266 or KT333 mainboards. Anything newer has 1.5V only AGP and your voodoo 3 won't run in them. You can pair these boards with a thunderbird Athlon or Athlon XP, but be weary, fast socket A builds require power supplies with strong 5V rails, and you can't get them new. You'd have to source an old working unit and have it recapped, making this route not hassle free.

That said, a 1-1,3 GHz Athlon + KT133A will run great with any 300w 80+ PSU, even modern ones, so you can consider it hassle free, but for simplicity, availability and budget friendliness I'd stick with socket 370. Most KT133 boards also provide an ISA slot.

Super Socket 7 is also a good match for a voodoo 3, but it will not bring out the card's full potential. They are expensive nowadays, and you'd want to use a K6-2+ or K6-III clocked as high as possible to hold the v3 back as little as possible. That said, later 98-99 games will still be a lot smoother on socket 370/socket A.