VOGONS


First post, by RichB93

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Hi all,

I've been putting together my latest build and seeing the lonely empty RAM spaces on my 8MB Voodoo2 cards got me thinking; how difficult would it be to upgrade these to 12MB cards... So I looked into it, found the 12MB equivalent version of my cards (Maxi Gamer 3D2's) and checked just what's required...

As far as I can tell, besides the extra RAM chips, everthing else is already there - resistors are in the same locations, and even capacitors situated next to the (currently) empty RAM locations are already soldered onto my board.

I've found the same RAM chips (EliteMT M11B416256A-25J) that are on my card cheaply enough online, and I know someone with a hot air re-work station who could physically solder the RAM... so my question is, is it *really* that straightforward? Can the extra RAM just be soldered into place to bring my cards up to 12MB? Or am I missing something fundamental here? I'm pretty confident in saying that these cards don't have any sort of BIOS onboard so thats not an issue (it just 'auto detects' the amount of RAM installed), and as mentioned, the resistor and cap locations not only appear to be identical, but still fully populated on my 8MB board.

Has anyone else here done this and can give their input?

As always, thanks for reading 😀

Reply 2 of 43, by The Serpent Rider

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Should work just fine. There's literally zero difference between 8mb and 12mb versions.

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Reply 3 of 43, by root42

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The Serpent Rider wrote:

Should work just fine. There's literally zero difference between 8mb and 12mb versions.

No, *literally* there is 4MiB difference between the two different versions. 😉

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Reply 6 of 43, by Weebob

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RichB93 wrote:

Thank you. I did see that thread but it didn’t really get anywhere. Considering I’ve found a place that will do all the chips for just over £10, I figure it’s worth a go.

Yup, it just stops.

If you go ahead please please please update this one with any progress, I am very much interested in getting this done myself. I have my old diamond monster 2 8meg, I couldn't afford the 12meg at the time but it was the one I wanted.

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Reply 7 of 43, by RichB93

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Well I've ordered the parts, will have to wait a few weeks for the chips to arrive from China but fingers crossed it works! I can't see any reason why it shouldn't because I've compared images of my 8MB card to the 12MB model and everything is literally identical, save for the physical RAM chips being missing. I was surprised that even the caps that support the RAM chips are still soldered in place on the 8MB models. So with any luck, once the new chips are fitted it should work! Just hope the chips I've ordered are genuine and up to the task!

Reply 9 of 43, by root42

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RichB93 wrote:

Well I've ordered the parts, will have to wait a few weeks for the chips to arrive from China but fingers crossed it works! I can't see any reason why it shouldn't because I've compared images of my 8MB card to the 12MB model and everything is literally identical, save for the physical RAM chips being missing. I was surprised that even the caps that support the RAM chips are still soldered in place on the 8MB models. So with any luck, once the new chips are fitted it should work! Just hope the chips I've ordered are genuine and up to the task!

It was probably cheaper for the machine to populate the PCB with ALL the passive components, than to steer out the non 12MiB versions, and then have another machine, or line of machines solder in the active components / RAM ICs.

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Reply 10 of 43, by RichB93

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root42 wrote:
RichB93 wrote:

Well I've ordered the parts, will have to wait a few weeks for the chips to arrive from China but fingers crossed it works! I can't see any reason why it shouldn't because I've compared images of my 8MB card to the 12MB model and everything is literally identical, save for the physical RAM chips being missing. I was surprised that even the caps that support the RAM chips are still soldered in place on the 8MB models. So with any luck, once the new chips are fitted it should work! Just hope the chips I've ordered are genuine and up to the task!

It was probably cheaper for the machine to populate the PCB with ALL the passive components, than to steer out the non 12MiB versions, and then have another machine, or line of machines solder in the active components / RAM ICs.

That's a fair assumption. I'm excited! Have a long time to wait for the chips to arrive from China, but I will keep everyone updated. Faster chips aren't massively expensive either, so in theory you could 'hot rod' a card with 125MHz RAM and really let rip. I'm just hoping this works; I'll be chuffed to bits!

Reply 11 of 43, by chinny22

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Cant solder to save my life but plenty can and I like the idea of 12MB SLI to the masses!

Reply 13 of 43, by firage

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Good luck, man. Would've assumed they configure the amount of memory via a resistor or something, but they could just detect the chips. Will be interesting to get the results.

Looks pretty promising based on that other thread.

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Reply 14 of 43, by RichB93

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It looks promising! I found some hi res shots of the 12MB version of my card and besides the extra RAM, everything else looks exactly the same. Same resistor locations, power caps for the extra RAM spaces already exist, so should just be the case of adding the extra RAM chips.

If this is successful, I’ll add some heatsinks and bring them up to the full 100MHz the RAM is rated for 😎

I’m stupidly excited; now I just have to wait!!

Reply 15 of 43, by FFXIhealer

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My 2x STB Voodoo2 cards are 12MB and only use the front face of the card. Looks like the texture memory used 1MB chips instead of 512KB chips. I wonder what would happen if you doubled THAT... a 20MB Voodoo2?

.....Nah...

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Reply 16 of 43, by RichB93

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FFXIhealer wrote:

My 2x STB Voodoo2 cards are 12MB and only use the front face of the card. Looks like the texture memory used 1MB chips instead of 512KB chips. I wonder what would happen if you doubled THAT... a 20MB Voodoo2?

.....Nah...

You may joke but, the Voodoo2 *does* support a 20MB configuration... 😲

• 2 or 4 MBytes of SGRAM* or SDRAM* frame buffer memory
• 2, 4, 8, or 16 MBytes of SGRAM* or SDRAM* texture memory

I've no idea for the driver support, but in theory it's totally doable.

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Reply 18 of 43, by nforce4max

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Upgrading is easy but keep in mind there might be some missing passives compared to the 12mb of the same pcb on some cards, you can upgrade without too much fuss to 20mb with the old piggyback method on the texture memory however the frame buffer is already maxed out at 4mb. Documentation from 3DFX does state the TMUs can handle up wot 16mb each but no one has tested that. Upgrading to 12mb is straight forward, just place then solder and if there are missing caps (blank pads) you might have to do a little extra work.

There is a guide somewhere online how to mod existing Voodoo 1 and Voodoo Rush cards to the maximum 8mb while for voodoo 2 such a guide might not exist. Voodoo Banshee and Voodoo 3 is often already at the maximum 16mb but all the VSA cards can be upgraded to 64mb per gpu so your bog standard V5 5500 can be upgraded to 128mb pretty easily and those coveted V5 6000s can be modded to have 256mb.

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