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Voodoo 3 1000 (AGP), is it any good?

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First post, by athlon-power

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I've found a listing for a Voodoo 3 1000 AGP card for pretty cheap, and I'm wondering if it's any good for use gaming-wise. I know of the Voodoo 3 3000, and that's an alright card, but this seems like it might be a budget variant of that, and I'm not sure if it'll do all that well. Here's the only picture that the seller posted that can really give any information about this card's specific specs:

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The rest of the photos are just of the back of the PCB.

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Reply 1 of 27, by havli

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Specs are: regular (2 TMU) Voodoo3 AGP at 125 MHz with 16 MB SGRAM. Also these carsd usually (always?) lack any kind of cooling... it is just a bare chip on the PCB. Here is photo of the front side http://hw-museum.cz/vga/51/compaq-voodoo3-100 … locity-200-pcb-

Unless you are very unlucky, it should be capable of overclocking to V3 2000 (143 MHz) or even V3 3000 (166 MHz) and thanks to SGRAM it might be even slightly faster than regular SDRAM V3 AGP.

So it is perfectly fine for retro gaming like any other V3. However I would strongly recommend to attach some heatsink and perhaps fan also to the GPU, otherwise it would run very hot.

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Reply 2 of 27, by athlon-power

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havli wrote:

Specs are: regular (2 TMU) Voodoo3 AGP at 125 MHz with 16 MB SGRAM. Also these carsd usually (always?) lack any kind of cooling... it is just a bare chip on the PCB. Here is photo of the front side http://hw-museum.cz/vga/51/compaq-voodoo3-100 … locity-200-pcb-

Unless you are very unlucky, it should be capable of overclocking to V3 2000 (143 MHz) or even V3 3000 (166 MHz) and thanks to SGRAM it might be even slightly faster than regular SDRAM V3 AGP.

So it is perfectly fine for retro gaming like any other V3. However I would strongly recommend to attach some heatsink and perhaps fan also to the GPU, otherwise it would run very hot.

Hm. There's no mounting holes, so I'd need to use some sort of thermal glue, I think. I have a couple of small heatsinks that I can use that should do the job, even at 166MHz. I'll look into getting it, but the auction doesn't end in 4 or 5 days, so I won't worry about it in the immediate present.

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Reply 4 of 27, by EdmondDantes

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I have a V3 1000 now and its pretty good... though mine is only an 8mb model. It struggles slightly with Quake III and I haven't tried it with Unreal Tournament or Half-Life yet, but in my case I have a second comp that runs those games better, and for games that specifically use Glide I don't see any major downsides to the 1000 (though I somewhat dislike it being only 8mb when my original Voodoo 3, which went bad, was 16mb... though again, I haven't actually noticed any gameplay issues because of this).

Reply 5 of 27, by NostalgicAslinger

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The V3 1000 should have 7 ns SGRAM Modules, so 143MHz should be no problem, but I also would install a heatsink on the Avenger chip, because this chips get very, very hot!

Reply 6 of 27, by Ozzuneoj

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NostalgicAslinger wrote:

The V3 1000 should have 7 ns SGRAM Modules, so 143MHz should be no problem, but I also would install a heatsink on the Avenger chip, because this chips get very, very hot!

They often have 5.5ns SIEMENS SGRAM chips as well. I've had several of those. Definitely would add cooling though if overclocking a 1000...

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 7 of 27, by appiah4

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I have one. It's a semi interesting card to have, but I have like 5 3000s so it never gets use.

The RAM on the card is rated much higher than its clock speed, it's rated very slow because the GPU has no cooler. If you stick on a simple heatsink it should hit 2000 speeds no problems.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2019-01-22, 11:30. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 8 of 27, by chinny22

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I'd say any voodoo is worth it. They are only going to go up in value.
Plus even if its not that great at your glide games, they still have good dos compatibility, not that important on a AGP system I know but still good to know.

Reply 10 of 27, by EdmondDantes

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Odd how everyone is saying 1000s don't come with heat sinks... mine did... maybe the previous owner put one on? (it looks just like the heatsink a v3 2000 comes with by default)

Reply 11 of 27, by appiah4

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EdmondDantes wrote:

Odd how everyone is saying 1000s don't come with heat sinks... mine did... maybe the previous owner put one on? (it looks just like the heatsink a v3 2000 comes with by default)

Yeah, those 40mm heatsinks with adhesive pads are very common likely the previous owner stuck it on.

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

Reply 12 of 27, by havli

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Btw - there are two different cards called Voodoo3 1000. The first type is 125 MHz / 16 MB with no heatsing by default. And the other one is very similar to Velocity 100 - 143 MHz / 8 MB and passive heatsink, just like real Velocity has.

HW museum.cz - my collection of PC hardware

Reply 13 of 27, by appiah4

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havli wrote:

Btw - there are two different cards called Voodoo3 1000. The first type is 125 MHz / 16 MB with no heatsing by default. And the other one is very similar to Velocity 100 - 143 MHz / 8 MB and passive heatsink, just like real Velocity has.

Mine is the former:

3dfx-Voodoo-3-1000.jpg

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

Reply 14 of 27, by EdmondDantes

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I think mine must be the latter since it was also 8mb.

But if it were like appiah's, I would put a heat sink on it. Don't wanna risk it overheating, and a Voodoo 3 WILL overheat.

Reply 15 of 27, by Revolter

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Does anyone happen to know if there was ever a PCI model of this card? Or it is AGP-only?

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Reply 16 of 27, by havli

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As far as I know, Voodoo3 1000 is AGP only.
There is however V3 2000/3000 PCI SGRAM, which is using very similar PCB design http://hw-museum.cz/vga/44/3dfx-voodoo3-2000-pci-sgr-rev--d1

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Reply 18 of 27, by appiah4

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They don't run cool but the passive cooler is adequate for what it does, contrary to popular belief.

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

Reply 19 of 27, by Ozzuneoj

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Yeah, they at least aren't as bad as the Banshees. It's very common to see those things with brown PCBs from overheating. I had an Ensoniq Banshee a while back that I thought was unique because it was entirely brown and had bronze colored heatsink... Turned out it was just like any other Ensoniq Banshee and had just been so overheated that the whole card smelled like burnt plastic and had turned brown... Even the heatsink. It did not work.

Voodoo 3s at times have some PCB discoloration, which indicates overheating to me, but I haven't found many that were actually bad. Most of the time there is just as much discoloration near the voltage regulator (if that's the proper term for it).

I bet most of the 3dfx cards that have discoloration are from systems with no case fans. It's crazy how it was normal to have only a power supply fan and no other active cooling back in the late 90s.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.