VOGONS


First post, by Sly_Botts

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Hey guys:
So I was wondering if anyone could help me by answering a few questions. I own a Voodoo3 2000 AGP. My Chassis is well ventilated with an 80mm fan in front and back, no cable mess. CPU is Slot 1 P3 with heatsink and fan. I have modified the Voodoo 3 by adding a 40mm Noctua fan and screwing it into the (GPU) heatsink. Works great. I then installed Gary Petersons "Voodoo3 Overclocker" and have OC'd the card to 166Mhz, essentially turning the card into a Voodoo 3 3000. Works great, no issues.

3DMark 99 max benchmark test: No issues
3DMark 2000 benchmark test: No issues

The thing is, I would actually like to OC it to 183 Mhz, essentially turning it into a Voodoo 3 3500.

1st Topic: I would like to buy heatsinks for the RAM. What size are the RAM chips on the Voodoo 3?
What size of Heatsinks do I need to buy? 14x30x8mm?

2nd Topic: Should I buy a heatsink or fan for the back of the card? Or is applying heatsinks to the video memory good enough in conjunction with the fan on the ("GPU")?

Thank you for your time.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 1 of 12, by TrashPanda

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Well you have the GPU so finding out the size of the ram chips should be pretty easy, just buy heat sinks that will fit, also buy a sheet of thermal pad to put under the heat sinks, as for the back unless there are ram chips there I wouldn't bother putting anything there, if it has ram on the back then use the same heat sinks as the front.

as for overclocking, you might hit the 183mhz mark but the V3 3500 uses binned ICs and likely faster Vram too so I would take it in small increments and test at each step for stability.

Reply 2 of 12, by The Serpent Rider

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Heatsinks are not required for RAM, it doesn't radiate much heat to begin with. It's required if you apply voltmods, but you won't ask such question if you know how to do it. Additional heatsink on the back will help to retain original PCB color, but won't guarantee improved overclocking.

Overall, it's hard to get stable overclock on Voodoo 3 2000 with 180+ Mhz without voltmodding, but you may get lucky.

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Reply 4 of 12, by 386SX

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Imho the Voodoo3 2000 AGP in its factory config already needed a better heatsink and/or a different heatsink>chip connection considering how hot it usually run. So I'd not overclock it nowdays not to mention I'd not change voltages on such cards, considering also the ram chips are a limit too. Back in the 1999 my own card with heatsink on the rams (even if not needed imho cause heat wasn't a problem for those SDRAM module) and a Socket7 cpu fan fixed on the heatsink, it could reach 181/181Mhz only with overclocking, not a single Mhz more, but those rams modules weren't done for such high freqs and not even the video chip too. Imho 166Mhz was already an high freq if using a good heatsink that imho not the 2000 or the 3000 had. They all needed a big heatsink or an active cooler and with some expensive thermal paste (not tape or whatever glue), even for their original frequencies.

Reply 5 of 12, by Sly_Botts

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386SX wrote on 2022-01-06, 16:28:

Imho the Voodoo3 2000 AGP in its factory config already needed a better heatsink and/or a different heatsink>chip connection considering how hot it usually run. So I'd not overclock it nowdays not to mention I'd not change voltages on such cards, considering also the ram chips are a limit too. Back in the 1999 my own card with heatsink on the rams (even if not needed imho cause heat wasn't a problem for those SDRAM module) and a Socket7 cpu fan fixed on the heatsink, it could reach 181/181Mhz only with overclocking, not a single Mhz more, but those rams modules weren't done for such high freqs and not even the video chip too. Imho 166Mhz was already an high freq if using a good heatsink that imho not the 2000 or the 3000 had. They all needed a big heatsink or an active cooler and with some expensive thermal paste (not tape or whatever glue), even for their original frequencies.

Well I did OC the card to 166mhz and ran some Unreal, 3D Mark etc; demo's. WHen I checked the card, the ram was not warm at all and the back of the card was only slightly warm. The Noctua fan I mounted to the card seems to be keeping it quite cool. Anyway, thanks for the advice though, much appreciated.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 7 of 12, by Garrett W

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I don't think you require additional cooling, that Noctua fan on that dinky heatsink is already doing a lot of work. The question is less whether or not the chip can do it (it usually can get you up there), but more of a question if the memory chips are up to it. Check to see how many ns they are rated for, convert that to MHz and then you'll know the highest frequency they are guaranteed/designed to work at. As others have said, it is unlikely you will be able to achieve V3 3500 clocks, due to the synchronous nature in which the Core and Memory clocks run at, memory will limit you. I think V3 2000 to V3 3000 is already a nice boost, perhaps you should settle there.

Depending on the rest of your system and more importantly, the CPU, you might not even see a significant boost in performance with the increased clocks if you are bottlenecked.

Reply 8 of 12, by Sly_Botts

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Garrett W wrote on 2022-01-14, 15:24:

I don't think you require additional cooling, that Noctua fan on that dinky heatsink is already doing a lot of work. The question is less whether or not the chip can do it (it usually can get you up there), but more of a question if the memory chips are up to it. Check to see how many ns they are rated for, convert that to MHz and then you'll know the highest frequency they are guaranteed/designed to work at. As others have said, it is unlikely you will be able to achieve V3 3500 clocks, due to the synchronous nature in which the Core and Memory clocks run at, memory will limit you. I think V3 2000 to V3 3000 is already a nice boost, perhaps you should settle there.

Depending on the rest of your system and more importantly, the CPU, you might not even see a significant boost in performance with the increased clocks if you are bottlenecked.

How can I check what the ns is on the memory chips?

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 9 of 12, by Garrett W

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Read the chips themselves, on your specific card. Then you can search online and find the datasheet and see how fast yours are or alternatively you can usually tell by taking a better look at what's written on there, let's check the example below:

Details

graphics-3dfx-voodoo-3_0.png

See that "-5.5" at the beginning of each chip? That means 5.5ns. You can then use a converter such as the one found here. 5.5ns equals ~182MHz, so these are rated for that speed. It gets a bit more complicated with later GPUs with GDDR3 and such, but this is the main idea.

Reply 10 of 12, by Doornkaat

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My fastest V3 has RAM chips rated for 6ns (166MHz) and does >210MHz without artifacts crashes or other issues. I use an 80mm fan pointed at the card for additional cooling.
The rating on the chips represents guranteed speed, not maximum speed, so don't worry too much about it when overclocking. Of course chips with better rating will have a tendency to clock higher but it doesn't mean a chip rated at 6ns will always overclock lower than one rated for 5.5ns. If your card runs stable at whatever clocks you set it to that's a speed it can handle. You will only find out by trying.

Reply 11 of 12, by bearking

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What a coincidence! Just the other day I was testing the 3 Voodoo3 2000 AGP card I have, because I want to sell two of them, and I made same overclocking with all the three card to see witch one is "better".
My testing setup consist of an Asus CUBX + P3 CuMine @933 + 256 Mb RAM and Win98 SE running from a Sandisk 2 GB CF card with adapter.

So, as I said, I have three cards, two made in China on the last weeks of 1999 and one made in Mexico with date codes around week 15 of 1999.
The two cards made in China have memory chips from Micron rated @143 MHz(ending with -7) and the one made in Mexico has Hyundai chips, also rated @143 MHz.

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On the left one of the card with Micron Chips, on the right the card with Hyundai chips.

On each card I've run several times the 3DMark2000 benchmark and the demo/intro of Unreal Gold. With 3DMark2000 I've left the default settings and with Unreal I've tested the cards with 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions. Also put a 40mm cheap SilentiumPC fan nearby the heatsink. Basically my setup can be seen below.

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So, both cards with Micron chips ran stable @185 MHz and the heatsinks where relatively cool, let's say about 50ish degrees C!
In 3dMark2000 I've got: @143 MHZ ~2870 points; @166 MHz ~3280 points and @185 MHz ~3550 to ~3580 points!
In Unreal Gold I've got: @185 MHz and 800x600 resolution ~91-93 FPS and with 1024x768 resolution ~61-63 FPS!
At 187MHz both cards gave artifacts or froze the system at some point; @190 with both cards I had artifacts even in browsing Windows; @200 MHz I've had artifacts at boot.

The card with the Hyundai chips was stable only @166 MHz! If I recall correctly, @183 MHz it was artifacting at boot!
So these where my findings, I'm by far not an expert overclocker, also I wouldn't use a v3 2000 overclocked @185 MHz on a "daily basis", but maybe only because I don't have to...
I also have a Powercolor Evilking 3 Extreme clocked by default @181 MHz(I think it has 5ns memory) and if I'll have some spare time, I'll make some benchmarks to compare it against the V3 2000.