VOGONS


Voodoo 1 Cooling

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First post, by arizonapalms

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I have a nice working 3dfx Voodoo 1 that i'd like to keep cool as the chips get fairly hot - anyone else cooling their 1st gen Voodoo cards?

Reply 2 of 20, by bloodem

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My personal approach with these cards is to use a PCI dual-fan bracket.
It will keep it cool without the need to attach any heatsinks on the FBI/TMU chips.
This solution is especially useful for cards like the Voodoo 3 PCI, where you not only want to cool the actual chip, but also the ultra-hot voltage regulator.

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Reply 5 of 20, by acl

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I have two Voodoo 1. One with bare chips, the other one came with heatsinks already installed (probably from factory)
The one i have is probably a Generic/NoName card but it looks like the ColorMax one on this page http://www.vgamuseum.info/index.php/cards/ite … 1-3dfx-voodoo-1
Since it's quite difficult to count fps on Voodoo cards, i can't really tell if the performances are affected.

Since some original cards already came with heat dissipation devices, one can assume that heat was already a problem back in the time.
As it was already said, small chips coolers are quite cheap and available. With good case cooling, this should do the job 😉

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Reply 7 of 20, by sirotkaslo

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-07-07, 22:03:

No throttling on Voodoo so heat wont affect fps. They dont get hot enough to hang/crash so all the cooling mods are waste of time imo.

I don't want them getting anywhere near hot enough to crash. These things are getting rare.

Reply 8 of 20, by bloodem

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-07-07, 22:03:

No throttling on Voodoo so heat wont affect fps. They dont get hot enough to hang/crash so all the cooling mods are waste of time imo.

They are definitely NOT a waste of time. Even though I myself prefer the "non-invasive" approach (I don't like to add a heatsink, unless it was there from the factory), some kind of cooling is definitely welcome.
I've repaired a few Voodoo & Voodoo 2 cards, and heat (or more specifically, heating/cooling cycles) is the number one reason why these cards fail.

One of the more common failures is loose/broken solder joints on the FBI chip pins.
It can happen with the TMU pins as well, however it's MUCH more frequent with the FBI. Why? Well, if I were to guess, it's probably because the FBI usually gets hotter than the TMU.

And having loose pins is actually the "good scenario". Sometimes the loose connections/damage is internal (I've seen both dead FBI and TMU chips), in which case you must replace the chip entirely. Now, of course, this might not necessarily be caused by heat, however 90+ degrees C inside a case for the FBI (yes, that's how hot a Voodoo 2 FBI can get) can't be good for longevity.
Bottom line, knocking off 10 - 20 degrees from these chips is most certainly not a waste of time - especially considering how expensive these cards are nowadays.

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Reply 9 of 20, by AirIntake

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I use a front case fan that blows onto the Voodoo and other cards, then I installed an expansion slot cover next to the Voodoo that has a ventilation hole in it. There's now a nice path for the air to flow that cools the Voodoo.

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Reply 10 of 20, by drosse1meyer

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+1 for the PCI bracket fan blowing down on the top of the card
If you have a spare small fan with molex (like for a 3d printer, or small cpu fan), you can make your own. I used the U shaped half of plastic cable channel run, cut to length, made holes made to attach the fan, and another hole to screw into the bracket slot.

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Reply 11 of 20, by 386SX

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I'd use fans too on the card instead of heatsinks which might not be always designed to be attached to the packages anyway adding weight maybe not a big problem on such externally soldered ICs but still should be a factory choice to go for that solution considering how the card usually work in a vertical case once installed. Even fixing the heatsinks with the pressure needed to attach them is something that might not be exactly designed by factory like more modern BGA chips datasheets consider too.

Reply 12 of 20, by TrashPanda

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386SX wrote on 2022-07-13, 12:32:

I'd use fans too on the card instead of heatsinks which might not be always designed to be attached to the packages anyway adding weight maybe not a big problem on such externally soldered ICs but still should be a factory choice to go for that solution considering how the card usually work in a vertical case once installed. Even fixing the heatsinks with the pressure needed to attach them is something that might not be exactly designed by factory like more modern BGA chips datasheets consider too.

There are a good number of Voodoo1 cards that came with heatsinks from the factory. so I doubt that the few extra grams of aluminium will pose much of a risk if fitted normally. (most come with thermal tape which is 100% better than the epoxy shit 3dfx used)

More exotic forms of cooling run a higher risk to the card.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 13 of 20, by 386SX

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-07-13, 15:12:
386SX wrote on 2022-07-13, 12:32:

I'd use fans too on the card instead of heatsinks which might not be always designed to be attached to the packages anyway adding weight maybe not a big problem on such externally soldered ICs but still should be a factory choice to go for that solution considering how the card usually work in a vertical case once installed. Even fixing the heatsinks with the pressure needed to attach them is something that might not be exactly designed by factory like more modern BGA chips datasheets consider too.

There are a good number of Voodoo1 cards that came with heatsinks from the factory. so I doubt that the few extra grams of aluminium will pose much of a risk if fitted normally. (most come with thermal tape which is 100% better than the epoxy shit 3dfx used)

More exotic forms of cooling run a higher risk to the card.

Sure but I wonder if the chip were attached maybe with thermal tape too on the back or using a better soldering quality or choosing the right heatsink weight or maybe simply they didn't consider the problem that sometimes reading IC datasheet is quite real with exact values/range of specifications to install the packages on a PCB. Something like the Voodoo3 3000 had the side clips to attach the heatsink and offload the weight from the BGA chip compared to the V3 2000 thin heatsink or the G400 heatsink compared to the G450 one (beside the costs reason 😉 ).

Reply 14 of 20, by ChrisK

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I have mounted passive heatsinks on my V1s but still have the feeling that they become way too hot. Can't even touch them for longer. So always additionally use an active fan.
I wonder how these cards could ever survive without any type of extra cooling.

BTW: can the PCI clockrate affect thermal power a V1? I have a board with modded FSB to 40MHz (no PCI divider possible) and a passive V1 is a no go in there.
I also have the feeling that my Moster 3D rev. E doesn't get as hot as rev. B (in a non-overclocked system). But that's without any objective measurements done.

Reply 15 of 20, by rasz_pl

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ChrisK wrote on 2022-07-14, 13:53:

I have mounted passive heatsinks on my V1s but still have the feeling that they become way too hot. Can't even touch them for longer. So always additionally use an active fan.
I wonder how these cards could ever survive without any type of extra cooling.

too hot for what (other than you touching them) ? computer chips are made out of sand, not protein like ugly giant bags of mostly water

Reply 16 of 20, by chrismeyer6

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The silicon as well as the interconnects do degrade with time and heat only accelerates the problem. Keeping your components as cool as possible is never a bad thing and generally will increase their lifespan by keeping silicon degradation to a minimum.

Reply 17 of 20, by ChrisK

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-07-14, 15:45:
ChrisK wrote on 2022-07-14, 13:53:

I have mounted passive heatsinks on my V1s but still have the feeling that they become way too hot. Can't even touch them for longer. So always additionally use an active fan.
I wonder how these cards could ever survive without any type of extra cooling.

too hot for what (other than you touching them) ? computer chips are made out of sand, not protein like ugly giant bags of mostly water

Agreed.
But, the passive heatsinks on the V1 become definitely hotter than that on my Creative Riva TNT. And there were manufacturers who popped a fan on their TNTs.
Sure, silicon alone can take some amount of heat but it's not only silicon, there's all that stuff around, interconnects, solder, plastic encapsulation etc. Not to mention heatcycles.
Consumer electronics stuff is normally rated 0-70°C, if it's "quality" stuff then maybe even 85°C. If the parts shall last only a few years then it's all ok. But for longer the lower the better.

Reply 18 of 20, by RandomStranger

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I glued some heatsinks on with thermal adhesive. One that matches the color of the card (Guillemot Maxi Gamer 3D, similar than what their Banshee cards had). I don't think this little added weight does any damage for the card or the "cooling mod" decreases it's market value. I think the card roasting itself decreases it more and the heatsink can be removed.

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