were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby fitzpatr » 2019-1-13 @ 13:45

EdmondDantes wrote:Glad to hear the V4/5 still works fine with DOS games... if I were to ever seriously want one, being bad for pure DOS would be an immediate turn-off.

My Windows 98se rig is built to handle as many oldschool games as possible, from old CGA RPGs up to whatever it can handle with its hardware. That's why I never replaced its Soundblaster 16 despite becoming more aware of its shortcomings ever since hearing what an Audigy 2 sounds like, because any potential replacement risks breaking compatibility with the legion of DOS games my SB16 (ISA) supports naturally.

I actually never knew not all video cards were DOS-compatible until just recently, and now that I do know its always an issue if I'm ever seeking one for the sake of this particular PC.


I chose to not make a compromise and run both! My Super7 runs either a Sound Blaster 16 or a Sound Blaster Pro 2, as well as a Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS. DOS exclusively uses the ISA card, and in Windows, I can choose depending on circumstances.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby SPBHM » 2019-1-14 @ 09:41

Justin1091 wrote:
SPBHM wrote:
lvader wrote:It’s often overlooked how good the Voodoo 3/4/5 are good with old 2D dos games, very compatible with clean and crisp output. The MAC DVI verion of the 5500 has the best DVI DOS 2D compatibility of any card.


the only problem really that I have with my 4500 PCI is with some lower DOS resolutions running with some sort of "artifacts", like vertical lines...
but it seems so specific and the card works completely fine outside of that, so I don't know if my unit is defective or what... but it's one of the main reasons that I want to use something else with my P3.


No, your card is fine. My V5500 has the same with 7th Guest. I did read somewehere that it's possibly an AGP setting in the PC BIOS (sideband addressing or something) but I don't know about it.



well my card is PCI, so AGP settings shouldn't really be a factor?

well, was the problem that you noticed similar to this?
https://youtu.be/KZus7xE7_Ww
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby jheronimus » 2019-1-14 @ 10:52

I would say that V5 is pretty useful, yes.

I've decided to try a V2 SLI setup with my latest build, but quickly realised that a V2 is not a great Direct3D card. There are some late 90s games that don't have a Glide mode — for example, the original Jedi Knight, Lego: Rock Raiders or X-Tension. I've upgraded my AGP Matrox G250 to a GeForce 2 GTS (should handle any 90s game just fine), but it still means that with many games I have to specify my output device at every launch.

I also had issues with Unreal Gold. I've tried to choose GeForce to test it in 32-bit color, but the game restarted with severe lags (like single digit FPS in intro scenes) and after that it just crashes at every single restart attempt.

With my V5 I wouldn't have any of those issues, really. It's the fastest Glide card available (except for V5-6000, of course) and a fairly decent Direct3D card for almost anything released in the 90s.
Pentium Pro 200, 64MB RAM, Tseng ET6100/4MB, Voodoo 2 SLI 8MB, Primax Soundstorm Wave M16, Vibra CT2900
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-1-14 @ 12:26

There's zero issues with properly patched Unreal Gold.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby doaks80 » 2019-1-14 @ 19:22

The Serpent Rider wrote:There's zero issues with properly patched Unreal Gold.


Which you should be probably playing on a Savage4 anyhow. Save the voodoo for UT.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-1-14 @ 19:38

playing on a Savage4

You don't need that piece of junk. S3 pack was adapted to work with any DXTC compatible card a decade plus ago. Unreal engine games are generally bad justification to use any S3 or 3dfx card. Unless you really want to go full retro and use Voodoo 2.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby jheronimus » 2019-1-14 @ 20:01

The Serpent Rider wrote:There's zero issues with properly patched Unreal Gold.


I'm kind of guessing that using the latest NVIDIA drivers with GTS support was also not the best idea and I might have to try some other version. I'm getting minor artifacts in Rock Raiders that I didn't get with Matrox
Pentium Pro 200, 64MB RAM, Tseng ET6100/4MB, Voodoo 2 SLI 8MB, Primax Soundstorm Wave M16, Vibra CT2900
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby doaks80 » 2019-1-14 @ 22:17

The Serpent Rider wrote:
playing on a Savage4

You don't need that piece of junk. S3 pack was adapted to work with any DXTC compatible card a decade plus ago. Unreal engine games are generally bad justification to use any S3 or 3dfx card. Unless you really want to go full retro and use Voodoo 2.


Yes I really like going full retro, and much earlier than the voodoo2 ;)
k6-3+ 400 / s3 virge DX+voodoo1 / awe32(32mb)
via c3 866 / s3 savage4+voodoo2 sli / audigy1+awe64(8mb)
athlon xp 3200+ / voodoo5 5500 / diamond mx300
pentium4 3400 / geforce fx5950U / audigy2 ZS
core2duo E8500 / radeon HD5850 / x-fi titanium
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-1-14 @ 22:51

The Serpent Rider wrote:
playing on a Savage4

You don't need that piece of junk. S3 pack was adapted to work with any DXTC compatible card a decade plus ago. Unreal engine games are generally bad justification to use any S3 or 3dfx card. Unless you really want to go full retro and use Voodoo 2.


Junk? The PCI version is a very nice Socket 7 3D card IMO..
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|CT2290/MUNT-Pi
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby EdmondDantes » 2019-1-15 @ 07:52

fitzpatr wrote:
EdmondDantes wrote:My Windows 98se rig is built to handle as many oldschool games as possible, from old CGA RPGs up to whatever it can handle with its hardware. That's why I never replaced its Soundblaster 16 despite becoming more aware of its shortcomings ever since hearing what an Audigy 2 sounds like, because any potential replacement risks breaking compatibility with the legion of DOS games my SB16 (ISA) supports naturally.


I chose to not make a compromise and run both! My Super7 runs either a Sound Blaster 16 or a Sound Blaster Pro 2, as well as a Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS. DOS exclusively uses the ISA card, and in Windows, I can choose depending on circumstances.


how do you do that without running into resource conflicts in Windows?

Admittedly its tempting to try, since I do have a spare Audigy 2 (not ZS... not sure it matters) and I'm sure that even games like Riven would benefit from it.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-1-15 @ 14:57

The PCI version is a very nice Socket 7 3D card IMO

They are not nice, just okayish, if you can snatch one for cheap price.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby Revolter » 2019-1-15 @ 17:15

cyclone3d wrote:Anyway, there are some games that look better with Glide when compared to the D3D version.


meljor wrote:A lot of games that support Glide and direct3d look better with glide


What are those, exactly? I've yet to encounter a single one (obviously if you do not count the games where it's either Glide or plain software rendering) for some reason.

appiah4 wrote:The PCI version is a very nice Socket 7 3D card IMO..


I second that - the DOS game compatibility and 2D quality were on par - if not better than - with V3-V5 for a fraction of the cost.

However, I have a reason to believe they do not work on 430VX chipset due to being 3.3 volt -only cards (while working fine on later boards). At least such was my experience...
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-1-15 @ 22:43

However, I have a reason to believe they do not work on 430VX chipset due to being 3.3 volt

They work just fine, even with SIS based 486 boards.

the DOS game compatibility and 2D quality were on par - if not better than - with V3-V5 for a fraction of the cost.

Lately prices started to shift into not so favorable territory. Not on Voodoo level, but dangerously close to GeForce/Radeon PCI.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby Tetrium » 2019-1-16 @ 22:57

EdmondDantes wrote:So just everything got me wondering.

It seems whenever the Voodoo line is discussed, the early stuff is where its at (to use a deliciously 90s term). I see no end of youtube videos and forum discussions talking about how Voodoo graphics literally changed the face of gaming, how SLI was so awesome, and very often I'm told that for compatibility as well as graphics, the Voodoo 3 is the best one-size-fits-all solution (As good as any one-size-fits-all ever is, anyway).

But I almost never hear about the Voodoo 4 or 5 except about how they were the last cards 3DFX made and didn't compare to other cards out at the time.

So like... I basically want to ask two things:

First of all... is there anyone here who bought a Voodoo 4 or 5 when they were new? If so, what was your lived experience at the time?

Secondly, from a modern perspective is there any reason a person might want a Voodoo 4 or 5 besides collector value/prestige? Like, what's it like in actual use?

Thanks for indulging my weird whims!

One could say that the outside world has gotten the Voodoo bug :P

I'm not so sure about how the Voodoo was as revolutionary as you are suggesting it is to be presented. It was however certainly a big thing when the Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2 were new and glide was a thing.
Especially Voodoo 1 did change gaming, but there were so many things that did. And not all is about just the graphics, the sound experience is perhaps just as important, just to name something else.

I never had a Voodoo when it was new, but one friend had the Voodoo 1 and another had a Voodoo 3 and I had always had a soft spot for 3DFX.
I can even still remember my amazement when I learned that 3DFX went belly up :dead:

And of course if you don't own at least 1 of every Voodoo (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) you will remain just a mere pleb for all of eternia :neutral:

No but really lol, I never felt the need to actually use any Voodoo past the Voodoo 3s that I have used and their relative rarity was back then already a reason for me to not want to experiment and be too careless with the few ones I did have.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby doaks80 » 2019-1-16 @ 23:37

My memories at the time the Voodoo Banshee was about the coolest thing in the world a kid could have, and the V2 especially SLI was more like Ferrari that only rich kids had.

And anyone remember the mythical 21" Sony Trinitron? That was pretty much God.
k6-3+ 400 / s3 virge DX+voodoo1 / awe32(32mb)
via c3 866 / s3 savage4+voodoo2 sli / audigy1+awe64(8mb)
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby SirNickity » 2019-1-17 @ 22:12

Back in the day, there was a Voodoo-based Creative Labs 3D Blaster card in an ad. They had some screenshots of a flying game and a FPS. It was the first time I had seen a 3D game (aside from the software-rendered DOS stuff like Doom and all). It blew my mind. I was like... whuuuutt?? That's a SCREEN SHOT?

I eventually got a Voodoo 3 card with AV in/out on a breakout box. Aside from the quasi-3D Mystique, this was my first 3D card. Running the 3D Mark demos at the time was a revolutionary moment for me.

I went back through my collection of old parts to dive back into 486-era hardware, and thought I still had a VLB card. Turned out it was some kind of 3dfx board, but I didn't recognize it as my AV card, since it had a VGA out on the slot bracket. It didn't have the name printed on it anywhere, so I just started Googling for which 3dfx card had two GPUs and a power connector on the back. As it happens, I had a fully-functional Voodoo 5 5500 AGP sitting in a box that I didn't know about. I vaaagguuueelly remember being asked to trade my Voodoo 3 TV for something back in the early Pentium III days. So it either came from that trade, or it was handed down to me by someone that upgraded to something better. I can't recall.

At any rate, that's why I own a Voodoo 5. I just happened to have one. If I didn't, I would probably use a TNT or some other perfectly functional 3D card that works in a 3V AGP slot in my Pentium II. The Voodoo series unleashed a tidal wave of changes to the PC gaming scene, but other than that... it's just a meh 3D card that was quickly overshadowed by a gazillion better options. The reason to own one is strictly the satisfaction of that experience 20 years ago. If you missed that sea-change, by all means... go with something garden variety that is 1/10th the cost.
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Re: were/are the Voodoo 4 and 5 even worth owning?

Postby EdmondDantes » 2019-1-20 @ 09:13

Tetrium wrote:And of course if you don't own at least 1 of every Voodoo (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) you will remain just a mere pleb for all of eternia :neutral:


... I didn't know He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had anything to do with late-90s PC graphics cards, maybe that's the true secret of Castle Grayskull? (Would explain why Skeletor wanted the place so badly--he just wants to play some Glide games!)
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