Is it true that the 3Dfx range for the PCI slot is coming to an end?
I really hope not. I do know that a lot of older machines are going to come to a grinding halt when upgrading without their technology.
At the moment, Voodoo cards
are made in two type of of slot
One being the older PCI
fitting that nearly everyone has and some people have the newer AGP slot fitting. AGP technology is meant to be vastly improved and the PCI slot fitting cards are becoming outdated. Basically because the newer, high performance cards are just wasted
on older type machines.
The Voodoo 5500 is one such PCI card. While it offers you great performance, it does seem a bit strange offering it in PCI format. The users who will make the most out of it no doubt already own a high spec machine that comes with AGP slots. I doubt there will be many non AGP slot machines around that can handle or utilise the peroformance of the 5500.
So what does it offer?
Its one of the first 32 bit
colour cards to be offered by 3Dfx and looks like being the last. Until now, they have continued along the 16 bit route that offered stability and excellent rendering. But with NVIDIA technology hounding them, they have finally adopted the 32 lifestyle.
This gives the user great depth in colour for gameplay, for shading and lighting in those fast action
yet moody atmosphere games
As for colour and frame buffering, the onboard storage puts it pait of 32Mb chips to good use. This is scalable up to 256Mb of frame buffer. Enough backup poke for any gamer.
Its unusual to see
two coolant fans onboard a graphics card
but that is the way they keep their workhorse at operating temperature.
This does make it a bit bigger than past cards and also takes up a bit more room in your tower.
The actual card is classified as a 128bit 2d/3d graphics accelerator. Whatit accelerates is my gameplaying qualities and my love for the whole Voodoo experience.
Installation is straightforward. Pop off your case lid and locate a spare PCI slot. They run parallel along the motherboard
normally from front to back. Push the card into place carefully and close the lid. Restart your machine and it should auto detect.
Simply insert the CD
when it asks for the drivers and it should self install.
The whole operation takes about 10 minutes.
The Processor substitiutes (rememberits not NVIDIA here) are called VSA 100s and contain 14 million transistors! They run at 350Mhz, faster than older PC
's main processors! and they can support refresh rates of up to 160Hz. More than most monitors
can cope with.
It will support a resolution of up to 2048x1536. That is twice as high and twice as wide as a suitable 17 inch monitor
setup and all of this at up to 85Hz!
For all of you techies that love my hi tech
bits, here is what it can give you:
64MB frame buffer
32-bit RGBA rendering
24-bit Z & W buffers
FXT1 Texture Compression
SLI support for Real-Time Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) and the T-Buffer Digital Cinematic Effects… all in hardware.