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What is 3dfx

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
been seeing a lot of 3dfx in the graphics card area, whats up with that?
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post #2 of 23
It is an old gpu maker I believe. I am getting old, but I am pretty sure at one point in time, you had ati, nvidia and 3dfx.

They are actually the ones that invented SLI I believe.
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post #3 of 23
YUP, 3DFX was a third video chipset company which released its Voodoo Graphics chip in 1996 through 2000. It was an OEM supplier for graphics card companies, which designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold their own graphics cards including the Voodoo chipset. I used to love the cards. I'm now giving away my age.

Voodoo3B800x600.jpgv3_g_800_600.jpgv3_p_800_600.jpg

At the time they were the fastest, most powerful chipsets on GPU's in the market until around 1999. They were the first to bring the idea of SLI to the market. Before Direct3D and OpenGL they created GLIDE, also kind of like Physx implementation for developers. OpenGL was created shortly after and they supported both GLIDE and OpenGL on their chipsets.

STB Technologies, which was one of the larger graphics card manufacturers at the time bought them out; the intent was for 3dfx to start manufacturing, marketing, and selling its own graphics cards. Prior to that they would only create the chips that other manufacturers would put on their PCB's. They had series called Voodoo Rush, Voodoo Banshee, Voodoo 1, 2, 3, & 4.

Example of Voodoo 4 series had these specs Voodoo 4 166 Core/ 166 Memory, Fill rate pix 333 / Fillrate tex 333, 128-bit 32 SD MiM with AGP 4x/PCI slot.

Through poor management of the company they began to spiral down, no fault of their products but the people running them. In 2000 Nvidia bought them out. Nvidia took over 3DFX support and shortly thereafter released GeForce 256 and GeForce 2 GTS cards and phased out the Voodoo brand. The rest is history.

Us older guys, still have a soft spot for the once great 3DFX. They really revolutionized how great gaming could actually look on computers at the time with graphics. They raised the bar and fired up the competition amongst the chip set manufacturers back then. Today we have two chipset makers left as we are all well aware of AMD (who recently absorbed ATI) vs Nvidia. Still have multiple manufacturers that use those chips on thier PCB's. MSI, ASUS, EVGA, Sapphire, etc. The last step in this heirarchy is for Intel to absorb Nvidia. eek.gif
     
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post #4 of 23
I miss my 3DFX Voodoo 2 card.
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post #5 of 23
3DFX was basically the god of graphics cards, until Nvidia invented/coined the "GPU". 3DFX stalled, ran into financial trouble, fell behind in performance, and collapsed. Most of the engineers went to work at Nvidia.


All you hear about nowadays is Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, but 3DFX, Matrox, SiS, and S3 were once notable players as well and 3DFX controlled the market for several years.
post #6 of 23
As everyone else has said they made video cards back in the days. Those days 3d was a dicey business.
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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by joemaniaci;13498085 
It is an old gpu maker I believe. I am getting old, but I am pretty sure at one point in time, you had ati, nvidia and 3dfx.

They are actually the ones that invented SLI I believe.

I just wanted to note that Nvidia's SLI (Scalable Link Interface) is actually different than 3DFX's SLI (Scalable Link Interleave) and they really only share the acronym. Also it's worth noting that 3DFX also achieved nearly 100% increase in performance with their Voodoo 2 GPU using SLI although at the time that wasn't the case since they were severely limited by the CPU.

Of course, back in the day I never had a 3DFX card, I had to use an integrated SiS 6306 on my K6 board... Ah, the good old days. biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129;13498407 
3DFX was basically the god of graphics cards, until Nvidia invented/coined the "GPU". 3DFX stalled, ran into financial trouble, fell behind in performance, and collapsed. Most of the engineers went to work at Nvidia.


All you hear about nowadays is Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, but 3DFX, Matrox, SiS, and S3 were once notable players as well and 3DFX controlled the market for several years.

Wow, no Cyrix?!? We can't forget them with the oldies....
     
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post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezveedub;13498441 
Wow, no Cyrix?!? We can't forget them with the oldies....

I thought they only did CPUs...
post #10 of 23
it was one of of the pioneers and the leading company for a few years in developing 3d graphics processors, from 1996 to 2000 let's say, when they failed (Nvidia already had a DX7 Graphics chip for a while, 3DFX was stuck on DX6 and still trying to push their own API, Glide, also they choose the wrong strategy at the time, a more simple GPU, the VSA 100, with the intention to combine many of these chips in SLI to achieve bigger performance increase) Nvidia bought them and the company was dead...

I still have a Voodoo 4 4500 and 2 Voodoo 2 8mb.
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