3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 video card reverse engineered and re-created by enthusiast

Published by

Click here to post a comment for 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 video card reverse engineered and re-created by enthusiast on our message forum
You can see a move from AGP to PCIe Express, the added benefit from using PCI Express is that it can feed 75 Watts, no longer an external power supply was needed.
That is PCI, not PCI express, and you can literally see a big fat MOLEX power connector...
I owned a couple of 3dfx cards back in the day. I know for sure i had a Voodoo Banshee, Voodoo 3 3000 and Voodoo 5 5500 AGP.
I have a feeling it can't run Crysis.
But, can it mine? 🙂
This was a great card before nvidia beat them up and then Ati beat nvidia up with the ATi 9700 Of course in those days you could actually beat up the opponent by actually buying cards :D Great that people are still doing this still in Feb 2021.

Now imagine it on 7nm. Everything integrated 2048 times over. That would be 28B transistors. Apparently insane idea and wasteful too. But if anything, I would love to have real C64c chip and PCB remade into single chip with extra memory integrated (1MB would be enough). Few capacitors, transistors, ... around to deal with sound profile and i/o. Eeprom/tape/disk drive replaced with mere emmc. That would be fun. 2MHz? Extra turbo settings with 4, 8, ... MHz. Eats nothing. Runs "forever" on battery. Solar would be enough to feed it too. But it has to be real C64c chip, not emulator running on arm.
I recently discovered a company, analogue.co, producing such thing for snes/megadrive/nes and special gameboy recreated with programmable FCPGA. Seems cool
With the way things are going this might be my next video card. lol

At least you would feel special watching the slide-show, right? 🙂
At a whooping 1fps per week!
back in my student years 3dfx was the king of gpu`s. I had a vodoo 2 addon card for 3d and a matrox card for 2d.Then I upgraded to a vodoo banchee. Good times 🙂
Why is it PCI? There is a mixed in photo of a real one and its AGP (obviously). Why go this far, but not have it be the original AGP or even PCIE?
I ran 2 voodoo 2 in sli, when it was not supported anymore, was great in Quake/Quake 2/Unreal/Unrealtournament.

Why is it PCI? There is a mixed in photo of a real one and its AGP (obviously). Why go this far, but not have it be the original AGP or even PCIE?
PCIe has hardly anything in common with PCI or AGP beyond fundamentals. This was a reverse-engineered product, but not necessarily re-engineered (which is probably why there weren't really any noteworthy improvements). If the architecture is understood well enough, I don't see why porting it to PCIe shouldn't be possible, but the next issue is drivers. PCIe didn't exist at the time of this GPU, and at least for Windows, the drivers would also have to be reverse-engineered. There are open source drivers for Linux though so that could be a good place to start, but that leads to another issue: driver maturity. I think the Linux/Mesa drivers were entirely volunteer driven, and the last time there were any updates was 2013. It was in rough shape back then (with many broken/missing features). Both the DRI version and the kernel level drivers have been removed a while ago, so that means you'd have to resort to an old version.
In the beginning, every 3d game sold was GLIDE. I once owned a substantial GLIDE library. There was scuttlebutt that Microsoft was going to adopt GLIDE as the official Windows 3d API, but Microsoft decided to start its own 3d API, as we all know. While sites like Sharkey Extreme and Anandtech and others were going ape for "AGP texturing," 3dfx was honest about not supporting it because texturing out of their onboard ram was about 20X faster, more or less. (Which is why GPUs have so much onboard ram today--the PCIe bus even at 4.0 is far slower than onboard GPU ram.) The pundits just couldn't understand 2 +2 = 4, and they all panned 3dfx for not supporting AGP texturing. This is how far the pundits missed it completely--they lauded nVidia for its fake support of AGP texturing even though even way back then nVidia textured out of its onboard ram just like 3dfx. When Intel launched its first discrete 3d cards back then, the i7xx series, they all relied on AGP texturing and they were all unbelievably slow as a result--3dfx and nVidia ran rings around them. I bought two of them--a 4mb card, which I returned, and an 8mb card, which I refunded. Horrible. It was no surprise to see Intel drop out of the discreet 3d-card market after the failure of the i7xx series. While both 3dfx and nVidia were selling 16mb cards. The ignorance was strong in those days.
I still have mt 3dfx banshee lying around some place, it would work if i i had pc that cause use the card and drivers With out 3dfx Nvidia an ATI or well probably would not of been around for very long imo
Thanks alot for sharing this, goes WAAAAY back to the Diamond Stealth s540 age, Long live the old era: [youtube=DfjZkL5m4P4] And never forget Unreal 1 + 3dfx, The reflections where absolutely incredible for its time, something like this was very unheard of for its time, absolute masterpiece: [youtube=QLBgaLOi7N4] 2 Games that really brings me back during the Savage 4 Pro+/3dfx Era, owned 2 games in the past: Drakan: Order of the Flame: [youtube=rKYuc1_SAqc] And last but not least: Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: [youtube=ZgAWRzmLa_g] Thank you for sharing the good ol'times, Brings back royal memories, Very memorable times, The very best of gaming, if it wasn't for games back then, you will never see games as they are now and also been an absolute pleasure, going way back to the Apple ][e age, my favorite computer of "ALL TIME". Sorry for the off topic, and back to on topic, One lucky guy here owning this bad boy(Final Video), damn thing is a Beauty, look at that, Jesus: [youtube=vRZV_B95PpU]
i had the voodoo 3 2000 on my first pc ever !! Hilbert benchmark that card if you have the chance will be fun ! ...well and frustrating i guess :P
Totally geeking out ...
The good old days of Glide I loved my Voodoo 2's, makes me wonder what would GPU's be like now if 3DFX hadn't sold out to Nvidia
Haha good memorys from back then. try tell your kids how it it worked with loop cabel haha

I don't see why porting it to PCIe shouldn't be possible
Actually, there is no need to port anything, or write any special drivers. The solution exists and has existed for a long time, and it's called PLX PEX8112. https://media.digikey.com/pdf/Data%20Sheets/Avago%20PDFs/PEX_8112-AA_Data_Book.pdf I'm looking at it on my old sound card with a chip designed for PCI, but implemented as PCI-e x1 via this bridge chip. The problem is that these chips are not being made anymore for quite a long time, since PCI is basically dead outside of maintenance of industrial environments, and existing ones are probably not easy to obtain ... maybe only by unglue-ing it from some sound card ... ;-) But there is no point indeed, since it doesn't bring any performance benefits... it's simply a bridge chip.