- Aug 13, 2004
Their issues with failing to prioritize Rampage are pretty well-known. Dumping money into making VSA-100 SLI-capable was mostly wasted; if they’d focused on making the chip larger to begin with, it would have been a competent, very fast DirectX 6 card, and Rampage would have leapfrogged the competition. They also didn’t court OEMs soon enough, fumbled the ball by buying STB’s fabs and casting their former manufacturing partners aside, and ran into issues playing whack-a-mole with bugs associated with getting DDR memory support working. Their lack of financial discipline was legendary - even a week before they shut down they were still ordering sushi for everyone at one of their offices. Bungling their announcement of a partnership with Sega to supply chips for the Dreamcast was also a rookie mistake that led Sega to choose PowerVR instead.Its actually a good read. You should google that.
Basically, they spent all their money on
hookers and blowR&D that didn't produce products; then got caught when Nvidia came out of nowhere and could make 3d graphics cards that actually worked, so they spent more money on a couple botched launches.
Their big comeback chip(s, technically it was two) turned into bulldozer (seemed like a good idea, should be fast, wasn't on both counts. oh and the power draw lol... 4 pin molex connectors). No money, and all their products were uncompetitive.
Someone correct me if i'm wrong, but I think they demo'd a version of the voodoo 5 that came with its own external power supply. It needed more juice than contemporary PSU's could provide.
Initially their tech was 3d graphics world changing.
To summarize, they made really fast video cards for playing games for a while, but poor strategic decisions, inexperience, and general flailing did them in. It would have been interesting if 3dfx had emerged as the victor against Nvidia instead of ATi, but that’s speculative fiction at this point.