Old-School: Half-Life Running on a Quantum3D Mercury Brick

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Classic game, classic hardware: [H]ardForum member TheeRaccoon is one of the lucky few to get his hands on a Quantum3D Mercury “brick,” which comprises four Quantum3D Obsidian2 200SBi video boards. As The Dodge Garage explains, these were generally used for multi-channel visual simulation and training applications back in the day, but as TheeRaccoon’s video proves, they can also run a certain Valve shooter just fine. Thanks for the share, erek.

    After a little over a year of ownership, I finally present to you the legendary Quantum3D Mercury brick up and running! (Don't mind my ghetto homemade passthrough cable.) In this brick configuration, there are 8 Voodoo 2 chipsets in SLI! (Each 200SBi board has two Voodoo 2 chipsets in SLI mode.) These bricks were mostly used for military simulation in the late 90's/early 2000's. The image generated by each 200SBi board is combined into one image, giving you 4 tap rotated grid full scene anti-aliasing.
     
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  2. thecold

    thecold Limp Gawd

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    So cool, but so noisy.
     
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  3. phawkins633

    phawkins633 [H]Lite

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    That's one of the old Delta fans. I had an 80mm x 25 mm 4000 rpm Delta on my Cyrix system. Back when no one gave a shit about noise, only squeezing out any performance...NOT finger friendly..and yeah, I feel old....
     
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  4. Probleminfected

    Probleminfected [H]ard|Gawd

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    who cares about the video cards, look at the dual slot 1 cpu's! :)
     
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  5. TheeRaccoon

    TheeRaccoon n00b

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    Doesn't have to be noisy.. I'm just overly cautious, especially with something worth this much/this rare. It means a lot to me. Would be much quieter inside a case with airflow designed for it and all that jazz, however for testing purposes I prefer a bench setup :)


    Well the dual slot 1 boards are a bit easier to find than a Mercury brick ;))) lol

    This Supermicro P6DBS board is very reliable though and I absolutely love it. It's been extremely solid..

    The only downside is the PCI lanes are only on one bus so the bandwidth is limited here with the data of 8 Voodoo 2's. I will be getting a GX+ board for multiple busses spread across the PCI lanes. For those boards the first two PCI lanes are on a separate bus from the others so I could effectively double my bandwidth for this brick, which would make it run a good bit faster.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  6. macksomerville

    macksomerville [H]ard|Gawd

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    Totally awesome, I had a pair of monster 3d II's, Obsidians were my goal never realized though ;)
     
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  7. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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  8. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    Lol stole my reply!
     
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  9. TheeRaccoon

    TheeRaccoon n00b

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    641a428b3c1431c534f50cf8f47858d8.png
     
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  10. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    Very cool!

    What is the power draw? Does it run; hot? melts lead? or Devil would get a suntan?

    What is IQ like? Max Resolution?

    I am curious how well the hardware does over all.

    Does not NV own the IP - HINT HINT
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  11. TheeRaccoon

    TheeRaccoon n00b

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    The power draw should be somewhere in the realm of 80-90W total between all 4 boards. Basing that off of reading forums about power consumption of a single Voodoo 2 board (At around 10W estimated) So 8 = 80ish. Then factoring in the XILINX Spartan processor on the bridge and all that jazz might add a little here or there.

    The Max Resolution on this brick is the same as normal Voodoo 2 SLI which is 1024x768, however, you're getting 4 tap RGFSAA at no expense to performance, so the image looks much much more detailed and the colors are more accurate.

    As far as the performance goes, it's in the realm of standard Voodoo 2 SLI (give or take depending on the application) but obviously, the image quality is FAR superior in every way.
     
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  12. jeffj7

    jeffj7 [H]Lite

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    cool stuff makes me get the itch to see what sill works in the drawer of cards
     
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  13. AceGoober

    AceGoober Live! Laug[H]! Overclock!

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    That setup takes me back to the days of Voodoo SLI dominance. Back then Voodoo was king and I certainly had fun with them.

    Very cool setup you got there. :)
     
  14. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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  15. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Nice!

     
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  16. Bigbacon

    Bigbacon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    But what about Crysis?
     
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  17. gdonovan

    gdonovan [H]ard|Gawd

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    Should hear a full Merc with 6 cooling fans huffing and puffing.
     

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  18. gdonovan

    gdonovan [H]ard|Gawd

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  19. Rob94hawk

    Rob94hawk 2[H]4U

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    Looks and sounds like one of those 90mm Tornado's that I used on my AMD FX-53 way back when.
     
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  20. gdonovan

    gdonovan [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ok, now you made me do it. Pulling Merc off the rack and onto the bench!
     
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  21. Bigbacon

    Bigbacon [H]ardForum Junkie

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  22. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    This was just posted on PC Gamer..
     
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  23. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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  24. TheeRaccoon

    TheeRaccoon n00b

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    That's what I like to see!!!!! I know you've sold a lot of your stuff, I'd be interested in seeing what you have left in your collection :)




    I would have never expected this to blow up like that.
     
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  25. Mode13

    Mode13 Limp Gawd

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    I didn't realize there were other "retro" enthusiast people around here like myself. Absolutely awesome, well done!

    p.s. there's also a doom 3 mod for voodoo 2s, I wonder if you can get that going too :p
     
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  26. KazeoHin

    KazeoHin [H]ardness Supreme

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    I mean, it would probably run smoothly...
     
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  27. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    I have to admit, this is really, really neat to see. Thanks.
     
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  28. gdonovan

    gdonovan [H]ard|Gawd

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    My collection is still rather vast, just been clearing out the extras and non-prototypes.
     

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  29. TheeRaccoon

    TheeRaccoon n00b

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    This makes me so happy!!! To see your collection is still so awesome all these years later!! Just look at those V5 6K's!! You've always been a huge inspiration to me for collecting this stuff.

    Do you still have the Rampage? I think you had two of them??

    BTW Nice 200SB with the Alliance 2D :)
     
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  30. gdonovan

    gdonovan [H]ard|Gawd

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    1) Yes I still have Rampage, always had just the one. Might be news on that front soon as new drivers have just been compiled from new source code.

    2) Thanks, have an 100SB with the Alliance module too!

    There is still stuff out there but it requires digging, this beauty just showed up this week.
     

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