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

Megalith

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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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So cool, but so noisy.
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 :)


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

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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
 
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Very cool!

What is the power draw? Does it run; hot? molts 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
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.
 

jeffj7

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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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AceGoober

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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. :)
 

Rob94hawk

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


This was just posted on PC Gamer..


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

Mode13

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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
 

KazeoHin

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

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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.
I have to admit, this is really, really neat to see. Thanks.
 
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My collection is still rather vast, just been clearing out the extras and non-prototypes.
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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gdonovan

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

BTW Nice 200SB with the Alliance 2D :)
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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