Quantum3D Mercury brick

Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Hey there all, I don't believe I've ever posted on this site before but I've used it as a source of information for a very long time. I just figured I'd show one of my projects that I'm currently working on as some of you might find it interesting :)

First of all if you're not familiar with these boards.. They are basically two 3DFX Voodoo 2 chipsets in SLI on a single board. 4 boards = 8 Voodoo 2 chipsets that were used to achieve 4 tap rotated grid FSAA with no performance loss. These boards were used for military simulation and even NASA supposedly used them for certain configurations. (You can look up thedodgegarage to see more detailed information on these. Yes Gary Donovan I see you ;) )

Around December of last year, I ended up snagging an extremely rare Quantum3D Obsidian 2 200SBi board on eBay that has a black PCB with the full-length heatsinks and 125MHz EDO from the later green PCB revision boards. The board also had the rare "546-0014-05" BIOS.. I've contacted every Quantum3D collector that I know personally and so far it's the only known 200SBi with this configuration in existence.

upload_2019-1-18_1-28-44.png


upload_2019-1-18_1-29-16.png


Anyways, I ended up contacting the company that I bought the board from and of course the eBay operator was out sick... At that point, I called back every single day within minutes of the store opening to try and reach him. I eventually got in touch with the guy and asked if he had any more of the boards (In hopes that a full brick came in) and to my surprise, he had the other 3 boards with the bridge and all the hardware to mount them together. Unfortunately, the case and the rest of the system was recycled :c at least they had the common sense to not recycle the 200SBi's!!!!

I promptly paid him over the phone (Trying to keep my cool and not scream with excitement) and the 3 boards + bridge + hardware, were then on their way to my house.

At this point, I was freaking out like someone that had just won a 1million dollar lotto, as this was my dream to obtain a Mercury brick. I was useless at work that day from my excitement.

When I received the 3 other 200SBi's, they all matched the first one however, they had 100MHz EDO instead of the 125MHz memory.. Interesting?

The only logical explanation that I can come up with is that these boards were manufactured at the EXACT point where they were switching to the new green PCB models and some parts got mixed in the process. Which makes this a very unique brick! :)

Of course, I had to assemble it because I couldn't hold in my excitement any longer.

upload_2019-1-18_1-32-23.png


upload_2019-1-18_1-32-54.png


As I tested the boards the results were as follows.

--125MHz EDO board (Board 1)--

Perfect with no issues

--100MHz EDO board (Board 2)--

Perfect with no issues

--100MHz EDO board (Board 3)--

Texture errors

--100MHz EDO board (Board 4)--

Shows blue tinted image in 2D (Passthrough) perfect image in 3D



For the year after acquiring these boards I was mostly focused on other retro PC projects and wanted to wait for the time to give my full effort into resurrecting this brick and making it 100% functional.

That time is now.


After finding out that the board with texture errors only had some loose pins on the QFP TMU on the far end of the board I started my re-work.

In progress (Somewhere around 14-16 pins loose on the top right of the TMU. Some on the top pins and some on the right-hand side upper pins. Nothing some quality flux paste and a nice iron + microscope can't handle!

upload_2019-1-18_1-38-43.png


200SBi before re-work

upload_2019-1-18_1-35-45.png


200SBi after re-work

upload_2019-1-18_1-37-9.png







And that leaves me here!!

I'm currently troubleshooting the board with the blue image in 2D with a couple of my very intelligent retro hardware enthusiast friends. More updates to come!!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Yeah, this is badass. I would be over the moon if I found three more boards to make a brick. Sooooo jelly.
I was just a lot of luck and persistence. I typically search for Quantum3D hardware on eBay and other sources at least 6-10 times a day! I was very fortunate to find this board when I did... I got the brick very inexpensive as the company was clueless on the actual value.. Ha! :) Pays to know your S@#T ;)
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Good luck on getting the last board repaired! This is a great card, and I can tell you deserve this brick!
Thank you very much! :) If I'm unable to figure out the blue 2D it shouldn't be an issue in brick form at all.. I'm not too worried about it.

Cool, but can it play Crisis? :joyful:
If only ;)

NIce job , that makes for a killer retro setup
Yeah it'll be extremely fun to see this brick up and running!! :)
 

extide

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
3,494
That's awesome! I think I have actually heard about this setup before, very cool to actually see some hardware.
 

Red Falcon

[H]F Junkie
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
10,555
That is one of the sexiest pieces of equipment, setup, and repair job I have ever seen.
Mad props to you for fixing and fully configuring all of it, not to mention finding and even knowing about it.

You are truly [H]ard!!! (y)


Seems like something erek and Red Falcon would be interested in. Very cool!
Thank you very much for mentioning us both, I greatly appreciate it!
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
That is one of the sexiest pieces of equipment, setup, and repair job I have ever seen.
Mad props to you for fixing and fully configuring all of it, not to mention finding and even knowing about it.

You are truly [H]ard!!! (y)
Thank you for the very kind words :) I really appreciate things like that. I'm honestly not the smartest guy at troubleshooting hardware faults but hey I am learning! :)
 

Mahigan

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
142
I remember those cards from back in the day. I still have a Quantum Obsidian X-24 with the Medusa cable. It's basically a sandwiched variant of one of those Obsidian 2 200SBi boards.

This brings back memories :)
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
I remember those cards from back in the day. I still have a Quantum Obsidian X-24 with the Medusa cable. It's basically a sandwiched variant of one of those Obsidian 2 200SBi boards.

This brings back memories :)

That's awesome!! I also myself have an X-24 with a homemade Medusa cable. :)

My X-24 was my first ever form of SLI and it's my favorite single card I have ever had hands down. Bought it a few years ago and ever since I've been hooked on Quantum3D hardware!!
 
Last edited:

Mahigan

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
142
That's awesome!! I also myself have an X-24 with a homemade Medusa cable. :)

My X-24 was my first ever form of SLI and it's my favorite single card I have ever had hands down. Bought it a few years ago and ever since I've been hooked on Quantum3D hardware!!
Yeah, back in the day we used to fanboi on those cards in the 3dfx forums. They were "god-like" to us (the 200SBi boards that is).
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Yeah, back in the day we used to fanboi on those cards in the 3dfx forums. They were "god-like" to us (the 200SBi boards that is).
Hahahah that's awesome! Unfortunately I only learned about Quantum3D around 3 years ago.. Been following standard 3DFX stuff for a while now though :)
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
I add no value on helping fix anything, but stuff like this is always amazing. Well done!
Thank you very much :) In the photo it was before the soldering but I didn't drag across the pins like most people do because I was just trying to be as cautious as I could be with the pads. Doesn't look quite as amazing as the dragging techniques I've seen, but I would hate to screw up a pad on one of these boards haha!
 

deaedius

Gawd
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
974
Thank you very much :) In the photo it was before the soldering but I didn't drag across the pins like most people do because I was just trying to be as cautious as I could be with the pads. Doesn't look quite as amazing as the dragging techniques I've seen, but I would hate to screw up a pad on one of these boards haha!
Based on the work you've done and the cards you have. I would say job well done!! Then look at my soldering and realize I have no clue what I'm doing!!! lol
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Welp the blue 2D passthrough was caused by a shorted CYBUS3384QC 10 Bit digital bus switch. Massive shout out to my good friends JJ Dasher and George Rudolf Mezzomo with helping me troubleshoot this board.. Now it's 100% perfect with a new chip! That means I now have 4 100% perfect Quantum3D Obsidian 2 200SBi's... Sooooooo stay tuned for the revival of the legendary Mercury brick!!
1f609.png
;) I'm beyond excited!!!!
IMG_20190125_010054.jpg
IMG_20190125_010455.jpg
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Well much more progress has been made! :) We're right on the edge of getting there boys!!! VERY exciting stuff.. (Don't mind my ghetto pass through cable.. A much better solution will be made in the future!!)

Having something like this was only something I thought was possible in dreams.. I've owned this brick for a little over a year now so seeing it this close is something very special for me. Thank you all for your support on here :)

-Ross


IMG_20190306_012447.jpg
IMG_20190306_000309.jpg
53376279_315354029184524_4839341683369836544_n.jpg
 

Comixbooks

Ignore Me
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
15,372
What type of motherboard are you using how old is it? I'm still clinging on to a Asus from 2002 but haven't used it since 2010.
 

Formula.350

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
1,107
Nice score! I was going to joke about how perhaps the one you bought may have been my old card, but then I realized what I had was a 100SB (Dual V1) :p
http://maxpain.lackeydom.net/Obsidian 100SB Voodoo1.JPG

I have a similar pride-and-joy, which was sparked by owning that 100SB... I have 2x Q3D AAlchemy 8132, with a Voodoo3-powered "Sensor Post Processor" (think of it as a dedicated "Shader" card). I've never fired them up though (save for the SPP, which is how I determined it was a V3 chip), mainly out of fear, but also due to improper documentation on voltage. Some of the specialty PSUs were 2.9V output, but my cards are silkscreened with 2.7V.

I haven't been on Gary's site in forever, but I don't ever recall if he had gotten ahold of that V3-powered SPP card. I can tell you that I had never heard of it before and was elated to have picked it up in the auction (also thankfully this was before the 3Dfx and Q3D craze, so I got 'em for less than $100) :p
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
That's absolutely awesome!!!!! I've been searching for a 100SB for a while now aaaaaaaaaand... Yeah... Impossible to find... When I find one I bet the guy will want 1K if not more.. Btw I almost got an AAlchemy 8164 with the original PSU from my Chinese friend Fei but the board ended up being bad.. :c
 

Formula.350

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
1,107
That's absolutely awesome!!!!! I've been searching for a 100SB for a while now aaaaaaaaaand... Yeah... Impossible to find... When I find one I bet the guy will want 1K if not more.. Btw I almost got an AAlchemy 8164 with the original PSU from my Chinese friend Fei but the board ended up being bad.. :c
And who knows if it's the PSU that fried the board, or I'd be curious about it!
I don't look for Q3D stuff anymore except once in a blue moon when my friend is looking for a 3Dfx card. They've always been super hard to find though. I do still have my 200SB (X-24, just has the headers for the Gen-Lock daughter board)... I think, I hope. lol I still have the Medusa cable, and I cannot imagine I'd ever have sold it without that. So I'm pretty sure it's still in my possession, packed away somewhere ;)
EDIT: Blind as a bat... The 200SB was in an antistatic bag sitting on top of one of the AAlchemy cards. No clue how I missed that last time I looked for it o_0

(Also, while all of the AAlchemy boards have 8164 silkscreened on them, not all actually "are" from a technical standpoint. I'm sure since you've been to Dodge Garage that you're aware of the decoding on that, but it's: 8 GPUs, 1 PCB, 64 memory capacity. If one side has empty memory provisioning, then it's only equipped with 32MB per GPU. Thus why I called mine 8132 heh I guess now, with both of mine, it'd technically be an 8232... but I won't split hairs that far since they weren't bought together.)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Yeah I've got an X-24 and another 200 SBi that is an 04 rev board. I just wanna keep getting more and more Q3D stuff but honestly even if I never get anything more I'd be happy with this brick and what I've got. But yeah that 8164 was artifacting, it wasn't DEAD DEAD but way more trouble than what it's worth.. I don't wanna touch BGA's lol.
 

{NG}Fidel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
6,286
Hey there all, I don't believe I've ever posted on this site before but I've used it as a source of information for a very long time. I just figured I'd show one of my projects that I'm currently working on as some of you might find it interesting :)

First of all if you're not familiar with these boards.. They are basically two 3DFX Voodoo 2 chipsets in SLI on a single board. 4 boards = 8 Voodoo 2 chipsets that were used to achieve 4 tap rotated grid FSAA with no performance loss. These boards were used for military simulation and even NASA used them for certain configurations. (You can look up thedodgegarage to see more detailed information on these. Yes Gary Donovan I see you ;) )

Around December of last year, I ended up snagging an extremely rare Quantum3D Obsidian 2 200SBi board on eBay that has a black PCB with the full-length heatsinks and 125MHz EDO from the later green PCB revision boards. The board also had the rare "546-0014-05" BIOS.. I've contacted every Quantum3D collector that I know personally and so far it's the only known 200SBi with this configuration in existence.

View attachment 135785

View attachment 135786

Anyways, I ended up contacting the company that I bought the board from and of course the eBay operator was out sick... At that point, I called back every single day within minutes of the store opening to try and reach him. I eventually got in touch with the guy and asked if he had any more of the boards (In hopes that a full brick came in) and to my surprise, he had the other 3 boards with the bridge and all the hardware to mount them together. Unfortunately, the case and the rest of the system was recycled :c at least they had the common sense to not recycle the 200SBi's!!!!

I promptly paid him over the phone (Trying to keep my cool and not scream with excitement) and the 3 boards + bridge + hardware, were then on their way to my house.

At this point, I was freaking out like someone that had just won a 1million dollar lotto, as this was my dream to obtain a Mercury brick. I was useless at work that day from my excitement.

When I received the 3 other 200SBi's, they all matched the first one however, they had 100MHz EDO instead of the 125MHz memory.. Interesting?

The only logical explanation that I can come up with is that these boards were manufactured at the EXACT point where they were switching to the new green PCB models and some parts got mixed in the process. Which makes this a very unique brick! :)

Of course, I had to assemble it because I couldn't hold in my excitement any longer.

View attachment 135790

View attachment 135791

As I tested the boards the results were as follows.

--125MHz EDO board (Board 1)--

Perfect with no issues

--100MHz EDO board (Board 2)--

Perfect with no issues

--100MHz EDO board (Board 3)--

Texture errors

--100MHz EDO board (Board 4)--

Shows blue tinted image in 2D (Passthrough) perfect image in 3D



For the year after acquiring these boards I was mostly focused on other retro PC projects and wanted to wait for the time to give my full effort into resurrecting this brick and making it 100% functional.

That time is now.


After finding out that the board with texture errors only had some loose pins on the QFP TMU on the far end of the board I started my re-work.

In progress (Somewhere around 14-16 pins loose on the top right of the TMU. Some on the top pins and some on the right-hand side upper pins. Nothing some quality flux paste and a nice iron + microscope can't handle!

View attachment 135796

200SBi before re-work

View attachment 135794

200SBi after re-work

View attachment 135795






And that leaves me here!!

I'm currently troubleshooting the board with the blue image in 2D with a couple of my very intelligent retro hardware enthusiast friends. More updates to come!!
Your are a legend. Amazing find gone to someone who knows what to do.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
45
Okay guys, last night I was playing Unreal and Half-Life on this thing just fine and let me tell you.. The image quality is absolutely amazing with the 4 tap RG FSAA.. I plan to do a full video on this brick with as much information/interesting things included as I can think of.

If you guys have any awesome ideas for my next video with the Mercury please let me know on here and I will consider them all!!! Thank you all so much for your support!!
 

cybereality

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
5,943
Can you do a video of Forsaken or Descent?

Also, do you have any video capture equipment so we can see a full quality video (not recorded with a camera)?
 
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