Retro 3dfx Voodoo1 and Voodoo5 5500/6000 Builds

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I'm sure I could google it... but was there some issue with these Voodoo's that also led to their decline (aside performance vs. nvidia back then)? I still have my old Voodoo 3 AGP, last I checked it some years back it still worked. Every single one of my video cards dating back to a Riva TNT 2, all my AGP cards and all my previous PCIe cards all still work. But I read so many stories about old Voodoo's simply not working anymore.
 

kindasmart

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I fondly remember when a motherboard actually acted as a motherboard with multiple daughter-cards attached to it: 1) Video, 2) Floppy-I/O card, 3) HDD, 4) Modem, 5) Sound, 6) NIC and maybe 7) memory expansion. Trying to figure out how to physically fit everything, the internal cabling, IRQ setup, DIP switches, jumpers, etc. Sure it could be a PITA but it really felt like you were building a computer system.

Now-a-days if you don't game and your CPU has a GPU built it you won't have any expansion cards on your motherboard. The only drama left in building a new system is installing the O/S.
 

OutOfPhase

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I fondly remember when a motherboard actually acted as a motherboard with multiple daughter-cards attached to it: 1) Video, 2) Floppy-I/O card, 3) HDD, 4) Modem, 5) Sound, 6) NIC and maybe 7) memory expansion. Trying to figure out how to physically fit everything, the internal cabling, IRQ setup, DIP switches, jumpers, etc. Sure it could be a PITA but it really felt like you were building a computer system.

Now-a-days if you don't game and your CPU has a GPU built it you won't have any expansion cards on your motherboard. The only drama left in building a new system is installing the O/S.
I was just talking to a padawan the other day about the joy of dip-switches, and the model of the user being the resource manager vs. the OS.

It was awful, to be honest, from a usability angle. And I/we kinda loved it, eh?

Boot-tetris was a real game.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I'm sure I could google it... but was there some issue with these Voodoo's that also led to their decline (aside performance vs. nvidia back then)?

In 98/99, 3dfx bought STB Systems, which was one of their biggest AIB partners to bring all card production in-house and shut out all of their former AIBs. This is one of the big reasons they fell from grace so rapidly, by alienating everyone around them and costing them millions of dollars in lost sales. You probably remember there being dozens of AIBs that made Voodoo2, Banshee, Rush, etc. cards before and when the Voodoo3 came out, it was all STB Systems. There were a tiny number of 3rd party AIBs for the Voodoo3 and onwards, but they were almost entirely in non-US markets where 3dfx didn't have the distribution channels.

If it hadn't been for the greed and shutting out all of the AIBs, 3dfx may have well survived into the Rampage era by selling low budget Voodoo3/4 cards to OEMs, who had been eating them up like hotcakes. All of those OEMs and AIBs went to Nvidia and ATI, who both made out like bandits on the low end and sold millions of TNT1/2 and Rage cards in the late 90s and early 2000s.

I still have my old Voodoo 3 AGP, last I checked it some years back it still worked. Every single one of my video cards dating back to a Riva TNT 2, all my AGP cards and all my previous PCIe cards all still work. But I read so many stories about old Voodoo's simply not working anymore.

Lots of 3dfx cards died because of grossly inadequate cooling. 3dfx specced a tiny heatsinks for their lower end Voodoo3 cards that made them run hotter than the blazes of hell and burn out. Like the Voodoo3 2000 heatsink would get so hot that the anodization on them would discolor and sometimes burn off. They'd also char the PCB under them, or at least turn it brown. I've read old forum posts on the net of people that have had hard drives suddenly stop working or PCs shutting off only to find a cable was touching the heatsink and had melted through the insulation.

I have a couple of Voodoo3 2000 cards which originally had black heatsinks that are now either purple or blue from running smoking hot for years before they came into my possession. They definitely don't run right anymore, both cards have artifacting issues and get unstable if run for any length of time, even under a fan to keep them cool.

Voodoo4 and 5 cards had even worse cooling with the wafer thin heatsinks and the crappy low profile fans. I remember a few years back, I finally got around to removing the old heatsinks from my Voodoo5 to put better ones on and it was horrible. One of the VSA-100 chips had a bubble of air in the thermal epoxy that got entombed between the chip and the heatsink and all of the epoxy in that air pocket had burned to ash. When I got the heatsink off, it unleashed the smell of death that lingered around for days afterwards.
 

Starfalcon

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I fondly remember when a motherboard actually acted as a motherboard with multiple daughter-cards attached to it: 1) Video, 2) Floppy-I/O card, 3) HDD, 4) Modem, 5) Sound, 6) NIC and maybe 7) memory expansion. Trying to figure out how to physically fit everything, the internal cabling, IRQ setup, DIP switches, jumpers, etc. Sure it could be a PITA but it really felt like you were building a computer system.

Now-a-days if you don't game and your CPU has a GPU built it you won't have any expansion cards on your motherboard. The only drama left in building a new system is installing the O/S.

Yeah back in the old Baby AT days, where all the back IO was connected to the board with cables, and the board was a mass of jumpers, DIP switches, and silkscreened settings for said jumpers and DIPs. At least those systems didnt need much airflow as there was mostly zero through the rats nest of cables inside.
 

erek

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Ok, sorry. But I had to ask
I purchased a AWE64 GOLD for the 3dfx Voodoo1 build now today to replace the Soundblaster Vibra16 XV. Excited to finish out that build

https://www.ebay.com/itm/165382403924?hash=item26818f3754:g:Y-sAAOSwjv5iLigu&LH_BIN=1

1647399226009.png
 
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I purchased a AWE64 GOLD for the 3dfx Voodoo1 build now today to replace the Soundblaster Vibra16 XV. Excited to finish out that build

https://www.ebay.com/itm/165382403924?hash=item26818f3754:g:Y-sAAOSwjv5iLigu&LH_BIN=1

View attachment 454164
I have not had any issues yet even in DOS games in Windows 98SE using my PCI SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS with SB16 emulation; but DAMN I love the idea of having the original hardware whenever possible. ISA too... nice.

Sadly, the oldest Sound Card I still have is an old Sound Blaster 16, but it is the PCI version. I was a kid during the early / mid 90's, and sadly, my parents tossed all the old ISA stuff (mobo's, cards, CPUs) from that era long ago from builds i acquired from hand me downs. :( If only they would have hoarded PC components like I do... lol. Luckly, I maintained everything past about 98' as that's when I started building my own PCs with my own cash.
 
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erek

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I have not had any issues yet even in DOS games in Windows 98SE using my PCI SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS with SB16 emulation; but DAMN I love the idea of having the original hardware whenever possible. ISA too... nice.

Sadly, the oldest Sound Card I still have is an old Sound Blaster 16, but it is the PCI version. I was a kid during the early / mid 90's, and sadly, my parents tossed all the old ISA stuff (mobo's, cards, CPUs) from that era long ago from builds i acquired from hand me downs. :( If only they would have hoarded PC components like I do... lol. Luckly, I maintained everything past about 98' as that's when I started building my own PCs with my own cash.
 

viscountalpha

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My boss sold a Voodoo 5500 AGP for $350, That stung because it was too cheap. He did make money off of it. But that hurt a tad. I also picked up a reproduced adlib card and I think it belongs in a 286 build honestly. I grew up with scsi on a 286. I think it was a nice 12mhz? I know my dad did go all out and had like 2meg memory in it. I should show you that XT i'm going to build up erek. It's in perfect shape.
 
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funkydmunky

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I was just talking to a padawan the other day about the joy of dip-switches, and the model of the user being the resource manager vs. the OS.

It was awful, to be honest, from a usability angle. And I/we kinda loved it, eh?

Boot-tetris was a real game.
It was nice when flicking a dip switch could make your cheaper CPU into the expensive one.
 

revenant

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I bought an AWE64 Gold at the LA Computer Fair at Earl Warrent Show Grounds in Santa Barbara in oh in probably 97 or something... man the computer show was so awesome.. I miss that shit. I wanted RCA jacks on a sound card so bad. That replaced my Gravis Ultrasound MAX when Direct Sound really started to kill it off.. Crazy wish I had saved it lol. I think it ended up in a computer I gave someone.. The oldest sound card I have now is an Audigy..
 
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erek

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I bought an AWE64 Gold at the LA Computer Fair at Earl Warrent Show Grounds in Santa Barbara in oh in probably 97 or something... I wanted RCA jacks on a sound card so bad. That replaced my Gravis Ultrasound MAX when Direct Sound really started to kill it off.. Crazy wish I had saved it lol. I think it ended up in a computer I gave someone.. The oldest sound card I have now is an Audigy..
Currently got the Stereo RCA converted to 3.5mm (Headphone?) Jack, noticed my configuration is real quiet. Will spend some time investigating a proper driver and software suite installation but the smoke test passed. Essentially this is the final form of my childhood pc that was never conceived of playing 3d accelerated games before. It’s fun to experience the Voodoo difference first hand (was slightly before my time). I started with a GeForce2 MX 200 and didn’t really do 3d on cpu before that I can recall
 

revenant

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Currently got the Stereo RCA converted to 3.5mm (Headphone?) Jack, noticed my configuration is real quiet. Will spend some time investigating a proper driver and software suite installation but the smoke test passed. Essentially this is the final form of my childhood pc that was never conceived of playing 3d accelerated games before. It’s fun to experience the Voodoo difference first hand (was slightly before my time). I started with a GeForce2 MX 200 and didn’t really do 3d on cpu before that I can recall
Good stuff.. that's why I did my voodoo2 SLI setup... played Unreal and Unreal2 all the way though on them and some UT.. Pretty fun! I have the old driver CDs for the awe (win3.1 and 95) if you need drivers.. but those are likely pretty available on various sites.
 
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edmaroro

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Used some of these to play Unreal Tournament and other 3dfx games over the years. It is hard to maintain different rigs to cover all 3dfx games though. I am kind of loosing some of the early enthusiasm so thinking about finding a new place for these (PM If interested), I may only keep the V1 (Orchid), one Obsidian 2 200sbi and a V5.
 

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erek

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Used some of these to play Unreal Tournament and other 3dfx games over the years. It is hard to maintain different rigs to cover all 3dfx games though. I am kind of loosing some of the early enthusiasm so thinking about finding a new place for these (PM If interested), I may only keep the V1 (Orchid), one Obsidian 2 200sbi and a V5.
Please contribute more to the forum before soliciting sales
 
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