3dfx Voodoo5 6000

The 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 Bought for $15,000 at Public sale

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Final week, a collector put up a uncommon 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 graphics card for public sale on eBay. This was a completely practical prototype, with engineering work from former 3dfx worker Jindrich Semenec to get the cardboard working with 8xFSAA. Bidding shortly eclipsed $12,000, and the closing sale worth ended up at $15,000 (opens in new tab). Here is what we all know for now.

The vendor bought the cardboard initially from a good friend, because it was one thing of a holy grail for graphics card collectors. Over time, nonetheless, they felt there wasn’t fairly as a lot emotional attachment to the Voodoo 5 6000, and they also determined to place the cardboard up for public sale in order that another person may take pleasure in it.

Getting the cardboard working in a contemporary PC is not attainable, because it makes use of the lengthy since discontinued AGP 4X interface. AGP quickly dwindled in use with the arrival of PCI Specific in 2003, although the Voodoo 5 sequence of playing cards first appeared in 2000, and 3dfx filed for chapter in 2002. However when you have an outdated Pentium III or comparable rig nonetheless kicking round, you can probably nonetheless run the Voodoo 5 6000 in it.

As for specs, the cardboard makes use of 4 of the Napalm 30 structure VSA-100 chips clocked at 166 MHz. Every chip options two pixel shaders and no vertex shaders (as these weren’t round in 2000). There are additionally two texturing models and two render outputs (ROPs) per chip, and the cardboard used SLI — Scan Line Interleaving, not the Nvidia Scalable Hyperlink Interface — to place all 4 chips to make use of. Every GPU was additionally paired with 32MB of SDR reminiscence working on the similar 166 MHz because the GPU core, for a complete of 128MB.

The VSA-100 chips have been fabricated on a 250nm course of, with a dimension of round 112mm^2 and simply 14 million transistors per chip. Even the bottom of built-in graphics options today will use way more transistors, although a variety of these go towards issues like AVC, HEVC, and/or AV1 encoding/decoding assist, along with the assorted graphics duties. With 4 chips complete, the Voodoo 5 6000 was rated at as much as 60W of energy use — strive to not let it go to your head!

Whereas the cardboard may pull many of the wanted energy over the AGP connection, it does function a barrel-style exterior energy adapter. Notice additionally that the one output obtainable is a single VGA connector, although that is no shock contemplating the age of the {hardware}.

Simply how briskly would the Voodoo 5 6000 be in comparison with fashionable graphics playing cards? Even when we ignore the dearth of assist for newer APIs (DirectX 6 was the utmost on the time), it is not going to set any data. 4 pixel shaders at 166 MHz yields a theoretical efficiency of two.66 Giga-ops per second. That may put it roughly on par with the Radeon 9700 that got here out in 2002, in response to our GPU benchmarks hierarchy (opens in new tab).

Or possibly we have to add in some further “ops” for the ROPS and TMUs — truthfully, it has been so lengthy since we moved to unified shaders that I hardly bear in mind how they may evaluate with newer GPUs. Suffice it to say you will not be working Home windows 11 or any remotely current video games on the Voodoo 5 6000. However that is assuming you even need to, as extra seemingly than not this may find yourself enshrined on a shelf slightly than sitting in a PC that may really be used.

Regardless of the case, that is definitely a uncommon piece of gaming historical past. 3dfx Interactive was one of many driving forces behind early 3D video games on PC, and it additionally powered some arcade machines within the late 90s. RIP, 3dfx and Voodoo.

We’re making an attempt to get further particulars on who bought the cardboard, so in the event you’re one of many two concerned events and want to discuss, drop me a word.

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