The 3Dfx Voodoo Difference: This is why we love them

The game we are looking at here is Tomb Raider. It is an action adventure video game developed
by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive in 1996. The PC used in this video is from 1997 and
this is what the game looks like in the standard 320 x 200 resolution. We will look at the computer in a bit more
detail later on. The PC version of Tomb Raider supports a higher
640 x 480 resolution. We can clearly see the PC struggling and the
game is not smooth at all. And this is 3Dfx Voodoo version. It also runs at the 640 x 480 resolution,
but with a locked 30 fps, texture filtering, mipmapping and antialiasing. Let’s look at that again. Here is the standard PC version. And this is what the game looks like on the
same PC, but with a 3Dfx Voodoo. Let’s put them side by side to really see
the difference. And that right there is the 3Dfx Voodoo difference. Enjoy this video
We will look at some more game comparisons later on, and of course check out the Voodoo
card, but now let’s a have a look at the system used in this video. Over the last few weeks I reviewed a range
of popular Socket 7 processors. It all started with a DOS gaming PC build
that the viewers could vote on, choosing the processor, graphics card and MIDI device. The motherboard is an Asus SP97-XV with a
chipset from SIS. We are using 32 MB of SDRAM, a Tseng ET6000
PCI graphics card and for sound we got an ESS AudioDrive. To really show the 3Dfx Voodoo difference,
we are using the Cyrix 6×86 200 again, this was the slowest processor that we looked at
and is great for demonstrating what an upgrade you’re going to get with a Voodoo card. Here we are looking at Descent II running
on the Cyrix 6×86 200. Is a 1996 first-person shooter video game
developed by Parallax Software and published by Interplay Productions. It is the second game in the Descent video
game series and unlike standard first-person shooters, the player must control a flying
ship that has a six degrees of freedom movement scheme, allowing the player to move in any
3D direction. The game is kind of playable, but far from
optimal. Once again the 640 x 480 resolution is just
a little bit too demanding for this machine. The game actually has a built-in frame counter
and we are getting just over 20 fps. And this is the 3dfx Voodoo version on the
same machine. Look at the difference. On the Voodoo the game is locked at a constant
60 fps most of the time. There are some occasional dips in framerate
when the scene is busy, but most of the time we are getting silky smooth 60 fps. And of course we get texture filtering, resulting
in a less blocky image. Let’s compare them side by side and we can
clearly see just what a difference the 3dfx Voodoo makes
The 3Dfx Voodoo launched in November of 1996. It is a PCI 3D only graphics card, that required
a pass-through cable from a separate 2D card, in our case we paired it up with the Tseng
ET6000. A large number of companies produces the 3DFx
Voodoo, however the Orchid Righteous 3D as well as the Diamond Multimedia Monster
3D can be considered as the most popular models. The card I’m using is a Diamond Monster 3D. Although we are only looking at DOS games
in this video, there are a vast range of 3D accelerated Windows games that run perfectly
on the 3DFx Voodoo. The card doesn’t need any drivers, however
you can control certain aspect of it through simple environment variables. Here is an example of a batch file I like
to use, which lowers the gamma a little bit, as the default setting is extremely bright,
sets the refresh rate to 60 Hz and also enables v-sync. I’ve done a video previously showing the
different gamma settings and I’ve also uploaded drivers and other resources onto my website,
I’ll put the links down below in the description. Depending on your region, prices for a 3Dfx
Voodoo can vary greatly. At the moment the cheapest Voodoo available
to us Aussies goes for 60 Australian dollars. So do check in your area, chances are you
get a much better deal, but you got to realise that anything from 3Dfx is highly saught after
and prices can get a bit silly. DOS games would receive patches, usually a
new executable, that you just copy into the game folder to launch the improved 3Dfx version. Game support for Voodoo cards has always been
excellent, everyone made sure that their games would run well on cards from 3Dfx because
of their popularity with gamers.The next game we’re looking is Screamer 2, or in other
regions knows as Bleifuss Zwei. It is the follow-up to Screamer, an arcade-style
racing game. Offering more of rally-oriented gameplay it
comes with four customisable cars, high resolution graphics, tracks from regions such as the
US, England, Switzerland, Egypt and others. It also has some really catchy CD audio tracks
and a built-in CD player that lets you change tracks during gameplay. Screamer 2 is an extremely demanding DOS games when run at 640 x 480 resolution. It also uses also uses 16 bit colours which certainly doesn’t make it any easier. Our machine is clearly not fast enough to
run this game at a decent frame rate. And this is the 3Dfx Voodoo version. There is just no comparison, it’s like a
completely different game. While we don’t have a frame counter, it
does feel like locked 60 fps with the occasional dips below that. We also get some nice texture filtering and
overall the image looks more pleasant to the eye. Here we have the two versions side by side. If you ever wanted to know what the 3Dfx Voodoo
difference is, just look at this example. If you had a 3Dfx Voodoo back in the day,
you know exactly why we love them so much. These cards changed gaming, many established
graphics cards companies got caught with their pants down and it forced everyone in the industry
to either adapt or perish. Share your 3Dfx Voodoo memories down below. What was that game that made you go out and
buy one. For me it was Tomb Raider. When I saw the graphics the 3Dfx Voodoo card
pulled out, I knew that PC 3D gaming was about to make a huge leap forward. And that’s it guys. Thank you so for much for watching! Subscribe if you haven’t, thank you if you
have. Please share, like or dislike the video and
share your thoughts down below, I always love hearing from you guys. I see you soon in another video.

100 thoughts on “The 3Dfx Voodoo Difference: This is why we love them

  1. No other PC hardware upgrade impressed me so much since then, and I guess no other ever will. It was just a complete different world.
    The praise of new features today's Graphids Cards manufacturers make with each new generation is just outright boring in comparison.
    My brother and me just built us some nice Pentium 2 / Voodoo 3 gaming rigs to do some retro gaming/LAN. Worth every penny! (I still have my old youth rig though: P133, 16MByte of RAM, S3 Virge Shocker DX + Voodoo Graphics. Yeah! 😀 Today quite some websites would not fit in the RAM those machines hat to run games and even windows in their later days. ^^)

  2. Nothing can ever replace this thing.. it turned my p1 200 MHZ with MMX with 64MB ram into a powerhouse..
    Whiplash was my game on voodoo.. set the refresh to 75 hz and the difficulty to impossible.. it ran so fast the announcer would cut himself off… Quake is what made me buy this card.. to this day.. nothing had the voodoo effect.. if 3dfx was still going we would have laptops playing doom4 max settings at 4k 60

  3. I saw Quake 2 running on a 3DFX card at my local LAN club. I told my mum about this earth shattering developement. By some miracle she took me out the next day and I came home the proud owner of a 6mb Canopus Pure3D. Changed my life.

  4. Mechwarrior Mercs sold me on this card. I don't think any product gave as great a jump in gaming quality as the 3dfx. I remember the difference in Quake was just might and day. I stuck with them until the bitter end. No regrets. Remember the glide screen savers? They were amazing too.

  5. For me was Need for Speed 2 and GTA 2 in a Pentium MMX 166 MHz with a Trident 2MB PCI. I still have my Diamond Voodoo 2 8MB in a PIII 700 MHz for DOS / W98 retro gaming.
    Exelent Video.

  6. Jane's WWII Fighters forced my hand or rather my parents hands. I bought the game in Austria on a ski trip. I had invited some friends over to play my new world war two game. And my pc could not handle it at all, totally unplayable. My parents contacted a friend of the family and at a dinner, he brought over the new graphics card. My parents thought that the card was very expensive, but ultimately bought the card. A 3Dfx Voodoo 2 diamond with 12 mb ram, my PC got blasted into the future, and the PC held up, until I got a Pentium III. So I skipped Pentium 2 because of my voodoo card.. miss that card.

  7. still got my first boxed voodoo2 card i bought and been given another, all started with voodo 1 orcid, it proper changed gaming

  8. Half life and Unreal Tournament. I had a Voodoo 3 3000. I still remember when my mother gifted it to me for christmas hahaha. I was 8 I think.

  9. I played Quake 3 Arena on 3Dfx Voodoo 2 12Mb. Silky smooth. Of course after I bought 64Mb RAM module on a grey market in Poland. It was a bit choppy on 16Mb 😀

  10. The basic problem it was most of (old of course) game have 2 different assets of texture and physics and almost always the game look different whit a 3dfx graphic card… like for example Carmageddon had 2 folders called 32 and 64 and you could use the "64" asset only with the 3dfx card.
    With the new 3dfx driver emulator I tried to run Tombraider 1 on my old pc with a s3 trio3d (that the fist result it was exactly like that video, crap graphic and unstable performance) but with that driver emulator I was able to execute the game in 3dfx version without lost any performance.

  11. Those television commercials were great! I had a Voodoo 2,3, and 5 back in the day. I wish I still had them. They got lost in time. Except the Voodoo 5, that one was stolen.

  12. It was 1997. I was playing Quake II in software render mode. Read about Voodoo, and it sounded great! Plunked down $120 dollars, raced home as fast as I could… When I loaded up the game, I saw something that changed my life FOREVER… gaming at over 100FPS (in 1997!!!). Being primarily a console gamer at the time, this left me utterly speechless…

  13. I remember myself playing Unreal, Half Life, Quake, etc… the Diamond Monster 3d was a real monster back then… you could use it even in a mac!!! I replace it for a Ati Rage Fury Max… that was a even bigger monster!!

  14. I know this is an extremely old video, but I'm still going to post. I tried to play final fantasy on my crappy Packard bell. It ran a Cyrix MII 300MHz with some junk gpu. It was god awful to even play. So, my friend lent me a TNT2 and it wouldn't boot. I risked buying the Voodoo 2 hoping it would boot as it was a add in card. It did and made it run perfectly. Best $250 I ever spent.

  15. I remember when young me upgraded our family's shitty Compaq PC with first 1 Voodoo 2 card and then later a second card.
    2xVoodoo 2 in SLI, not with a bridge but with a cable connecting the two on the back of the PC lol.
    It ran games like UT99 so well it was totally worth it and all I could afford at the time cus I found them for a good price. It was amazing to be able to crank up the settings higher than I ever had before while still enjoying pretty fluent FPS.

  16. Quake games that i can remember.i think i got the voodoo 3000 or 3…lol im not sure but it was the first card i ever bought

  17. Unreal & carmageddon & quake 2 & tomb raider where like another dimension when i switched from onboard graphics to the voodoo2 card

  18. It was Final Fantasy VII for PC. It was amazing with a Diamond Monster 3D II in summer of 1998. Cost me $200 then for the 8MB

  19. Need for Speed 2 Special Edition. The bees being smashed on the screen blew my mind and made me ask my parents to buy me a Diamond Monster II 3dfx Voodoo 2 graphics card

  20. Personally, I had a Tseng Labs ET6000 that I kept happily playing Sims and Age of Empires II on until I upgraded to a late socket A VIA integrated chip that was a significant upgrade in performance, but was soon replaced by a brand new AGP 6800GS 512MB.

    I went from being able to play TS1 with a maximum of 2 expansions installed (Livin Large and House Party. Hot Date and above wouldn't start up) to being able to max out TS2 quite happily overnight…

  21. 3Dfx Voodoo is the classic Graphic Card that way ahead of it's time. Even the NVIDIA and AMD Radeon couldn't beat 3Dfx Voodoo back then

  22. I had a rage pro 128. I had a love hate relationship with it. It ran fast as hell in directx, but about half that speed in opengl, but the opengl compatibility was higher.

  23. In The emulator Project64 the unique Graphic Card capable to RUN 007 Golden Eye and Cruisn USA at 60FPS is constantly is 3DFX VOODOO 2 and 3 and 4
    With an GTX1080Ti or RTX 2080Ti you can not.
    Dammned nvidia buyed 3DFX to not lose anymore and close her for ever
    If 3DFX still be on the market no one can stop her. But RIP 3DFX

  24. back in the day especially in my country PC components were really expensive and rare, year was 2000 when I got a PC with 64mb of RAM, 300mhz CPU and just one precious 1MB of VRAM on 3Dfx Voodoo 1 card, maan dos games rocked, like heretic and hexen were a joy to play, however prince of persia 3D was 0.3fps hahaha

  25. back then i'm using voodoo3 2000 n then voodoo 5 5500 the picture quality maybe lost to geforce series, but the frame rate still the best, im switching to geforce2 because of 3d glasses

  26. Quake 2; I watched Quake 2 on a Voodoo, and I knew I had to have one, except I didn't… I got myself a Voodo2, which had only just come out. And lo and behold, especially Quake 2, the difference was even bigger! Whole new colored lighting; this thing was awesome!

  27. Game that made me want to upgrade to a 3Dfx the most: Either Need for Speed III or Quake II. Night & day difference when moving from software to 3D accelerated..

  28. It was so frustrating to me when I approached the fire torchs that were in a stage in TRIII: game got painfully slow, almost like I was watching a freaking slideshow instead of playing a videogame. My parents got me a voodoo2 12 MB…from S3? i do not remember exactly if that was the manufacturer, but it was awesome anyway, cause even that was a pricey deal here in Chile at that time…when I played TRIII with voodoo2 I almost cried xD. Freaking Torchs would kiss my freaking AH from then on.

    Excellent video! the Voodoo ads I never got the chance to see one until now…pretty funny!

  29. didnt remember what game causing me buy 3dfx card, i think its the need for speed series, but mostly to experience good quality gaming graphic, my voodoo3 died while playing nfs porsche unleashed, driving the moby dick… move to asus geforce 2 gts with 3d glasses, but because of low fps, after a week then i got rid of it and change to voodoo5, after getting tired of voodoo5, no other choice than to move to geforce fx

    but 3dfx still impress me, cause its a quantum leap of 3d gaming tech, and i still occasionally wear my voodoo5 t-shirt till now bonus from purchasing the graphic card

  30. I have a blackmagic! Mine was doom!! Lmfao! These Commercials would never fly nowadays!! Damn if I had a voodoo in my brain!

  31. We were in a mall that had a Babbages, they had two computers running Tomb Raider. One was the Voodoo and the other was the software. I know that the one with the Voodoo had a slower processor, because they wanted to show you how much of a difference there was. I was saving up for one with my brother, but then Voodoo 2 came out. We bought Half-Life and it was almost unplayable on our Cyrix 686. My dad bought us a Creative Voodoo Banshee, but it was AGP, so we had to upgrade the motherboard. This set me down my path of always upgrading.

  32. Nothing beat going from 320×240 software rendering in Unreal 1 to a 8MB Voodoo2 at 800×600.

    3Dfx were gods at the time.

  33. For me, the biggest advantage to running with the Voodoo, that made me buy one the second I saw it demo'ed, was the perspective correct texture mapping. It was very expensive to calculate accurate texture perspective during mapping when running on the CPU, especially at higher resolutions, so you often had that sliding texture effect that you can see in the 640×480 software mode rendering for Tomb Raider. Throw in mipmapping, filtering and 16bit color, and you had something that changed gaming overnight – the single biggest jump in visual graphics quality since the Amiga OCS chipset.

  34. The software that made me decide to go out and buy a Voodoo2 card (I skipped the first generation) was UltraHLE. I was (still am) an emulation freak, and the prospect of playing N64 games on my PC at what then was high resolution was too much to resist. I also enjoyed the speed increases in PSEmuPro (PS1 emulator), Quake2 and Sentinel Returns. And then I bought Unreal… man, what a game.

  35. Forsaken at 1024×768 on my Voodoo Banshee was a turning point for PC gaming for me. GLQuake also blew my mind.

  36. Final Fantasy 7 got me to buy a $200 3dfx card. Without a dedicated video card, FF7 chugged along in software mode and looked terrible. Add a 3dfx card and it was like playing it on a next generation system. Buttery smooth frame rate and it looked amazing. No telling how many people bought a 3dfx card because of that game.

  37. Well, no game in particular really.
    Maybe resident evil 2 because my friend said that he wouldn't lend it to me till I got a proper 3d card if I recall correctly and boy oh boy was he right. Games ran so much smoother and also looked so much better.

    I remember having bought ff7 for the pc at the time and it ran like arse. Once I got that 3d card, it ran smoothly like a dancing swan and hooboy did it look good for the time being.

  38. Bought a Diamond Monster 3D II (12MB Version) near the end of 1998.
    I added it to my mediocre 2D/3D Graphic adapter that had only 2MB memory. Needless to say, that it blew me away.

    I guess it was priced somewhere at 250 DM (= about 125€, could have been priced even more, i dunno exactly anymore), nevertheless it was pretty much for a 15years old kid.
    But it was worth it, because even in 2001 you were able to play games with it.

    One of the first things i did was playing Unreal 1 with it. Damn, i was the king in school with this "Monster card" 🙂

    Sadly i lost the Voodoo2. Dunno where it went. Guess years ago i threw it away with a ton other old PC stuff. 🙁
    Could kick myself in the butt. Looking at todays prices on Ebay, i could have sold it with a profit….21 years later 😉

  39. la única consola que podía mostrar graficos parecidos a eso que veais con una voodoo  fue la n64, las otras consolas estaban muy atras

  40. I love how you added that funny 3DFX commercial at the end, I was just thinking about it before it showed up at the end of your vid.

  41. I'm too young for that era, I started PC gaming in 2004. Had my godfather's old Pentium II 400 @ 450MHz, 160MB RAM and I got a GeForce 2 MX for a GPU. Now 15 years later, I'm kicking with Ryzen 5 2600 @ 4.15GHz, 16GB RAM and Radeon R9 290 @ 1200/1350MHz, CPU and GPU with custom watercooling.

  42. haha that advert at the end is great, goes through the phony 'we are using technology to save the planet' only to shatter that lying illusion so many shitty companies use with 'attention everybody we are going to forget about that environment stuff and use the chip for computer games'. NICE!

  43. I bought a Diamond Monster II so I could play the N64 emulator UltraHLE. Then, I went on to Tomb Raider, Unreal, Quake II, etc. Literally "game changing".

  44. Where are we supposed to get 3dfx voodoo cards now? ebay has sort of ran out of a lot of the voodoo 5s and 3s, so now the pricing is crazy.

    electromine or aliexpress I think had clone cards at one point, do you know of any better place than ebay to get these?

  45. I just bought one for compatibility reasons… The grafics were way less glitchy and didnt have these horrendous fake lens flare effect on Riva cards.
    But then again, alot of games back then didnt support OpenGL, which was when you sorta "had" to resort to Glide or it just wouldnt be playable…

  46. I saved up a while for this. Game changer! GL Quake!! This is bringing me back. Pentium 75, 32mb ram, 640mb hdd, 28.8 modem the good ole days lol

  47. My 3dfx Voodoo memories mainly involve drooling over them as a teenager. A couple of days ago I picked up a Dell Dimesion XPS T500 very cheaply as it wouldn't post. I opened it up to discover a Voodoo3 3000. Thankfully the card was working fine and it wasn't posting due to a bad stick of ram, 256mb of PC100 later and the whole system works perfectly and I'm enjoying games as they could have been back in the day.

  48. Tomb Raider 2 I think was the first game that I tried my Voodoo 3, 2000 on. I think it was, I’m not certain though because it was a loooooong time ago.

  49. Any advice on improving performance of screamer 2 in DOSBOX (win 8.1)? Im playing through 3dfx wrapper, 640 x 480p, having 25-27 fps on average (fraps), barely ever above 30. The game and the wrapper use cca 50% of CPU (phenom II x6 3.5Ghz). I would really like to hit above 40fps.

  50. I have a short list of tech that changed everything. C64, Amiga, Doom, Voodoo GFX, Win 95, WII, Mobile Phones, Win10, VR. . . to be continued,

  51. The first 3D graphics card I ever purchased was the ATI Rage Fury Maxx, in 2000. It was right at the end of the 3DFX company, when I was getting into PC hardware. Despite my card's reputation, I guess I got lucky with what I wanted to play because I loved the card through-and-through, until I wanted to run WinXP and there were no drivers for it. Sadly I never owned any 3DFX hardware back in the day, but I did own many games that supported and mentioned their tech so I was aware of them; I was just a few years late in joining the party. Now that I'm into retro PC hardware, I absolutely love 3DFX and Glide! The 3D-only nature of the early Voodoo cards is really cool! When I put together my first retro desktop, it was initially based around my good old Rage Fury Maxx and a pair of Voodoo2's in SLI. Being able to select which chipset/API I want to use to play a game on the same machine is really special. There are some games that look better on the ATI card, but plenty of earlier/DOS games that are downright amazing on the Voodoo2's. Being able to play the same games I remember from back then but have them look different is really cool too.

  52. The game changer for me was Need for Speed 2 SE! I absolutely love the game, and it gives me the chills just remembering the awe of the first time I plugged in a Voodoo2 card in my P233 back in 1999. It transformed the gameplay SO MUCH, the graphics became so beautiful, new special effects, I was mesmerized! Then, it was Unreal Tournament! This game made me buy my second Voodoo2 for the SLI awesomeness! It was addictive! The first time a PC could run games MUCH better than a gaming console. Too bad they went bankrupt, it was so sad :'(

  53. Someday I hope to be able to afford one. Unfortunately prices just keep climbing.

    Until then, yay for nGlide I guess 🙂

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