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VSA-100 (Part I)

From a Gamer's Perspective

3dfx has once again managed to make quite a splash at COMDEX, the Las Vegas-based computer trade show and Mecca for Dilberts across the globe. This year, we finally gave up the goods on our newest product (no doubt you’ve heard the code name floating on the ‘net), which has been hotly anticipated since we first revealed the hyper-cool T-Buffer technology a few months ago. With the announcement of the VSA-100 Engine and the Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 family of products, we’re kicking butt for Y2K gaming.

The Core

At the heart of both the Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 family of products is 3dfx’s newest chip, the VSA-100 Engine. 3dfx will be able to offer an extremely wide range of products based on this hardware. You’ll see anywhere from single chip (Voodoo4 4000 and 4500) to dual chip (Voodoo5 5000 and 5500) to quad chip products (Voodoo5 6000). Quantum3D will even be offering a 32 chip solution, but with a price tag of up to $40,000, it may not be the type of product you run out and buy for your home computer.

The VSA-100 is everything you need for your games. The chip is AGP4x compliant, but 3dfx will also be producing PCI versions for those of you without AGP slots (PCI cards are also keen for our Mac gamers out there, as well as folks who want to run multi-monitor systems). Each chip can take advantage of up to 64MB of memory, which is how we’re managing to crank out incredible gaming boards like the 64MB Voodoo5 5500 and the "so powerful it's kind of ridiculous" 128MB Voodoo5 6000. The new hardware also supports both DirectX texture compression and 3dfx’s superior open-source FXT1 compression scheme and 32-bit color textures up to 2048K X 2048K in size. FXT1's texture compression is a visual leap forward, allowing large textures to be compressed into a relatively small footprint, with no noticable degradation in image quality. The final speeds will be between 166 and 183 based on memory prices and what we see during chip validation.

The New Voodoo (Part II)
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