The Voodoo 5500 is a high powered graphics card designed for use in personal computers. I have owned this card for about a 2 years, and have found it to have made a very decent improvement to the speed and resolution levels on my computer. At the moment I am running it on an old 450Mhz machine and am about to swap the card over to a newer 2.4Ghz PC, so I?m hoping that I should see improved performance levels on this computer too. I bought the card for £99 from a local computer supplier and understand that this was a pretty good price to pay as it had originally been selling for closer to £200! This card is no longer manufactured as I believe that 3dfx Interactive, the company who made the card, have stopped making the Voodoo range of graphics cards. Specs The primary aim of this card is to run 3D graphics at a very high frame rate and 2D graphics at very high resolutions. As most computer games use 3D graphics these days it is obvious that this card has been designed with the games player in mind. This is 128 bit card with an onboard memory of 64mb. It uses dual VSA-100 chips and has a standard clock speed of 166Mhz. With the use of a clever piece of software called ?overclock?, this speed can be increased to around 180Mhz. However the more the card is overclocked, the more likely it is to crash and cause your computer to lock up. Overclocking can also cause damage to the card as it causes it to run at a higher temperature and so can ruin the chips if it gets too hot! So as you can see, this feature needs to be used in moderation. This card can also run very high 2D resolutions, up to 2048 x 1536 . Having such a high resolution levels means that this card could also find use with people who use complex 2D graphics design software, or photo editing software. Two large fans are located on the card in order to keep it as cool as possible. It is also worth pointing out that this card is huge! It
only just fits into a standard computer box, so if you have a very compact computer you might not be able to fit this card in the PC! This is the PCI version of the card, so it fits inside the computer and plugs into the standard PCI slot on the motherboard. It requires a power supply from the computer to run the fans, but most computers should have a spare power supply available inside, so connecting the card up shouldn?t cause too many problems. This card features added T&L and FSAA graphics effects, which allow the computer to generate more convincing depth, lighting and motion blur effects, to give further realism to 3D graphics. In Use With the card plugged into the PCI socket, the 3Dfx driver software needs to be loaded onto the computer. Once this is done you are given a new piece of software called ?3Dfx Tools?. This allows you to alter the settings of the card, such as resolution, refresh rate, colour settings, OpenGL settings and so on. An additional piece of software needs to be downloaded from the 3Dfx website if you want to use the overclocking feature of the card. I have my card running at 180Mhz as I have found this is as much as you can overclock before the software starts to become very unstable and the card gets too hot. Firing up a piece of software that utilises 3D graphics, you notice the difference immediately. The 3D surfaces in games look smoother and the lighting and blur effects seem more convincing. The frame rate is also noticeably quicker and generally the speed of the game is increased significantly. I have used many 3D graphics games with this card including Half Life, Quake 2, Quake 3 and Medal of Honour. I have found the card to produce good frame rate levels and graphics performance on all these games. The 64Mb memory and 180Mhz clock rate of the card has a lot to do with this, but it must be remembered that overall frame rates will be governed by other factors, suc
h as the speed of the computer?s processor and how much onboard memory it has. The range of 2D resolutions available on this card is also impressive. I have mine set on 1024x768, as any resolution greater than this just looks too small on my 15? screen! You really need a much larger monitor I think if you are wanting to make use of the much higher resolutions that this card can provide. One downside with this card is that because it is becoming a tad outdated now, it is hard to find recently updated software drivers for it. I can imagine that I might struggle to get this card running effectively on my new Windows XP machine, as the software supplied with the card is compatible with Windows 95 and 98 only. Still I?m hoping I can track a suitable XP driver down off the Internet, as this has worked for me in the past! Conclusion I would recommend this card to anybody who is looking to improve the graphics performance of the PC. It is unfortunate that the card is not made any more, and is becoming slightly out of date and won't run some of the latest games. Because of this I can?t give it top marks! However if you come across one second hand, it is well worth considering. Thanks for reading!
My old mac was made in 1997 and was pretty low spec at the time. Originally it could just about handle Adobe Photoshop 4 and a couple of 2D games, oh yeah and the original Quake game. Since then I have managed to keep my trusty mac working which now boasts a much better G3 processor, a 30 gig drive and lots of RAM. Above all, the biggest improvement to this computer, which by the way has no top casing and lots of wires poking out of it, is my Voodoo5500 PCI card. I managed to by the card for about £20 from PC world because 3DFX have been brought up be Nivdea. So for £20, overnight my computer enabled me to play high definition games such as Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and Tomb Raider Chronicles at a very impressive frame rate. A lot of the work I do as an illustrator involves 3D graphics and the card enabled me to render the images on screen instantly. (Obviously not to print quality, but good enough to get a reasonable idea without waiting ages as I had to before.) This graphics card boasts a lot of little extras such as real-time full screen anti-alising which basically means that it smoothes out those jagged lines you often get with 3D stuff. PCI is slightly slower than AGP and although this card will improve your graphics capability, it can only work as fast as your computer. Since my Mac is pretty old, the card will not work as well as if it was in a newer machine. This is because of something called the system bus which has a set speed at which your computer can access such devices as Hard Drives and PCI cards. Sadly this card is now largely unsupported, this is certainly the case with mac software. In fact you would be very lucky if you could still find one in the shops. When I bought the card it came with an out of date control panel which did not really do it justice. Still for £20 you get a dual chip card with 64mb of graphics memory, which is still cheaper (and much better) than a Sony Playstation. With all the other stuff on my
computer and the graphics card my old ?97 machine is about as good as a low spec imac these days, certainly as far as graphics are concerned. So you could say this card helped prolong the life of the computer for 5 years and saved me the price of a new computer. Probably the worst thing about this card would be the installation. When I opened the box I was sure I had brought the wrong card because it was absolutely massive! It took me about an hour to set it up, and I like to think of myself as a bit of a computer whiz. So if you can find one, and have a degree in computer mechanics, they buy it. It won?t let you down.
Given the competitive nature of the graphics industry, it is truly amazing that so many companies have been able to coexist - each excelling in an area covered half-heartedly by the others. ATI has held the crown for DVD and video acceleration while Matrox has been extolled for amazing 2D picture clarity. The PowerVR series 3 from Imagination Technologies offers bandwidth saving, tile-based rendering and, of course, we all know NVIDIA and the famed GeForce2. S3 has delivered value-based cards unfortunately held back by shoddy drivers, and even Intel is in the fray with integrated graphics chips that provide for excellent Quake III slide shows. 3dfx, on the other hand, has deep roots in the 3D market. Having risen to fame with both the Voodoo1 and Voodoo2 chips (in addition to the single-chip Banshee, which was well received in the OEM market), 3dfx has held a reputation for pure, raw, unadulterated speed. Although the Voodoo3 fared fairly well in sales, the hardcore gaming community chastised it for a lack of 32-bit rendering support. When this was followed by a missed product cycle (in relation to NVIDIA), 3dfx's reputation began to falter. No longer the "king of 3D," it was apparent that the company had to play catch up in order to battle vicious competition and slipping release dates. With a surprisingly aggressive marketing approach, 3dfx has answered the call of opposition with their Voodoo4 and 5 3D accelerators. Though we've yet to see the low-end Voodoo4, one of the beta-Voodoo5 boards made its way into our lab in April. Since then, 3dfx has ironed out a small compatibility issue with the KX133 chipset and polished up their drivers to a level which we feel offers solid stability. Thus far, the battle between 3dfx and NVIDIA for the high-end 3D market has largely been a difference in architectures. While NVIDIA has focused on a single chip solution with high-speed memory (saving on-board real estate and memory c
osts), 3dfx delivers a less complicated design capable of scaling to 32 processors. This philosophy provides several benefits over traditional single-chip boards that are limited to the fastest memory available. First and foremost, the scalable architecture addresses the most prolific problem facing current top-end accelerators. Equipped with gigatexel processors, these expensive boards are restricted by memory bandwidth (information doesn't travel from local memory to the graphics processor fast enough to realize full rendering potential). With the Voodoo5 5500, SDR memory is used to match the bandwidth of the GeForce2's DDR RAM. At the high end, the Voodoo5 6000, sporting 4 32MB memory banks will offer over 10GB/s of bandwidth! Not only does this alleviate throughput issues, but also makes use of components widely available On the whole, well done.
Powered by twin 166mhz VSA chips. 64mb onboard RAM (32mb per chip) PCI bus 2/4x FSAA (removes jagged edges) The Voodoo 5 500 PCI is a card aimed squarely at existing 3dfx customers with OEM motherboards. It's relatively cheap (under £100) but with most of the features you'd expect from a recent 3D card. It's virtually a straight copy of the AGP version of this card, so retains all the features, but at a slower speed. Having PCI support is unusual but welcome, especially if you've got a manufacturers own motherboard with on board graphics and no AGP slot - as I suspect more people have than nVidia or ATI realise. The big downer with this card is, of course that 3dfx has now folded and been bought out by nVidia. Driver upgrades and technical support are therefore likely to be thin on the ground. Luckily, 3dfx had (and has) such a large following that new custom drivers are being produced all the time (3dfxfiles.com, amongst other sites, is a goldmine for these). They're not always entirely reliable though! The twin 166mhz chips that run it can easily be overclocked to 180mhz with the addition of a simple downloaded program from 3dfxfiles.com, which adds a little to the lifetime of the card. This is invaluable to people that have relatively low-end gaming machines (like me - 500mhz CPU) and produces an appreciable performance difference. If you have AGP though, I'd advise going for a ubiquitous Geforce 2 - the support is likely to be greater in the future and the addition of hardware T & L takes the strain off the CPU. It's also slightly faster, but this is negligible on low-spec machines. So, the bottom line: if you have a relatively slow machine, only with PCI ports, then get this card. Otherwise, follow the crowd and get a Geforce.
Question- does your PC have an AGP slot? If yes then you can stop right now and go to the NVidia section and start looking at GeForce 2MX cards. No? Many of us less fortunate have to find something that will fit in our antiquated PCI slots, and there isn't really much choice other than the Voodoo5 5500 PCI or a total PC upgrade. The lower specification Voodoo cards are just too old to power the latest games. But...What should have been an easy decision has recently been made more awkward because 3dfx, the makers of the Voodoo cards are no longer in business, having been bought and and effectively closed down by their rivals NVidia. Should you choose to get a V5500 you must be aware that the 10 year guarantee is VOID, and that the drivers ( the software that runs your card ) will not be officially updated. Updates for drivers are usually fairly frequent and can enhance the power of a card. On a brighter note, it does mean that the price has plummeted, and what would have cost around £200 a few months ago can now be had for less than £100. (Mine was £90 at a computer fair) and it is sufficiently powerful to run the latest games very well. You must however have a reasonably fast CPU (PII 300Mhz or as in my case an AMDK6-2 550Mhz) as below this the performance will suffer a lot. In short, if you have the right sort of CPU and no AGP slot, pick one up on the cheap and you will love it.If your CPU is a bit slower, steer clear and start saving for a new machine, if your CPU is much faster, then you have probably got an AGP slot somewhere, look at your motherboard manual. If CPU is between 300 and 600MHz AND no AGP then YES! NOW! Otherwise NO
The Voodoo5 5500 is by far the most unusual of all cards. For a start, it has not just one, but two graphics processors. This tries to double the performance of the card. Even with 2 processors, however, the voodoo5 5500 offers a maximum fill rate that is lower than geforce cards. The process of installing the card is the same as of installing any other card. But because it has 2 processors it has to draw current from a spare lead from your PC's power supply. If you dont have a spare lead, a splitter cable is provided allowing you to tap into the power connection of an existing drive if required. All this is covered in the cards documentation, as is the driver installation process.
what can i say. It is truly marvellous. It is a big graphics card, you might need to check that it will fit in your PC, and maybe consider a bigger power supply! with loads of power and great performance, it is the top of the range, and is a on every serious gamers wish-list. It uses twin ISA-100 chips to supply the horsepower, and has a whopping 64Mb RAM. The voodoo range of graphics card is world renowned for quality, which is its rightful image. These cards are sheer brilliance. It works on almost any system, with almost any game, but it has a hefty price. You need to think if it is really worth £240. I think no, but as it is a one of a kind, it is worth investing in if you have the money. It may be worth considering cards like the geoforce ultra, and others that of the same price range.
I have used two 3DFX cards, an Orchid Righteous 3d (voodoo 1), and this new Voodoo 5 5500. 3D cards have come along incredibly fast in the past few years, but 3DFX seem to have had trouble keeping up with NVidia's incredible development pace. They have fallen badly behind, as is shown by this new card. The image quality, with Full Screen Anti Aliasing (FSAA) on, is nothing short of outstanding. It can beat anything i've ever seen. Unfortunately, however, its speed is simply not up to it. Using it on non-GLide games is painfully slow (although this picks up dramatically with the use of 800MHz and above PCs). Having said that though, this is the best card for Unreal Tournament fans - the GLide version is both significantly more stable and incredibly fast What makes it harder to recommend this card is that 3DFX has gone bust, and new driver development will simply not happen. I cannot recommend this card to newcomers. The only reason that I bought it myself was that mine was reduced to the incredible bargain of £100 - very much worth it for those who know what they are doing.
3dfx have really rocked the boat and I'm afraid to say they have capsized the Voodoo project. Not only is the Voodoo5 5500 PCI expensive but also it is no real remarkable revolution in graphic technology from the previous one. The new 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI is essentially the same as the AGP version there doesn't really seem to be that much difference between them. O.K so the graphics are good but not worth the big money being forked out. 3dfx have let us hopeful consumers down a bit, when we thought that there would be something really special in terms of a brand new card with better graphics and smoother motions it turns out that the ATI and Creative Labs cards are better and easier to use than this "new" voodoo. My advice to you would be do not make the mistake that so many others have made. Choose very carefully and wisely when purchasing a new graphics card, read all the reviews of all the cards in all the magazines you can before spending £100's of pounds on what is ultimately not an amazing product.
Thats true folks. 3dfx has none been absorbed into Nvidia. The voodoo5 5500 is the last card they ever released, was it worth the wait? does it do this legendary company the credit they deserve? read on. On one hand, the voodoo5 5500 is the best card available... but on the other hand it is found lacking. If your processor is under 600mhz it is a very bad idea to purchase a voodoo5 5500. Many of the voodoo5's features are heavily processor intensive, and quite simply cannot be run without a hefty processor. A user with under a 600mhz pc or thereabouts will find themselves unable to use the extra features that make this card impressive and will find themselves stuck with a low fps bad quality image. On the other hand, if you have the processor power to go with this beast of a card you will be one of the happiest poeple on earth with your purchase. This card offers the best fsaa(full screen anti aliasing) on the market. It also offers many other features and a large amount of options that can be changed with the software supplied so you end up getting the best gaming experience on offer. However, even with the pc to run it, there is still a large downside. With 3dfx's collapse there will no longer be any new drivers on offer from the company, which sadly means this card will go out of date fast. I began writing this review with the intention of recommending it, but the sad fact is this card is at a dead end without 3dfx.
If your considering purchasing a 3D graphics card for you PC in the near future then it may be wise to think again. One of the main players in the Graphics card market 3DFX seems to have run into financial difficulties, after over expanding it’s range of high-powered graphics cards. The 3DFX Voodoo 3, 4 and 5 graphics cards seem to have under preferred and not does as well as the company had expected. There was an initial high demand for the cards after the massive success of the Original Voodoo 1 card which revolutionised PC gaming and the astonishing power of the Voodoo2 (At the time) which for the first time could be connected in SLI mode for double the power. Recently other competitors have caught up with nVida’s range of 3D cards, as they have for some time seemed the far superior cards. This was mainly due to an extra GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), which was separate from the PC fast processor, which was solely used for processing the main code and physics of the game/programme. This lifted a massive amount of processing work off the main CPU of the PC, making the card both abnormally fast, but essential for both a ageing PC, as the PC’s processor was now not such a necessity, and the modern gamer. The recently released nVida GeForce 2 MX finally put the last nail in the coffin for 3DFX interactive. This card provided a very fast 32 Mega Byte (RAM) graphics card for only £100, £200 less than its bigger brothers the Nvida GeForce 2 GTS and the Nvida GeForce 2 Ultra. These are cards that are the top of the range/fastest available and provide the fastest frame rate and further graphical features. 3DFX’s current range of Voodoo cards, the Voodoo 3, 4 and 5 yes are good with some new and unique feature like “Motion Blur”, adding a sense of speed to games, but couldn’t mach the processing speeds of the GeForce, and their high price meant that many didn’t buy them. So, ma
ny of 3DFX brands have now been sold the graphics card giant nVida, as 3DFX just couldn’t go on loosing profits, in the way that they have recently been doing. Under this agreement, nVida will acquire certain, specific assets from 3dfx including technology, company and product brands and other assets. In addition, the 3dfx board of directors has recommended to the shareholders the dissolution of the company over the next few months. Until that time, however, 3dfx products will remain available at various retail and online locations, and we they continue to support any current and future customers of the brand. So, it may be wise to wait a few months, and then see how the market looks before buying any new 3D-card products, which will probably cost you an arm and a leg but may no get future support.
Voodoo, when I first saw it I thought, hmmmmm...too well advertised to be good, but then I discovered that they were great pieces of technology! But now, once again I’m not so sure...please don’t have a dig at me, I’m just writing about what I know from research (i.e. I don’t have one). 1.Not another Voodoo! I just got the latest Voodoo, and now there’s another one! Is there a point in getting this one? Personally, I believe that Voodoo is being over advertised now. There are many other graphics cards available on the market right now, their performances are much better than the Voodoo 5 5500. 2.Do you have any proof of this? Yes, these are results from December 2000’s PC Direct. They used exactly the same machine to run these tests. To avoid confusion, I have listed them best to worst: 2D Business Graphics WinMark Creative Labs 3D Blaster GeForce2 GTS = 351 Hercules Prophet II GTS = 350 Asus V7700 Deluxe = 349 Elsa Gladiac GeForce2 GTS = 345 ATI Radeon 64MB DDR = 336 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 = 332 3D Winmark 1024x768 ATI Radeon 64MB DDR = 101 Asus V7700 Deluxe = 91 Elsa Gladiac GeForce2 GTS = 90.8 Creative Labs 3D Blaster GeForce2 GTS = 90.6 Hercules Prophet II GTS = 90.4 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 = 69.7 3D WinMark 1600x1200 ATI Radeon 64MB DDR = 53.1 Hercules Prophet II GTS = 41.7 Asus V7700 Deluxe = 40.1 Creative Labs 3D Blaster GeForce2 GTS = 39.5 Elsa Gladiac GeForce2 GTS = 39.5 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 = 10.9 Quake III Arena frame rate (fps) Hercules Prophet II GTS = 78.3 Creative Labs 3D Blaster GeForce2 GTS = 78.2 Elsa Gladiac GeForce2 GTS = 78.0 Asus V7700 Deluxe = 77.8 ATI Radeon 64MB DDR = 76.8 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 = 66.1 3.So, which graphics card is best value for money at the moment? The Creative Labs 3D Blaster GeForce2 GTS. At
the moment, this graphics card is the best value for money at £194.90. The price is outstanding compared with the performance of the card. Definately a must get if your wallet isn’t stuffed. 4...and which is the best for performance? The ATI Radeon 64MB DDR has the best performance, but unfortunately, performance doesn’t come cheap. The card weighs in at a hefty £254.00. But performance and detail is going to dazzle you if you invest wisely. 5.Any reasons why the Voodoo 5 5500 was so much different to the other graphics cards then? Yes, this was because the Voodoo 5 5500 uses detail as a priority rather than performance. One example of this is the Voodoo 5 5500’s ability to smooth off pixel lines. This can be handy for people who play many strategy games such as Command and Conquer or Total Annihilation.
The reason I bought one of these boards was because I wanted the most powerful board I could get but one which was made in PCI specification as my computer has no AGP slot. The Voodoo4 4500 uses a single 32Mb 3dfx VSA-100 chip capable of 333 Megapixels per second and running at 350Mhx, 2.5 times quicker than my old Voodoo3 2000. And it is certainly noticeable! I won’t go into all the technical stuff, cos you can read that at http://www.3dfx.com/prod/voodoo/v4-overv.html, but I will end by saying that games certainly fly with this card, and is a big improvement over my old one. Although this card is not as fast as a GEFORCE2 or similar, it will match a TNT Ultra, and if you have to have a PCI card (like me) it’s a great card at a cost of £150.
This is 3dfx's latest release into the video card market. All eyes were on this card because it was crutial ro 3dfx that it was the tops because of the already high number of lost sales that the Voodoo 3 range lost to Nvidia's GeForce 256 range. Unfortuanately for 3dfx it hasn't been able to regain its status as the worlds premier video card maker because despite being released after Nvidia's GeForce 2 and ATI's Radeon, it is beaten considerably by both of these chipsets. The Voodoo 5 5500 i'm afraid doesn't live upto expectation because in all benchmarks it is beaten overwhelmingly by all of the GeForce 2 range and by the ATI Radeon range also who both offer far superior products, as these benchmarks show. You can still expect to pay £215-00 for a Voodoo 5 5500. For this you'll get a card using AGP and with 64 Mb of memory. However for around £195-00 you can pick up a Creative GeForce 2 GTS, admittedly with 32 Mb of memory but despite this lesser memory it still leaves the Voodoo 5 5500 in its tracks. My pick of the graphics cards at the moment though has to be ATI's Radeon range. You can get a Radeon 64 Mb with DDR (double data rate memory) which in my opinion is the quickest graphics card available at the moment, for around £220-00. This is definitely the one to go for and you won't be dissapointed with the performance. It just shaves it over the 64 Mb GeForce 2 and is around £70-00 cheaper than the GeForce 2 to boot. Overall i'm afraid its the end of the road for 3dfx the way things stand it is anyway. However i'm sure they'll be back soon with another new product, but will it be good enough to beat ATI and Nvidia???