A small question about 3Dfx vs SEGA and some more...

Discussion in 'Architecture and Products' started by Yannis, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. Yannis

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    Hi,

    I am writing an article about the story of 3dfx for a greek PC magazine where I work. Having found as much info as I can, especially from this forum, I seem to be stuck in a small but important detail: 3Dfx and SEGA finally made an agreement. How much money did SEGA eventually paid 3Dfx?
    Some more:
    Who wrote Glide? B.Hook or G.Tarolli?
    What was Ross Smith's role at the company? What did he do before starting Quantum3D?
    Was Sellers an engineer as well? He was the R&D president, right?

    thanks in advance
    Yannis

    P.S. If you want to contact me for any further info or small detail about 3Dfx's story, dont hesitate. My email: yannis76@hol.gr
     
  2. Reverend

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    Not another such article!!

    Don't know and don't really care... 3dfx went bust anyway!

    Not a single person but a few non-public folks (in addition to the two you mentioned)

    He's one of the founders (the famous SST founder threesome) for sure (ex-SGI IIRC correctly) but don't know much else (actually, too lazy to put 3dfx's PR CD in to check!)

    Sellers, for all intents and purposes, stopped any real "engineering" work since he worked on the original Voodoo, although he is accredited with being officially responsible for "the development of the Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo2, Voodoo Banshee and Voodoo3 architectures". He was officially 3dfx's Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, responsible for conception, architecture, design and positioning of all 3dfx products at the time of 3dfx's demise. He served as principal engineer at MediaVision Technology, as a microprocessor engineer at Pellucid, Inc. and as a member of the technical staff at Silicon Graphics, where he began his career. He received his bachelor's of science in electrical engineering, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University. His 3D career began early -- while in fifth grade -- when he drew his first 3D "castle" viewer in wireframe to appease his "Dungeons and Dragons" playing
    addiction.
     
  3. Yannis

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    Not another such article!!

    There are tens of such articles in the online community, but none it the greek magazines. There are thousands of people who ignore 3Dfx's past presence and their contribute to the PC 3D games. Furthermore their story is quite inteteresting even as a business case study. They were the King and they fell down the ground.
    We have a special place in the magazine for such articles. Two months ago we had written about Amiga and the article was very successful. In any case I loved 3Dfx and I am always curious to delve into such small details about them.

    thanks for everything else Reverend!!
     
  4. darkblu

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    "the development of the Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo2, Voodoo Banshee and Voodoo3 architectures"

    not wanting to hijack the thread of anything, but that sounds like a gross overstatement to me.
     
  5. fresh

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    They were all pretty much identical.

    Voodoo Banshee = Voodoo + 2D
    Voodoo2 = 2 Voodoo's
    Voodoo3 = 2 Voodoo2's
     
  6. Vince

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    It's been awhile, but didn't Ross Smith leave 3dfx circa '98 to head-up Quantum3D - 3dfx's sister company?

    God damn Rev, what size boxers does he wear ? :wink:
     
  7. darkblu

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    for the sake of factological correctness, we should note that:
    • voodoo2 introduced strips/fans to the sst, and the automatic tri setup associated with that (IIRC)
    • voodoo3 (at least the 2k) was not SLIed v2s but rather a speed-ramped v2 (and a vga core, of course). plus some imporvements in the framebuffer "22bit" dithering (IIRC)
     
  8. Tagrineth

    Tagrineth SNAKES... ON A PLANE
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    Voodoo2 also added multitexturing.
     
  9. darkblu

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    you're talking of the consumer product known as v2, re the modifications in the architecture - sst1 supported pretty much the same TMU cascading as found on the v2 boards.
     
  10. Colourless

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    Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2 also had 22 bit effective dithering. It used a 4x1 filter. However, with the Banshee a 2x2 filter was added. The 2x2 filter is most commonly refered to as the 22bit mode since it looks better.

    From what I know, the V2 TMUs were exactly the same as the V1 TMUs, except they were die shrunk and were clocked higher.

    Something that most people don't realize is the 2x2 Filter doesn't actually work on Voodoo 5s. SLI screws it up so the cards are forced to run in 4x1 mode.
     
  11. darkblu

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    so the improved dithering filter was introduced with the banshee. i though it appeared in the v3 but that's because i skimmed the banshee (i never put up with the lack of second tmu)

    yes, that makes perfect sense, yet i had never given a though to it :?
     
  12. Fox5

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    Umm....while I wasn't really into 3d graphics at the time, I was pretty sure that

    Voodoo rush= voodoo + 2d(with a downgraded 3d core)
    Voodoo banshee= voodoo2 +2d(with a remixed 3d core, but worst in most ways, better in some)
    And voodoo2 was like 4x as fast as voodoo, and the first tnt was like 6x as fast.
     
  13. Tahir2

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    Voodoo 2 SLI was 4x faster (peak) than Voodoo
    TNT was marginally faster than Voodoo 2 (non SLI) in some area's but added a whole range of features 3dfx only got round to adding in Voodoo 5 (heh OUCH dont flame me).
     
  14. KimB

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    Yes, this, I thought, was the saddest thing about 3dfx back then. It really doesn't appear that they added anything in terms of visual quality features between the Voodoo and the Voodoo3 (except improved 16-bit color quality...but I'm more referring to programmer-side features here). And even the Voodoo5 was quite a bit behind. It was basically a TNT-class processor coupled with very good FSAA (that wasn't even properly-implemented...rather simple user tweaks drastically improved the method used...).

    Anyway, I really wasn't impressed with 3dfx ever (remember that I didn't arrive on the 3D scene until around the time 3dfx released the Banshee). While they did some amazing things with the original Voodoo, it amazes me that they didn't attempt to add any significant architectural changes since then, and they paid for it.
     
  15. Volenti

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    It worked in 2x or 4x FSAA, but not in normal mode.
     
  16. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    V1 = V2.

    The major functionality in V2 was available in V1 - V1 could cope with up to 3 TMU's and could do SLI. Of course, these were designed for the arcade / professional versions and there was no capability for supporting these on the consumer boards. The V2 die shrink and further drops in memory costs afforded them to release V2 with 2 TMU's each.

    AFAIK there were a few further tweaks to better handle SLI and some colour issues with V2, but not a lot was different from V1.
     
  17. horvendile

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    I don't think the 3D core was downgraded. I'm quite sure it was marketed as being exactly the same core as V1(otherwise I probably wouldn't have bought one (which I did)). Performance was lacking however, although it got better.

    For a long time, drivers were the culprit for incompatibilities (GLQuake not working in the beginning was not an ideal possible scenario!) and bad performance, but in the end, 3dfx offered Diamond V1s in replacement for dual planar boards (they did, didn'r they?), and I think they admitted a hardware problem at the same time, although I'm not sure.
    Hm.
    Let's say: Voodoo + 2D(with a 3D core at least not intentionally downgraded) :)

    Come to think of it, I have no idea why I didn't exchange my board. It didn't even have 3D drivers in NT4, which was my primary OS!
    </rambling>
     
  18. horvendile

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    BTW, quite OT:

    The shipping W95 drivers to my Stingray 128 3D (Voodoo Rush) had a slight flaw: Dragging a file from one window to another caused a BSOD :shock:

    Perhaps the product was a little rushed? Ho ho! :oops:
     
  19. Colourless

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    Yes it does work in 2x mode (5500 only), but in 4x mode it's not required since the Dither Rotation on the 4 sub-samples produces better image quality anyway.
     
  20. Crusher

    Crusher Aptitudinal Constituent
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    The readme files for many 3D games released before 2000 contain a section where they make it clear to you that a Voodoo Rush based card is crap and the game will not run on that card. God only knows what 3dfx did to that thing.
     
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