Weirdest actual 3D card for PC's

Discussion in 'Architecture and Products' started by DeanoC, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. DeanoC

    DeanoC Trust me, I'm a renderer person!
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    Being as we were OT on the ATI thread, and are now remembering the pass, I have a question.

    What was the weirdest design for a 3D card that actually made it into hardware (actual production or not doesn't matter just as long as a board actually existed).

    We have some good contenders
    NVIDIA NV1
    PowerVR series 1
    Matrix G550
    ATI RAGE PRO MAXX (I plugged one of these in XP a little while back, boy did it get confused)
    3DFX Voodoo 6000
    3DFX Voodoo 2 SLI (good but still pretty weird)
    S3 Trio3D and Savage2000 (had these guys actually ever done any 3D?)
    NVIDIA GFFX Ultra :wink:

    My favorite has to be a unreleased but working board (AFAIK) at the end of Rendition's life.
    This had to be the first vertex shader capable hardware around about the era of the TNT/Voodoo 2! It could also claim to be an add-on SMP system!

    The design basically stuck a x86 compatible (Cyrix IIRC) chip on the graphics card and run the TnL portion of D3D on the card, it had direct access to the triangle engine etc. I never actually had access to the card but I did work on adapting a game for it. The rumour was that is was an excellent upgrade for low end PC, as it could accelerate lots of operations that no other video card of the day could.

    I think console boards shouldn't be discussed, while pretty weird they weren't for accelerating the PC side of thing. So nobody bring up the 3D0 board :)
     
  2. ben6

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    hrm Trident 9750 AGP (bleh) heh
     
  3. MuFu

    MuFu Chief Spastic Baboon
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    The 5200 Ultra. It's like a 1000c bike engine running on Nitro in a Viper chassis. :)

    Actually, nah... V2 SLI gets my vote, along with all those cards you could upgrade the memory on by slotting in a little daughtercard with a couple of chips on it, hehe.

    MuFu.
     
  4. RussSchultz

    RussSchultz Professional Malcontent
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    Did the original PCX/Matrox M3D work by VIPing the frame buffer over to the host VGA adapter? (Matrox M3D)

    That would get a wierd vote in my book.
     
  5. Ichneumon

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    Actuall that's Rage Fury MAXX.

    Ya, XP and the MAXX don't get along so hot... but the card does work. I still have mine running in a friends system. It is definately an interesting video board to have. :)

    Will probably end up in my gathering pile of odd cards with the EISA ATI Mach32 workstation card I have here hehe. :)
     
  6. mr

    mr
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    Well from a (then) consumer POV a "Addon 3D board" with a "loopthrough" cable for 2D sounded pretty weird to me in my early days.
    So I guess my vote would be any Addon Board like the PCX or the original Voodoo. :lol:
     
  7. kyleb

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    or a DeLorian with a red paintjob. :lol:
     
  8. THe_KELRaTH

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    Definitely the Voodoo RUSH... 3DFX's 2D/3D card that's best achievement must have been that it was slightly faster in 2D than a Trident 8900 but slower in 3D!! :wink:
     
  9. DemoCoder

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    S3 Virge. My company had oodles of these in their business desktops. Definately, a 3D decelerator. I could run the DX or OGL *software rasterizers* at higher framerates.
     
  10. Nite_Hawk

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    The oddest card... Hrm, I think I'd have to say the V5-6000 actually. (and the V5 5500 to a lesser extent). The concept at the time of having to plug an expansion card into a power brick just seemed outright bizzare to me. I mean obviously it needed the power, but at the time I never really imagined that I'd end up pluging my videocard into the wall. Now days plugging cards into a powersupply is pretty normal with the FX series and 9X00 series radeons doing it, but 3DFX was the (unfortunate) pioneer.

    Nite_Hawk
     
  11. Sabastian

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    :lol:
     
  12. tamattack

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    Definitely Voodoo2 IMO. I still get the occasional question from old V2 users (non-techie types) about:

    - "Why can't I just plug two vidcards together like my old V2?"

    - "So I just plug this new card into my 2D card, right?"
     
  13. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    PCX1/2 used PCI bus mastering. That's the way some TV/Video cards work, so you couldn't really call it weird - well not for that reason anyway.

    [Edit]The fact that PCX1/2 could render N-sided convex polygons/polyhedra directly, OTOH, puts them into a somewhat unique category![/edit]
     
  14. PVR_Extremist

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    :shock:
    I'm sorry but I won't allow any dissing of the PCX1/2. Mr Fenney spent many an hour on his brainchild and if anyone upsets him I'll send "uncle Vito and da boyz" around. Capice ;) 8)

    Now then recite after me...."I will buy a PCX2.....I will buy a PCX2" :lol:
     
  15. Jodi

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    I did, and then the miniGL drivers for quake came out, and it sucked. So I went an got a voodoo. It was around then that my PowerVR fanboi went back into the closet... :oops:
     
  16. darkblu

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    dunno about the M3D, but the voodoo Rush surely did that. i recall times when mesa applied a similar technique with the v2 to get windowed acceleration on those.

    i would get an m3d on spot, i'm a collector, but those are tough to find nowadays, at least i have a dc and i hope to find a form of a devkit for it.
     
  17. PVR_Extremist

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    You gotta admit, Ultimate Race rocked ;)
     
  18. Mulciber

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    I've got a few old cards, including an M3D. I actually started thinking about looking for some other intresting older cards, but eBay seems kinda spars this month.
     
  19. BoardBonobo

    BoardBonobo My hat is white!
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    I've still got my Apocalypse3DX in a K6-233 box somewhere. I matched it up with a MilleniumII (with the 4Mb daughtercard). It sucked really when I think about it, but the tech demos were impressive for the time.

    I have a Paradise EGA card in a 386, it's a massive card that's absolutely covered in masses of components. Also a Hercules MDA card that has a built in text mode (Ctrl-Alt-F12) and some really wied resolutions.
     
  20. Dio

    Dio
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    Ahhhh, those barely scratch the surface of weird.

    I have the Oak Warp 5 (which frankly isn't that weird, just rare) but even more weirdly and rarely the SMOS - which is weird just for its size; it was just a chip on a PCI card, was the same width as the PCI connector and only about 2cm protrudes out of the slot.

    The Voodoo Rush wasn't weird, just a POS. I think you have to distinguish between the two. OK, maybe it was a bit weird in that you had to dance the funky chicken on a Thursday to make it work with anything, but that's not really weird, it's fundamentally broken.
     
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