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Voodoo 1



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The Diamond Monster 3Dfx Voodoo 1
Today we induct the card that changed the face of gaming: Diamond's Monster 3D based on the 3Dfx Voodoo 1 chipset.
By - Allen "Slowdrag" Eccles

Ode To 3D

  • Sing to the tune of John Lennon's classic, Imagine.

  • Imagine there's no 3D.
    It's easy if you try.
    No AGP for us, inside your rig, only PCI.
    Imagine all the world's games
    rendered in 2D

    Imagine there's no Anti-Aliasing,
    It isn't hard to do,
    Nothing to gib or frag for,
    No Z-buffers too,
    Imagine all the world's games,
    looking like Commander Keen...

    Commander Keen--Early id goodness

    Imagine no T&L;,
    I wonder if you can,
    No need for 3dfx or NVIDIA,
    Your computer's just 2D trashcan,
    Imagine all the world's games,
    sharing a chipset from S3

    You may say I'm a dreamer,
    I might be the only one,
    I hope some day you'll buy a 3D card
    And all 3D game fans can play as one.

    The Birth Of A Monster

    Yeah, I'm a poet! Not. Now that was stupid (and unless you're familiar with John Lennon's Imagine, you probably didn't get anything out of it), but the point is, when Diamond's Monster 3D card burst upon the computing scene, the face of gaming changed drastically. Imagine the entire gaming community playing games without "true" 3D acceleration. The late 1996 release of the Monster coupled with 3Dfx's "Voodoo" chipset ushered in a new computing age. Since, gaming worlds have never been the same.

    There had been other chipsets prior to 3Dfx's that paved the way for the Monster's success, but none that were able to render 3D the quality way Diamond's card did. As a result, 3Dfx (now 3dfx) and the term 3D became synonymous with one another, bringing the small company to the forefront of computer gaming, and the "love" from millions of gamers its way. Imagine that.

    Before There Was Voodoo

    Before the Monster claimed the hearts (and rigs) of gamers, S3, Matrox, ATI, Hercules, and a few tried to vie for domination of the 3D market, but for one reason or another, failed to do so. Horrendous drivers plagued Diamond's early 3D cards based on the S3 ViRGE chipset. Although the S3 cards were extremely popular (I personally had the 3D 2000 Pro, and the 3D 3000), their drivers, for the most part, were so buggy that some games were nearly unplayable. Black boxes would appear instead of, for instance, vivid explosion and fire graphics due to the cards inability to alpha blend correctly. In addition, setting any S3 based card to play Direct3D games in 16-bit color was a big "no no." Colors would distort, and some shades would even be lost since the card was only capable of properly rendering in 15-bit. It was ugly, and it was bad.

    Next: More of what came before...

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