3Dfx Graphics Phenomenon - Archived

Note - this was first written in 1997 in the Voodoo 1 days when 3dfx was loved by virtually everybody.  This was updated in the Voodoo 2 days.  Lots have changed since then!

If you're like me, you have enjoyed various 3D videogames in the past, including System Shock, DOOM, Ultima Underworld, and Quake. You may have already heard about 3Dfx, or even played the OpenGL version of Quake, QuakeWorld or Quake 2. If so, then you already know about the advances in 3D hardware technology being made for PC's!

Relatively inexpensive second-generation 3D graphics card hardware are on the market now, especially those based on 3Dfx 'Voodoo' chipsets. They have become industry standards in 3D computer games.

quakeII_6_thumb_vga.jpg (4726 bytes)
Ordinary SVGA

quakeII_6_thumb_gl.jpg (4506 bytes)
3Dfx OpenGL

They generate very high quality 3D graphics on Pentium PC's, even outperforming many two-year-old Silicon Graphics systems, at a price of only $200 Canadian ($150 US). Imagine being able to play games at 640x480 resolution in 16-bit color exceeding 30 frames per second, with advanced graphics features found in the newest 3D arcade machines!

Take a look at the Quake 2 Graphics Comparison for full-size screenshots that compares SVGA versus 3Dfx Open GL graphics!

Imagine never seeing square-shaped pixel blocks on nearby walls in video games ever again. If you have played a Nintendo64 videogame or a good Sega coin-op arcade machine such as Daytona USA, then you know what this is about. You also get a lot of special effects such as transparent water, glass, and colored lights too!

Other applications can be expected for inexpensive advanced 3D hardware, including office presentations, 3D modelling, CAD design, virtual reality, building walk-throughs, and more.

An excellent source of information is Operation 3.D.F.X., a great website dedicated to bringing the latest news updates, demo downloads, and release announcements related to 3Dfx graphics hardware.

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