Modder Reverse-Engineers the 3DFX Voodoo 5 6000!?




/ 5 months ago
Modder Reverse-Engineers the 3DFX Voodoo 5 6000!?

Throughout lockdown, we’ve all been busy with something. Some people have been pressing F5 trying to buy a new graphics card, while others, like Anthony, have been trying to build their own! Anthony, the hardware modder who’s done this, has backwards engineered the classic 3DFX Voodoo 5 6000 graphics cards. Admittedly, I haven’t seen one of those in a while, but it was a pretty slick card back in the day.

What’s even cooler is that this isn’t just a clone but an upgrade of sorts. It features four VSA-100 graphics chips, each operating at 166MHz. But instead of the older AGP interface, the close now uses a PCI interface. However, that’s not a PCI-express; it’s the OG version, but still a step up regardless. The old card used a funky external power connector design too, but PSUs were pretty lousy back in the day. This re-imagining of the card, however, uses a 4-pin MOLEX power connector instead.

3DFX Voodoo 5 6000

Modder Reverse-Engineers the 3DFX Voodoo 5 6000!?

What’s cool is that it behaves just like the original. It uses the same BIOS files and drivers and even exhibits the same bugs that would affect the original. But there is a downside. It won’t really run many modern games, as this card was built to use games of the era and the GLIDE API. That takes me back though, seeing GLIDE and 3DFX when you boot a game up meant it was awesome.

Specifications

  • Board name: Not yet
  • 3dfx product-line Yes, Voodoo 5 6000 Prototype
  • GPU Architecture: Napalm
  • GPU Codename: VSA-100
  • GPU Count: 4
  • Supported Interfaces: PCI / AGP 8x (?) /PCI-Express (?)
  • GPU Clock: 166 MHz
  • Mem. amount, type, mem. clock by mem. spec: 128 MB, SDRAM, 200 MHz (ns)
  • SDRAM / Memory clock: 166 MHz
  • Supported AA Modes: Yes, RGSSAA, modes 2x, 4x, 8x
  • 3dfx / Existing original 3dfx drivers / 3-rd party drivers compatibility: Yes
  • Support for Windows 9x/2000/XP+: Да / Yes
  • Pass-Thru / Pass-Thru mode support: Да / Yes

What’s awesome is that Anthony is planning to make a bunch of these clones and sell them. He even intends to make original boxes for them. Why? This old hardware is getting harder to come by at fair prices and in good working condition. For preservation, I see this no different than FPGA arcade boards, and for those who want the authentic classic hardware, it’s a fantastic option.

Modder Reverse-Engineers the 3DFX Voodoo 5 6000!?

Tell me More

They’ve also done a quick Q&A about the project on ModLabs forums.

Q-Eng: What is the “Unnamed project”?
A-Eng: The “Unnamed project” – it is new graphics accelerator based on 4-х GPU VSA-100. This card is equivalent to 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000.

Q-Eng: Why this project is unnamed yet?
A-Eng: Project name will appear on the box and maybe on PCB when second batch of boards will arrive.

Q-Eng: Will you produce a box for this card?
A-Eng: Yes, we still preparing box design.

Q-Eng: Is this Voodoo 5 6000 clone? What about specifications?
A-Eng: Yes, this card is similar to Voodoo 5 6000. It is based on 4x VSA-100, equipped with 128MB SDRAM and works at 166/166 MHz clockspeed. First batch have 200 MHz (5ns memory chips)


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