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  • Video Cards

  • Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...into the future... just like the Voodoo4 and 5 ship date. On the lateness scale, the VSA-100 based Voodoo4/5 are not yet into the realm of a PowerVR Series 2 mind you, but they do rate about one-fourth of a Daikatana.

    We have covered the Voodoo5 since it was known outside 3dfx only by its politically incorrect codename, "Napalm." We learned of the 3dfx T-Buffer cinematic effects and full-scene anti-aliasing back in July of 1999, at which point we expected a product to ship for Christmas. We learned of the 3dfx FXT1 texture compression back in September of 1999, at which point we were doubtful of a Christmas shipping date yet still optimistic. In November, 3dfx announced the Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 product line for the PC and gave a March to April ship date. In January, we spoke with 3dfx and they said they were within days of going to first silicon, which meant there was little chance of a March ship date. It wasn't until GDC in March that we saw the first demonstration actually running on VSA-100 silicon instead of being emulated on Quantum3D's Voodoo2-based hardware. And it wasn't until last week (late-April) that 3dfx gave us a "beta" card to test.

    Today we bring you a hands-on evaluation of a beta 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 AGP, with benchmarks. For those who do not know, "beta" does not mean "Grade A" or "Number 1," it usually means "Not even close to being ready for primetime" and "Way unstable." Were we pleasantly surprised or sadly disappointed? Read on to find out.

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