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  • Available: 1st or 2nd week of August

    Cost: $329US

    Since the beginning, the Mac has been behind the PC in the 3D performance race. Except for a brief period where the Mac was the first to have the ATI Rage 128, the Mac has always been a generation or more behind. But now that is no longer the case.

    3dfx is bringing the Mac completely up to date with the Voodoo5 5500 PCI for the Mac. We got a hold of a release candidate Voodoo5 5500 PCI for Mac and put it through the paces to see how it performed versus the Mac standard, the ATI Rage 128 Pro. Please realize that this is not a review, this is a preview of unfinished hardware. But this will tell you about where the Voodoo5 5500 for the Mac should be when it ships a couple of weeks from now.

    The Voodoo5 5500 PCI for the Mac is in all ways a Mac card. It was redesigned for the Mac and, while it resembles its PC counterpart in core technologies, there are significant differences throughout the PCB. The largest differences are that the Mac card carries a DVI digital-video output for flat panel displays and the PC version does not, and the Mac version is PCI only.

    At the core though, the Mac and PC Voodoo5s are identical. They both carry two VSA-100 processors, each running at 166MHz and matched to their own 32MB sets of 166MHz SDRAM. Each VSA-100 can process two pixels per clock with one texture per pixel. Working together in what 3dfx calls an SLI configuration, these VSA-100s give the entire Voodoo5 5500 a 667Mpixel fillrate and an identical Mtexel rate.

    In comparison, the Rage 128 Pro runs at 143MHz with 16MB of SDRAM. It can process two pixels per clock with one texture per pixel giving it a 286Mpixel fillrate and an identical texel rate. So the Voodoo5 5500 has over twice the fillrate of the Rage 128 Pro, which should yield higher framerates at higher resolutions for the Voodoo5.





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