Web Site: http://www.3dfx.com
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Given the competitive nature of the graphics industry, it is truly amazing that so many companies have been able to coexist - each excelling in an area covered half-heartedly by the others. ATI has held the crown for DVD and video acceleration while Matrox has been extolled for amazing 2D picture clarity. The PowerVR series 3 from Imagination Technologies offers bandwidth saving, tile-based rendering and, of course, we all know NVIDIA and the famed GeForce2. S3 has delivered value-based cards unfortunately held back by shoddy drivers, and even Intel is in the fray with integrated graphics chips that provide for excellent Quake III slide shows.
3dfx, on the other hand, has deep roots in the 3D market. Having risen to fame with both the Voodoo1 and Voodoo2 chips (in addition to the single-chip Banshee, which was well received in the OEM market), 3dfx has held a reputation for pure, raw, unadulterated speed. Although the Voodoo3 fared fairly well in sales, the hardcore gaming community chastised it for a lack of 32-bit rendering support. When this was followed by a missed product cycle (in relation to NVIDIA), 3dfx's reputation began to falter. No longer the "king of 3D," it was apparent that the company had to play catch up in order to battle vicious competition and slipping release dates.
With a surprisingly aggressive marketing approach, 3dfx has answered the call of opposition with their Voodoo4 and 5 3D accelerators. Though we've yet to see the low-end Voodoo4, one of the beta-Voodoo5 boards made its way into our lab in April. Since then, 3dfx has ironed out a small compatibility issue with the KX133 chipset and polished up their drivers to a level which we feel offers solid stability. We'll be providing you with a whole new slew of benchmarks, but for a closer look at features, check out our Voodoo5 preview here.