This 3dfx ruse is so cruel because I just want its new GPUs to be true

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The craziest thing about using the whole 3dfx comeback is that we’re all desperate for it to be true. In a time where buying a new graphics card is arguably just as difficult, the idea of ​​having another option is tantalizing. That’s why we’re all so curious to see what Intel’s Xe DG2 discrete cards can really offer, and why it behooves the erstwhile CPU maker to go ahead and bring it to market.

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So when @3dfxofficial took to Twitter last week promising that “3dfx Interactive is coming back after 20 years,” there was a mix of incredulity and guarded enthusiasm. It teased an announcement for August 5, with nothing but a twitter slideshow To show this reads like a bad pitch from Shark Tank (or Dragons Den, for my UK draughts), I think we can be pretty confident now that we’re not getting a whole new series of Voodoo graphics accelerators.

No matter what it says about working on “3dfx Voodoo 6 PCIe” products to present at “CEC 2022,” we’re unlikely to see anything like a new graphics card. Council for Extraordinary Children’s Conference In January. Or even the Consumer Electronics Show, for that matter.

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(image credit: 3dfx Interactive (lol))
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3dfx Twitter Presentation Slides

(image credit: 3dfx Interactive (lol))
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3dfx Twitter Presentation Slides

(image credit: 3dfx Interactive (lol))
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3dfx Twitter Presentation Slides

(image credit: 3dfx Interactive (lol))

But what if it was true? What if, by some miracle, a super-smart gang of engineers got together to create a new 3dfx interactive? For those too young to remember what 3dfx meant for PC gamers of a certain age, it basically made possible the fully fledged 3D gaming world we take for granted today.

3dfx. legacy of

3dfx Voodoo2 3D Accelerator

(Image credit: Fritzchens Fritz)

Learn the history of graphics cards with our whistle-stop tour of the most iconic, game-changing graphics cards of all time.

Your PC graphics card in the late ’90s was a very two-dimensional affair, with the pixelated worlds of Doom and Hexane about as 3D as you were going to get. while we were throwing quakes Real 3D Graphics in the Mix Your Matrox Mystique 2D/3D card was struggling to get anything like playable frame rates.

Then enter the 3D accelerator. A secondary circuit board, along with your regular 2D graphics card, is connected to your monitor via a passthrough cable. 3dfx’s voodoo cards were a revelation, adding texture and fluidity to truly three-dimensional worlds that weren’t playable before.

By the time Quake 2 and Voodoo 2 rolled out in ’97 and ’98, respectively, 3dfx had cemented its place in the market as the go-to accelerator board for PC gamers. Although only temporarily, because then Microsoft ruined things by introducing a universal Direct3D API that any GPU manufacturer could use, and suddenly the 3dfx offering lost much of its value.

Up to the point that with the advent of the new millennium Nvidia swooped in, bought out all of its IP, and dropped it a few years later to file for bankruptcy.

Modified 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000

(Image credit: Mod Labs)

There is a possibility that Nvidia’s 3DFX trademarks have expired and some Jensen Investments firm has acquired the rights. And if those rights were actually going to be tied to some disruptive new GPU technology, on the same level as the original Voodoo cards, we’d be in for a wild ride.

Some sort of GPU accelerator, an add-in board that can boost the power of your existing graphics card, could be a game-changer for a world where upgrading your entire GPU is more expensive than ever. Being able to get higher frame rates without leaving an affordable new card in their system and dropping their old GPU in the trash would be good for gamers, and prevent a whole bunch of silicon from hitting scrappipe.

What if 3dfx was offering a ray tracing accelerator, though? What if the new Voodoo 6 PCIe is going to be a board with some smart silicon that can exhibit the same bounding volume hierarchy as Nvidia’s RT core, but at times the speed? A secondary board that could take off the job, speeding up the whole process could have been a big deal.

Pretty hard to work with though anyway, that didn’t introduce a ton of latency and a plethora of other technical problems… but whatever.

And, to be fair, the last time something like this really happened, with the Aegia Physics game physics accelerator card, Nvidia just popped up again, bought the company and the IP, then swallowed the technology into its own GPU bricking the original. Took discrete hardware.

Unless 3dfx Twitter trolling strangely replaces actual silicon at CEC 2022 – and extraordinary kids get to play Battlefield 2042 at unprecedented frame rates – the dream of adding more GPU makers to the market is definitely dead.

Unless this fixed tweet thing I found in Buffer’s backend actually means something…

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