Product Watch: 3dfx Gives Mac Users
A Little Voodoo!
hard Mac gamers are probably familiar with the Voodoo graphics cards
from 3dfx. Many have been successfully using PC Voodoo 3 cards in their
Macs with drivers from the 3dfx site. In August Mac gamers will have
a choice of two new Voodoo cards that have been designed from the ground
up to work with the Mac. The Voodoo4 4500 and Voodoo5 5500 cards feature
3dfx's cross platform VSA-100 2D/3D graphics processor and deliver 32
bit color at resolutions up to 2048x1536! The Voodoo4 4500 sports 32MB
RAM and one VSA-100 chip, the Voodoo5 500 has a whopping 64MB RAM and
two VSA-100 chips for true pixel pushing power. Both cards support the
following API's: QuickDraw, QuickTime, QuickDraw 3D, Glide, Apple OpenGL.
3dfx also plans to support OS X when it is released. The cards will
be offered in PCI form initially but 3dfx claims to be evaluating the
Mac AGP market. The cards are due in stores early August but 3dfx has
also announced a "pre-order" program which is essentially
a list of participating vendors who will receive shipments of the cards
first. Below we provide you with specs for both cards.
Slightly more expensive then their PC counterparts but the Mac
version includes a DVI interface to support Apple's flat panel
Check for lowest
prices on Voodoo cards
|VSA-100 Graphics chip
||The processor that powers the graphics card. The VSE-100 was designed
to work in both Macs and PC's. The VSE-100 has a clock speed of
166MHz and can be overclocked although this will void your warranty.
||32MB is probably the minimum that serious gamers would be happy
with. More is better!
| Fill rate
( in megapixels per second)
||Fill rate is the number of pixels that can be rendered per second.
Fill rates impact the number of frames that can be displayed per
|Full-Scene HW Anti-Aliasing
||Performed in hardware, Full Scene Anti-Aliasing, or FSAA, smoothes
the jagged edges that appear on diagonal lines. The Voodoo4 card
does its Anti-Aliasing based on 2 sub-samples per pixel, the Voodoo5
uses 4 sub-samples per pixel. FSAA is software independent.
||A series of effects available to software developers to add realism
to their games. Effects include: motion blur, depth of field blur,
soft shadows and soft reflections. Click
here for more information on these effects. We saw a demo of
these effects at Macworld SF Expo, most of them were quite impressive.