Voodoo4 & 5 FAQ
What is the VSA-100 chip?
The VSA-100 chip is the latest silicon chip that is part of both the Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 product families. Formally known as the Napalm, this chip has a scalable architecture and additional features such as the T-Buffer™ Digital Cinematic Effects, FXT1™ Texture Compression and Real-Time Full-Scene HW Anti-Aliasing.

What is the difference between Voodoo3 and VSA-100?
The VSA-100 is everything that Voodoo3 is plus: AGP 4x, 64MB frame buffer, 32-bit RGBA rendering, 32-bit textures, 24-bit Z & W buffers, 8-bit stencil, 2Kx2K textures, FXT1™ Texture Compression, SLI support for Real-Time Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) and the T-Buffer™ Digital Cinematic Effects… all in hardware.

Will you have software T&L support?
Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 have software T&L support.

Will the VSA-100 support 3Dnow, Linux and BeOS?
Yes, Yes and Yes.

What is the fill rate on the single chip solution? SLI? 4-Way?
The single chip VSA-100 is 333-367 Megapixels/sec – the 2-way SLI is 667-733 Megapixels/sec - the 4-way SLI is 1.33-1.47 Gigapixels/sec.

Do you expect any supply limitations with Voodoo4 or Voodoo5 like you had with Voodoo3, and especially the 3500TV?

Will you do a version of the VSA-100 that has a tuner like the Voodoo3-3500TV?
3dfx does not plan on announcing a VSA-100 product with a tuner. They expect the 3500 TV to continue to be an outstanding multimedia solution.

Will you have HDTV support?
HDTV is an important coming technology for the PC. 3dfx doesn't have any details on product support to date.

Will you be speed grading the VSA-100 chips like you did with Voodoo3?
3dfx expects good yields at high speeds for the VSA-100, therefore they don’t have plans to speed-bin the parts.

Are the memory and processor clocks synchronous?
Yes, there’s a single clock memory and core clock.

Why did you decide to go with the type of SDRAM instead of a higher performing memory type on the board?
SDR SDRAM is cost-effective, highly available and presents no technology risks. SLI (Scan-Line Interleave) and SDR SDRAM together give us higher memory bandwidth than any competing product, making SDR SDRAM an easy choice.

Will any of the boards ship with a fan?
Voodoo5 products will ship with fans. 3dfx is actually right on the borderline of needing and not needing a fan, but they want to play it safe.

Do you have full AGP 4x support in the VSA-100? If not, why not?
3dfx supports AGP 4x, but we do not support execute mode. Voodoo3/4/5-cards are compatible with AGP 4x-slots but are not capable of utilizing it...

Does the VSA-100 support AGP execute mode and side banding?
The VSA-100 does support side-bands, but does not support execute mode. Execute mode has been proven to give minimal performance benefits and 3dfx decided it wasn’t worth the time, cost or risk.

Can the single VSA-100 (Voodoo4) board do the T-Buffer Digital Cinematic Effects?

Do the Voodoo5 products (5000, 5500, 6000) perform the T-Buffer effects and FSAA at the same time?
Yes. The Voodoo5 products are capable of doing any combination of FSAA and the T-Buffer effects.

Is there a performance penalty?
Because multiple rendering passes are required to do T-Buffer effects and fullscene AA simultaneously, there is a performance hit that increases as more simultaneous effects are enabled.

Can the Voodoo5 6000 (4-way SLI) board do the T-Buffer effects and FSAA at the same time?
Yes. It’s the same situation as the 2-way board.

FSAA doesn’t matter at high resolutions – does it?
You can see from our demos, which are all run at 1024x768 resolution, that FSAA makes a huge difference. The difference is noticeable even at 1600x1200, but you know that very few gamers have systems that support that resolution at this time.

Does your FSAA and T-Buffer technology cause performance hits?
The real question concerning gamers is whether they can run their favorite titles at real-time frame rates, like 60fps, with features turned on. So, applications will run at real-time frame rates at 32bpp with FSAA turned on, and they will run even faster with FSAA turned off.

Does the Motion Blur T-Buffer effect in Quake 3 increase your target area?

Will the VSA-100 have Mac support?
With the VSA-100, 3dfx took into account many of the features for the Macintosh market. To date they have not announced a Mac-based product, however they have announced a PCI version of Voodoo4 and Voodoo5, which will work with 3dfx’s Mac drivers.

Will 3dfx ever sell and support a Mac product?
The company has Mac drivers and PCI Voodoo products. We have not disclosed our Mac strategy.

How about SLI support for the Mac?
SLI is applicable to any platform including PCs, Mac and Linux.