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6400 Gaming News

This page contains info on gaming with the 6400. Please feel free to send me your experiences on gaming with your 6400. I hope to have more specific info soon, but for now it will mostly be user letters.

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(New info will appear towards the top of this page)

Voodoo3 info- Voodoo3 Info page
ATI Rage 128 info- ATI Rage128 Info page
My Voodoo2 info- Magma chassi page
Patches and Updates-
3DFX Gamers Mac Page - Here is a link to the Gamers site on Mac info for Voodoo gaming. I thought all you gamers would appreciate this :)
Apples Gaming page - Apple's Gaming page with lots of links to great demos to try!
Quake III Arena stratagy guide - this might help you learn the tricks that are getting you killed :)

2/10/2001 Sound stuttering in games with ATI Rage128 and Sonnet G3 installed: Below is a typical example of letters I receive from people that are having trouble playing games with a fully upgraded 6400.

[I have a 6400/180 w/ 136MB of RAM upgraded with a Sonnet L2/G3/400 1MB/200 cache ...... also an ATI RAGE Orion 128 I am having a sound problem that I can't seem to solve. I have tried the PCI Timing Update trick, the 2d accel. Disable trick, and the ATI Extension one.... none have helped me in my situation. The sound is great except for in games .. all games have choppy sound once numerous sounds start happening, or doors open, walking noises, ambient sounds, etc ....

I have MacOS 9.1
ATI Drivers are the ones that come w/ 9.1
OpenGL is version 1.2.1
ATI RAGE Orion 128 Card
Sonnet Driver is v1.4.5

everything is as recent as I can get it and I can't seem to get it.. everyone else seems to be having luck.. well what are they using for OS and etc... ???
Thanks for the help

Everyone else is not having luck :( This is an ongoing issue with Sonnets G3 upgrade on the 6400. Or its ATI's fault? I have not yet gotten a definite answer but the combo of ATI, G3 and 6400 cause this audio stutter issue during intense gaming or video playback. There is a big timing issue on the PCI bus of non G3 Macs and this causes audio stuttering and in some cases video stuttering. This problem even happens with songs being played back from IDE-PCI card attached HD's. Its a limitation of the 6400 mostly :(

You can try to decrease your HD cache in the memory control panel to like 1024k and see if that helps? I think you tried all the other tricks I mentioned on my site?

12/30/2000 Upgrading ATI drivers to get latest games to work: John sent me some info on having to upgrade his ATI drivers to get Descent3 to run on his 6400. Thanks John. Its common for most games to require the latest drivers available and just because you own the latest OS does not mean you have the latest of everything! Usually games come with the newest drivers if they need them? I suspect you can just use the latest Universal driver updater on ATI's web site instead of using his method, but just in case here it is :)

I tried to get a recent purchase of Descent 3 (not an avid gamer) to work without success on my 6400 (Vimage 320, ATI Xclaim 3D Rage Pro 8MB) until I remembered some info from your site: Apple's Multimedia update for pci Macs. Sure enough, I extracted new ATI extensions with TomeViewer and replaced the matching older versions in my extensions folder. That, turning VM off, and running a pared-down OS 9.0.4 enabled the game to run, and run well, at that. I was prepared to mothball the game until I moved up to a G4 machine, but I don't have to, thanks to your site. Anybody else out there with my configuration might like to know about this fix, too. I suppose it could have wider application than Descent. Thanks again.

12/31/2000 Update: John just sent me some more info stating that he had the latest 4.2 ATI drivers installed and Descent3 still didn't work until he installed the Apples ATI Multimedia Extensions. Thanks John.

[Yes, Tom. ATI's latest installer is version 4.2. That's what I had installed (and which I reinstalled, along with open GL, to be sure). I eventually had Descent running off a SCSI drive under OS 9.0.4 with the TomeViewer-extracted Multimedia update ATI extensions -- and when I switched to an ATA drive (OS 9.0.4) with ATI's latest universal installer version, Descent would not run. Copying the MultiMedia update extensions to the ATA drive enabled Descent to run from it, as well. Curiously, the most-often repeated advice I found for Descent problems was to increase VM, but I also needed to turn it off in order to run the game on my machine.

11/18/2000 Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 demo: Here is a link to the Mac Game Files where FAKK2 demo can be downloaded from. It is a third person perspective game based on the Quake 3 engine. Its a very cool game and I am curious to see how it performs on a G3 upgraded 6400/6500? If anyone has tried, please let me know.

11/3/2000 OpenGL screen savers for Voodoo cards: This isn't a game post but screen savers can be fun to use :) Charlie sent me a link on where to download some screen savers that use OpenGL to render the images. Thanks Charlie.

Please make this link available on your next update:
The above site is the only place I could find that has 3dfx/openglscreensavers/demos.
Have fun!

9/22/2000 4x4 EVO test updated: They just released TEST2 for download. It includes more vehicles and other improvements. Click here to read more and download. I was unable to last night as traffic on their server must have been high?

9/9/2000 4x4 Evolution game: Here is a link to a new game called 4x4 Evolution. It is an off road racing game with true to life trucks like the Nissan Exterra. Also here is some info from Accelerate Your Mac on how to get it working with a Voodoo3.

[3dfx Graphics Card Tip for 4x4 Evolution Demo: - A reader sends a tip for Voodoo card owners running the 4x4 Evolution beta demo that doesn't require deleting the metal.ini file:
" Hey Mike, I notice that no one seems to have hit a elegant solution on the head in the 3dfx forums. I think I may have one.
Instead of deleting the metal.ini just edit the "rendererDLLPath=trigl.dll" to read "rendererDLLPath=TRIGlide.dll".
Works like a charm on my system voodoo3.

8/12/2000 Dues EX: here is a link to a demo of a new game based on the UT engine. Its called Dues EX and looks very interesting. just thought you might like to know :)

Also, here is a link to an updater for the retail version.

5/27/2000 Update on using a Belkin switch box to use 2 video cards with one monitor: Michael wrote that he tried a Belkin 2 port OmniCube for using his one 19" monitor with the stock video port and a PCI video card in his 6400. He says it works great. Thanks Michael! I had tried this before but with 6' cables and a cheap VGA switch box and it was horrible. Much ghosting of the images. Belkins box not only switches but also amplifies the signals so it works much better. Maybe I will have to give it a try soon?

5/18/2000 Apple updates Game Sprockets: Click here to get version 1.7.4 of Apples Game Sprockets.

Quake 3 Arena MacPoint Release 1.17 part 2: Q3A MacPointRelease 1.17 was released 2 days ago and probably every Mac user had trouble with it. First the installer was timed out and you had to set your date back a month or so to get it to install but only to find out that your game lost speed! Well they fixed it and below is a link to get the newest version.

5/12/2000 Run UT without the need for the CD: I found this little hack on Accelerate Your Mac's 3dfx forums.

4/14/2000 Voodoo3 Beta12 drivers out!: I just got the word that the latest Voodoo3 drivers are out. Go get them you game freaks! I already got mine :)

3/31/2000 Playing Star Wars Racer without inserting the CD: I just got Pod Racer and the game is very fun to play and my son loves it :) I did a full install and it still required the CD? Well I wasn't going to let this stop me. I found out what it was looking for and created it. It works very similar to playing UT without the CD but even easier. See my 6400 Gaming page and scroll down till you find the UT posting

First you must do a full install or it won't work. Than all you have to do is create a ReadOnly disk image with the name Star Wars Racer and then mount it before launching the game. I made my disk image with DiskCopy 6.3.3 at a size of 1.4M. Smaller sizes may work but I thought I would just stick with the floppy size :) No files are needed in the image. Pod Racers security measure is to try and copy a file called mark.dat to the CD. If it can then the game crashes. It if doesn't find a disk named Star Wars Racer then it won't launch. Pretty simple security measure. I found this out by making a read/write disk image and this file mark.dat kept showing up? I did not see it on the Original CD. Not even an invisible file named the same. So I created a new image that was locked and presto it worked :)
Have fun!

3/24/2000 Dual video sources with just one monitor?: I found this info on Accelerate Your Mac's web site Voodoo3 forums. It seems you can use a VGA switch box to run 2 video cards to 1 monitor. Very interesting!

The switch box idea does work! I tried it on my B&W G3 with a Voodoo3 and ATI VR RagePRO cards but ghosting is a real problem :( I just got a cheapy $19 VGA switch box with 2 extender cables and then I placed a PC to Mac adaptor then a Mac to PC adaptor together to keep the second monitor active so both would be on all the time. The $19 switch box did not make both monitors active on its own as it supplies no signal to the "B" monitor if "A" is selected so the video card on the "B" switch will be off.

The problem is that I could only find 6 foot cables and my screen is now majorly ghosted. It is horrible! I will try to find either better cables or perhaps the box is causing the problem? Since SoS also mentioned he had ghosting even with a $100 box I will hope just better cables will fix it? I don't see why this couldn't work for those of you that have the 6400's built in video in/out cards and want to add another PCI video card. If you can get this setup to work without ghosting then you can have both your stock video in/out for TV or video recording and also have a better video card for 3D games and such. Let me know if anyone gets this to work and look nice :)

3/11/2000 Configure TCP/IP for games on a local network: I found this web site which has some good simple info on how to setup a local network to play network games.

Game freeze fixed by removing Sound Manager extension: I read this on Accelerate Your Mac's web site. It seems that remove the Sound Manager extension can help get rid of crashes while playing games? This might not work for everyone as some games require certain versions of the Sound Manager but its worth a try :)

2/12/2000 Running Quake3Arena with dual monitors: I found this info on Mike Breedens 3dfx news site. It tells how to configure Q3A to pic the monitor of your choice in a multi monitor setup.

2/2/2000 Running Unreal Tournament without the need for the CD!: I came across this trick at the 3dfx forums on It really does work as this is how I play now :) I actually only used an 800k disk image as the file is only about 400k. Lets see those PC guys do this!

1/5/2000 Vimage G3 / ATI VR128 owners: please write to ATI tech support with your troubles and hopefully they will fix it. Thanks to Allen they know what the problem is but aren't sure if there are enough complaints to worry about fixing it!

12/24/1999 Reply to issues a reader had with a Game Wizard Voodoo card: Dave wrote me in response to a post I have on my 6400 Gaming page from Jim who was unable to get good game play with his Game Wizard video card. Thanks Dave.

There is a difference in Dave's setup and that he can use the 3dfx drivers and Jim has to use the Mesa drivers. This causes the out or memory errors as Mesa demands a lot of memory and you need to do some tweaking to get the speed up even with a G3! To get rid of the memory errors on my 6400 I had to increase the RAM with RamDoubler to 140M and leave the Quake2/3 apps at their installed settings (I didn't raise their RAM limit). The reason is that Mesa uses system memory and if you increase the games memory alot there won't be enough left for Mesa. Remember that the OS will take about 15-30M then Quake 2/3 like 50-70M which doesn't leave anything left for Mesa if you only have 104M of RAM. Now with a lot of VM or high RD settings you need to worry about CPU/HD time for all this memory swapping. I only had 56M of real RAM but with a G3 installed I only had lag when the scene changed drastically like walking into a new room.

12/10/1999 Video card Caution!: I feel I should state this now as so many users are having issues with these new video cards. At this time the Voodoo3 and all ATI Rage128 cards are to be treated as USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! I don't feel there are enough good results from users of 6400/6500 Macs to warrant buying one of these cards. It seems to be a 50/50 chance if it will work or not G3 or not! And without a G3 they are useless since your stock CPU couldn't push enough data to feed them anyway.

I find the perfect combo to be an ATI Rage Pro (not ProPlus) and a Voodoo2 card. They compliment each other perfectly. The ATI has good 2D and some 3D for Rave games and the Voodoo2 does 3D glide and OpenGL superbly! And the Voodoo2 is right up with ATI's Rage 128's in 3D performance, if not faster! So unless you really need an all-in-one card I would get a Voodoo2 and pair it with some other 2D card. This will save you a lot of headaches in the future. I know the 6400/6500 has only 2 PCI slots but gamers will not need another slot except for maybe a USB card :) And the 6500 already has ATI RageII on the mother board which is good enough for 2D, but sucks at 3D :) So they only need a Voodoo2 card and have one slot left open.

12/9/1999 ATI VR tip for getting it to run stable?: I got this from Accelerate Your Mac and it seems that this user has issues with a G3 or not and the ATI VR128. He has a tip on how he helped fix it so maybe this will help others?

Accelerate Your Mac's L2 G3 feed back page: Mike Breeden has made a separate page for placing all the feedback info he's received from L2 G3 owners. It is mostly info on video card compatibility but they also list other issues they found.

Apples Gaming Page: Apple just made a new gaming info page on their web site. It has many links to all the great Demos out right now.

11/19/1999 Apple has released OpenGL 1.1.2: Click here to download it. I didn't notice any improvments on my systems as most of the ReadMe states it has fixes mostly for G4 AGP systems. Oh Well, one can always hope :)

Quake3 DemoTest is released!: id software just released the Mac Version of the Q3Demotest. This is the next version of the soon to be released Quake III Arena. It does require Apples OpenGL 1.1.2 so get it also. It is much more CPU intensive and Ram hungry then the previous version and barely runs on my PB G3 233 with a RagePro. I have to have most all affects turned off and low texture details but I can play if only a few people are on. I haven't tried it yet on the 6400 with the Voodoo2 but it should run much better. One tip for Voodoo card users is that you might have to remove the OpenGL RendererATI extension as some people have reported that the game will try to force itself onto an ATI card if one is installed unless you remove that extension. Ths was not the case for the previous Q3T versions.

11/4/1999 Unreal Tournament Demo on a G3/Voodoo3 accelerated 6400: I received word from a 6400 user that the new Unreal Demo plays beautifully on his speedy setup. Thanks.

I asked about his G3 Voodoo3 setup and here is his reply.

I tried it on my 6400 with a Voodoo2 and although I wouldn't play on the net at 800x600 (I think it would bog down too much) it looks just awsome! Playing at 640x480 is perfect for the Voodoo2 to make it scream right along with my Vimage 320 G3. Unfortunatly they didn't put Rave on it yet so only 3dfx and software modes work for now :(

8/27/1999 Voodoo2/3 Frame rates on a 6500/250: Sheldon sent me some FPS scores he made on his non-G3 upgraded 6500/250. I wanted to post them to show just what some scores look like that you can expect before you upgrade. Hopefully I can get some G3 upgraded scores soon as a comparison. Thanks Sheldon.

The Rage II from ATI really can't play any of these high FPS games he mentions without turning every 3D option off, choosing low texture quality and setting the monitor to 512x384. Only with these settings could Quake 3 Test even be partially playable. On the net though, playing against mostly PC's, it was hopeless. I was clobbered :( With the G3 and a Voodoo2 card I was doing the clobbering :) He mentions that the 603e can't handle these games with just a Rage II but in fact its the other way around. Even a G3 can't handle these games with a Rage II because the Rage II is just too slow, not the CPU. For unaccelerated 6400's I suggest only getting a Rage Pro or Voodoo1 as you will not even make a dent in any game even with a Voodoo3 unless you have a G3. You really need both a fast CPU and a video card that can handle it in order to play these games. If you only want to upgrade one then don't expect to get any decent FPS scores.

Cooling tips for the Voodoo2 cards: Tiong sends some tips on how he cooled his system down with a Voodoo2 card installed. I don't know how many of you are willing to give up a PCI slot for this but I'm sure its saving the life of more devices then just the power supply. Thanks Tiong.

If any of you have heard of or tried the Proformance III on a 6400/6500 please email me as I am interested too. I know of one other device for cooling the Voodoo2 card called the SteathCooler which does not require wasting a PCI slot as the fan/heatsink sticks to the 3 main chips on the card. The only problem with this is that if you don't get a good adhesion then it may fall off inside and you don't want that to happen! If your interested I saw it mentioned on Accelerate Your Macs web site. Just do a search on the topic or check out his FAQ page.

Later Tiong replied with a URL for the 3dfxCool card and some info on the SteathCoooler I mentioned. Thanks again Tiong.

Playing Nanosaur and Bugdom on an ixmicro Ultimate Rez card: Geoffrey wants to know if there is nay way to get these games to play properly on an ixmicro ultimate rez card? He didn't send any info on what was wrong but if you think you know then please email him. Thanks.

I may have to start my own games page as many 6400/6500 users are really into them now. And with the way todays games look and play, so am I :) Look forward to me starting one soon.

More info on game playability on the 6400: Jim writes that Quake 1 will play fine on his 6400 but he cannot play Quake 2 or 3.

First off Jim does not have a G3 upgrade so Quake2 and 3 will not be playable on the 6400. Fast 6500's have some chance. The Voodoo2 just can't get data fast enough without a G3. His out of memory messages are because these games require OpenGL which takes up more system memory when activated like Open Transport does. Also the Mesa3dfxEngine, which is needed to play OpenGL games on a Voodoo card, also takes up more system ram. All this together with the huge amount that the games themselves require adds up to a lot of RAM! I may not have mentioned it on my site before but I have to have RamDoubler set to 140M before the Mesa out of memory errors went away. Thats a lot of RAM! Boy I really need to start a game page!

Patches and Updates2/17/2000

Patch TombRaiderII for a Voodoo2/3 card - Here is a patch to get TR2 running on a Voodoo2/3 card

Patch StarWars Pod racer for a Voodoo3 card - Here is a patch for both the demo and retail version of Pod Racer to get it working with a Voodoo3 card. Not sure if it will work for a Voodoo2?

PodRacer 1.0.1 patch - Here is a link to the latest patch for the StarWars PodRacer retail game (not the demo). It fixes a few bugs and has more Voodoo2/3 card support. I thought the latest Voodoo 2/3 drivers from 3dfx did a pretty good job of that? Now I guess we have a patch on both sides of the fence :)

UT 4.0.5b patch for the Mac: I also just found this on the same forum. I tried it and its running fine on my system so far.

Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack: Well it seems that Epic has released some more levels and extra skins for UT. I just downloaded and and will try it out :)

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This page last updated 2/15/2001