6400 Voodoo 4/5 info page
This page contains info on using a 3dfx Voodoo 4/5 with the 6400. Please feel free to send me your experiences.
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Gaming News - this is a page on Accelerate Your Mac's site. It has a bunch of tips and help on getting the most out of today's 3D games.
www.mac3dfx.com - This site comes from the host of Accelerate Your mac. It has the most info I have seen on getting 3dfx's Voodoo cards running smooth on your Mac.
Voodoo5 reviews on a Mac: I have collected the addresses of several web sites with good reviews on the Voodoo5 in different Mac configurations. Of course none are a 6400 but they give you a good look at how the card performs.
Shark Extreme V5 in a G4 450
Penstar Systems, LLC. V5 in a beige G3
G4/500, B&W G3/400, Daystar Genesis G4/400 upgrade
The overwhelming conclusion is that the V5 performs about as well as the Rage128 Pro or the V3 but looks much better do to the FSAA (full screen anti aliasing) I was hoping this wasn't going to happen but we should have expected this when the V3 wasn't even keeping up with the PC versions :( The major plus is that you get much better visually quality at 640x480 which is the most playable resolution and the card supports all 3D technologies on the Mac (Rave, Glide, and OpenGL). No other card offers that yet.
Below is a link to 3dfx's Bryan Speece's comments on why the card is not performing as well as it does on the PC.
There may be hope yet, as I have heard that ATI's Radeon has a feature called Hyper-Z which strips out non-displayed data (data for pixels behind walls and such). Less data is transmitted over the PCI bus. This means that possibly more frames per second can be displayed? If this is true then ATI will have a killer card for the Mac. Neither the V5 or Radeon is shipping yet though so it is too soon to tell which may be better. The V5 might not be the speed king we were hoping for but it will support all 3D standards and has, hands down, the best visual look with FSAA turned on as per all reviews I've read.
In price per performance terms, the Voodoo4 may be a better choice for 6400/6500 owners. It has 2xFSAA (but not 4X like the V5) and will be shorter and cheaper which should make it the better choice. Yes, it won't have the other visual affects the V5 has but the V5 costs so much and we'll never get the full speed from it!
Pics of a Voodoo5 AGP to demonstrate how the PCI version might fit in the 6400/6500: Since the PCI version is not attainable yet, except for reviews, Tiong was kind enough to send me some pics of an AGP card in different positions to demonstrate how the actual PCI card might fit. Thanks Tiong
Voodoo5 AGP next to a Voodoo3 PCI card
Voodoo5 AGP located in PCI slot position. It's longer then our mother board!
The end of the Voodoo5 hits the cables in the back. They need to be moved aside.
Instructions on how to make room for the Voodoo5: Tiong and another reader sent me instructions on how to move the cables in side to make room for such a long card like the V5. Thanks guys. Both are good at getting the cables out of the way but I noticed they don't agree on the PCI slot to install the V5 in? Now not actually having this card myself, I don't know which person is right or if both are? I guess we'll just have to wait till someone tries :)
For a pictorial on how to open up the case, please visit my 6400 TakeApart manual site.
8/11/2000 First user experiences of the V5 in a 6500: Tiong is the first person to send me info on using a V5 in a 6500 that has been upgarded with a 500Mhz G3. Thanks Tiong.
[Hello everyone. I wont bore you with details and features of the Mac V5 as you can find many excellent previews of the Mac V5 on various Mac and even PC sites! And before I give you benchmarks of my V5, I want to urge you NOT to read too much into the fps figures. Ill explain later on, so please bear with me.
Macbench 5.0 graphics:
Quake 3 Demo (demo 001)
640*480 = 26.4
800*600 = 26.3
1024*768 = 26.0
|Resolution||16-bit||2X FSAA||32-bit||2X FSAA|
640*480 = 36.74
800*600 = 35.16
1024*768 = 34.02
PM 6500, 128MB RAM, OS 9.0.4, VM on, Vsync off, b11 V3 drivers/ROM, 1.0 V5 drivers, 1.3 V5 ROM, Sonnet 500MHz L2 G3, Maxtor 20GB DiamondMax Plus, Farallon Comm Slot II 10/100 Ethernet.
2D tested at 1024*768, millions of colors.
Q3 demo settings:
Graphics settings: custom
GL Driver: default
Lighting: Light Map
Geometric Detail: High
Texture Detail: High (slider fully to the right)
Texture Quality: 16 (in 16-bit color testing)/ 32 (in 32-bit color testing)
Simple items off
Everything set at high
My impression of V5:
As I said earlier, dont trust the fps figures too much. The V5 may not produce higher results than the V3 in 3D benchmarks now, but game play is much smoother overall. Areas in games where the V3 will slow to a crawl are much improved with V5, contradicting what the fps figures may project. Also, my UT benchmarks actually did go up! And playing at 800*600 with 2X FSAA actually produces the best fps figures for my slightly tweaked UT! And if you are a Falcon 4.0 fan, youll want this card! This is THE Falcon 4.0 card. Not only is game play smoother, this card is much less affected by the number of bogeys and action around you. And bogeys never looked better when blasted out of the sky with FSAA on!
What Bryan Speece of 3dfx said is true! Once you see FSAA in action, there will be no turning back! However, some games seem to "respond" to FSAA better than others. One example is Deus Ex. Although it is based on the Unreal engine, both Unreal and Unreal Tournament seem to be more "visually improved" with FSAA than with Deus Ex. This is not to say that Deus Ex doesnt look good in FSAA, but it is, IMHO, just not as "improved" to the degree that both Unreal and UT were. Maybe it is because Deus Ex already looks good to begin with? ;-P
Also, you may have noticed that I didnt include any 4X FSAA benchmarks. This is because 4X FSAA wont run on my system! 3dfx told me that the V5 has some compatibility problems with "legacy" Macs and that they are quite pleasantly surprised to hear it running well (other than not being able to do 4X FSAA) in my 6500. Remember, both V4/5 are officially supported on Beige G3 systems and above, so we are "unsupported", like with V3.
Please look to the methods posted by DeKU and me elsewhere in this site. I have tried both methods, and not to disrespect DeKU or anything, I think that my method is much simpler and less time consuming. DeKUs method requires that you have a set of Torx screwdrivers in order to be able to remove the "sound box." Also, that post that DeKU suggested to remove is a pain to get out (at least for me). If you wish to follow my method, I do suggest that you modify it a little (Tom, maybe you could correct it on that other page too? Thanks!). The extra step I did was to use a cable tie (or you can use those little plastic thingie with a wire in it that comes with most trash bags or loaves of bread) and tie my motherboard cables to the post (the one with the clip facing you youll see the post once you remove the left cover of your 64/6500) after you have made a concave shaped "hole" in the motherboard cables. Doing this step will ensure that the cables, once out of the way of the V5, wont "loosen" and contact the V5 later on.
Another modification to my method is to follow DeKUs suggestion to put the V5 in the PCI slot closer to the motherboard. The reason is not because the V5s fan/heatsink combo is too tall but because the close proximity of both V5s fan/heatsink seems to cause an interference with regards to air flowing out of the power supply and the Macs internals. You see, the power supply fan draws air outwards. The V5 fans draw air inwards (relatively speaking). This means that if the V5 is placed in the slot closer to the power supply fan, the air flow is disrupted when air being sucked out by the power supply is sucked by the V5 fans in the opposite direction to cool the VSA-100 chips. The end result is that slightly less air will be coming out of your Mac, meaning that more heat may be trapped inside. Not a good thing!
Also, the Y-cable 3dfx supplied to power the V5 is too short! You can call 3dfx to get a longer one (tell them you have a Beige G3, just in case 3dfx say your 64/6500 is unsupported and wont give you one!) or you can go to 2CoolTek and order a 4 Pin Y-adapter (US$2.00) to add on to your original one from 3dfx. 2CoolTeks URL is http://2cooltek.safeshopper.com/ and the 4 Pin Y-adapter can be found on this page: http://2cooltek.safeshopper.com/19/cat19.htm?678
The V5 is way too "powerful" for a 64/6500, even one with an L2 G3. I think the V4 will be a much better card to put into our systems (and it is easier to install too!). If one were to use just fps numbers to judge the V5, it will seem like it is not a good card. However, I beg to differ. IMHO, fps figures dont do justice to the V5. This is a card that will make game play much smoother and look better at the same time! ]
8/12/2000 First impressions of the Voodoo5 in a 6500: Tiong sent some more findings on his V5. Thanks Tiong. Expect more to follow :)
[my first impressions so far:
1) 2D is much faster than V3. Macbench 5.0 shows a big jump, even at millions of colors! From 23xx to 29xx.
2) Some games do look better with FSAA but FSAA doesn't seem consistent in terms of looks. Example: UT looks superb with FSAA, yet Deus Ex (a game that I really think needs FSAA) doesn't seem to be as "jaggie free" with 2X FSAA than UT or even Unreal (DE is based on Unreal). This is in contrast to the PC version in which I feel that the PC Deus Ex with FSAA is nicer than the Mac's.
3) Can't run 4X FSAA at any resolution! 3dfx says there are problems with V5 and legacy Macs. : ( But not too big a loss since I'd be playing with 2X FSAA anyway.
4) While trying to get 4X FSAA to run, I tried using Micro Orange's PCI Bridge patch in the hopes that maybe it was something to do with our PCI? Turns out to be worse than I thought as with that patch applied, I can't type anything at all in any application! Good thing it needs only a PRAM zap to get rid of it! <whew!>
5) The Y-cable (power connector) 3dfx supplied is way too short! Good thing I got my extra fans in my 6500 and I used one of those connectors to help "extend" it.
More to come later with benchmarks and what games I have tried that are compatible.
10/6/2000 Update on Voodoo5 and older Macs: I read awhile ago that 3dfx released some new drivers (1.0.8?) that allow the 2nd CPU to work now on the card! This is great because previously people reported that the 2nd CPU was not doing anything. I don't think it will make the card go any faster, but the FSAA features shouldn't take as much a frame rate hit anymore? The only 6400/6500 owner that had one of these sold it before the update came out so I don't have any reports of how this change performs on our systems? Still I think the V4 will be a better buy and with the Radeon almost out, I would wait!
On a side note I hear that using these drivers with a Voodoo3 will make QT and other features work a little better but 2D gets a big slowdown! Hopefully a fix for that will be out soon.
10/20/2000 Voodoo5 drivers updated with better V3 support: I found this on Accelerate Your Macs web site. 3dfx has updated their V5 drivers to 1.1.0a and they do give better support for the V3. The V3 in my B&W G3 no longer crashes with the V5 drivers and GoMac installed. Great!
Here is a direct download link for those of you that don't have a previous version of the V5 drivers. The normal way to upgrade is through the new V5 control panel. Remember that you will need the V3 beta12 drivers to first flash the V3 ROM to run on a Mac before the V5 drivers will work.
NOTE: These drivers also fixed the second CPU so it works on older Macs like the 6400/6500 and you can use 4xFSAA now!
2/9/2002 Voodoo5 user info from Daniel: Daniel posted some great info on his experience with the Voodoo5 card in a 6360! Thanks Daniel.
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This page last updated 2/22/2002