3dfx prototype Voodoo Graphics.
A word about the cards on these pages- To generalize they are boards that were manufactured by 3dfx direct and not yet available to the general public. The boards fall into a number of different categories and I'll try to explain each type as they come up.
Engineering sample (prototype)- First run hardware samples, proposed designs that were intended for sale but never released to market or engineering exercises.
Perfect examples of first run hardware would be the brown PCB pre-1999 Voodoo 3 and Daytona 32 MB DDR. The V5-6000 is a good example of hardware that was a dropped (also falling into this category would be also the V5-5000 32 MB) The Voodoo 3 MCM was from an internal engineering exercise at 3dfx to see how small a PCB could be utilized, it is a very rare piece!
My oldest 3dfx video card- A prototype 50-2220 dated 15-96 with green PCB, holographic decal covering the RAMDAC chip, black backplate and FCC warning decals. Notice the PCB revision numbers! Of the green Obsidian boards this is only one of two ever seen and the only one with an Amethyst daughtercard.
Close up of holographic decal.
FCC warning decal on back of Amethyst daughtercard.
Obsidian 100DB-4440- What might be the rarest of prototypes I own, an Obsidian Voodoo Graphics SLI rig with both boards dated 19-96 (May 5-9 1996) with handmade circuitry on one of the cards near the SLI connector. The complete setup came from a computer at 3dfx *before* Quantum3D was spun off March 31, 1997.
Other unusual features besides the hand wiring include black back-panels instead of chrome, AT&T "DAC" chip instead of the usual GENDAC brand and a decal that states "SLI-4." Production 100DB setups also have one card with no VGA connectors with a blank backplate just like the Diamond Multimedia Mega-Monster card.
Note- If you clicked on the "Production 100DB setups" link you will notice a red arrow pointing to the somewhat neater chip & wiring of the production board as compared to the prototype picture above.
Both boards function perfect as separate units and when run in SLI mode there is a notable increase in performance. However the computer monitor shows an interference pattern present when SLI is active. Not surprising at all considering that this is first run equipment. I'm looking to touch base with other 100DB owners to investigate further but the number of people who own & collect these cards can be pretty much counted on one hand.
The Obsidian 100DB-4440 had a MSRP of $2500 when it was released, pretty steep back in 1996.