Voodoo Graphics (1996-1997)

At one time 3dfx had a lock on 85% of the accelerator market! The Voodoo Graphics chipset was revolutionary stuff for PC users in 1996.

Instead of pelting you with pictures of the dozens of different Voodoo Graphics cards that are all pretty much the same, I'll just post one or two generic examples along with some of the rare & unusual pieces.

Here that noise? All you old Orchid Righteous 3D owners know what it is!

On October 7, 1996 Orchid Technologies became the first vender to supply Voodoo Graphics cards to the consumer market, going price was $299. One of the unique quirks of the Orchid cards was that they had a pair of mechanical relays that would clack when the Voodoo chipset was accessed! Later Righteous 3D revisions used solid state switching devices like all the other Voodoo Graphics boards sold.  Click here to listen to the relays in action again.

Close behind Orchid's release onto the market was Diamond Multimedia with their Diamond Monster. Diamond might have been second to market but they made up for it in shear number of sales. The Monster card is by far the most common Voodoo Graphics board for up sale on Ebay worldwide. 

The Canopus Pure3d featured 6 megs of ram (most Voodoo Graphics boards had just 4 megs) along with RCA & S-video jacks for TV out display. See the Canopus page for more information!

In Europe the Miro Hiscore staked out the high end of the consumer market with a card that looks suspiciously like the Canopus design. A licensing agreement perhaps? The PCB is identical.

Far more common was the "clone cards" built on the 3dfx reference design even down to using the "3Dfx" logo! The ATC-2465 is found in force in the European market and was sold under a number of different brand names. This card was obtained boxed from Germany, sold under the Colormaster Voodoomania brand.

Somewhat rare Biostar Voodoo Graphics purchased from a seller in Taiwan.

Slightly unusual PCB design on this Skywell Magic 3D.

Another unusual Skywell design- A Voodoo Graphics board with 8MB of ram, rare for the PC market.

Techworks catered to the Mac market with this Voodoo Graphics card. Actually all PC Voodoo Graphics cards worked fine in Mac's due to the fact they had no bios! All was needed was a different cable with a Mac connector on one end (some didn't even do that but shipped with the PC cable and provided an adapter dongle) and any card would do with the correct drivers. Some vendors like VillageTronic supplied unique cards with the correct Apple connectors later on.  

VillageTronic MacMagic 8 meg Voodoo Graphics with unique Mac video connector and bios chips- Will NOT work on a PC platform.

A mystery card I *was* looking for information about but due to a lucky break figured it out- Most commonly spotted in the UK (when spotted at all) this card is labeled "OBSIDIAN GE" and has a build date of 37-97 (September 6-10, 1997). 

I have tracked the card down to a company in the UK called Modular Technology which was bought out by the Holden Manufacturing in 2003. To see a picture of a boxed Modular Technology Obsidian GE click here.

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