Voodoo 3 (1999-2000)

How to make a Voodoo 3- Take the 128 bit Banshee core, add another Texture Management Unit for a total of two, shrink the die size down from .35 micron to .25 micron, clock from 100 mhz to 125/143/166/183 mhz and your done. TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is the contractor that made the Voodoo3 five-metal layer chipset with 8.2million transistors for 3dfx.

Rather then tag the new chipset Banshee II as many industry wags had already done so, 3dfx called it Voodoo 3 in an effort to continue leveraging the Voodoo name for all it was worth. The reality was even if it was called Banshee II it was an excellent card that even at the entry level V3-2000 143mhz  performance matched a complete Voodoo II SLI rig and at 166 or 183 mhz clocking blew it away altogether. Another bonus was that the V3 was an outstanding overclocker- My first V3 a 143 mhz 2000 model would run at an astounding 190 mhz with the addition of a small 486 fan to the heatsink! Speeds as high as 220 mhz have been recorded!

Rather then flood you with dozens of Voodoo 3 card images with slight differences between them I'll just post some shots of the rare or interesting variations. From slowest to fastest!

Compaq sold some Presarios with a unique 16 meg V3 clocked at 125 mhz with no heatsink!  

3dfx sold this card under two names- Provided for sale through Gateway (noted on the bios chip as a V3-1000) it was called "Bonesteel", sold through 3dfx it was a Velocity 100. In either case it was a 143 mhz card with 8 megs of SGRAM and 1 Texture Management Unit disabled via the bios. The cards were identical except the Gateway boot screen identified the card as a V3-1000 and the 3dfx boot screen would state Velocity 100.

Very early V3-3000 card (Date code 12-99) note old style 3dfx logo and triple V3 on chip.

Typical 166 mhz V3-3000 card- The 143 mhz V3-2000 used the same PCB but with no S-video connector and smaller black heatsink. The 3000's had ram rated for 6ns, the 2000 for 7'ns but it wasn't odd at all to find 2000 card with 6ns ram or a V3 with two or even three different brand ram chips on the same card!  

The V3-3000 PCI card was released 5 months after the AGP versions came out. 3dfx didn't think there was much demand for a PCI version of the 3000 but the markets kept demanding one.  Both the V3-2000 and V3-3000 were sold using this style PCB.

Typical 183 mhz V3-3500 with cable input/output and pod connector. 3dfx made a limited number of these cards with 5ns ram and 200 mhz clock speed for Falcon Northwest computers. Very rare and hard to find!

Intriguing V3-3500TV-SI A brand new boxed 3500 but instead of being clocked at 183 mhz is clocked at 166 mhz and is equipped with 6ns (166mhz) SDRAM. I have not heard a mention, press release or rumor of this board and over 70 of them pop up on Ebay 5 years after 3dfx closes. The card above is the "PAL" version for use outside of the United States. 

Compaq sold 5000 series Presario's 183 mhz Voodoo 3 3500 with or without tuner. If you find one it will have Compaq on the bios decal and 5.5 ns ram chips plus this unique PCB. Known as the "Compaq V3 PCB" due to the fact 3dfx developed a V3 with a flat panel interface for Compaq computers and Compaq never ordered the card! You can see where the connector would be for the flat panel on the PCB at the top left.

This V3-2000 143 mhz PCI is listed here since it has a utilizes a later PCB very similar to the Compaq 3500 and has the following ram chips installed- Yup 5.5 ns, same as the 3500! What a goofball card.

Not a card but Voodoo 3 powered! In another effort to break into the lucrative OEM market 3dfx also worked on integrated solutions like this motherboard. It is a MSI-6168 with a Voodoo 3 clocked at 143 mhz with 8 megs of SGRAM and TV out. 

This unit was obtained from the UK and was from a Packard Bell computer, it also has integrated sound from Creative Labs. Combined with a PII-450 it's not a bad little combo! A few other motherboard companies also made Voodoo 3 based motherboards but the MSI-6168 is by far the most common (and I have only seen three)

I was able to obtain a proper Packard Bell case and have since installed the motherboard.

Custom Packard Bell desktop.

A-trend and others also made Voodoo 3 motherboards but they are very hard to find.

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