Why I used 3dfx hardware

Another old piece, pulled from a discussion forum. Written when I was just 17, about 18 months after 3dfx Interactive, Inc. went out of business, a topic was started to discuss why people were still using “outdated” 3dfx technology. Here is what I had to say at the time.

I have to tell you, I made some wrong calls myself. 😳

A long while back (it sat on the internet for over two years, but I believe it’s finally gone) I made a comment, somwhere… I don’t remember where. It was right after the Voodoo 5 6000 plans were sold to Quantum 3D.

What I said was along the lines of:

‘3dfx and Quantum 3D have been LONG TIME partners, so this should be no big scary shock to anyone. This, and the recent sale of the plant in Juarez, Mexico, appear to be signs of renewal. It looks like 3dfx has a plan, and I like what I’m seeing.’

…About four months later, there was no more 3dfx. 😮 (2016 edit: it wasn’t four months, it was one month. Look what I found, and archived.)

Their product development was probably their downfall. Pushing back release dates, and press conferences, not unveiling products at certain times, or falsifying their products at trade shows…

So, I made a bad decision. But why do I still use 3dfx hardware? I enjoy the community feeling. Even places that fight, amongst themselves, site to site… it’s still a diverse community.

Also, 3dfx was always an underdog. Everyone knew the nVidia cards could crank out frames… once nV made it on the scene, it seemed as though it was all over for 3dfx. But the benchies weren’t what I looked at. Screen shots were worthless to me as well. I had to experience. I enjoyed Voodoo 2’s back in the day, but the 3d Prophet (GeForce 1) was extremely tempting. After finally tinkering with both, and finding that for my Quake 2 needs 3dfx played the part, I went with the Voodoo 3.

-On that all machine, at the time, the required PCI V3 2000 was more inexpensive than the 3D Prophet was, and I preferred it over the GF1, so that was another determining factor.

But the question remains; why do I still use 3dfx TODAY?

Glide? Perhaps. But I have plans to keep using Glide well after I purchase a newer card, be it a GeForce, Omen, Radeon, or anything else out there.

Cost? It’s a big factor. I’ve got an extremely low income… I’m a student!! I can’t even afford a new CDROM drive right now! I’ve had the plan, all along, to try and make my Voodoo 5 last until fall/winter 2002. It looks like it’s going to make it.

There are more and more compatibility issues, which we all know will not be resolved without official driver support, or developer support. But all the games that were supposedly going to be the death of my Voodoo 5, such as Max Payne, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein – smooth as silk, with image quality to knock your socks off. Even the newest games, while slightly buggy, have no real PROBLEMS. I’m enjoying War Craft 3, Serious Sam 2 (without being forced to run in 3dfx compatibility mode),

I’m a Quality buff, not a speed buff… and I simply find the image quality of the Voodoo 5 superior, still, to anything out there. Granted, the others can look just as good, or even better. But the performance to quality ratio provided by these cards is too poor. Even if the image quality is better, and FASTER than my Voodoo 5, when you look at the numbers, getting a newer card to look like a V5, you take more of a hit, than you did with a Voodoo.

Another factor, I’m a fan of the 3dfx Tools. Call me old fashioned, I don’t even like Windows XP. All for the same reason. I’m not an idiot, don’t dumb things down. For instance, ATi’s old RAGE3D control panel, with the huge blue buttons… “IMAGE QUALITY” check box or “SPEED” check box. 3dfx Tools allows you to customize and have MUCH more control over the features and performance your card can utilize. I’m glad 3dfx didn’t think their owners were fools.

I will be moving on soon, and keeping a Glide based video card, just for kicks… and there is no one simple answer the why I do still have 3dfx hardware. I guess all I can say is that I love it!

Homeworld Cataclysm micro-review

HW:C – I was one of the biggest fans ever of the first Homeworld. Okay, I didn’t spend time learning 3D modeling and creating my own ships, or memorizing storylines, but for months prior to the game, you could find me spending hours every day in the beta test version… once it came out, I couldn’t stop playing it, even after I got Half-Life, and Unreal’s NaPali mission pack… it was always Homeworld. I expected HW:C to just be even better.

Boy was I wrong.

Playing is each different race gives you specific advantages, whereas in the first Homeworld it was merely certain ship types, but now it can be anything from research time to ships speeds.

The graphics are nice, but not quite what I expected from Homeworld 2, you know? The sequel shows enhancements from the original, but the engine is mostly unchanged. Sounds are going to be nice when I get my 5.1 sound card up and going, I’m sure… it does sound pretty good on my four piece system + power woofer, even though this is only a single output sound card (using a Y-jack).

The story line seems to be a continuation, from what I’ve read, but I’m not planning on playing thru story parts yet, until I get the newer computer up and running… you see – even my K62 @ 380 is lagging quite a bit… I had to tweak the graphics in order to keep the speed… the game is much more detailed, and certain ship types will be so heavily animated that it will cause slow downs.

Overall, it’s a good game on its own… but, I’m sure you’ve heard it before… if you’re a fan of the original, don’t bother with Cataclysm – it’s a huge disappointment, and should have never been given the Homeworld name. It’s nice, but should not be considered Homeworld 2, in my opinion, because it could be so much better. The game play feels rigid, nowhere near the feeling of awe that you had when playing the original for the first time. It’s hollow, the personality, the threat, the backstory – nothing is fleshed out the way the original was. This feels like a hurried sequel to cash in on the franchise before it is too late.