Should I Wait for a Mac Version of Voodoo3 or Flash a PC Card?

1999 – Should I wait for the Voodoo3 retail Mac specific version, or should I buy the PC version of the card and use the firmware flasher to convert it over to Mac?

First off, if you don’t know what firmware is, then you should definitely buy the retail Mac specific version.

For everyone else: It’s a bit of a risk going with the PC version, because the drivers are being distributed “for developer use only,” which means that 3dfx will provide no support for problems, nor do they promise to continue delivering software driver updates.

The PC version is significantly cheaper. However, in the end it may pay to get the Mac version. Here’s why:

  • The PC version may have video-in and video-out (Voodoo3 3500 model) that you will not be able to use, because there is no driver support for those features in the developer drivers.
  • The Mac version (if bought from VillageTronics) should come with Glide support at some point. It should also have RAVE drivers as well. The developer drivers have no such support. Glide and RAVE give the card compatibility with more games.
  • If you buy a Mac version, you will get tech support and driver updates far more often then the developer drivers – and the peace of mind that you are helping out a Macintosh company.

Mactell, which sold a fairly affordable Voodoo3 card for the Mac, recently closed its doors. A group of former Mactell employees is forming Rantic Labs, which will pick up the Mactell FireWire and USB drives. They have not yet announced whether they will also handle the Voodoo3 card.

VillageTronics cards are available in North America through Software Hut (archive.org link). They are more expensive than PC cards, which is why so many are willing to upgrade firmware.

For more information on 3dfx and Voodoo, visit Mac3dfx. The 3dfx Voodoo3 2000 PCI cardicon (Windows version) is available for $109.95 (shipped) from Outpost.com. Mac3dfx rates it a best value ($/fps) among Mac 3D video cards (see review on Mac3dfx).

Also see Why Gaming Matters for more information on how the Voodoo3 cards beat Apple’s standard ATI video.

Keywords: #voodoo3

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