E3 1999 Coverage

by Mike Andrawes on May 18, 1999 3:14 AM EST


After wandering around the show and figuring out where everything was, our first meeting was with 3dfx. Out in the booth, they were show casing the Voodoo3 as expected. There was of course the V3 2000 and 3000 models running all the latest and greatest games on big flat panel screens. What was more interesting was the 3500 model that they were showing.

Originally planned to be a 183MHz version of the V3 with the addition of a digital flat panel output and SGRAM, the 3500 has changed quite in the past few weeks and 3dfx made an official announcement regarding this just about a week ago. The flat panel output and SGRAM have been dropped in favor of a TV/FM-tuner with video capture capabilities.

Much like ATI's All-in-Wonder 128, the V3 3500 features MPEG-2 video capture when paired with a Pentium III CPU. Also just like the the All-in-Wonder 128, it also features a nice break out box so you don't have to get behind the computer to change all the inputs and outputs. The break out box is connected by one of the largest cables (click here for a picture) in recent memory- most likely because the monitor also attaches to this cable. 3dfx claims that such a high quality cable will prevent any signal degradation that might otherwise occur.

The Voodoo3 core is still clocked at 183MHz. Due to the greater yields at the 183MHz speeds 3dfx needed, SDRAM is now used instead of SGRAM . Despite early review boards having a heatsink/fan, the shipping model will include a monstrous heatsink without a fan. Despite all the changes the 3500 still retails at the original $249 announced months ago.

As for next generation 3dfx technology, they wouldn't tell us much, no matter what we tried. They did tell us that we will see a new core that would be "revolutionary" in the next 12 months, but that does not really tell us much. Clearly, 3dfx would not be wise to release another part without 32-bit rendering. Only time will tell what actually shows up.

Index Creative Labs
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