The first and last review of the V5 6000

— 4:55 PM on December 5, 2000

VoodooExtreme just published a rushed but still informative review of the 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 inside of a Quantum3D AAlchemy system. The review shows that the wild tales of 1600x1200x32 with 4x FSAA in Quake III were blown quite a bit out of proportion. Nonetheless, had the card ever been released into the consumer market, it seems that it would have competed nicely against the likes of even the GeForce2 GTS Ultra.

To me, the most interesting bit of commentary came not from the benchmarks, but from the current standing of the technology. You may remember me lamenting the fact the V5 6000 has the external Voodoo Volts power supply. It seems that 3dfx was also concerned about this off-the-wall solution they had created to power the energy-hungry 6000. It is one the key issues, if not the key issue, that has destroyed the opportunity for the 6000 to arrive in the hands of consumers, according to Quantum3D.

The current state of the drivers also tantalizes the mind: visual artifacts, hard locks caused by shifting resolution and color depth, difficulty with screen captures in 4x and 8x FSAA, and apparently not SMP-ready. The reviewer noted from his own perception that lackluster 16-bit and perhaps even overall performance may have been caused by the now-stagnant driver code base received from 3dfx.

Most of these issues with Q3A will likely never be fixed by Quantum3D. Undboutedly, they will take the existing driver code base and run with it, but all their time, fixes, and optimization will likely go into pushing professional graphic design programs. I would also hope their time goes into threading the drivers for SMP. It certainly behooves them given the configuration of their AAlchemy boxes.

If Quantum3D really does put some of these AAlchemy systems up on E-Bay for auction, as they hinted, I will be most interested in the price they command. Given all its faults, would you still by a V5 6000 equipped AAlchemy box? How much is being a uber-geek worth to you?

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