A trip down memory lane

There are few things that I dread more than moving. Transporting a household from one location to another is miserable enough, but throw the Benchmarking Sweatshop and its back catalog of old hardware into the mix, and the job becomes even more daunting. So I did a little pruning before my latest move, discarding the antiquated remnants of past reviews that simply aren’t worth the closet space they consumed or the effort involved in trucking them to a new closet across town.

Years of reviewing a seemingly endless stream of PC hardware have generally dulled any sentimental attachment to components that have been gathering dust on my shelves since the last move, and yet there were a few bits and pieces I couldn’t bring myself to leave at the mercy of my scavenging friends. None of these preserved relics have much in the way of true vintage credibility or actual value. However, each is special, if only to me.

We’ll kick off this tour of the cardboard box that has become my old hardware museum with the elder statesman of the collection: a SpaceOrb 360. This novel attempt at designing a game controller explicitly for 3D environments never caught on, but it was a superb idea. Instead of a 2D directional pad or thumbstick, the controller employs a large plastic, er, orb that users can twist, push, and otherwise manipulate through six degrees of freedom. The SpaceOrb was easily the best way to control Descent, and while it worked reasonably well with more traditional first-person shooters, it couldn’t compete with the ubiquitous keyboard and mouse.

I’ve kept the SpaceOrb for years now, perhaps in the faint hope that I’ll be able to break it out for a new Descent game one of these days. Or, with user interfaces moving toward the third dimension, perhaps it will come in handy for something completely unrelated to gaming. Either way, I can’t help but preserve this ingenious and innovative throwback.

The next relic of note is my 3dfx Voodoo 2. Back in the day, 3dfx changed the face of gaming forever with dedicated 3D accelerators that plugged in alongside a system’s primary graphics card. The Voodoo 2 was the performance king of its day, and more than a bit prophetic. For example, rather than featuring a single graphics processor, it packed three GPUs. The Voodoo 2 also ushered in SLI—you could pair up two cards for even more Glide goodness.

While there are rarer, older, and more interesting 3dfx cards than the Voodoo 2, this Diamond card will always hold a special place in my heart. She was not only my first 3D accelerator, but the first PC component I purchased explicitly to play games.

The graphics card world has given us countless interesting products over the years, but Nvidia’s GeForce FX 5800 Ultra is arguably the most notorious among them for being such a complete and utter disaster. First, the card was plagued by delays, causing it to hit the market well after ATI made a big splash with its Radeon 9700 Pro. Nvidia also made numerous architectural choices with the FX 5800’s NV30 graphics processor that ultimately hamstrung the chip’s performance in games designed for DirectX 9.

An even more serious problem afflicted the NV30 GPU and the then-advanced 130nm fabrication process used to build the chip. Yields were poor, and the silicon that did make the grade ran so hot that Nvidia was forced to resort to an incredibly loud dual-slot cooler that became known not-so-affectionately as the Dustbuster. Rumor has it that Nvidia actually cribbed the cooler design from Abit, which had strapped a similar dual-slot contraption to a factory overclocked GeForce Ti 4200.

Ultimately ill-equipped to compete with the dominating Radeon 9700 Pro, the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra never hit the market in any kind of volume, which I suppose makes it a bit of a rarity. To this day, it’s also the loudest graphics card I’ve ever tested—a distinction I hope it never loses.

Once upon a time, even after 3dfx was swallowed up by Nvidia, there was a viable third option in the graphics card world: Matrox. Best known for its multimonitor pioneering and excellent analog output quality at a time when that sort of thing was a big deal, 3D performance was never Matrox’s bread and butter. With the Parhelia-512, however, Matrox looked like it might just have something capable of taking on the high end of ATI’s and Nvidia’s respective lineups.

Unfortunately, despite oodles of transistors, gobs of memory bandwidth, and numerous unique features, the Parhelia-512 failed to impress in games, where it couldn’t keep up with its competition. The card was simply too expensive for the performance that it offered, and while features like 10-bit/channel color and Surround Gaming were certainly impressive, their appeal didn’t make up the performance gap for most folks. Matrox would eventually give up on gamers and enthusiasts altogether, choosing instead to settle into smaller niche markets like medical imaging. My Parhelia-512 remains as a decadent reminder that, once upon a time, there were alternatives to GeForces and Radeons.

For a very long time, motherboards weren’t much to look at. They’d come on printed circuit boards colored inconspiuously in green or brown, and they’d be buried inside a case where no one was going to see them. And then there was color. Lots of it. Too much of it. Or at least too many clashing, brightly-colored neons competing for attention on motherboards that looked like they were designed midway through an acid trip.

Sapphire’s PI-A9RX480 is a child of the multicolored motherboard era, and while its stark white PCB is certainly striking, the board’s designers showed some restraint when selecting the rest of the palette, to great effect. I still think this is one of the best-looking motherboards ever, although it wasn’t all that competitive in its day. A high price tag and problematic peripheral performance tanked what might otherwise have been a popular product. But the A9RX480 still looks good today, and that’s why it’s the only board I’ve bothered to keep around past its prime.

The Raptor WD360GD is a perfect example of enthusiasts defying carefully-crafted product positioning and adopting enterprise-class hardware for their own desktops and gaming rigs. For years, the spindle speed for desktop hard drives was stuck at 7,200 RPM. 10,000 RPM was for SCSI drives only, putting it out of reach of the vast majority of enthusiasts. Then Western Digital went and built the Raptor, which combined a 10k-RPM spindle speed with a standard Serial ATA interface that plugged into common desktop motherboards. The drive only offered 36GB of capacity, which wasn’t much even for the time, but performance-obsessed enthusiasts flocked in droves to the Raptor and its successors.

Western Digital eventually grew hip to the Raptor’s broader appeal, and the company even developed a special windowed version dubbed the Raptor X that specifically targeted enthusiasts. Of course, most enthusiasts probably opted for the windowless version of the Raptor X, the WD1500ADFD, which cost $50 less. What can I say? We’re a practical bunch, and while hard drive windows are very slick, they just don’t match the smug satisfaction that comes from plugging server-class hardware into a standard desktop system.

That about does it for reminiscing today. As I look around the mess of boxes that still litter my new office, I can’t help but wonder what I’ll cull from this collection of more recent hardware. Perhaps the original X-Fi will merit a spot in my little museum as what may be the last 3D audio processor. Zalman’s Reserator will surely have a place, if only because it’s still by far the most phallic PC accessory around. And surely, there will be room for an erratum-afflicted B2-stepping Phenom processor, because never have fanboys so vociferously made excuses for a broken product. Ahhh, the memories.

Comments closed
    • yuhong
    • 11 years ago

    q[

    • a_non_moose
    • 11 years ago

    Ah, memories: Voodoo1 4mb card got for free from a friend, Voodoo2 I bought for 70 bucks after a large rebate, and 4 to 5 years ago opened up a cow-box (gateway) ppro 200 and had a Voodoo3 staring at me…set complete for a shadow box, or something.

    Had the Voodoo2 in a p200 aptiva and did some major cleaning/dusting on that box at work one late evening (local newspaper) and one of the freelance writers was playing Tombraider1 on his new G3 w/ 21″ monitor.
    He went on and on about the speed and grfx (320×200…chuckle) and I just said “follow me”.

    Fired up TR2 and ran the demo it had. He looked at the screen, then me, the screen and back to me and said “F**k You, man”.

    I busted out laughing and said “Wait, it gets better” and showed him Klingon Empire (Unreal engine, IIRC)…the flyby like UT.

    Something along the lines of “Now that’s just cruel” was said.

    Aptiva was bought in ’96, was at the newspaper in 99’ish…so the box was 3 y.o. when the G3-300 was brand spanking new.

    (Acer p100 was a linux box by then…amazed it did not catch fire with 4 IDE drives stuffed in it, and SCSI zip, Panasonic PD 1000 optical, floppy and other misc devices (like fans zip tied to the frame to cool components) and the 2x cd burner (phillips CDD 521..the original. Was sad when it died after 10+ years of use)

    • Aphasia
    • 11 years ago

    He, i still have a bunch of old Matrox Millenium 1’s lying around. With an extra memory upgrade no less. Had that one coupled to the Orchid Rightous 3D 4MB which was the first 3dfx card. Although the 3dfx is long gone.

    People laughed when i got it, until i showed them the glide version of descent, quake and mechwarrior. Then it was a wholly different tone. And boy, did i beat them down in the fights in those games.

    • _Sigma
    • 11 years ago

    Fun read, thanks!

    • jackbomb
    • 11 years ago

    That motherboard sure caught my eye!

    *Grabs can of white paint and cracks open PC*

    The Parhelia kinda looks like the AGP GeForce 7600GS. I was even wondering why you guys had it before reading the article.

    Some crap I have:
    Grid 286 laptop with an orange plasma display
    Single speed CD drive
    SoundBlaster 8 (mono)
    MPEG accelerator card
    A really cool Compaq PII motherboard that looks like it takes an AT PSU, yet can soft-off. Has Rage Pro and video decoder built in.
    And a bunch of other stuff, but lists aren’t my thing today.

    • zgirl
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t even recall the brand of my first Video card. All that mattered is that it pushed 16bit color on my 15 NEC in ’93.

    I do recall having the orginal voodoo, along with a Voodoo2 (later in SLI).

    Not to mention several matrox cards G200, G400

    Ahhh those were the days.

    • alex666
    • 11 years ago

    Some folks may complain your article is “boring” (there’s no accounting for taste), but anyone who is an enthusiast has hardware like that in their closet that they ….just ……can’t ….get ….rid ….of.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 11 years ago

    Boring……..must not have much news today eh?

    • darc
    • 11 years ago

    That’s a fun read. And so long as you write one of these articles now and again, I don’t have to save this sort of junk anymore. 🙂

    • Starfalcon
    • 11 years ago

    Lol, I still have Ultima 4 for the C64, floppies still work fine too as I fired up the old system a few months ago. Floppies must be going on about 20 years or so old now, and sad thing is I had some 1.44 floppies never used and they went bad.

    Oh, and LS-120 drives rule, I still have one in my main gaming box. They would have been the perfect upgrade path if iomega hadnt been greedy.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      “Newer” floppies tend to be lower quality, especially certain brands (or if it’s noname altogether). I also have several older floppies gathering dust somewhere that would still work probably – if I had a floppy drive.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Well, LS-120 actually was an IOMega technology that they sold off because thy thought ZIP was better (or at least closer to commercialization). ZIP had a lead of a couple of years, and you have to be a /[

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    Must be a slow news week.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 11 years ago

    2 creative voodoo2’s.
    had 2 STB black ones too, but gave em away.
    1 obsidian x-24 in original box.
    1 voodoo3 pci. (had an agp one at one time.)
    1 kyro 2 SE w/tv out. (just for the hell of owning it.)
    1 diamond monster x300

    I don’t know of any glide wrappers that work in 64-bit, but there are 64-bit drivers for voodoo2’s. lol.

    I think one of 3dfx’s biggest achievements was how scalable and near perfect SLI worked.
    Not to mention their own API, which was really efficient.
    They had none of this driver bloat, and game profile crap like today’s cards.

    • LiamC
    • 11 years ago

    Was going to put my K6-III (AHX 2.2V) back together again on a DFI ATX Socket 7 mobo with 1MB L2/3.

    It is going to have a 1.2MB floppy, 120MB SuperFloppy, Internal Zip-100 and a SoundBlaster AWE 64. Video will be via a 16MB Voodoo 3000. Windows 98SE will be the OS of choice, so I can play MechWarrior 2 (It’s problematic under DOSBox)

    4 out of 5 1.44MB floppies are unreadable these days, but every one of the 10 or so 1.2MB floppies (getting on 20 years old) read fine. Go figure…

    • Starfalcon
    • 11 years ago

    Well I have too much old gear to keep track of now. Prob my fav old skool systems are my BP6 300@550, my K63 formerly from JBI, and my PPro 200 duallie. As for old hardware I prob have enough to open a museum, and anyone lookign to get rid of old stuff, I’m your man. 🙂

    • jonybiskit
    • 11 years ago

    i’d like to see a mobo like that!

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 11 years ago

    Not long ago, I dumped all my old hardware with the e-waste recycling truck that comes by the local community college once a month.

    A little sad thinking about all the money spent on it all over the years… but damn happy to get all that old junk out of the house.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    Cel 266…broken Abit BH6 (blown MOSFET)…a WinMODEM…an 8GB Seagate 7200RPM drive (one of the first) that still works last I knew…and some other possibly even older random junk in a box. I should get rid of it somehow but kind of can’t be bothered. My oldest piece of in-use hardware is a Diamond Stealth 64 (S3 Trio64) in my WHS box.

    I was recently good and gave away some AGP cards. I just don’t know what to do with the above. No easy e-cycling program near me for the broken stuff and idk who would take a slot 1 CPU.

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    Those are some nice trophies you have there.

    I kinda collect video cards… Have a boatload of them in a drawer at home. Most of the major moments of 3D history all the way back to Verite V1000 and S3 ViRGE.

    Time to dig out Descent and play around with that SpaceOrb 360. 🙂

    And yeah that Sapphire mobo is one of the best looking mobos ever made. DFI has put out some eye catchers too.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      S3 ViRGE Rapes everything! It can do Crysis, Ultra Settings at 2560×1600, 200 FPS. XD

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    That really *is* a pretty motherboard, but how would you be able to read the tiny white print labels on the PCB? I know that when I’m dinking around trying to connect front USB ports or setting a jumper I often have to squint with a flashlight to read what-is-what.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      What makes you think the labels are in white?

    • Logan[TeamX]
    • 11 years ago

    I just went and kicked “QuadDamage” – my quad-processor Compaq Proliant (4 x 500MHz Pentium III Xeons) with 1GB of RAM. It was 3 months in and needed a reboot.

    Mind you, it does sound like the coming of Ragnarok, 24/7. It’s great as a home webserver. 🙂

    “Blade” is my Proliant 1U 1GHz Xeon secondary webserver. Decent performance for only having 512MB of RAM.

    • dustyjamessutton
    • 11 years ago

    I still have my Paradise ISA video card in my old 386. It can do up to 256 colors at low res, or up to 4 colors at 1024×768. I was also the first person in the valley to have a Sound Blaster. It is 8-bit, and has 1 voice channel. It’s also only plays midi in mono, not stereo. Oh, lets not forget the math co-processor in the seperate socket for doing floating point math calculations. And the whopping 120 megabyte hard drive. I still have my MITS Altair 8800 computer sitting in the closet. Still works last time I had it plugged in.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll (surprise) hold the opposite opinion and state that I hold no nostalgic opinion for old hardware. I find it ugly, clunky, and takes up space.

    When I got this job, I found some black neXt boxes in the basement. I took them to freegeek ( §[<http://www.freegeek.org/<]§ ) and gave it to them. They were ecstatic. Apparently these were amongst the first ever made, and very valuable. bah. Get that crap outta my site. I want dust free machinery, smaller and smaller every year, and warrante/[

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah but you don’t like much of anything so this isn’t such a surprise.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    mmMMmm. I keep around my VooDoo2 12MB, A BP6 with 400’s and a Dual PIII. (and enough components to make them fully functional again). One of these days I’ll get around to rebuilding the Dual PIII and installing Win98/DOS on it just to relive the good old days with a surprising number of good old games. Funny thing is the system would have gobs of memory now compared to back then. 64MB was a fair amount when Win98 came out and 192MB+ seems ridiculous.

    • highlandr
    • 11 years ago

    I just pulled an old Pentium Pro out of a machine here at work – still running fine. I would have kept my original PPro, but I don’t know where it is.

    Just last year I got rid of a cheapo 56k modem, which had run for about 3 years straight in a linux dial-up NAT box. Had cron set to check the connection every 5 minutes, and redial if it was down. So, that modem was /[

    • sreams
    • 11 years ago

    What? No Abit BP6 and dual Celeron 333s at 550MHz? 😉
    Love that SpaceOrb. I had some of my best Quake and Battlezone games with that thing. It may be impossible getting it working in anything post-WinME. The alternative is to find an ASCII Sphere (basically a SpaceOrb for Playstation), and use a Playstation to USB converter. Agetec still lists the ASCII Sphere with a “special price” (last I checked it was 50 cents or something to get rid of them)… but now there is no “Buy Now” link, so they may be all gone.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 11 years ago

    I love recalling old hardware like this, it brings back a lot of memories. I have a Voodoo3 3000 AGP card around in storage myself. A few years ago for kicks I decided to install it in an old tower and try out some old games from the era which specifically took advantage of the Voodoo. I was actually really impressed with how many games looked compared to ‘regular’ 3D mode.

    As for the 5800 Ultra, I think it’s a good call to hang on to it partly because it was not produced in great numbers.

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    This whole thing makes me sad. Makes me want to quit the enthusiast PC world forever.

    I remember them all when they were young. I remember charging the fields with a Voodoo2 back when that made you part of an elite subgroup, regarded by most as being somewhat eccentric (WTF? Good money for a card that only ever does 3D?? Won’t you still need a good Trident 2D card anyways??). Best of all worlds was running my V2 tag-teamed with a TNT2 Ultra, with the V2 doing only GLide and the TNT2 doing D3D/OpenGL. Those were good times.

    Nostalgia hurts.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Mellow out, old man. I played QWTF on a VoodoGraphics in all of its bilinear filtered green glory with no Truebright entities to keep the sniper laser visible in the shadows. Kids these days are born with a silver graphics card in their slot.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Diablo II still looks best in Glide mode, no doubt.

          • Krogoth
          • 11 years ago

          You can run GLIDE wrappers on modern GPUs to play old games that were meant for GLIDE. 😉

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Haven’t played Diablo II in years, and that was my last Glide title anyway with no more being developed (d’uh), so I’m not sure I’ll bother.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      I remember Quake 2 with my Voodoo2. Everyone was using the software engine still, but me and Glide with 800×600 buttery smoothness easily outpaced them all. I wasn’t even particularly good at Q2, but the advantage of hardware rendering was just too much for most opponents. Resolution is king baby.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    I used to have a large assortment of old stuff. I have properly dispose most of it.

    I am currently down to a dead V5 5500 AGP, BBA 9700PRO (works), USB Samsung Floppy Drive, Audigy 1, SB Live 5.1 Digtial, several fans, some older, but working HDDs.

    Edit: I forgot about Blaster Voodoo Banshee 16MB PCI, BBA Rage 128 AGP 2x, Radeon AIW 7500 4x AGP, Sound Baster 16 ISA, some old VGA ISA card with 2MB of VRAM.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    I still have a Voodoo 2 in a closet, and I have a Voodoo 3 in my PIII fileserver box that has been running happily (and almost continuously) since I put that machine together about a decade ago. (Yikes)

    I think I may still have the Matrox Millenium that lived in the machine before that, which I bought because it was about the only card at the time that offered the insanely high resolution of 1600×1200. Which I needed to drive the 21″ Viewsonic CRT I’d spent about $1K on in 1994 or so (and which is still alive and well and still better than an LCD for some things).

    Somewhere I have an 8″ floppy disk. That’s something I need to dig out and get a picture of. I think it’s in the “ridiculous storage devices” box with my 8mm tape drive and my SCSI Zip drive (100MB). Someday my LS-120 “super floppy” will go into that box, but it’s actually still in that PIII file server also.

      • Scrotos
      • 11 years ago

      Those matrox cards were total BEASTS in DOS games, too. I got a few Millenniums kicking around. Solid 2D performers.

      I got an 8″ floppy setup somewhere; I think it’s in storage along with the S100-based system that it hooked up to.

        • d0g_p00p
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah no kidding. I still have that card paired up with a SLI setup on my classic gaming box.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      I LOVED my LS-120. PATA FDD that held 120mb and still boot?
      You Betcha! 1 of my 2 disks still has IE 5.0 NT, NT SP3, NT SP4 128 and Outlook 98 on it I think.

    • Dposcorp
    • 11 years ago

    That’s awesome Geoff, thanks.

    When you went to Matrox, I was disappointed to not see the G400/G400Max.

    I believe those were the first cards do bring dual VGA outputs to the masses, and give dual display PCs the broad appeal they have now.

    • setzer
    • 11 years ago

    Actually there was another option to Nvidia, ATI and Matrox, at least during the T&L introduction years (read GF2) it was named Kyro I/II from PowerVR and while NVidia was doing T&L in hardware Kyro cards were doing T&L in software and getting away with it rather nicely. The company went the way of the Dodo after that.

    Great cards of old are also the S3 virge, another option that’s still kicking in the hands of VIA.

    I still have a pci gf2mx to boot up when everything else fails 😛

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      Intel bought them.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      The S3 Virge bet on the wrong horse and was never a viable contender in the market. I remember a website where some guy got Quake2 running playably on one but that took some interesting hacking.

      • LSDX
      • 11 years ago

      The first generation PowerVR PCI cards were really special, even more than the voodoo cards.
      They had no VGA-out at all, not outputs at all. All gfx data was send over the PCI bus. Ah, most people dont seem to like cards without outputs, look at how miserably Ageia did.

        • dmitriylm
        • 11 years ago

        The S3 Savage4 was a bad little card and the first to use S3TC which looked great in Unreal Tournament.

      • cygnus1
      • 11 years ago

      Don’t forget the Rendition Verite chips. I had, in the late 90’s an Intergraph (remember those guys?) video card with a V1000 chip and 4MB VRAM. It was one of the few chips that id made an accelerated exe for Quake. I remember playing Decent and a few other games on it too. They were one of the first cards to combine 2d and 3d capabilities.

      §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendition_Verite<]§

        • kvndoom
        • 11 years ago

        You know, I remember playing VQuake on a Rendition card I had, and it had more resolutions, better color depth and detail than GLQuake. I never could understand why people kept bashing it.

          • Chrispy_
          • 11 years ago

          I had a diamond Stealth S220 with the V2000 (I think) and VQuake ran like a dream. It sure made my voodoo rush look slow and clunky.

      • PetMiceRnice
      • 11 years ago

      I came very close to buying a Kyro II back around 2001, but was steered towards a GeForce2 MX instead, specifically an Asus T7100/V. That was my first Nvidia-based card and it was great. Previously I had been running an ATI Xpert 2000.

    • Fragnificent
    • 11 years ago

    I have a Voodoo5 6000 AGP (I don’t know if it works, some didn’t, it has the Intel bridge chip), a Voodoo5 5500 PCI, A Voodoo5 Mac Edition, and a Voodoo2 1000(?) as well as some Macs from 1986 to 1991 that all work fine. 🙂

      • Scrotos
      • 11 years ago

      Hawt! You should find an Obsidian too, just for the single-board multi-chip SLI goodness on that generation!

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 11 years ago

    Ah, the Parhelia. I’ve always marveled at how my Ti4200 beat the utter crap out of the Radeon 8500, which in turn always kept a horse’s head ahead of the Parhelia. I’ve always used that to justify my Ti4200.

      • clone
      • 11 years ago

      later driver releases bumped Radeon 8500 performance above even the Ti-4200’s which was a testament to the architecture’s legs and a showcase of how bad ATI’s drivers were upon it’s release.

      it was the beginning of ATI finally getting things right after so many dismal attempts but the Radeon 8500 turned out to be a legacy champion beating out not only the Ti-500 it competed against but eventually the later Ti-200 and Ti-4200’s…. it took a while and the differences were small but it did win long after no one cared during the 9700 dominance days.

    • Farting Bob
    • 11 years ago

    You should record the sound that the dustblower puts out under load, some of us unfortunate folks have never heard one.
    Trips down memopry lane are fun, should do them more often when you discover some old hardware. Could even put them through modern benchmarks, see if they are even able to run the menu screen in the latest games!

      • Sargent Duck
      • 11 years ago

      I’m at work so I can’t really search, but Damage did, somewhere back in the day, record the 5800 Ultra at startup. At least, I’m pretty sure he did (there is the possibility I’m confusing it with a linked article on the TR front page)

    • Kurkotain
    • 11 years ago

    i used to work in a machine shop, and i never had seen so much lod hardware in my life: lots of pentium, pentium II, pentium III off all sockets and sizes, 8MB graphic cards, mobos and its respective peripherals of the day when nothing was integrated, it really made me respect the roots of home computing, or at least the roots off computing for everyone

    • Walkintarget
    • 11 years ago

    I set about a few years back in search of a white mainboard for a color coordinated build project, and that Sapphire board was the only one available. But .. ughhh, the price that they wanted for it !!
    My hopes were quickly dashed when I then set out in search of a white (or chrome) video card. That project never got off the ground after those initial searches for parts.

    Great read … I love oddball or rare hardware, and this article delivers. Toss in a Diamond Edge 3D and your work is done. I still have at least three 3dfx cards, none of which (sadly) are even in use.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    For your next review, please throw in a 6800Ultra for reference. Thanks.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      Crazy, but Smart. oOOoo.

    • yokem55
    • 11 years ago

    The oldest piece of hardware that I still use is my original 1998-era Soundblaster Live! It still produces far better sound quality than any onboard sound chip I’ve come across, and the linux alsa drivers just work without any fiddling (yay for real hardware mixing!). As each generation of motherboard I buy comes with fewer and fewer 32-bit PCI slots, I worry about the day that I will have to give up that card.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Nice collection, and I’ve got a Creative Voodoo2 12MB to match your Diamond. But no Voodoo5 5500 AGP?

      • TheEmrys
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve got one. Good card, but it was overpriced. I was such a 3dfx fan.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        The price on mine wasn’t too bad: $7.50. Of course, it helps that I bought it just last year…

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      I got a dead V5 5500 AGP here.

    • SonicSilicon
    • 11 years ago

    The SpaceOrb may work well with Google Earth, though GlovePIE may be required.

    I have a Diamond Voodoo1 in a purposely built MS-DOS computer. About the only thing that runs it is Tomb Raider, though. I have a 3Dfx Voodoo2 which I used to use under Windows 98 for primarily playing Unreal Tournament. That was paired with a Matrox G400 TV which I ended up not using for video capture (MJPEG editing was just not widespread.) It made for an interesting, if hot, set up for dual-monitors. (NTSC just isn’t that great as a computer display, though.)

    Lastly, you show remarkable respect for your friends by not pawning off the FX 5800, saving them from grief and headaches. 😉

    • TaBoVilla
    • 11 years ago

    Great collection! Cards look like new. .are those yours or pictures from previous reviews?

      • Dissonance
      • 11 years ago

      I snapped some new pictures for the post.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    I still have my 8MB Voodoo2 in my closet somewhere. I bet it works, but ugh, nothing to play on it.

    I still use my Sidewinder Gameport Gamepad when I play emulators. Newer absolutely does not equal better.

      • Delphis
      • 11 years ago

      Yep, me too. I happened across my old Diamond ‘Monster’ Voodoo2 the other day in a box in my garage when looking for some old hard drives to help get a DOS machine at work going again.

      That was a very cool graphics card. Probably does still work. I used it in tandem with a radeon xpert 98 until I moved on to a machine that had a Radeon 9500 pro.

      • Scrotos
      • 11 years ago

      Gravis GRiP 4-player ftw! Too bad USB gamepads came out a few months later and basically killed the GRiP. But hey, it worked in DOS pretty well… when games bothered to support it. NHL96! Wooo!

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