Modder builds remake of unreleased 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 video card

A hardware enthusiast has created their own 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 video card. This video card was never officially released, but the modder managed to build this video card through reverse engineering.

Details about a first batch of the remake appeared on the Russian ModLabs forum, HotHardware also noted. A modder named Anthony has almost authentically recreated the video card. While he did make some design tweaks, the card is said to deliver identical performance to the original.

A press photo of the original V5 6000

The Voodoo 5 GPU series was created by 3dfx Interactive. That was one of the major GPU manufacturers in the late 1990s, next to ATI and Nvidia. The company was acquired by Nvidia in late 2000 and officially closed its doors in 2002. The Voodoo 5 series was the last lineup the company worked on, and the Voodoo 5 6000 headed it. 3dfx has never been able to release this Voodoo 5 6000 video card, although 1000 have been produced. These GPUs occasionally appear on sites like eBay, but are very expensive due to their limited availability.

The Voodoo 5 lineup was based on the VSA-100 chip, which Anthony also used for his remake. This chip was produced by TSMC using a 250nm process, had a chip area of ​​112mm² and contained approximately 14 million transistors. The VSA-100 chips are now available on sites like eBay and cost less than $20 each. The video card had four of these graphics chips, each of which had two pixel shaders at 166MHz. Anthony’s model also has 128MB of video memory available on a 128-bit memory interface, just like the original V5 6000.

Anthony has designed his own printed circuit board to mount these components. The modder has slightly modified the design of the video card compared to the original. For example, the new variant has a black PCB, while the original had a green printed circuit board. Furthermore, Anthony’s model has a PCI interface, where the original card used AGP. The external power supply is also exchanged for a molex connector.

Despite these tweaks, the remake performs “exactly the same” as the original V5 6000, Anthony reports. The card uses the same bios versions and drivers, and is said to contain the same bugs as the original prototypes. The new variant faces issues such as color distortion and artifacts in certain games, “see-through stripes” in high-speed modes, and other compatibility and speed issues; all problems that were also in the original V5 6000.

The Voodoo 5 6000 remake. Image by Anthony via ModLabs