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Welcome to the 3dfx Help Page!

If any of the technical support presented on this site does not address your problem please realize that the solutions are not guaranteed to be effective in all systems. Always make sure you have the most up-to-date original 3dfx drivers for your card and operating system and see if they fix your problem. Else, try one of the appropriate 3rd party drivers (from Falconfly or 3dfxzone, for a list of recommended drivers see the Cards, DirectX Versions, and Drivers table) for your card and operating system. If the new drivers still won’t cut it, check the Game Guide and see if there is a special fix.

Contact/Site Information:

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, you can contact ps47. Feel free to use any of the information on this page, so long as anything copied from here is cited as coming from the 3dfx Help Page. We appreciate it when people spread the word about the page or link to it.

Credits & Disclaimer:

This page was written by fedaykin, beta, psyno, Vuikie, Sy, ThruYerStErNuM, Chaosratt, Garth, amp_man and ps47 of the Voodoofiles Forums and coded by psyno and fedaykin. We do not take any responsibility for any damaged hardware or the creation of any additional hardware or software problems in your system, though we will do our best to help you resolve any problems that may result. The technical support information contained on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge and is put forth in good faith, but please be aware that we are also not responsible for the accuracy of any of the statements made. Remember always to backup your files on a regular basis and to use an antivirus scanner on every file you download no matter what the source.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to get resolution other than 640 by 480 with a Voodoo3.

    Go into Display Properties in the Control Panel, go to Settings, then Advanced, and then go to Monitor and deselect the "autodetect" option. Next you have to manually select your monitor make and model number. This can also be accomplished by enabling "Plug and Play Monitor", or installing the correct .inf file for your monitor.

  • How to resolve error message:

    "NMAIN caused a general protection fault in module 3DFX16V3.DRV" in a Symantec (Norton) program or: "PowerPoint has caused an error in 3DFX16V3.DRV PowerPoint will now close", or a similar error message with newer XP or Office XP applications when using a Voodoo3 and Win95/98/98SE/ME. Download and install the last available Win9x reference drivers for the Voodoo3: Voodoo3 Win9x/ME v1.07.00 WHQL

  • Voodoo5 shows only 32 MB of video memory.

    We all know that the Voodoo5 5500 is 64 MB. If yours says 32 MB in games and the DirectX Diagnostic Tool then don't worry, this is because the Voodoo5 is a dual GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) graphics card. That means that each GPU is allocated 32 MB of video memory. Microsoft and most games don't recognize that there are two GPU's, but your Voodoo5 is working at its full potential.

  • I am having problems with a game, are there any fixes?

    See the Game Guide.

  • How can I tell what card or drivers I am using?

    See the Guide to Card/Driver Identification.

  • What drivers are available for my card and which do you recommend?

    See the Card/Drivers table.

  • What happened to 3dfx and why haven't there been any driver updates or official technical support?

    3dfx has been out of business for a few years now. NVIDIA acquired some of 3dfx's technology but does not give technical support any of the 3dfx Voodoo cards. As such, there have been no new official drivers or technical support. However, a number of loyal fans have created drivers for the Voodoo cards, which can be downloaded from 3Dfx section of Falconfly's archive.

  • Can I safely install a newer version of DirectX than the one my card or drivers support?

    Yes. Say your card only supports DirectX 7 compatible drivers, and you want to install DirectX 9. In this case, every time DirectX wants to communicate with the 3dfx card, via the drivers, it will step down and use DirectX 7 interfaces. This has been the case up through DirectX 9 as far as I am aware, but future versions of DirectX may phase out the older interfaces, e.g. DirectX 7, in which case installing the newer version of DirectX with DirectX 7 would not be a good idea.

  • While playing games, or running other graphically intense programs, my computer hangs or crashes after awhile.

    This is often due to a buildup of heat inside your system, but it could easily be due to a number of other factors. Check to make sure that you have the latest drivers and if gaming check for specific fixes. Try this first however: after the computer crashes turn it off, open up the case, touch an unpainted metal surface (do this often to discharge electrical energy that could shock and ruin components; on the power supply or case is best), and then turn the power supply off and unplug it. Locate your video card (the monitor plugs into it) and hold your hand over it. If the card is giving off a good deal of heat, and the inside of the case itself is very hot, then something is probably overheating. If you have a motherboard/CPU monitor that reports temperatures to you, make sure they are within the safe operating limits defined in your User's Manual. If you are experiencing heat problems, rearrange things inside your case to maximize airflow. If you have only a heatsink on your card then you may want to add a small fan to it as well. If you have neither a heatsink or a fan on your card then do not use it, because it will overheat and cause damage to the card.

  • I am experiencing poor performance/graphical errors in a game.

    Make sure that you have the latest original 3dfx drivers, and check for specific fixes in the Game Guide. If these two suggestions do not help then go into the video options and sound options menu in the game and turn all the options to the lowest settings. Next, gradually turn up each of the options in the two menus until your performance starts getting poor again, or until you see graphical errors. Keep the setting off or one setting below the mark that causes problems, and continue with the rest of the options until you find a suitable combination for gaming. If none of this helps, then try some 3rd party drivers for your card and operating system.

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Common Voodoo3/4/5 Misconceptions

AGP Signalling Voltage

AGP Signalling voltage is in basic terms the power the card requests from the motherboard in order to operate. The signalling voltages the Voodoo Banshee/3/4/5 AGP cards support are as follows:

  • Voodoo Banshee: 3.3V AGP 1.0 ~ Max: 2X AGP
  • Voodoo3 1000/2000/3000/3500: 3.3V AGP 1.0 ~ Max: 2X AGP
  • Voodoo4 4500: 1.5/3.3V AGP 2.0 ~ Max: 4X AGP
  • Voodoo5 5500: 3.3V AGP 1.0 ~ Max: 1X AGP (This card is actually a PCI66 device running at 66MHz only, it does not fully comply with the Intel AGP spec)

Click the picture for details:

slot compatibility

Only a Voodoo4 4500 AGP can be installed in a 1.5V motherboard and only this card can operate effectively at the 4x transfer. To set the 4x transfer select the opton: "Autodetect" from 3dfx Tools and restart Windows. The card should then operate in 4X AGP providing that your motherboard supports this and you have enabled 4X AGP from your system BIOS. WARNING! If you have a Powercolor Voodoo4 4500 card, be aware that this is a 3.3V AGP 1.0 PCB and it will NOT work in 1.5V AGP 2.0 or 1.5V/0.8V AGP 3.0 motherboards or operate beyond 2X AGP (the card may work in a new agp8x motherboard, but this will damage the hardware after short period of time. In short words, don’t do it).

The Voodoo5 5500 AGP will only operate at the 1x (66MHz) transfer rate, although the 2x transfer is selectable in '3dfx tools' it actually doesn't work. The motherboard will automatically default back to PCI66 mode but the 3dfx tools option will remain at 2x.

VSA-100 GPU's are AGP 4X (2.0 spec) rated parts. The Voodoo5 5500 AGP PCB itself is not really an AGP 4x part, it is a 3.3V AGP 2x (1.0 spec) part like the Voodoo Banshee and Voodoo3 AGP PCB's.

The reason the Voodoo5 cards will not operate at 2X AGP is because the AGP interface requires an AGP Master Chip. Because the board is dual-chipped, it cannot assign a master chip, and so defaults into AGP 1X (really PCI66 mode). Thus the Voodoo5 5500 AGP will only run at the 1x transfer rate which is not really AGP but 'double speed PCI'. The way to overcome this would have been to include an AGP bridge controller chip onboard, like the Voodoo5 6000.

There are rare Voodoo5 5000/5500 engineering samples which are mounted on a 1.5V/3.3V AGP Universal 2.0 PCB. This does not mean the card will run in 2x or 4x AGP, it will not, the card will install in some newer AGP 2.0/AGP 3.0 motherboards, which is the only advantage, but will still operate as a PCI66 device. There is nothing that can be done about this.

When selecting 1x, *2x or *4x AGP on any AGP 3dfx card you will see very little performance increase due to the lack of AGP Texture Acceleration (Direct Memory Execute (DIME)), which is covered briefly in the following section.

*Not available/effective on all cards AGP 3dfx cards.

AGP Texture Acceleration

Voodoos Banshee/3/4/5 don't support this feature which means the Voodoo cards are not true AGP cards. Because of this you don't actually need an AGP aperture so this is best reduced to as low as can be within the BIOS setup program, under 'chipset features'. AGP Texture Acceleration shows up as being disabled in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, however, this does not mean that your card's AGP Bus is disabled. All this is saying is that your card doesn't support AGP Texture Acceleration.

BIOS settings

  • AGP rate should be set to 2x for a Voodoo3, 4x for a Voodoo4 and 1x for a Voodoo5.
  • AGP fast write should be disabled as the Voodoos3/4/5 don't support it and it can cause problems.
  • All video shadowing should also be completely disabled.


The Voodoo cards do not support OpenGL; their equivalent API is known as '3dfx Glide', but OpenGL can be accessed effectively using the Glide Miniport Driver (MiniGL 1.48/1.49) ,OpenGL 1.1 ~ ICD, WickedGL (up to OpenGL 1.2), or MesaFX (up to OpenGL 1.4). These are standalone GL drivers which act as an abstraction layer between the OpenGL application software and Glide 2.x/3.x drivers, respectively. The basic differences:

  • 3dfx Miniport driver: Glide2x, ID software 'Quake' engine games only. (a 'MiniGL')
  • OpenGL 1.1 ICD: Glide3x, almost any software that uses SGI OpenGL 1.1 as its API (a standalone full implementation).
  • WickedGL: Glide2x for Voodoo2/3, Glide3x for Voodoo4/5. Usually works only for the supported games (plus games based on Quake3 engine).
  • MesaFX: Glide3x. Brand-new OpenGL driver, should work with any game or application.
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A General Guide to 3dfx Card/Driver Identification

By physical description if the card is not in a computer, or is a 3D Accelerator (Voodoo Graphics(1)/2). First, check the back of the card for a sticker with a number, such as V555464. This number can be used usually to easily identify your card. The "V5" usually indicates the card model, V stands for Voodoo, and the 2/3/4/5 that follows it is the card model, Voodoo 2/3/4/5 (I don't believe they put these stickers on V1/Rush/Banshee cards). The rest of the number varies in meaning, for instance, in this case the "55" indicates 5500 and the 4 indicates AGP. The last two numbers should be the amount of RAM on the card, in this case, 64MB.

If you don't have one of these numbers, you can normally identify the card by the setup of the board. Here are some of the most common refrence designs:

  • Voodoo Graphics(1): Two large square chips, a smaller ICS Gendac chip, and 8 smaller rectangular chips arranged in two columns or two rows to the side. Also has both a monitor in and out connector, because this card is 3d-only, so it must be connected to a 2D-capable card to function. Also, this is a PCI only card.
  • Voodoo Rush: Two large square 3dfx chips and one large either Alliance or Macronix chip, and 12 small rectangular chips. This is a 2D/3D card, so it only has a monitor-out port, and will always be PCI.
  • Voodoo2: Three large square 3dfx chips and one slightly smaller ICS Gendac chip, and either 16 or 24 rectangular chips, on both front and back sides. This card can be connected to another identical card in SLI mode, so you might come accross two connected together. Look here for more on that. This will also have both the monitor in and out ports. Voodoo2's are also PCI cards.
  • Voodoo3/Banshee: Since the Voodoo Banshee and Voodoo 3 look very similar, I'll put them together, then distinguish at the end. This card will have a heat sink, but normally no fan. It can be either PCI or AGP, and the Voodoo3 3500 model includes a TV tuner, it's the only 3dfx card to have this (not to be confused with a TV-OUT port!). The card will have only a single heat sink, and normally 8 RAM chips, which total 16MB of RAM. The biggest difference between a V3 and a Banshee is the second TMU that the V3 has and Banshee doesn't, making multitexturing impossible on the Banshee. The best way to tell them apart is either by the sticker on the back, if available, or by hooking it up in a PC, which I will explain further down.
  • Voodoo4 4500: This card has 4 or 8 RAM chips, and can be almost positively identified by the presense of a single GPU, heat sink, and fan. It has 32MB of RAM, can be either PCI or AGP, and uses the same drivers as a Voodoo5. MAC versions are PCI and have a DVI port (these can be used in a PC, with a BIOS flash).
  • Voodoo5 5500: This card has two GPUs, heat sinks, and fans, and 8 RAM chips. It has 64MB of RAM, and can be either AGP or PCI. MAC versions are PCI and have a DVI port (these can be used in a PC, with a BIOS flash).

If you have the card already installed in a computer, there are two ways you can identify it. These will not work on a Voodoo Graphics or Voodoo 2, which can be easily idenfied visually anyway.

When the computer first boots, there will be a screen that displays all the info on your card, including the model number, the BIOS version, AGP or PCI, and the amount of RAM. If you can't read it quick enough or don't want to reboot, don't worry, keep reading.

Alternatively, if you're running any version of Windows from 3.x to XP, open a DOS prompt, type DEBUG and press Enter or...

  1. go to Start, Run, type in DEBUG and click OK
  2. a single dash will appear, type DC000:35 and press Enter
  3. your video card model description will appear on the right side of the screen (model and BIOS, sometimes the memory & core/memory clock speeds)
  4. To exit from Debug, press Q at the dash and press Enter.

This should give a general idea of what card you have, although there are many other less common models out there, so if you come accross one that doesn't seem to be anything described here, head over to some good 3dfx forum ( or

To Identify Drivers

Device Manager: One way to find what card or drivers you are using is to right click on My Computer (or in the Control Panel go to System) and click Properties. Then go to the Device Manager tab (if using Windows 9x) or click the Hardware tab and then Device Manager (if using Windows 2000/XP) and look under Display Adapters/Devices (Voodoo Rush/Banshee/3/4/5) or Sound, Video, and Game Controllers for Voodoo Graphics and the Voodoo2. See if it lists a video card there, i.e. VoodooX YZ00, X being the type of card, be it Banshee/2/3/4/5, and YZ00 being the version of that card type, for example Voodoo3 1000/2000/3000/3500. Right click the card if it is there and click properties and you can see what drivers are installed in the Drivers tab, and if there are any problems with the card, like IRQ conflicts or driver installation problems then it should tell you.

DirectX Diagnostic Tool: In Windows click the Start button, then click Run, then type "dxdiag", and click OK. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool will then open and tell you detailed information about your computer. Click on the Display tab and it should say on the left what card you are using as well as general information about it, and on the right it should say what drivers you are using, their version, and the date they were created.

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Cards, DirectX Versions, and Drivers

DirectX Version*

Latest Original 3dfx Drivers Version

Recommended 3rd Party Drivers

Alternate 3rd Party Drivers



Win 9x: 3.01.00, Win NT: 3.01.00

Voodoo Rush


Win 9x: 3.01.00

Voodoo Banshee

5.0 & 6.0

Windows 9x/ME: 1.04.00, Win NT: 1.04.00, Win 2k: V1.02.02b


5.0 & 6.0

Windows 9x/ME: 3.02.02, Win NT: 3.02.02, Win 2k: 1.02.00

Win 2k/XP: Fast Voodoo2 v4.0 XP Gold Edition (with a proper glide2x update)

Win 9x: Fast Voodoo2 v4.0 Gold Edition (with a proper glide2x update)

Koolsmoky’s Voodoo2 XP driver



Windows 9x/ME: 1.07.00 (DX7) or 1.07.00b (DX8), Win NT: 1.04.00, Win 2k: 1.03.00 (DX7)

Win 2k/XP: AmigaSport v3.0 (DX7) (unpack Win2000/XP fix to your\system32 folder if opengl/glide doesnt work correctly)

Voodoo3 3500 TV


Win XP: AmigaSport 2.0 3500TV-XP (DX7), VisualReality 3.10.06 (for TV. you may need the „unable to load the tv tuner filter“ error fix), VirtualDub (for TV Capture)

Windows 9x/ME: AmigaMerlin v2.9 (DX7)(install on top of the latest original 3dfx driver)

Win 2k/XP: SSFT Driver (DX8)

Voodoo4/5 (VSA 100)


Windows 9x/ME: 1.04.01 (DX7), Win 2k: 1.04.00 (DX7)

* This is the DirectX version the hardware is compliant with, but software compatibility (i.e. drivers) goes up to 8.0

One should always try to use the latest original 3dfx drivers before trying any of the other drivers, unless these are the drivers already installed on the system (see How To Find What Card or Drivers You are Using on how to find out what driver version or card you're using). If there is not a fix for your problem listed on this page then the next course of action is to download and install the recommended 3rd party drivers for your card and operating system (in some cases region as well, for the Voodoo3 3500 TV). If this does not work then try one of the two alternate drivers (where applicable). The recommended drivers are labeled as such because of feedback from people who have tried them, but it is possible that another driver set would work better for your specific system configuration and personal needs. If you are absolutely certain that there is not a quick fix for your problem, head over to some good 3dfx forum ( or should do) and ask for some help.

The newest version of DirectX can be downloaded from Falconfly's Archive. It is possible to use the latest version of DirectX with any of these video cards, due to the fact that DirectX is able to step down to use older interfaces. You can also install older versions of DirectX over the current version (no need to uninstall). Go Falconfly's Archive and do a search for whatever version you want and then install it.

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Setting up Two Voodoo2's in SLI (Scan Line Interleave)

First, some things you should know:

A Voodoo2 SLI setup should work fine in almost any system with 32-bit OS installed (win9x/ME/2000/XP are supported). Some systems may need additional tweaks or special drivers though. V2 SLI runs best under win9x/ME, XP drivers don’t have D3D support, there is only support for glide/opengl. Glide games should detect the V2 SLI and run without additional tweaks, but if you want to use opengl, you will always have to place a standalone opengl driver to the game’s main folder (where the game’s executable is located). If you won’t do this the opengl game will run on your primary card or not at all (see the list of available opengl drivers). Many new systems have problems with tearing artifacts while running games on the Voodoo2 cards, this can be fixed by installing the Voodoo2 Tweaker and enabling the sync buffer swaps to refresh rate option. Note that some opengl games don’t like this if you run them on a glide3x based opengl driver, and lag as a result. To avoid this, always try to use Wickedgl or Minigl for your opengl games, these opengl drivers use glide2x and will run without lagging, so you can safely enable the sync buffer swaps to refresh rate option in the Voodoo2 Tweaker and there will be no tearing nor lag. That means stay out of 3dfx OpenGL ICD and MesaFX if you can. (common examples of such opengl games: Quake 1/2/3, Half-Life&mods etc.)

REMEMBER: Voodoo2 SLI seems to run worse or not run at all on the latest machines (nforce4 or newer).

IMPORTANT: if you want to avoid the tearing problem completely, get a SIS 748 chipset based motherboard. These mobos will run voodoo2 SLI without problems.

Voodoo2 SLI Setup:

Voodoo2 SLI Setup

In order to setup two Voodoo2's in SLI, you will need two Voodoo2 cards, a primary display adapter, a pass-through cable (which should have come with your Voodoo2, or you can just use a monitor extension cable), and a 34 pin SLI cable. It is highly recommended that not only should the two Voodoo2's used for the SLI have the same amount of memory, but also be from the same manufacturer; they should be identical cards. If you don't have the 34 pin cable, don't worry, as one can easily be made out of a floppy cable. Starting with a 34 pin (2x17) cable, pry the tabs on the sides of the black connectors away from the sides, and pull off the back covering. The cable has to be altered slightly; the 4 wires in the center have to be twisted (wires 16, 17, 18, and 19). Pull them out and twist them around so that now the wires go 1-15, 19, 18, 17, 16, 20-34. These four wires are the only ones that should be twisted. To see Fast Eddy's description, visit this page: Fast Eddy's Temp File Store.

Your primary display device should be working already (IMPORTANT: Set the AGP Aperture Size to 128MB or lower in your BIOS. Vodooo2 SLI may not work with a higher setting than that). Now, you will insert both Voodoo2's into open PCI slots. They do not necessarily have to be adjacent if your SLI cable is long enough. Connect the pass-through cable (not the SLI cable) from your primary display adapter's 15 pin Sub-D connector to the first Voodoo2's in. Now, connect your monitor's cable to the first Voodoo2's 15-pin Sub-D out. Inside the case, attach the SLI cable to the Voodoo2's, remembering that the red wire corresponds with the 1 pin. The SLI should auto-detect after you install your drivers and run without further setup whenever you normally would only have had one Voodoo2 running.

Note: Problems are sometimes reported when booting with Voodoo2's setup in SLI before installing the drivers. To remedy this, follow this alternate order: insert only the first Voodoo2 and connect the pass-through cable, boot up, install your drivers, shut down, install the second card and the SLI cable, and reboot.

Voodoo2 SLI drivers:

Windows 9x/ME: Use FastVoodoo2 4.0GE. If you have an ATi Radeon card, you will also need special Glides, download Radeon Glides, and extract the archive to the C:\Windows\system folder.

Windows 2000/XP: Use FastVoodoo2 4.0 XP with the proper glide2x update, Glide2x for ATi Radeons or Glide2x for nVidia GeForces. Open the archive and extract the file to your c:\windows\system32 folder (\winnt\ for windows 2000 users). If you get memmap errors when trying to run games, or if you are running mismatched Voodoo2 cards, uninstall Fastvoodoo2, and try Koolsmoky’s XP Voodoo2 driver, that should fix it for good. If you need to modify some settings like gamma or refresh rate under winXP, use the Voodoo2 Tweaker, the default 3dfx control panel doesn‘t work (and show information) correctly under XP.

Special note for Quantum3D Obsidian2 X-24, X-16, and similar SLI boards users:

You will have to use Koolsmoky’s XP Voodoo2 driver if you want to use your card in a new XP based system. Check the driver readme for more details.

Here are some pictures showing the SLI of two Voodoo2's connected to ATi Radeon 9800pro :

  • voodoo2 sli rig_1
  • voodoo2 sli rig_2

Description: The first card is the primary display adapter (Radeon 9800pro), the middle one is the first Voodoo2, and the last one on the bottom is the second Voodoo2. The Voodoo2 cards are connected with the dreaded SLI cable that everybody is talking about. The monitor is plugged into the same Voodoo2 as the pass-through cable is plugged into (the first V2 in this case).

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I do NOT take any responsibility for any damaged hardware; this should be attempted entirely at your own risk. I assume that you understand and observe anti static handling precautions throughout.

It is a well documented fact that the stock cooling on 3dfx VSA-100 graphics cards is not adequate for any kind of overclocking.

The Voodoo3's can usually have one of two types of heatsinks on their "Avenger" chip. There is a large oblong exposed aluminium heatsink which is pegged on at opposite corners. The other type is a square, taller, black anodised heastsink (about 35x35MM) which is fixed with thermal transfer adhesive (a two part epoxy used for fixing heatsinks permanently).

The thermal transfer adhesive that is used to attach the small black anodised 35x35MM aluminium heatsink to the VSA-100 chips is in most cases applied haphazardly and in meager amounts, Avenger heatsinks tend to be better applied. If you wish to overclock your card then you will first need to address the lack of adequate cooling. There are a variety of "designer" coolers on the market and by the time you read this there may be many more. VGA coolers at time of writing (2004) are rather large for the VSA-100 or Avenger chip, they can obstruct protruding capacitors and may just be too bulky, most of these coolers are designed for the newer ATI and NVIDIA "GPU's", and not the smaller VSA-100 and Avenger chips. It is recommended that you use no larger than about 45x45MM coolers if possible or use similar sized motherboard Northbridge coolers, replacing the fans with higher RPM units if necessary (some coolers, either GPU or Northbridge, won't allow you to remove or replace the fan as they are a single block unit with a fan of non-standard dimensions). Once you've decided on your VSA-100/Avenger chip cooler(s) you will also need some kind of SDRAM cooling, in the form of small heatsinks known as "RAMsinks". These can either be made by sawing up larger heatsinks or purchased pupose-made. Rear cooling, due to the VSA-100's and Avengers not being flip-chip, is another debatable issue. I'd advise against it for now. Good ventilation or fans blowing on the rear of the card would be better than fixing expensive coolers to the actual PCB.

Heatsink removal is fairly easy but there is the potential to: Snap the entire chip off from the PCB, injure yourself, break a chunk off the chip, slip and drive your "levering device" into the PCB surface ploughing up all the capacitors, resistors and diodes, as you do. So you do this, as always, entirely at your own risk. The best method for heatsink removal is to place the card in a sealed anti static bag and leave it in the freezer for about 2 hours. You should then remove it from the freezer and bag. Using a credit card or another flat plastic impliment, carefully push in between the chip and heatsink base. Then with a twisting action, not forcing or levering being careful and always ensuring the impliment will not dislodge suddenly and go skating on your capacitors, pop off the heatsink. Repeat for the second heatsink if applicable or even the third and fourth if you're into modding rare and expensive prototypes. You should now clean up the old burnt, toasted, crispy thermal epoxy from the chip(s) with an alcohol based solvent cleaner (for example rubbing alcohol, which is 70% isopropyl alcohol) or a similar solution that must not be too corrosive. It is important to try not to scratch the chip surface so no steel scrapers, use something with a sharp plastic edge such as an old credit card, then wipe clean with a lint free cloth. The same should be done with the heatsinks if you wish to reuse them. It is very worthwhile simply replacing thermal transfer material and refitting stock cooling even if you don't intend to OC the card.

Since there is no longer any warranty on 3dfx cards (if you didn't know this you do now) and if you feel like getting that extra bit of performance out of it then you can try overclocking. There are many overclocking tools on the Internet that can be downloaded (try the official 3dfx overclock.exe which adds an overclocking tab to the 3dfx Tools in Windows 9x/ME, or you can try Powerstrip or something similar. Note that 3dfx overclock or any other regular overclocking tool will NOT work with the Voodoo5 properly, as it will only overclock the first VSA-100 GPU. Download VSA100 Overclocker if you want to overclock a Voodoo5). You can also edit the card video BIOS using the tdfx bios editor though details on how to do this are not presented here. Once you run the tool you will notice the default clock speed for your card. Start by increasing the clock by 1 MHz at a time and testing it before continuing. This is a slow process but will achieve the most successful overclock. If any graphical errors (e.g. artifacts) appear on your screen or your computer freezes, then you have probably overclocked by too much and should lower the clock rate by 1 or 2 MHz. If you OC by too much and Windows crashes just as it reaches the desktop or before, try booting into Safe Mode and restoring the default clock. All the 3dfx Core and Memory clocks are locked as sync'd; they cannot be de-sychronised. You cannot overclock memory and core seperately.

From experience, the maximum VSA-100 overclock that can be achieved with stock cooling is in the 180's mark. Much the same applies to the Avenger chip. 183MHz is the stock speed for the Voodoo3 3500TV, this card does not OC much further. The Hyundai SDRAM has been found to be better than that from other vendors. Voodoo4/5 cards with this RAM usually OC much better.

Note: If you have a different version of Windows than Windows 9x/ME then you will have to find another overclocker. Check some good 3dfx forum ( or, if you need more help.

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Voodoo Cards & Counter-Strike 1.6

Counter-Strike 1.6 (and basically any Half-Life1 mod that uses Steam) will run fine on virtually any voodoo card, despite the fact that 3dfx is no longer officially supported. Here goes:

  1. First, make sure you have the latest drivers for your card properly installed.
  2. Install WickedGL. Open the WickedGL folder (usually C:\program files\metabyte\wickedgl), and copy the opengl32.dll file to your C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\ your_account_name \counter-strike. (The path may be a little bit different, depends on where you have installed Steam.) Note: VAC doesn’t scan your harddrive and it will not ban you for using WickedGL.
  3. Launch the game, use opengl, and the game should run fine. If you can’t see the mouse cursor, open the console (press the ~ key) and type vgui_emulatemouse 1
  4. If you need to boost your performance, launch the game, open the console (press the ~ key), and type:
    • cl_showfps 1
    • fps_max 50
    • max_smokepuffs 5
    • max_shells 10
    • cl_weather 0

This should give you some extra FPS, at the expense of visual quality of course.

Note: Weapon skin packs slow performance in Counter-Strike due to the bigger file size and polygons. It is strongly recommended that you use the original skins if you have a 3dfx card.

This fix will work for any Half-Life1 mod that runs on Steam (Day of Defeat, Team Fortress Classic etc), just copy the WickedGL opengl32.dll file to the correct steam game folder (day of defeat folder for Day of Defeat, team fortress classicfolder for Team Fortress Classic etc) and you are all set. If you are still playing Counter-Strike 1.5 (the old noSteam version, on LAN or with bots), just select 3dfx minigl driver (voodoo2/3) or default opengl (voodoo3/4/5) in the video options and the game should work fine. You can use WickedGL as well (for all cards), use the wickedgl switching utility this time, launch it, select Half-Life on the left side, open your Half-Life folder on the right side and click install (the regular version). Use 3dfx minigl as your driver in the video options. Note that WickedGL may be slower on older 3dfx cards.

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The Game Guide

General Notes

This guide is divided up by game, and next to the title of each game we have included which operating system the fix pertains to. However, the fixes have not been tried on all operating systems (most were on Windows XP). If a fix does or does not work for you, or if you have any information to add to the fix, then please send me a mail with details.

If a game ever gives you a blue screen of death (or just a crash that requires an immediate restart), you probably have to reinstall your drivers. If the game does not work as described in this section, reinstalling the recommended drivers is a good idea. Also, remember to keep background applications disabled. Use 16-bit color rather than 32-bit color if you do not get a good frame rate with maximum screen resolution or highest texture detail. Only if you are using 16 bit color, no Anti-Aliasing with V-Sync disabled, should you turn down a game's screen resolution or texture quality level. This is just the way 3dfx cards should be used for the best graphics/frame rate tradeoff. An interesting note: 3dfx cards are superior to newer NVIDIA cards in that they have a lower mouse latency (mouse lag) per frames per second, but only if you keep the 3dfx tools setting "Maximum pending buffers" at the lowest setting. In other words the time it takes for your mouse movement to show up on screen is independent of the frame rate much more than it would be on an NVIDIA card.

Important Note (Applies to all operating systems)

Whenever you see no resolution choices in a game, or whenever a game that is mentioned as one that will work actually does not even start, it is probably because the game does not allow 16bpp rendering resolutions, and 32bpp rendering resolutions are not detected. This is a very common error when using a newly installed AmigaMerlin driver. You will need to set the following 3dfx tools Direct3d setting: "Rendering Color Depth - Force 32bpp Rendering. Then start up a Direct3d application you know will work. If you don't have any, use the Direct3d test from the dxdiag application by clicking Start, then Run, then typing dxdiag, and pressing enter. Click display then click "Test Direct3d". After the tests or application runs set the 3dfx tools Direct3d setting: Rendering Color Depth - back to "Software Controlled" and all your games will now detect 32bpp resolutions.

The Guide

Here you can find special fixes for many new games that do not run properly or not at all. We have not mentioned older games that work just fine, but newer games that do work are mentioned/should be mentioned so everyone knows they can buy them. All fixes mentioned assume you have the latest official game patch and are not using any no-CD patches or other inherently unstable modifications. If not otherwise mentioned, the guide assumes you are using the suggested drivers. If you need fix for a game that is not listed in the Guide yet, head over to some good 3dfx forum ( or should do) and ask for some help.

Continue to the Game Guide.

How to Use the 3D-Analyze Tool:

Download the most recent version of 3D-Analyze from tommti-systems. When you run the program, select the specific game's .exe file and check the options mentioned above for the corresponding game. This tool, when run, will put the modified d3d8.dll, d3d9.dll, and opengl32.dll files into the game's directory that the game uses (it really just uses the .dll that applies) instead of the Windows default .dll's. 3D-Analyze will automatically remove them when you are done playing the game, unless the game crashes or something just goes wrong. Keep in mind that you will may need to delete the files if 3D-Analyze doesn't automatically, or, if you want them permanently in your directory, you can copy them, while the game is running, to different filenames so that they are not deleted when the game closes.

Note: 3D-Analyze is difficult to use, and involves a lot of trial and error. If the newest version is always crashing once you run it, use version 2.26.

How to Use the WickedGL Tool:

Download WickedGL (WinRar archive) version 3.02. This tool will allow you to select from games that use the Quake series OpenGL engine to install the WickedGL driver for. The program will automatically put the customized opengl32.dll into the directory of the game you select, but you can also put the opengl32.dll file (in the WickedGL program directory) directly into the game directory yourself. Doing this prevents specific options from being used that WickedGL allows you to select. The problem is that many newer Quake 3 based games are not listed in the 3.02 version of WickedGL. To fix this, go to the game's .exe directory (to find this directory: right click on the shortcut to the game on the Desktop or in the Start Menu, click Properties, click Find Target) then create a new text file or rename another file of any type to "quake3.exe" (you may need to disable hiding known file extensions in your Folder Options "View" tab). There must be some text in the text file before you rename it to "quake3.exe". Having this fake Quake 3 executable will allow WickedGL to be installed with custom options to that game directory because it will detect it as Quake 3, so just use WickedGL as if the game were Quake 3 in that particular game's directory. Also keep in mind you must select OpenGL as the rendering device if the game offers options of rendering (for example in Half-Life and modifications you must select OpenGL default rendering, and in Quake 3 select "Default" rather than "Voodoo").

A common example of how to use the WickedGL tool using Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast: Find the folder where you installed Jedi Knight Outcast and go into the "GameData" directory. Click the "jk2sp.exe" file once to edit the filename, and rename it to "quake3.exe". Open WickedGL and install, select Quake 3 as the game you wish to patch, and locate the "GameData" directory to install the necessary files (won't work unless the fake quake3.exe file exists). The program will copy the files mentioned above to the specified folder, using any customizations you specified. Go back to the "GameData" directory and rename the file quake3.exe to jk2sp.exe. Or you can simply manually copy the opengl32.dll file from the WickedGL folder to your game folder (it must be the folder where the game’s main executable is located) Enjoy.

What is MesaFX?:

The MesaFX is a new full OpenGL implementation for all 3dfx cards. It improves compatibility with new OpenGL based games, fixes graphical errors, and increases framerate (Note: some very old OpenGL games do not like MesaFX, and run slower as a result. Use WickedGL or 3Dfx MiniGL for such games), improves image quality or even adds large texture support for voodoo2/3 cards. Many new games that couldn’t be even launched are now fully playable. If your OpenGL game displays artifacts or refuses to run, MesaFX is the right thing to try. You should basically consider MesaFX as a DirectX9 compatible 3dfx OpenGL standalone driver. To use it, you have to extract the files to the location of your choice, and manually copy the opengl32.dll file along with the correct glide3x.dll file (voodoo2 users may need the fxmemmap.vxd file from the Voodoo2 folder as well) to the same folder where the game executable is located. The game will now use the new advanced OpenGL driver. If your game still doesn’t work, just try to wait for the next release, this driver is still in development, and it is updated with new features and bug fixes from time to time.

~Thanks to ps47 for putting together most of these game fixes and keeping the Game Guide going. I strongly suggest to anyone reading this to follow his example and send me your own 3dfx card fixes for any game whatsoever, even if it is listed. We need your feedback to see if the fixes listed work, and as you can see the list is incomplete. Please post any information regarding any game on the forums, so long as it is relevant~


Special Thanks to:

beta, fedaykin, psyno, amp_man (and a lot of other good guys as well) from the old voodoofiles forums, and to all the people that have contributed to the helppage somehow ;)

ps47 :: Voodoofiles Forums :: 3dfx help page official maintainer

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