1998

HWM (Singapore) - - Features -

Be­fore NVIDIA and ATI, 3dfx was ar­guably the fore­most GPU maker; its Voodoo line of graph­ics cards and Glide API dom­i­nated the early years of 3D gam­ing. The Voodoo 2 was prob­a­bly the com­pany’s nest-ever of­fer­ing, in­tro­duc­ing the abil­ity to draw two tex­tures in a sin­gle pass, thus im­prov­ing per­for­mance tremen­dously, es­pe­cially on games that used lots of tex­tures or em­ployed mmulti-tex­tur­ing. It was also the eear­li­est card to use SLI (Scan­Line In­ter­leave) tech­nol­ogy in tthe con­sumer mar­ket, where two Voodoo 2 cards could work in tan­dem to im­prove per­for­mance.

How­ever, while the Voodoo 2 en­joyed mu­much suc­cess, NVIDIA was plot­tingl tti ini theth shad­ows,h d lay­ingl i theth ground­workd in its new RIVA TNT. Like the Voodoo 2, the RIVA TNT could process two tex­tures in a sin­gle pass, and was, at the time, the only card ca­pa­ble of chal­leng­ing the Voodoo 2 in terms of out­right speed. How­ever, the RIVA TNT also of­fered a cou­ple of other fea­tures miss­ing in the Voodoo 2, namely 2D pro­cess­ing and sup­port for 32-bit color. This meant that un­like the Voodoo 2, users of the RIVA TNT need not have a sep­a­rate card just for 2D pro­cess­ing. Also, sup­port for 32-bit color would later prove to be de­ci­sive as gamers clam­ored not just for faster graph­ics, but also bet­ter graph­ics.

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