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Thursday, December 21, 2000
 
3dfx Voodoo Drivers 1.1.3b Leaked
12:15 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Late last week the news that graphics card and chip maker 3dfx was selling its core technology assets to rival NVIDIA and closing its doors rocked the gaming community; indeed Mac users were hit far harder than the PC crowd, as we don't currently have NVIDIA to fall back on, so to speak. Soon after this development IMG learned that the Mac driver team from 3dfx has indeed already been disbanded, and all driver development has ceased. From what we can determine, all tech support itself for 3dfx products may also be discontinued in the near future.


Just a few days later, a notice appeared on the Mac boards at 3dfxgamers.com; post your e-mail address and you will receive access to the final beta version of the drivers under development, 1.1.3b. Over 200 people quickly followed the instructions and grabbed the archive.


Soon afterwards, all message board on 3dfxgamers.com were shut down.


Now, these drivers have surfaced at online file archives (including Macgamefiles.com). It is important to note that they are not an official release from 3dfx, by any means; they may have been intentionally leaked by someone at 3dfx, but they have not been tested or approved for release. Their source is unknown, and if new bugs are introduced by these drivers they are unlikely to be fixed. If the current drivers are working well for you, we do not recommend you install this beta version.


In our limited experience with these new drivers, little seems to have changed. There is no change in overall speed or quality. Screen shots now work in many games (Glide and OpenGL) but the screen shot quality is very poor, producing dark, banded images that don't match the actual game screens.


As for the resolution/refresh rate issues introduced in the 1.1.2 drivers, we must unfortunately say that they still remain in many cases; many functional settings remain missing with some monitors, and many of the available options are physically impossible to use (illegal sync rates or impossible resolutions). With an Apple 17" monitor (blue and white) all 85 Hz resolutions are now missing from the recommended list and 3 of the 8 listed resolutions exceed the hardware specs of the monitor. However, this is an improvement from the bizarre default settings seen with the previous drivers.


This unified driver release also supports Voodoo4 and Voodoo3 cards; it seemed to have no effect on the V3, in our experience.


In any case, as this may be the last driver version we ever see from 3dfx, we encourage you to report your experiences with it in our troubleshooting forums. Perhaps if NVIDIA has no future plans for VSA-100 based hardware (and they have said as much in their interviews) they will one day open-source the 3dfx drivers so that enterprising programmers can fix and improve them for legacy card owners.

IMG Troubleshooting Forums
Mac Voodoo Drivers 1.1.3b (1.35 MB)


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Archives  News  3dfx Voodoo Drivers 1.1.3b Leaked