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12/20/2000 News Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Feedback on 3dfx Driver v1.1.3 beta (Voodoo4/Voodoo5):
Last Updated: 12/28/2000, 12:15 PM
(download link revised 3/2002)
Reader feedback on the unofficial 1.1.3 beta driver release. (Most recent reports first.) The 113 beta drivers are available at this ftp://ftp.ausmac.net/pub/mac/Games-SW/MacGameFiles/updates/MacVoodoo.sea.bin. [Link revised 3/5/2002.]

Voodoo3 Owners - Beta13 Update: (from the 12/28/00 news) A thread in the forums here notes there's an "unofficial" beta 13 ROM update for the Voodoo3 cards at http://www.sollitaire.com/applevoodoo/Voodoo3Drivers_beta13_c3.sit. One reader noted games seemed faster after the update, but he had no before/after tests to document that.

(Latest Feedback on Voodoo4/5 1.1.3 beta (unofficial release) drivers/ROM:)

Mike D. sent an 2nd report on the 1.1.3b drivers that wasn't as positive as his first:

"This is the second time I've written to you about the 1.1.3b drivers. I hate to say that this time, my comments will be noware near as positive as they were the first time i messaged you. It appears that once I installed the new beta drivers, along with the increased performance (much steadier fps in DeusEx for ex.) came at a steep price.

Once I installed the new drivers I noticed that apon restarting it displayed a happy mac but froze there. The harddrive had begun to spin but just stopped. I figured it was a messed up disk, system file or preference, but apon clearing out my preferences, nothing. Apon replacing all my system files (finder, enabler etc) with fresh ones, nothing. Norton fixed any and all errors on my drive but still same problem remained.

To elaborate more on the problem, the restart froze as I said above, apon which I would have to force a few more restarts in order for the system to boot up. Usualy this would take about 3 or 4 restarts. Quite interesting to note would be the fact that when I would put in a cd into any of my drives (cdrom or dvd/cd rw combo) the system would start up the HardDrive, then check the discs a little and then carry on starting up from the hard drive. Using the CD method, it would start up without problems more often than not. (I'd like to note I'm running on a non upgraded Beige G3/ 300 rev B with a Voodoo5500 pci) Also, I did zap the PRAM and rebuild desktops (although I doubt it would have done anything anyway.) Lastly, I tried reseating all of my PCI cards (3dfx card and Wired4DVD card.) I'm certain the Wired card didn't have anything to do with this problem since I recieved the card in the same days that I had just gotten the beta drivers, I had noticed my problem since before I installed the card but figured it was a one time thing not related to the drivers.

The good news is that I reinstalled the old 1.1.2 extensions and backflashed the card and the problem has not since happened again. I noticed someone who wrote a report on the drivers in your feedback page stated that on his beige g3 his screen would start up at a 640x480 res. and then it would jump back up to it's original setting. If you're reading this, I had the same thing happen to me with the new drivers. Again, all problems went away with a backflash to the old ones.

If anyone else is having this problem, try reverting to the older 1.1.2 drivers and see if it fixes the restart bug. Also, if somehow knows how to fix this bug, please inform me because I did like everything else about the new drivers. Anyone try running the beta RAVE extension under the old 1.1.2 drivers? I'll look into this later. Good luck to all with their drivers!
Michael Diaz "


" Everything seems to be better with the V5 and build 22 drivers. Resolutions are back and accurate for what my monitor supports. Speed on games is increased about 15% in glide and OpenGL mode. (Have not tried Rave yet.) Maps that were unplayable in UT are now kicking. Problems with the gamma are still prevalent, but overall the V5 is a lot more stable. Beige G3 tower/500mhz (processer upgraded-no pin adjustment) Zip 100 IDE, 512 Mb ram, additional ultra SCSI bus PCI card, 2 external ultra scsi drives, 200mb syquest, MX3 scsi scanner, Kensington turbo mouse trac ball, HP laserjet printer, Labtec suround speakers w/ sub woofer.
Spacepiper "

A reader comments on running the "check for update" control panel feature with the 1.1.3b drivers:

" I just wanted to let you know that I've had the 1.1.3 beta drivers installed and they've worked just fine. (using Voodoo5 5500 PCI) However on Dec 25th I decided to check for updates using the 3dfs MacTools CP and to my surprise it said a new version was available.

It was also to my surprise that the version that it installed was Version 1.1.2 Build 21. So it actually installed an older version of the drivers and it didn't even update the ROM when I opened the CP after the restart!!?

Attempts at checking for updates now results in an 'error while attempting to connect'.
Dana D. "

(The ROM in the 1.1.3b was a later version which is why that the control panel would not write an older version. You can force a reflash as noted here by readers previously by holding down the "F" key when opening the 1.1.2 Control Panel.)


(added 12/22/00)

" These drivers finally fixed 2D RAVE (SNES9X, DGen, etc)! It's been broken since v1.08 or something around then.
-= Raptor007 (Blair S.) =- "


" I think I've found another bug in the drivers. When using my scroll wheel to page to the top of a microsoft word 2001 document, the position marker on the right side slides up to the top of its bar but the document is about an eighth off from the top, cutting some letters off in the middle of the characters. Only when i do it manually does it work correctly. this has previously never happened
-Eli "

" Re-installed my Voodoo 5 yesterday to try the new drivers out with LightWave 6.5. Sadly, this version of the Voodoo 5 driver still does absolutely nothing to fix the problems that have existed since the card first became available. In short, the Voodoo 5 remains completely useless for Modeling with LW and somewhat 'iffy' for Layout.

Other LW/VD5 users and I feel ripped-off by 3dfx since they never delivered on their promise of a "professional graphics card for the Mac". In the end, the VD5 was just another buggy gaming card for the Mac after all.

Wonder if I can recoup any of my loss by putting this thing on eBay.
Best,
D.R. Greenlaw
Visual Effects Designer
CG Supervisor
Unified Film Organization (UFO)
Burbank, California
http://www.ufofilm.com "


" I have just updated to v1.1.3b and I have a Beige G3 500Mhz, OS 9, 320MB Ram, Voodoo 5, Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 91. Every time I start up or restart my computer my resolution drops down to 640x480 with a refresh rate of 60hz. Once the computer is done starting up and gets to the desktop the screen returns to my normal monitor settings which are 1024x768 at 100hz. Is anyone else having this problem? The driver info is v1.1.3, Build 22, Rom version 1.3.6. Other than that glitch everything else works great. I also noticed Quake 3 seem to run a little faster now to (which is a good thing). Please let me know if anyone else is having that resolution startup problem. Thanks in advance.
Anthony "

Not sure why some are reporting problems like this, perhaps monitor related, but it's not an official release and it shows in some cases. Griffin's free SuperRes utility might be able to force refresh rates.


" 7500/g3-300, voodoo3, 9.04

Unfortunately, the drivers did not fix the Combat Mission problem of no tracers and flags and unoccupied buildings disappearing into the ground as your view goes up. No problems with any other apps, rune, deux ex, etc. All resolutions on my monitor work fine.

I am wondering if perhaps the card's rom has to be updated? The card shows 1.1.3 build 22 but with a rom update of 1.2.

In reading what your readers say, holding "f" down while opening the control panel should prompt for a rom update, but I don't see that. Also the 1.1.3 updater files don't appear to have any rom updater files with them. Not sure if I should be updating the rom on a voodoo3 or not.
[The ROM files in the control panel are not for Voodoo3 cards]

I would be posting this on the 3dfxgamers board, but it doesn't seem to be up anymore.
Fates "

" I have a 9500 with a voodoo 3 card. The new drivers still conflict with GoMac version 2.0.2. I am using system 9.0.4. Whenever I try to change resolution or frequency I get the grey screen of death. If GoMac is disabled, everything is fine.
Regards,
Bill Teawell "


" I just want to say that I downloaded the 1.13 drivers and have had good results. I own a Voodoo 5 card with a B/W G3. For all those owners of Voodoo 3 cards complaining about problems with the drivers, guess what, the drivers are for the Voodoo 5 card not the Voodoo 3, Remember anything other than a Voodoo 5 does not matter.
Jim"

They're also for the Voodoo4, but 3dfx had commented in the past that the later drivers would be unified (usable with the voodoo3). I agree Voodoo3 owners shouldn't expect the drivers to be flawless on those cards, since the priorities were on the retail Voodoo4/5 card issues. (Owners paid a lot more for those cards than the 'unsupported' Voodoo3.)

A Voodoo3 owner reported 1.1.3b didn't solve his problems with Waterrace:

" I just wanted to let you know that the 1.1.3b drivers did not fix my issue with playing the WaterRace game as their tech support had hoped :( Either all the code in the 1.1.3 drivers they have is different then the ones posted on the net or the game just doesn't work with a Voodoo3? I emailed their tech support again.

The problem is the game is almost completely black and you cannot see anything. They are blaming it on the Rave driver from 3dfx not being properly designed?
--
Thomas Koons "


A Voodoo3 owner reported problems with 1.1.3b:

" Just wanted to let you know that I haven't experienced anything good so far with this driver update. The most notable problem being the resolution refresh rate issue. FYI, I'm running a B/W G3 400 256 RAM and I'm using a V3. Before this update, I could run my desktop at 1024x768 at 100 hz which was nice, but now, the option is gone. The computer started up after the restart in the right resolution, but then switched down to 85 hz when the finder loaded. Also, when I try to use that set available display in the 3dfx Mac tools control panel, my computer hard locks. I'm not sure what that does, but it takes the system down.

Also, I cant seem to open my monitor control panel because it says Im missing a file called AppleGuideGlueLib. I have no idea what that is, because I cant find it on my system. Any ideas?
Nate "

I suggested he check to see if the Apple Guide extension was enabled.


" I wanted to tell you that even though I didnt save my old timedemo results, I am VERY sure that the new Voodoo 5 1.1.3 update combined with the new Q3 code has DRASTICALLY improved Quake 3 performance. In the demo version of quake 3 TA with 1.1.2 3dfx drivers, the game was really difficult to play under my old settings. I got the full TA from EBworld.com and in combination with the new vid card drivers and the 1.27 code, it has totally rocked out my system. No lag to be seen...anywhere. I had a friend over and he was totally amazed at how much better this ran on my comp than on his TNT2 on a 800mhz Pentium 3 with TA full as well. :-)

G4 450, 384mb ram, voodoo5 with them latest drivers, dual monitors

looking good over here
-Eli "


" I wanted to do some testing and give you some feedback. I read that another person was having 2xFSAA problems with the Rune demo. Well I got my copy of that great game last night, so I figured IÕd see how it worked on the full version for me. To put it simply, worked great. I didnÕt have to do a vid restart, and performance was better than before. A little smoother, and it possibly ran smoother than with FSAA disabled. (I didnÕt check side by side for that). I also tried the quake 3 127 beta, and it seemed a bit smoother. I didnÕt do a FPS demo test, but just played a couple levels. The last thing I tried was glHexen2. Previously, that game had a problem with the FSAA. It took a major performance hit, and didnÕt play long before it crashed on me. But now it looks good, and is really peppy.

Now for system specs:
6500 with 350mhz G3 upgrade, 128 megs ram with VM set to 220 megs (due to Rune and Deus Ex requiring so much ram), 8.6, Voodoo 4 4500
Todd "


" I have installed the 1.1.3b drivers with no problems. Since I am not a hardcore gamer, I code OpenGL Apps, I ran a few tests with some of my own apps, Unreal, and the mACROsTRANGE OpenGL demo that you had listed on your site a while ago.

Here are my findings with the mACROsREANGE Demo...
rendering and animation seemed smoother (at both 4x and 2x anti aliasing). I noticed that the texture mapping was a lot cleaner and movement of 2D images was also a lot cleaner.

I did notice one issue though. On the section of the demo where you see the kids on the right. There is a moving vertical band on the left side. This band used to have texture to it. With this new release of the drivers, it no longer has texture, it is more of a bunch of grayish white bars moving up and down the screen...

I do like the new ability to select which resolutions are available to me. Although with my old monitor I can't get anything getter then 75MHz and 1200x1024 resolution... that is just fine with me...

This feature also fixed an issue I was having with Unreal where it wouldn't display anything on the screen. It would only display a black screen but sound worked fine. I selected only the resolutions and refresh rates that I know worked with my monitor. So now when Unreal opens up it will select the proper resolution/refresh rate, runs great now Definitely a plus...

One strange thing I did notice was that the drivers require Open Transport to be loaded in order to open the MacTools control panel. This seems strange to me. I don't know if the older version of the drivers had this same requirement. If I disable Open Transport, restart, and try to open the MacTools control Panel I get a dialog saying it couldn't find the OTInetClientLib could not be found. Do you know anything about this?
--Rob
Beige G3 300MT
256MB RAM
Voodoo 5 5500 PCI
OS 9.0.4
Sony Multiscan 20sf II "

No but I never disable it. Maybe it has something to do with their web update check feature.


" The 1.1.3 beta drivers seem to be working very nicely! I just had redone my machine's system, and had updated the software & rom on the 3dfx Voodoo 3 pci, and had some regrets: i was having some seemingly unrelated redraw problems with slow window generation, notably Surfer's Serials (it was taking 4-5 seconds to redraw the 'skull' when entering or leaving the program.
Thanks for the tip!
Rick "


This reader noted a DVI monitor problems after the update:

" My experience with the 3dfx beta drivers less favorable than the ones presented at your site.

After running the update on my Voodoo5 5500, I restarted my B&W PowerMac G3, then opened the 3dfx Control Panel and Okayed the ROM update.

On the next restart, the card was basically dead. All I got was a black screen or alternating white and black horizontal bars. Zapping PRAM and other steps failed to resolve the situation.

I'd urge caution with unapproved drivers, but realize that users of this card are anxious for fixes to lingering problems.

In any case, I'm going to see if there's a vestige of 3dfx support left to deal with this problem.

(he later wrote)

Updating my previous message about this updaste, it appears what was zapped was its refresh rates covering the DVI output port. I finally induced it to work, sort of, from the VGA port.

The only solution, other than swapping the card of course, is to somehow flash it back to a previous ROM version. [I suggested the "F" key tip when opening the 1.1.2 control panel to reflash the ROM.]

Peace,
Gene Steinberg

(Gene later sent an update:)

This appears to have been the result of the loss of the original refresh setting for the display I was using (ViewSonic VP181) in the DVI mode. I finally managed to induce it to run in the VGA mode after going through PRAM zaps, cuda switch zaps and such.

The support person at 3dfx professed no knowledge of this shortcut and talked of some sort of ResEdit hack. Here's the result, and this is something you might want to mention amongst the cautions.

When you update the ROM via the 1.1.3 beta drivers, it will kill off several resolution settings that impact LCD displays, including 60Hz at 1280x1024, which is the one I need for best results. As a result, the support for this display from the DVI port is removed, thus creating the symptoms I described.

Once the ROM was flashed back to the previous version, I was able to get it running again. This is definitely a killer. Perhaps they would have fixed the ROM had they had time to finish the update before the boom fell. "


" I got the drivers the first day they came out (or the 1st day AppleVoodoo [3dfxgamers forum post] let me have them, I was one of the first 20 messengers into the over 200 message thread) and at first, I tried my Shogo demo, and unfortunately, my saved games became corrupt somehow. I'd blame it on the Hard drive but when I used the software renderer to load up the games they would load fine. Anyway, reinstalled / flashed old Voodoo drivers, same prob, I got mad and went back to the new version and reinstalled shogo, all was fine.

Anyway, since all the above doesn't matter, i can say that within DeusEx (I have a Beige G3 300 rev b with 96megs of ram) the framerate was much more consistent than usual. No big jumps in fps but I felt it much less jittery. Shogo ran better too as I could turn up all of the settings and see the same results I was running last drivers, with mid to high settings. I don't have any specific figures but just wanted to let you know on some perliminary facts that indicated performance was at least well underway in terms of advancement. Too bad it seems unlikely that we'll get much more drivers for our cards.

Also well worth mentioning was the fact that the monitor support had become more of a power-user's function. They updated control panel allows me to set which resolutions my monitor is capable and also tells me which resolutions are, "Safe." (I also had to play with this to make shogo work, since when running at 120hz (800x600) shogo had a weird border around the screen, allowing the monitor to go to 800x600 at 75hz then let it run full screen and correctly.)

And just fyi : ROM Version 1.3.6 (up from the latest official drivers which I think was 1.3.5) Also, I was able to flash my way back into my 1.3.2 drivers by reinstalling the proper extensions and holding F key at startup up old 3dfx Mactools (bringing up the flash your rom dialogue.) I'm very greatful for AppleVoodoo and whomever else may have made it possible for the public to recieve these drivers. Thanks to you all.
-Mike D."


"The 1.1.3b drivers for V4/5 are a godsend, and solve a number of problems:

1) First off, RAVE support can now be said to exist, properly. SNES9X works perfectly, albeit at about 10-15 FPS slower than a stock Rage 128. Quake RAVE even starts up, but shows blank texture when running a demo, and at 44 FPS as opposed to 115+ FPS in GLQuake. Nanosaur Extreme works flawlessly and smoothly. Basically, this card now does what was claimed: it supports all 3 major 3D APIs on the Mac. In fact, RAVE support is now so good, it was even detected by Diablo II when rescanning monitors, and is now my API of choice in Diablo II since it runs just as smooth as Glide and supports 32 bit colour.

2) Performance, in general, seems to me to have increased by not quite 2 FPS in most games. This is a preliminary impression. My Q3 Arena config yielded a framerate of 41.9 FPS, up from 40.0 FPS with 1.1.2. My config is a default config (trash the config file and restart the app) with screen and texture depths set to 32 bit, and ejecting brass and marks on walls turned off. GLQuake increased from 112.1 FPS to 114 FPS (gl_flashblend 1, r_wateralpha 1, r_mirroralpha 1). Quake 2 is sitting at 55 FPS (default config with 8 bit textures turned off... I have nothing to compare the 55 FPS to, since Q2 switched to an unsupported refresh rate in previous driver releases). I admit, these results are more wholistic observation than scientific benchmark. :-) I saw the same rate increase in Unreal but slightly less in UT.

3) The resolution switching problem is fixed, and in an elegant and powerful way. The user now MANUALLY selects (in the 3Dfx Mactools control application) the resolutions and refresh rates which are to be made available to the system, via a checkbox list of ALL modes supported by the CARD. This is elegant because it's simple and no nonsense; just force the stupid thing to behave correctly. It's powerful because you can specify exactly what you want to be available; I've made only my max refresh rates available to the system, so that all my games now choose the optimum refresh rate. ALL of my games are now playable; no more "out of scan range" blank screens. :-) Yay!

If there are more issues you'd like me to check and send feedback on, let me know. I'm happy to help. It's sad, if this is an indication of what we had to look forward to over the months; basically this driver release would have been a MAJOR step forward to making the Voodoo 5500 even more powerful. As it is now, it fixes a host of issues.

Further: screenshots now work in all games.

my system specs:
B&W G3 400 MHz
192 MB RAM
OS 9.0.4
Voodoo 5500 PCI running 1.1.3b

Thanks,
David "


"I also downloaded the drivers Ashby was refering to. I'm not sure if they enhanced performance or not. Elite Force (single player mode) seems to run very well with them (except in Holomatches, which are still unplayably slow), although I'm still having white out problems, but I'm starting to suspect it is the game in that it only seems to happen in certain areas. UT seems to run better (but this could also be wishfull thinking. I was able to average 28fps in a large map with 14 bots, at 1024x768 with 2xFSAA enabled. The most important thing (for me at least) is that it did resolve the resolution/refresh rate problems I was having with certain games.

Over all, a worth while download if you can find it, and especially if you're have some of the resolution/refresh rate problems since the 1.1.2 update.
Paul "


" When I first loaded Rune I had the game running at 4x FSAA. Ran fine with the new drivers. Then I wanted to see what it looked like at 2xFSAA. So I quit out, reset the voodoo controls to 2x, restarted Rune.

Here's what was weird- the screen was all washed out. Restarted Rune, same problem.

Here's the fix- hit esc and go to the Rune options -> Video -> and hit change on the video driver.

I guess that forced the game to reload the extensions? Anyway, it fixed the problem. Thought you might like the heads up about a possible small issue and work around.

Otherwise the drivers seem just fine. (they do require a flash of your card, so save your old flasher/installer just in case!).

I presume Quake works fine, but I only have this one game on this machine. (out of HD space for non work stuff- that's why I got a new machine).

(he later wrote)

4xFSAA works fine in the 4x4Evolution demo all options on. Looks absolutely gorgeous. 2xFSAA works fine.

Looks like [the Rune demo issue] may be game specific.

Cool! I'm running Q3Arena off my other computer's hard drive over the 100 Base T network! No problems, and 2xFSAA works just fine with the new drivers.

I would say the problem is with the Rune 1.02 demo I was using.
So far no real problems with these drivers.

3dfx MacTools now says it is version 1.1.3 build 22.

So far 4xFSAA works perfectly and seems a little faster. 2xFSAA seems to be intermittent whether the gamma is right or not.

NOTE: This could be the crummy monitor I am using this with! The V5 is not in my main machine (OSX PB wouldn't be happy, you know?) so ...Maybe this issue is only me, or could be specific to the Rune Demo (my only game on the small HD in my secondary machine).
Ashby "



 
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