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It was a pioneer in the field from the late 1990s until 2000. Despite this limitation, the Voodoo Graphics product and its follow-up, Voodoo2, were popular. 3dfx gained initial fame in the arcade market. 3Dfx was able to enter the consumer PC hardware market with aggressive pricing compared to the few previous 3D graphics solutions for computers. The RAM and graphics processors operated at 50 MHz. Voodoo, which was itself connected to the monitor.
The method used to engage the Voodoo’s output circuitry varied between cards, with some using mechanical relays while others utilized purely electronic components. The mechanical relays emitted an audible “clicking” sound when they engaged and disengaged. PowerVR produced a similar 3D-only add-on card with capable 3D support, although it was not comparable to Voodoo Graphics in either image quality or performance. 3Dfx saw intense competition in the market from cards that offered the combination of 2D and 3D acceleration. 3D acceleration, their lower cost and simplicity often appealed to OEM system builders. 3D performance, and its 2D capabilities were considered merely adequate relative to other 2D cards of the time.
Originally developed for arcade games that included non-Intel architectures, Glide was created to handle error prone tasks like chip initialization for the programmer, but implemented nothing more than what the Voodoo hardware was directly capable of. The advantage of an abstraction layer is that game developers save programming effort and gain flexibility by writing their 3D rendering code once, for a single API, and the abstraction layer allows it to run on hardware from multiple manufacturers. This advantage is still in place today. However, in the early days of the 3D graphics card, Direct3D and OpenGL implementations were either non-existent or, at minimum, substantially less mature than today, and computers were much slower and had less memory. The abstraction layers’ overhead crippled performance in practice. 3dfx had therefore created a strong advantage for itself by aggressively promoting Glide, which was designed specifically around the Voodoo hardware, and therefore did not suffer from the performance hit of a higher level abstraction layer.
MiniGL implemented only the subset of OpenGL used by Quake. By 2000, the improved performance of Direct3D and OpenGL on the average personal computer, coupled with the huge variety of new 3D cards on the market, the widespread support of these standard APIs by the game developer community and the closure of 3dfx, made Glide obsolete. Voodoo chip with a 2D chip that lay on the same circuit board, eliminating the need for a separate VGA card. The Rush had the same specifications as Voodoo Graphics, but did not perform as well because the Rush chipset had to share memory bandwidth with the CRTC of the 2D chip. Furthermore, the Rush chipset was not directly present on the PCI bus but had to be programmed through linked registers of the 2D chip. 2D component added significant overhead here and tended to back up traffic on the PCI interface. Voodoo Graphics, and even worse in windowed mode.