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Voodoo3 3500 TV (Page 2/4)

Posted: October 10, 1999
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
Estimated Retail Price: $218 US from Price Watch


To test the Voodoo3 3500's gaming performance, I ran some Quake2/Quake3 benchmarks.

Test System:
  • Intel Pentium II 450 MHz CPU
  • Abit BX6 Motherboard
  • 128 MB PC100 SDRAM
  • Optiquest V95 19" Monitor
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live Value
  • 3dfx Voodoo3 3500 TV
  • Display driver v1.02.13
  • VSYNC disabled
Quake 2 - demo2
(All Settings DEFAULT)

800x600 - 95.2 FPS
1024x768 - 82.1 FPS
1280x960 - 57.0 FPS
1600x1200 - 38.4 FPS

The results from this test aren't bad by any means, but I have one major complaint. The 3dfx Voodoo3 3500 crashed every time I attempted to run the timedemo at 1280x960 a second time. It would run fine once, then crash the system entirely the second time. After four reboots, I gave up and decided on a fair score of 57 FPS - the average of those runs that did complete.

I tried the same benchmark a couple days later and it worked fine. I believe the cause for the crashes was heat.

Quake 2 - crusher
(All Settings DEFAULT)

800x600 - 34.1 FPS
1024x768 - 31.5 FPS
1280x960 - 27.5 FPS
1600x1200 - 20.8 FPS

I'm not sure what is up with these crusher results, but I am certain that I benchmarked the card properly. Maybe this is an issue 3dfx has to work on? Or maybe it was just a flaw in my case... Either way, these scores were very, very low. But on a lighter note - the card didn't crash at all on this much more intensive benchmark.

Q3Test 1.08 - demo1
(Settings on NORMAL, except resolution)

800x600 - 47.2 FPS
1024x768 - 42.1 FPS
1280x960 - 28.3 FPS
1600x1200 - 19.9 FPS

I played Q3Test a lot with this card prior to writing the review. The game did run well as long as I kept the resolution at 1024x768 or lower. At 1280x960, things were fine in a one-on-one deathmatch, but every time another player joined, the frame rate dropped. Also, the visual quality wasn't all that it should and could have been...

Honestly, I thought I would see more power in this card. I guess the reason it's not all that far from the Voodoo3 3000 is because the clock speed is only 17 MHz higher and the card has the same memory configuration. The card definitely does the best with the recent Unreal Tournament demo. The game is very smooth and even looks pretty damn good.

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