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Voodoo3 Tweak Guide (Page 4/6)

Updated: September 22, 1999
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

Display Properties

Assuming you've installed the drivers properly, you should now have a 3dfx Voodoo3 tab in your Display Properties. To access the display properties, right click your desktop and choose Properties. Click Settings at the top and then the Advanced button. Click the 3dfx Tweaks tab. Click to enlarge (my recommended settings):

Click to enlarge

There are quite a few settings here that can alter the way games and applications look and run. First, click the Desktop button. There is only one option here: gamma. If you didn't know, gamma adjusts the brightness. Adjust the gamma if your desktop seems too bright (or dark). I set this value between 1.15 and 1.30 during the day because glare from the sun makes it harder to see. During the night I set this value to 1.00 because the extra brightness is not necessary.

Now, click the Direct3D button. A new option is available: Use higher quality but lower performance video. I recommend that you enable this option if you have a Pentium II or faster system. Now most videos should look better, and the performance hit is not too severe on powerful systems. Finally, click the Glide/OpenGL button. I recommend that you set this according to the picture above. If you check the Disable the splash screen option, you will no longer see those animated 3dfx logos pop up when Glide or the OpenGL ICD is accessed. I personally don't care for this splash screen so I check this box. The next box says "Force Mipmap dithering". I highly recommend that you enable this option. It will increase the visual quality in most games and the performance hit is not too major if you have a fast system (266 MHz+). Disable Limit Texture Memory to 2 MB unless you have problems with games crashing or giving Glide errors. This will not affect the performance of the card. Enable Force triple buffering. You should see a slight performance increase. Some games may give weird errors or have visual problems if this is enabled. If this happens, disable this option before running these games.

With any other options in this display tab, you probably won't see a huge difference. Don't be afraid to experiment and test out all the various settings to find out which work best for the games you play.

Tweaking Games


Just like Quake2, Half-Life is dependent on a few things. The first major consideration is drivers (I know, again...). If Half-Life doesn't look right or run properly, you should try to install older drivers (assuming you've tried the latest drivers). The links to older drivers may not be readily available on 3dfx's site, so you'll need to search around. If you're really desperate, you could install the original drivers that shipped with your Voodoo3. This should settle the issue. If it doesn't, visit the Half-Life Autoexec Creator and make sure everything is set to your needs.

Midtown Madness

Midtown Madness runs great with a Voodoo3 card, assuming everything is configured correctly. I used to play at 1600x1200 with a Voodoo3 3000 / P2 450 system and the frame rate rarely dropped below 30 (judging from eye).

If the game runs horrible for you, then you probably should update your drivers (I think we've got that down now...) and install the latest version of DirectX. Once this has been done, head over to the Midtown Madness Tweak Guide for a load of tips to boost performance and visual quality.

Need for Speed III / IV

Another game that I know has some problems with the Voodoo3 is Need for Speed III (And NFS: High Stakes). There really isn't an easy way to get around the problems, but here is the best solution I have found:
  1. Update NFS3/NFS:HS to the latest version.
  2. Select 3D Device Setup (Start, Programs, Electronic Arts, Need For Speed III, etc).
  3. Choose Voodoo3. If this option is not available, choose Direct 3D Device 1.
  4. Start NFS3 or NFS:HS.
  5. Choose Single player, go to Options, and choose Graphic Options.
  6. Set the resolution how you want, enable all special effects, and try it.
  7. If this doesn't work, try using the older drivers, as mentioned before.
  8. You can also try downloading an auto-patcher which can help you update NFS3.
3dfx also has an FTP where you can grab patches. However, they don't keep this FTP updated so most of the files are old. Check it out here.

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