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6400 Voodoo 2/3 info page

This page contains info on using a 3dfx Voodoo2/3 with the 6400. Please feel free to send me your experiences. I'm affraid I won't be able to post my own experiences as the Voodoo3 would not work with my Vimage at all! Well, I guess that was my experience :(

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Voodoo2 card installed in my 6400
Apples Gaming page - Apple's Gaming page with lots of links to great demos to try!
Quake III Arena stratagy guide - this might help you learn the tricks that are getting you killed :)
Patch TombRaiderII for a Voodoo2/3 card - Here is a patch to get TR2 running on a Voodoo2/3 card
Patch StarWars Pod racer for a Voodoo3 card - Here is a patch for both the demo and retail version of Pod Racer to get it working with a Voodoo3 card. Not sure if it will work for a Voodoo2?

Voodoo3 beta 12 drivers - best drivers I found for the Voodoo3. Not available from 3dfx anymore since they are out of business :(

Voodoo3 in a 6400/6500 8/20/1999: I have received several requests for info on running a Voodoo3 card in a 6400/6500. I'll start posting info here until it gets too large. So far it seems to not be compatible with any L2 G3 which makes the speed of the Voodoo3 useless for us :( a Voodoo2 would be a better purchase or the new Rage 128's.

1/5/2000 Update: I do have several 6400/6500 G3 users running the Voodoo3 now with some interesting fixes. They are located near the end of this section. So after you read all the trouble everyone had then find out how you might get it to work :)

3DFX releases Voodoo 3 drivers!: While ATI may be having issues 3DFX is taking advantage of it. it didn't take long for them to get the Voodoo3 drivers out. only a few weeks ago did they release the Voodoo2 drivers for the Mac. Click here to get them.

I found this info on Accelerate Your Mac:

and then later saw this:

and yet another update:

This means the Voodoo3 cards from 3DFX work on the 6500 so they probably work on the 6400 as well. Looks like it fits in the case too which could mean my Voodoo2 card will also fit. I had mentioned before that I wasn't sure if it would and installed it in my PCI chassi. The one thing to remember as noted above that the Voodoo3 is a full blown 2D/3D card so it requires its own monitor because it has no pass thru port like the previous Voodoo cards. Since the 6400 has no on board video acceleration and the 6500 only has the old Rage II, I don't think it will hurt many people to move their monitor to the Voodoo3 card for lightning performance. The only problem is for those of you that still use Apples TV/video system which relies on a monitor being plugged into the stock port. You will need 2 monitors in this case or have to swap the cable and reboot to get the best of each world.

On a side note, once ATI gets their act together and get their Rage128 cards out and compatible with the 6400 then their VR cards are a good substitiute for both the onboard TV/video and a Voodoo2 card. Yes the Voodoo3 is faster but I find the Voodoo2 very nice at this time and the Rage128 is on on par or slightly faster then a Voodoo2. Depends on what games your playing :) I may be getting a Voodoo3 to try out for myself though.

Links to Accelerate Your Macs info on 3DFX info: Mike asked me to post some links to his site which has probably the best info on 3DFX and the Mac.

The Voodoo3 seems to be slightly faster then the Rage 128 Orion from ATI and it does work on the 6500 and possibly 6400. Since its so cheap this may be a good substitute for those waiting on ATI. To get Rave to work you'll need to download the Voodoo2 drivers from 3DFX and only place the Rave extension in your extensions folder. Also here is a link to a petition he has started to make Apple more aware of how many people would like 3DFX products on their Macs. Specially iMacs!

His main site is which tracks, as if you can't tell, anything that has to do with speeding up that old Mac, or a new Mac :)

8/14/1999 How to flash a Voodoo3 to work on a Mac from Accelerate Your Mac: I got this info from Mike of Accelerate Your Mac and thought it would be of use to any of you trying to get a Voodoo3 to work on your 6400. The extensions he mentions for getting OpenGL to work on these cards can be found on his other site Also not that it has been mentioned that the Rave driver that is installed with 3dfx's Voodoo2 drivers works with their Voodoo3 drivers. But remember Mikes NOTE that the other Voodoo2 drivers will not work with the Voodoo3. Thanks Mike.

6500 owner issue with Voodoo3 card: Well now that I have mentioned that the card does work and also posted how to make it work I have to post some news that it may still have trouble! Craig writes that he cannot get it to work on his 6500. Please email him if you have any suggestions. Thanks.

8/20/1999 Voodoo3 issues with G3 upgraded 6400/6500 MACs: I feel like the 6400 era is coming to an end :( Not only was the latest greatest ATI Rage 128 not compatible at the moment but either is the Voodoo3 card from 3dfx!

Now I hear it does work with the G3's disabled but you have to disable 2D acceleration with Sonnets G3 and Vimages just plain doesn't work so far! The following are some letters I have received on this topic. Thanks guys. Click here to read more on the Voodoo3 card.

On a side note, the Voodoo2 card from 3dfx runs just fine on my 6400. Even being almost 2" over the 6400's PCI length spec is ok. I have the passthru connected to the stock monitor port so I don't have any 2D acceleration which is what the Voodoo3 is great for but I do get to play Quake2 and Quake3 plus Unreal in all their glory with good frame rates. And it works with both Vimages and Sonnets G3's. Remember though that in order to play most of these games you really need a G3 and lots of RAM! my 6400 with 136M of RAM was not an issue but my other only having 56M was not enough. I had to use RamDoubler to increase it to 140M untill I stopped getting Mesa3dfxEngine out of memory errors! Well when Unreal demands 90+ megs what do you expect! I wouldn't waste your money on these high end cards unless you plan on upgrading the rest of your system too.

Craig got his Voodoo3 to work finally: Craig email me last week saying that his Voodoo3 card seemed to almost ruin his mother board! He was having some weird PCI issues but it has all cleared up now. I don't think he has a G3 upgrade, or at least he never mentioned it.

8/27/1999 Voodoo3 will not work with ANY L2 G3: I just got word from Sheldon that he found postings that even Newers G3 didn't work with the Voodoo3 :( I guess this makes it unanimous. I have now recieved info from people owning all 3 L3 G3's and none of them seem to work flawlessly. Thanks Sheldon.

9/11/1999 Voodoo3 works with Sonnet G3?: Figures just after I report it doesn't work I get a report it does :) I recieved a letter from Yann who has a French version of OS 8.6 and has the Voodoo3 running with his Sonnet G3. Thanks for the info Yann. I wonder if its more a 6500 G3 issue then a 6400 G3 issue as the reports I got that said the Sonnet G3 didn't work with the Voodoo3 were from 6500 owners. If anyone else has a 6400/6500 with the Voodoo3 I would love to here how its working.

10/14/1999 More Voodoo3 info with Sonnets G3 upgrade: Yann sent me some more info on his setup. He is running a French version of OS 8.6 and is the only person to have the Voodoo3 and a L2 G3 running together that I know of. If anyone else can get them to run together please write me. Click here for more info on the Voodoo3.

10/30/1999 Voodoo3 and Sonnet G3 may work together?: I received some info from a user that has both running on his 6400/200 and he says he has no problems! Previously Sonnet users have told me that with the 2D driver enabled you get crashes after about 5min. Here is a list of version numbers he was running. Please let me know if anyone else gets this working. Thanks. Click here for more Voodoo3 and 6400/6500 info.

11/4/1999 Update on Voodoo3 cards and L2 G3 upgrades?: I have been getting info mostly stating that they are not compatible but I have had a few letters of success? The ones that are able to get it to work are the 6400 owners. All the 6500 owners have told me its not fully compatible? I wonder if its due to the onboard ATI or some other small difference thats causing the trouble? 6500 owners might try removing the ATI extensions to see if that helps? I'm not saying it works 100% on the 6400 but 6400 users are having more luck with it.

Speaking of which, here is a letter from Cryil who received info from another 6400 user that got them working. Thanks.

Edward sends word that his Voodoo3 is not working on his Newer L2 G3 upgraded PowerBase180 which is 6400 mother board based. Sigh!

11/12/1999 Update Voodoo3 and the Sonnet G3: Here is a letter from one 6400 user that has the Voodoo3 running and with a Sonnet G3. Also note fix he has for the boot hangs. Interesting! These video cards sure don't play nice. I can't tell what systems they will or will not work on?

11/19/1999 Voodoo3 and G3 Upgraded 6400's: Here is a clip I got from Mikes Accelerate Your Mac web site. Seems he has had only Newer G3 card owners report good news.

Here is a letter from Kamen who also states the Voodoo3 and Newer work together. Thanks Kamen

12/3/1999 Newer G3 and Voodoo3 working: As I have mentioned before it seems the Voodoo3 and Newer G3 are the most stable combination of Voodoo3 and L2 G3 card. Craig writes that he has had this setup for a few months with only minor issues. Some system freezes that he can't really blame on the setup. We all have some freezes from time to time though, right :( Here is a clip of his letter. Thanks Craig.

12/17/1999 Voodoo3 on a Newer G3 accelerated 6400 update: Bryan sends word that his 6400 with Newers G3 is running with a Voodoo3 ok. Later he sent a more info stating that he had to reflash the ROM because it may have gotten corrupted? Thanks for the info Bryan.

Then he sent this.

Possible fix to get a Voodoo3 running on a Sonnet G3 accelerated 6500: Tiong sends word that he found a fix to get a Voodoo3 and an ATI Rage128 Orion to work on his 6500 just by having a PC-MAC monitor adapter left on the stock port! It seems that the 6500 wants to think it still is using the stock port even if you just want to use a video card. You will need 2 monitors to start but after following Tiongs instructions on how to move the Happy Mac and menu bar to your new graphics card you can remove the second monitor and place a monitor adapter on the stock port so it always thinks it has one there. Nice fix. Thanks Tiong.

12/24/1999 Sonnets driver 1.4.1b1 may cure Voodoo3 issues?: Tiong wrote me before with news that running a dual monitor setup or with a Mac/PC adaptor on the stock port that he was able to get the Voodoo3 card to work on his Sonnet upgraded 6500. Well now he says he can ditch the second monitor as the Crescendo 1.4.1b1 seems to have cured it for him. Thanks Tiong.

1/8/2000 Voodoo3 on a Vimage upgraded 6400: Well I finally got a Voodoo3 thanks to one of my readers :) My first thought was to try it on my 6400 upgraded with Vimages 320 G3 of course. I followed all the instructions to flash the ROM to Mac and I also disabled the G3 just to make sure everything was fine. Well on the 1st boot it worked great! Both the Voodoo3 and my old ATI VR card were working fine together (I have 2 monitors running). It felt somewhat faster but remember the G3 is still off. So turn it on. NOPE! Once Vimage sent its softboot signal, both monitors went black and the status LED on the ATI cards monitor actually turned RED? I didn't think this was good so I tried to turn the computer off but had to hit the shutdown button in the back. I put everything back as before and it all still works ok. So I cannot get the Voodoo3 to work on my 6400 with Vimages G3.

1/16/2000 More Voodoo3 and L2 G3 info from Tiong: Tiong sent me some more info on what might be going on with the 6400/6500 and a Voodoo3/L2 G3 combo. Thanks Tiong.

Just to note that I posted a little while ago that I tried the Voodoo3 with Vimages G3 and it did not work at all! 2 monitors or not. Once the softboot was reached my computer locked up hard! The Voodoo3 ran fine without the Vimage card though but would probably be pretty useless for games without a G3 chip.

1/21/2000 Hacking the Voodoo3 Pref file to get different resolutions: Yann sent me some info that may be of use to you. He says you can open the Voodoo3 pref file found in your pref folder and change the default resolutions and make other setting changes. He did this because he found that his system was picking a resolution not supported by his monitor and this was why he could not use the Voodoo3 on his 6400 at first. Thanks Yann.

3/3/2000 New Sonnet 500Mhz L2 G3 for the 6500 works with the Voodoo3: I found some info on Accelerate Your Mac's web site about Sonnets new 500Mhz card working with the Voodoo3. Later Tiong sent me some more info he got from Stefan who wrote the letter to Accelerate Your Mac. Thanks guys.

From XLR8

From Tiong

Tiong may be on to something here. Its possible that Sonnet had to totally redesign their cards to work with the 10x G3 CPU's and this change fixed the issues with the Voodoo3? Or, maybe they just found some issues and fixed them which made the Voodoo3 work? Any comments from other recently acquired Sonnet L2 G3 cards are appreciated :) Thanks.

4/14/2000 Voodoo3 Beta12 drivers out!: I just got the word that the latest Voodoo3 drivers are out. Go get them you game freaks! I already got mine :)

8/26/2000 Voodoo5 drivers with a Voodoo3: I have received several letters and forum postings on people using the V5 drivers with their V3's. Tiong so far has been unable to get his V3 to work with them but others have. I even get the V5 drivers to work with my V3 in the B&W G3. I have had only one problem so far and that was with Action GoMac. Just today I started my computer as normal and went to GoMac's menu bar to open some files and all of a sudden the entire screen got garbled? So I rebooted and tried GoMac again and it garbled the screen again but not as bad. I was getting a little worried that my Voodoo3 may be going bad so I rebooted with extensions disabled in an effort to remove the V5 drivers and replace the V3 drivers. But instead I went to the Pref folder and trashed the 3dfx pref file and rebooted. Now it is working ok again. I guess the pref file got corrupted and since the V5 drivers allow for picture caching, font caching and other stuff that the caches may have gotten corrupted by Action GoMac? It is running fine for now but I will keep a close eye on it :)

I checked the version numbers of all the V5 drivers and found that the 2D and 3D libraries state they are for the Voodoo3, Banshee, and Velocity. So I guess these are the next evolution of the V3 drivers after all! Some people say the V5 drivers actually make their V3's run faster at certain tasks? I don't know if this is true or not but QT does seem faster to me. I don't know what to use to test QT though? Any suggestions? Thanks.

Scratch the above. I just had another crash with Action GoMac :( I need GoMac more then the V5 drivers so back to the V3 drivers. I just tried the Halo trailer at full screen with the V3 drivers and it plays as smooth as it did with the V5 drivers but seems more pixelated? Perhaps QT acceleration allows for better anti aliasing for enlarged views?

Voodoo3 and Vimage G3 upgrade working together?: When I bought my Voodoo3 I tried it right away in my 6400 with Vimages G3 upgrade. The combination I had didn't work at all! But maybe they can work? Tom just sent me a letter stating his works fine. Thanks Tom.

I had left my ATI VR RageII card installed when I tested the V3. Perhaps if I had removed it, then it may have worked? I may not try testing since I need the VR card for TV and video input so it really isn't worth it for me to try :( if anyone else tries then please let me know. Thanks

9/22/2000 Voodoo3 PC BIOS's posted: Here is a link to a page where the host has placed many versions of the Voodoo3 BIOS for those of you that lost yours and want to reflash your card back to PC. He really did it for PC user to get the latest ROM image for their cards but it works for us as well :)

New ROM flasher for SGRAM Voodoo3's?: I received some info from Michael on a new V3 ROM flasher app that is supposed to work on V3 cards with SGRAM installed. It seems that 3dfx upgraded their V3 cards from SDRAM to SGRAM which is faster but they did not upgrade the flasher app so many Mac users are not able to flash their new V3's. This utility seems to have come from out of no where as even the site hosting the app doesn't know where he got it? Anyway Michael says it worked great for him and speculates that 3dfx made it but didn't want to show support for the unsupported V3 since the V5 started shipping. Makes some sense and looking at 3dfx'x track record, it could be true? Well, here is his info and please let me know if it works for your SGRAM upgraded V3. Thanks.

[I know a lot of readers have had trouble with the Voodoo3 and the 6400 since the introduction of the beta and 3Dfx flasher. I paired my ATI Orion which a lot of people (including ATI) with a Voodoo2, and used it for only one month before I was so sorely depressed with how much better a $30 graphics card was than the ATI, that I went ahead and bought a Voodoo3. I saw the SST ROM chip on the board and immediately identified it as the newer SG-RAM Voodoo3 (reported from last July) and downloaded the new flasher and have had no problems from the Voodoo3. I have noticed much to my delight that with the 3Dfx drivers installed (instead of ATI's) that the system uses at least 5MB less RAM (21MB down from about 25-26 with the full ATI suite from Multimedia Update 1.0). 2D performance is superb, the only defect being noticeable if I try to play a Quicktime movie at fullscreen--the Voodoo3 runs without much if any framedrop with larger screens but misses the smoothening that ATI's Quicktime acceleration provides for odd movie resolutions. With the single Voodoo3 housed in here Metronome and Gauge Pro report a constant 31 to 35c, down from the 39 to 45 with the other two cards installed. I couldn't be a happy camper. Send a big shout out on your site to any readers who felt burned by a nonfunctional Voodoo3 to grab that new flasher, some of the problems people have had could be related to this.

The flasher available from 3Dfx's site will work with the ROM images they provide if the ROM chip on your card says "Atmel." If it says SST then it is a newer one with SG-RAM and the flasher from their site won't work. A reader at xlr8yourmac learned this when he happened to have two, one that flashed and one that didn't, and compared them physically. He put this information out there so 3Dfx couldn't complain that they didn't know what was the problem anymore--and magically, two weeks later there was a flasher for the SST ROM cards. I don't think that's magic, personally, I think once 3Dfx learned about it they whipped up a proper flasher but while working on their new VSA-100 they couldn't officially "support" an unsupported Voodoo3 on Macs yet again so it becomes leaked in a controlled fashion. Just look at the website it comes from, if you go by that alone the new flasher just appeared from the air.

Here is the issue with the flasher:
1. If you have a Voodoo3 whose ROM BIOS chip says "SST" on it (mine was covered by a small white sticker), then you need to use the new flasher. If your ROM BIOS chip says Atmel on it, then it will work with the old flasher. If the Voodoo3 requires the SST flasher, then the old flasher will give an "EEPROM unknown!" error when attempting to flash.

2. First download the regular flasher (most get the beta 12 from 3dfx but there are some who prefer the beta 11 for various reasons, I got the 12), then visit
The above site will initiate a download of a new flasher that can read the newer ROM BIOS chip. Take the beta 11/12 flasher out of its unstuffed folder and throw it away, then drop the new flasher into the folder in its place.

3. Reading through your old Voodoo3 info page I read at least a few Voodoo flashing failures that I seriously suspect were due to incorrect flashing, so for a little flashing walkthrough, insert the card then replace the logic board in the tower. Start the Mac with video from the standard socket, then activate the flasher, it'll say the card is detected in one of your two slots, enter the slot number it identifies to flash through that slot. It will say an Intel x86 ROM is found on the chip and do you really wanna flash, type Y for yes then return. Then you have the chance to save your original x86 ROM--there's some guy on the web that is collecting x86 ROMs and his collection is incomplete, I don't have his website handy but it's on somewhere, you can send this to him and he'll have it up for everyone with PCs to download. Then (and this is where I think a lot of flashing attempts failed) the flasher will ask for the name of the NEW flash ROM file that you want to install into the card. This is why you have to have the new flasher in the same folder as the old one, because you have to type in the name of the new flash file to be installed. If you have the V3 2000, you need to type: 3dfx-v3-2000.img, if you have the V3 3000 you need to type 3dfx-v3-3000.img. None of the instructions on the web that I'd seen specifically mentioned this and the first time I tried to flash my card it didn't work, all because I didn't type in the name of the image to flash.Regards,

10/20/2000 Voodoo5 drivers updated with better V3 support: I found this on Accelerate Your Macs web site. 3dfx has updated their V5 drivers to 1.1.0a and they do give better support for the V3. The V3 in my B&W G3 no longer crashes with the V5 drivers and GoMac installed. Great!

[Voodoo5 Drivers v1.10 Feedback: - Several readers sent comments on the Voodoo5 1.10 driver update noted in Friday's news. The 1.10 update is primarily a bug fix release, not a performance optimization. 3dfx wrote that the 1.1.0 update fixes include:

Voodoo3 2D fix
Lock up issues in some games while playing videos
32bit Bugdom/RAVE fix]

Here is a direct download link for those of you that don't have a previous version of the V5 drivers. The normal way to upgrade is through the new V5 control panel. Remember that you will need the V3 beta12 drivers to first flash the V3 ROM to run on a Mac before the V5 drivers will work.

11/3/2000 Voodoo5 drivers with a Voodoo3 and 4x4 EVO game: Recently I posted that the latest 1.1.0a V5 drivers worked fine with my V3 in my B&W G3. Well I guess I didn't play the 4x4 EVO Test2 then. I just tried last night and it locks up at a blank screen just after the initial menu selection. I went back to the Voodoo3 beta12 drivers and all is well.

1/13/2001 Voodoo3 tests results with different driver versions: Here is a page on Accelerate Your Mac's web site that has some reader test results on the Voodoo3 card and different driver version mixes from the beta9 V3 drivers up to the 1.1.3b V5 drivers. A very interesting reading! It seems that the Voodoo3 really works better with V3 beta drivers and not V5 drivers. All tests with the V5 drivers show decreased performance :(

Voodoo2 card installed 7/30/1999

NOTE: Several people have asked whether the Voodoo2 card would work in the 6400 itself since I only talk about it in my chassis. It will work fine in the 6400 and I did try it with no issues at all. Even though it is about 1.5" longer then the 6400 spec for PCI cards, it still fits. Also the Voodoo2 card is not a full blown video card. It only does 3D (and very well!) and leaves 2D for some other card to run. You can run the passthru cable to your stock video out and it will run fine but you still won't have accelerated 2D video. Pairing this card with another card like ATI's is a good choice, specially one of the older Rage PRO models. You'll get the speed of the Voodoo2 (which is as fast or faster then a Rage128) and all the compatibility. Right now both the Rage 128 cards and the Voodoo3 card are having issues with G3 accelerated 6400/6500's. Without the G3 they are usless becasue the stock CPU cannot send enough data to feed them. The Voodoo2 with the stock video of the 6500 or another video card in the 6400 is a very wise choice.

3DFX releases generic Voodoo 2 drivers!: 3DFX, the makers of 3D chips that utilize Glide technology, have released Mac specific drivers for free for their family of Voodoo 2 chips. This means that you can buy just about any PC Voodoo 2 card and run it in your Mac. Remember it has to be a PCI card and not an AGP card. I am thinking of getting one myself but I also hear that Voodoo 3 drivers are in the works! {The link for the 3dfx drivers no longer works. 3dfx has removed the link from their site. I posted the drivers on my own site now :) Your welcome!}

Update on Voodoo2 card in my setup: I bought a Voodoo2 card from 3DFX and it is working great! The card is 8" long so I assumed it wouldn't fit in my 6400 and installed it in my PCI chassi. The pass thru connector is going to my ATI card which is in the 6400. Here is a letter I wrote to Mike Breeden of Accelerate Your Mac about my findings.

He wrote back that he did not need to disable the OpenGLrendererATI extension in his system but he did not have the Voodoo2 card connected to an ATI card as I do. Maybe this made the difference? Also I am having the pausing in games with Quake3 Test also which is fixed by removing the USB drivers. I don't know if its an issue with the drivers or with the bandwidth of the PCI bus and all these cards I have attached?

12/15/2000 Voodoo2 drivers removed from 3dfx's website?: A reader informed me that the link I had in my Voodoo2 info to 3dfx's website, for their Voodoo2 beta drivers, was broken. I posted the drivers on my site and also placed a link to them in the Downloads section on the side bar.

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This page last updated 3/23/2001