The Voodoo3 plan of attack
The time: November 1998. The location and event: Comdex, in Las Vegas. At a small restauarant/bar called The Dive, 3dfx had prepared a bombshell press announcement. Here, among the recessed fish tanks and trendy décor, 3dfx unveiled to the world "Voodoo3," their next-generation product for 1999. Fresh out with silicon merely days before the event, Voodoo3 promised to be the next big step for 3D acceleration, providing unsurpassed speed for today's, and tomorrow's applications.
The Voodoo3 offered an integrated 2D/3D solution, as their latest product, Banshee did. It incorporated an industry-leading RAMDAC with an unprecedented 350MHz speed, and the Voodoo3 would support 16MB of memory, topping the 12MB limit set by Voodoo2. The most interesting (and baffling) news however, was the announcement of its combined core and memory speed - 183MHz. The only commonly used system memory that reach speeds of that scale were the expensive SRAM cache modules used in Intel's Pentium Pro and Pentium II processors.
Standard SDRAM just didn't go that fast, at least not for reasonable cost. Well, 3dfx had until March or April for the release of Voodoo3, so perhaps it was possible. Everyone at the show proclaimed "We'll believe it when we see it," and so we waited. Well, the wait is finally over, and almost 10 months after initial announcement, a Voodoo3 with 183MHz SDRAM has been released, touting some exciting new features to watch out for!