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3dfx pledges native Mac support in Voodoo 4, 5

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Graphics specialist 3dfx took its presence in the Mac gaming market up a notch yesterday when it announced its upcoming Voodoo 4 and 5 cards would ship with native MacOS support. The downside is that Mac gamers will have to wait a little longer than PC players for the new cards, which are based on 3dfx's Voodoo Scalable Architecture (VSA) chip and due for release late March. And further delays in the chip's development schedule may push even the PC release date back. Register Ah, so your still simulating the VSA using four Voodoo 2 boards hooked up in parallel. I was kind of hoping to see some real silicon by now. 3dfx oppo Er... yeah... so were we... Silicon issues aside, the release of the Voodoo 4 and 5 products do will mark a leap ahead for Mac support. The VSA supports the Mac's own colour formats and the big-endian PowerPC (alongside the little-endian x86 platform). 3dfx's previous efforts have been in some ways hampered by the lack of native support for Mac formatting in the Voodoo 2 chip, the basis for the company's Voodoo 2 and Voodoo 3 boards. It's a testament to 3dfx's desire to expand out of the PC market that Mac support has been built into the VSA's architecture. Of course, the way 3dfx spins it, it's all down to Apple's latest high-performance desktops and Voodoo-hungry users, but we suspect the company's shrinking marketshare in the PC gaming space and loss-making status is the real motivation. Still, it is good news for Mac gamers who seek an alternative to the under-powered ATI Rage 128-based boards Apple is currently bundling. 3dfx said it will offer Voodoo 4 and 5 boards for the Mac, but it's not yet clear whether they will be specific Mac-targeted products or the company will simply ship Mac drivers with the PC versions, which were formally introduced last November. The delay in the release of the Mac version -- due to the company's relative newness the platform, it claims -- suggests the former. ® Related Story 3dfx open sources Glide, Voodoo 2 and 3 specs.

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