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3dfx announces AGP-free Mac Voodoo line-up

Will only ship PCI versions

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3dfx today reiterated its support for the Mac by finally announcing how it intends to bring its VSA-100 chip to the platform. The Wintel Voodoo 4 and 5 line-up was unwrapped last November at Comdex, and while the company committed itself to a Mac product line not long after that, it's taken 3dfx the intervening four months to figure out what it will offer exactly. And owners of the Power Mac G4 - at least the higher-end AGP-based models aren't going to be too pleased. This summer - at CeBIT the company said 'spring' - 3dfx will ship two Mac cards: the Voodoo 4 4500 and the Voodoo 5 5500, both in PCI versions. Both cards will support the Mac's own colour formats and APIs, including QuickDraw 3D RAVE, OpenGL and 3dfx's Glide. The cards will also accelerate 2D QuickDraw operations and provide enhanced QuickTime movie playback. Both boards are based on the VSA-100 chip, but the 5500 contains two to provide full support for 3dfx's T-buffer technology, which generates motion blur, depth of field, soft shadow and soft reflection effects by rendering each scene four times and combining the results. The single-chip 4500 can, theoretically support these features too, but not using 3dfx's drivers. Both cards will provide full-screen anti-aliasing which, frankly, will have the biggest effect on in-game picture quality. And anti-aliasing works with all titles - the other features require games to be written with them in mind. The 5500 ships with 64MB of video memory, the 4500 with 32MB. Both support resolutions of up to 2048x1536 in 32-bit colour. The 5500 has a fill-rate of 667 million texels (texture elements) per second, the 4500 runs at 333Mtps. US pricing is set at $329.99 (5500) and $200 (4500). But why no AGP support? Clearly 3dfx reckons the market isn't yet big enough to make it worthwhile. Even in the Wintel world, it's best-selling cards are PCI-based, not AGP. Of course, AGP-based Macs ship with ATI Rage 128 Pro AGP cards, but if you're willing to rip out your PCI Rage 128, why not the AGP version? That said, the company did imply it will support MacOS X, which is itself set to ship not long after the Voodoo 4 and 5 release. Whether that will be out-of-the-box support or the drivers will come later remains to be seen. ® Related Stories 3dfx pledges native Mac support in Voodoo 4, 5 3dfx launches Voodoo 4 and 5 3dfx licenses Intel's Real3D patents 3dfx to grab Gigapixel for $186m 3dfx fires 20 per cent of workforce

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