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The Voodoo5 5500, the meatiest graphics card available from 3dfx until the 6000 model comes along, goes on sale in the UK this week.

The Voodoo5 5500 is the first of 3dfx's boards to be based on the VSA-100 processor, previously known as the Napalm chip. The board has both Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) and T-Buffer technololgy.

While the FSAA technology is compatible with all games on the market, the T-Buffer technology - which will deal with film style effects such as motion blur, reflections, depth of field and so on - is not yet widely supported.

The board also features texture compression using both DirectX and 3dfx's own FXT1 compression.

Because the chips are programmable, they can be allocated individually to process explicit parts of the screen which means one can handle a particularly graphics intensive area while the other can continue to run the rest of the screen. With the chips working together, this card can cope with 667 megapixels/second, in full 32-bit colour.

The package is pitched at serious gamers at the high end of the market, according to the manufacturers. The board has two VSA-100 chips on board and 64MB of memory and is retailing at £249, including VAT.

The board comes with a games sampler CD-ROM supplied by Gameplay.com. As well as the games, the CD will also contain a WinDVD demo from Intervideo. ®

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