Nvidia paid the right amount for 3dfx, court affirms
Long-dead GPU brand exhumed, swiftly re-interred
Here's a blast from the past: graphics card maker 3dfx. The long defunct brandname - once the acme of computer graphics - briefly rose from the dead this month when erstwhile shareholders' failed to get $100m out of Nvidia.
Nvidia, long-term Register readers may recall, acquired its one-time arch-rival seven years ago after a bitter legal battle over patents. The 3D graphics pioneer ran out of cash in 2000 having burned through its resources trying to get its top-of-the-line Voodoo 5 card family to market, the enormous, power-hungry Voodoo 5 6000 in particular.
First, 3dfx announced it would stop making graphics cards to focus on chip design. Then it declared bankruptcy, and Nvidia stepped in to acquire its intellectual property and other assets for $112m. The deal went through early in 2001.
Enter one of the collapsed company's trustees, who subsequently sued Nvidia, alleging the GPU giant hadn't paid what 3dfx's mortal remains were truly worth, in turn harming the collapsed firm's creditors. It sought damages of at least $100m.
The case eventually went to trial in the US District Court of Northern California, bankruptcy division, and Nvidia this month confirmed the verdict: the case had gone its way.
The trustee may yet appeal against the verdict - if it does, Nvidia will fight on, the company pledged.
Voodoo still lives in the FX5000 series
Hi, didn't you guys here 3DFX designed this video card series for nVidia. I imagine that there are still some 3DFX engineers at nVidia, just as there are former Intel engineers at AMD. ATI is owned by AMD and they mainly wanted it for integrated graphics chipsets and integated graphic cpus. The 780G is hybrid crossfire and its hot! Alot of graphics for a little money when you add a HD3450 on the motherboard. Also the AMD Phenom is the fastest graphics with the Unreal 3 Engine, which was licensed by all the major game writers. See the benchmarks at www.lostcircuits.com Phenom with 780G graphics and added HD3000 series rocks.
Tomb Raider on a VooDoo, aye I can remember it well.
I still have...
A Pentium 166 with a VooDoo 1 addon card, sitting in the corner of my office, It still ran fine when last fired up.
Those were the days, Tomb Raider running smooth as, lightning fast Quake.
Ahhh the good old days.
Seemed OK to me...
As the guy (as my friend Jeremy (Samba) Allison would point out -- was slagged off in Slashdot) who pulled the trigger on the 3dfx v. Nvidia lawsuit, my opinion is that when the damages approached the purchase price for 3dfx's corpse, Jen-Hsun, master of making money, bought the whole mess, leaving the investors festering for some extra cash due to a holding company for the disputed patents and performance criteria that could not be met, given the poor negotiating skills of the selling party.
My opinion (having negotiated with someone who seriously fudged SGI for their Odyssey graphics tech and personnel) was that the price was spot on. If you want a company like Micro$haft to do well, replace Ballmer with Jen-Hsun and stand back. The guy's an awesome businessman.
Adverse though I was (that's a legal term, boys & girls), I really respect this guy's reptilian focus on making money not just for him but his shareholders.
N.B.: I hold no shares in Nvidia or any graphocs competitor, including but not limited to AMD and Intel.
Aar, I remember a mate with a PII 200 [or something similar] playing Carmageddon without 3DFX acceleration, and with, and thinking that man had truly become god!
Looking back, I still preferred 320x200x256 Doom II though.
Sam - how much of that is poetic license and how much is real? How much did these cards suck in terms of power? I wasn't into hardware back in those days, not *seriously* anyway...