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Review: 3DFX Voodoo Reloaded - the world's fastest graphics

by HEXUS Staff on 1 April 2015, 01:00

Tags: 3dfx

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacqfe

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A New Hope

Nvidia impressed the gaming community with the sheer processing horsepower of the full-fat GeForce GTX Titan X released a month ago.

Benchmarking about 40 per cent faster than the already-decent GTX 980 and therefore a much better fit for gaming at 4K with all the bells and whistles on, Titan X has no single-GPU performance peer... until now.

3DFX is preparing to rise from the ashes with a new Voodoo card that is rumoured to remove the Titan X from its lofty perch. Whispers said that this monster of a card, dubbed 'Reloaded' and equipped with next-generation features such as HBM and DX12, to arrive in time for June's Computex trade show, but the cat's already out the bag.

We managed to benchmark a Reloaded card destined for a system integrator's machine just yesterday. Though likely not absolutely indicative of final performance due to immature drivers we thought you might want a peek at 3DFX's return to the world of PC graphics.

The sample card has certain markings that could give away its provenance and land said system integrator in scalding-hot water, so without further ado, here are the benchmarks you're going to want to see. Can it topple Titan X? Read on to find out.

3DFX Strikes Back

GPU Comparisons

Graphics Card GPU Cores Base Clock
(MHz)
Boost Clock
(MHz)
Memory Size
(MB)
Memory Clock
(MHz)
Memory Bus
(bits)
Graphics Driver
3DFX Voodoo Reloaded (8GB) 4,096 N/A 1,000 8,192 1,250 4,096 Pre-release
AMD Radeon R9 295X2 (8GB) 2,816 x2 N/A 1,018 4,096 5,000 512 x2 15.3 beta
AMD Radeon R9 290X (4GB) 2,816 N/A 1,000 4,096 5,000 512 15.3 beta
AMD Radeon R9 290 (4GB) 2,560 N/A 947 4,096 5,000 512 15.3 beta
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X SLI (12GB) 3,072 x2 1,002 1,076 12,288 x2 7,012 384 x2 347.84
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X (12GB) 3,072 1,002 1,076 12,288 7,012 384 347.84
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4GB) 2,048 1,127 1,216 4,096 7,012 256 347.84
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan (6GB) 2,688 837 876 6,144 6,008 384 347.84

HEXUS Graphics Test Bench

Hardware Components HEXUS Review Product Page
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K (quad-core, overclocked up to 4.40GHz) June 2013 Intel.com
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15 April 2014 Noctua.at
Motherboard Asus Z97-A May 2014 Asus.co.uk
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro (2x8GB) DDR3 @ 1,866MHz - Corsair.com
Power Supply Corsair AX760i - Corsair.com
Storage Device Crucial M500 240GB SSD July 2013 Crucial.com
Chassis Corsair Graphite Series 600T October 2010 Corsair.com
Monitor Philips Brilliance 4K Ultra HD LED (288P6LJEB/00) - Philips.co.uk
Operating system Windows 8.1 (64-bit) October 2012 Microsoft.com

Benchmark Suite

Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme and Fire Strike Ultra
Gaming Benchmarks
Title Settings at 1,920x1,080
(FHD)
Settings at 2,560x1,440
(QHD)
Settings at 3,840x2,160
(4K UHD)
Alien: Isolation SMAA-T2x, Maximum Quality SMAA-T2x, Maximum Quality FXAA, Maximum Quality
BioShock Infinite AA Enabled, Ultra Preset inc. Depth of Field AA Enabled, Ultra Preset inc. Depth of Field AA Enabled, Ultra Preset inc. Depth of Field
Grid Autosport 8xMSAA, Maximum Quality Settings (Soft Ambient Occlusion On, Advanced Lighting On, Global Illumination On) 4xMSAA, Maximum Quality Settings (Soft Ambient Occlusion On, Advanced Lighting On, Global Illumination On) 4xMSAA, Maximum Quality Settings (Soft Ambient Occlusion On, Advanced Lighting On, Global Illumination On)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Ultra Quality Preset Ultra Quality Preset Very High Quality Preset
Tomb Raider FXAA, Ultra Quality Preset, TressFX Disabled FXAA, Ultra Quality Preset, TressFX Disabled FXAA, Ultra Quality Preset, TressFX Disabled
Total War: Rome II Ultra Preset Ultra Preset Ultra Preset
General Benchmarks
Power Consumption To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record system-wide mains power draw both when idle and while playing Grid Autosport.
Temperature To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record GPU core temperature both when idle and while playing Grid Autosport.
Noise A PCE-318 meter is used to record noise levels when idle and while playing Grid Autosport.
Overclocking Maintaining out-the-box voltage, we increase the card's power target and aim for an optimal balance of core and memory overclock. With the heightened frequencies in place, the 3DMark and Total War: Rome II tests are re-run.

Notes

All cards have been benchmarked from scratch using the latest drivers at the time of testing.

To minimise the impact of any CPU bottlenecks, our test platform is configured with a quad-core Intel Core i7-4770K overclocked up to 4.4GHz. 16GB of Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 is set to run at 1,866MHz using the built-in XMP profile.

For our ultra-high-end benchmark suite, we have an array of games tested at full-HD (1,920x1,080) QHD (2,560x1,440) and 4K (3,840x2,160) resolutions. In order to maintain playable framerates in the latter mode, the level of anti-aliasing may be reduced and any such changes are highlighted using bold in the above table. Readers should note that, despite running with lowered settings, games often look considerably better at 4K as a result of the huge increase in on-screen pixels.

Where applicable, any vendor-specific enhancements such as PhysX, TressFX and 3DFX are disabled to help even the playing field.