California Graphics announces the 3D Wizard card based on the 3Dfx Voodoo2 chip
Breaks through 100 fps motion barrier!
California Graphics, the 3D hardware company for games, has announced details of an advanced new 3D graphics board that is based on the recently announced, 50 BOPS (Billion Operations Per Second) Voodoo 2 chip from 3Dfx Interactive. Called the 3D Wizard, this board builds on the success and popularity of the company's acclaimed 3D Emotion 2D & 3D board.
The board integrates one Pixel/fx and two Texel/fx processors, and is supplied with 4Mb of frame buffer and 4Mb for each of the two texture processors, totalling 12 Mb. On its own, the 3D Wizard will deliver up to 100 frames per second (fps), while a pair of cards linked by a special ribbon cable can deliver even greater performances in excess of 100 fps with all features turned on. This twin card configuration doubles the performance by using Scan Line Interleave where one card draws the even scan lines and the other card draws the odd scan lines. This results in a 384-bit memory architecture with 4.3 Gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth, achieving an amazing 180 million pixels per second and up to 1024 by 768 resolution. Each pixel is dual-textured, bilinear-filtered, per-pixel MIP-mapped, alpha-blended and Z-buffered.
"3Dfx's award-winning Voodoo chips have set the standards for graphics," said Vincenzo Coccoli, Chairman and CEO of California Graphics. "As one of the leading designers and manufacturers of boards based on 3Dfx chips, we have worked closely with the company to create a board design that brings out all the strengths of this, the next generation of 3D graphics. Just one board will deliver over three times the performance of the current Voodoo Graphics-based boards -- so you can imagine just how amazing the dual combination will be. A clear winner in the battle for eyeballs!"
The 3D Wizard will be fully software compatible with the vast selection of over 400 leading games that have already been optimised or are in development for 3Dfx chipsets so that new software will not be required and existing games will benefit from a noticeable performance improvement. For example, GLQuake has run at around 116 frames per second (FPS) on a Voodoo 2 chipset, with all features turned on, in a P2-266 based machine and a blistering 147FPS in a P2-300 machine with twin graphics cards.
As with the 3D Emotion, this new board will have the popular TV-out feature that enables the output to be shown on a large screen TV for increased enjoyment.
The 3D Wizard card will initially be available in PCI format and it is anticipated that the price will be in the region of $399 when they start shipping in the first quarter of 1998. AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) versions for increased graphical throughput will be available later in 1998.
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