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Voodoo Shack: When Voodoo is what you do™

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Voodoo3 Overclocking  

originally posted 12-28-2000 on 3dfx.products.voodoo3 newsgroup

I know that the V3 is old hardware, and many people have moved on to the V5, Radeons, and Geforces, but this is for those salty old dogs who still milk this puppy for the extra HP. I suspect there are plenty of people who still use these cards, since they are very compatible with most hardware, and run GLIDE very well. So here's my story.

I purchased my first V3 back in 99, a nice little original V3 2k AGP that worked very well. It would only overclock to 167MHz, and that with a big 3" fan blowing onto it from an adjacent PCI slot. I really had an itch to find a V3 that would clock to 200MHz. I dunno, that big 200 just sounds good, and after looking all over the net, it appeared that most cards with Hyundai SDRAM were the ones to get to OC. I looked everywhere for one with Hyundai RAM, but was never able to find one.

I settled on a V3 3k AGP with Micron Tech SDRAM, and went to work. Using Gary Peterson's V3 Overclocker, I got it up to 183MHz (V3 3500 speed) with no active cooling and the stock heatsink. After I had installed an OEM Intel P3 FCPGA Heatsink/Fan & Artic Silver Heatsink grease, I got 195MHz out of her. I really wanted to hit the big 200, so after doing a little research, it seemed like heatsinking the video RAM might be the ticket. I looked all over the net, but finally found some perfect vid card memory heatsinks at my local Radio Shack, of all places! They are part number 276-1368, and you will only need 4 of them for your V3, since one heatsink is perfect to cover 2 memory chips. I also used some Radio Shack Silicone Base Heat Sink Compound part number 276-1372, and some super glue. After smearing a little grease on each memory chip with a folded up business card (works nice), I used just a couple of drops of super glue in the corners to fasten one heatsink across two memory chips. I pressed and held for about 10 seconds, and voila. They look great, since the black anodize finish matches the monster heatsink/fan on the V3 chip.

Results, you ask? Well, now I'm perfectly stable at 200MHz (my goal). So heatsinking the memory chips got me 5MHz for my trouble. $8 for an additional 5MHz ain't all that bad I suppose, especially if you have the itch to hit the big 200.

Here's some numbers for you:

P3 866 (650e @ 133FSB) on Tyan S1854 Trinity 400 Revision E Bios v.1.07
128MB Corsair PC100 RAM @ 133 CAS3
WD 13GB ATA66 7200rpm Hard Drive
Voodoo3 3000 AGP @ 166 & 200MHz
3dfx 1.07.00 WHQL Drivers (default settings, vsync off)
Win98SE w/IE5.01 SP1

Q3A v1.17 Demo001, "Normal" (V3 doesn't really do "High Quality"),
166MHz = 46.0
200MHz = 55.7

Unreal Tournament V4.36 Timedemo 1 (opening flyby), HQ textures,
166MHz = 58.83
200MHz = 64.17

3dMark2000 (default benchmark, 1024x768)
166MHz = 3092
200MHz = 3511

Fill Rate (3dMark2k)
166MHz = 320.1 MTexels/s
200MHz = 387.4 MTexels/s

An all around healthy increase in performance, yes? Certainly not Geforce Ultra numbers, but finally every game I try is very smooth and playable at 1024x768 res. I even played Unreal and GLQuake at 1280x1024, and it was very smooth. I still remember playing Quake at 320x200 when it came out on my old Cyrix 133 (100MHz actually, what a  joke), and having chop and pauses. LOL

Anyways, if you are wiling to put some time and effort into your old V3, you can breath new life into it for the newest games. Quake3A at 800x600 benchmarks at over 80FPS, so I'm thinking this card will be good for future games at lower resolutions for at least the next year. If you are lucky enough to find a card with the Hyundai SDRAM, you might be able to clock it up to 220MHz according to some of the reports on the net!

Copyrightę 2002 Nightstormer Productions