I follow most of the articles pretty closely on overclockers, but
I just had to drop you note about one subject of late, video cards.
I have noticed on several occasions of late, 3DFX V3 cards are being
slammed saying they are not reliable for overclocking on the AGP bus. I
prefer 3DFX cards to Nvidia cards because I like Glide, but I don’t want
to get into the video card battle and spot opinions etc, I just want to
correct what I believe is a error.
I have been setting up a number of
overclocked systems for people (I am a technician) on the side and in
all occasions I have used 3DFX AGP cards.
My current formula for setting up systems for other people is
- Asus P3B-F
- Add Tennmax cooler to the AGP 1/2 of the BX chip set (replace greenie with active cooling)
- Put small heat sink on the clock generator (that little sucker gets hot!)
- Use SECC2 Coppermine processor cBo stepping (600/650/700), set to 133Mhz FSB (with PCI at
- Use good quality memory (usually micron PC-133)
- Install a Voodoo 3000 AGP card, and give it a little help.
The processors have been both retail and OEM types, all air
cooled with either the retail HSF or a nice generic HSF that I have
found locally that cools VERY VERY well (you would have to go golden orb
or Alpha in my opinion to beat it).
This formula has worked 100% with the exception of a few of the 700s, which
have been a little warmer than I would have liked because I stepped up the
voltage to 1.75V (Won’t go above that.). Temp must remain below 135F at full load for 2 hours for me to
I install a 3DFX V3 3000 AGP video cards. I replace the stock
heat sink with a Tennmax Stealth V3 cooler. I have done over 10 of
these systems and they all have gone to die hard Unreal Tournament and
Quake III players (who like to heat their video up for hours in other
I know that over 10 systems is not a lot of systems compared
the whole world out there, but not one of the V3 cards has failed or
caused any problems whatsoever. I have run them with only the stock
heat sink, but the card does run hot (even when not overclocked) and I
hate heat and have always replaced with active cooling when possible.
For me, with this 100% working rate, it kinda eats at me when I keep
seeing articles with people saying the V3 cards are not working well.
These cards perform very well for most gamers, can be had for under
$100. Like I said, I don’t want to get into the video card wars, but
many readers out there depend on these articles to keep them straight
and help them.
Not everyone can afford top of the $200+ video cards and
the V3 cards are a good solution. I have had no problems with them at
all and people need to know they can use them.
While I do not prefer myself to go to a PCI solution, for those who absolutely
must have that 140Mhz, 150Mhz, or ??? FSB speed, how’s about a 3DFX V3 or V4/5 PCI card?
They seem to be more stable even overclocked on the PCI bus than any of the AGP cards are and
totally stable when at the right bus speed obviously when using a 133mhz
FSB. Like I said, i don’t prefer to go with a PCI solution, but it IS a
solution. I did not even see one person bring up this option to the die hard overclockers
who had to have the high speed FSB.
I have done some for testing only at 140Mhz and was using the same Voodoo3 3000 AGP cards and did not have any
problems. HOWEVER, I did not do what I would consider enough testing over
enough time to call it good (I am a bit of a perfectionist). I did not have
any problems though for the time(s) I did run at 140Mhz.
150Mhz, now that is a different story. Since I am only doing air cooling and do not have a good
source for really top notch memory at a good price, I have not had much success
at 150Mhz. I could not rule out the video card(s), but I have used several
varieties of video cards with the same results. The processors usually get up
there in temps and I can post sometimes (50-50), but fail very shortly after
that. My GUESS is that my problem lies in the memory or the processors or
both. (ED note: I think he’s right)
With this in mind, I can’t tell you how the V3 cards would do. Now if
you want to send me some memory, or processor, or both or…………..
Incidentally, I just got my hands on a Voodoo5 5500 AGP and ran it for 3-4
hours in one of the described systems (with a 600 clocked to 800). I ran 3D
Mark 2000 for a number of passes as well as Unreal Tournament etc etc……
Fast! No problems, and this was with the stock fans.
The fans are okay, but the glue used is uneven and too thick and does not do a good job. The card
will have Tennmax Stealth V3s on it by tomorrow. 🙂
Anywise, initially, it looks like the V5 is going to follow my V3 experiences so far…. We shall
What do you think of my formula? I would really
like to hear what you have to say on it and maybe I can take something
good and make it even better.
I am looking forward to playing around with some cC0 processors and
the i815 chip set. After that, water cooling is next if I can find an
easy/inexpensive way to do it.
I am always looking for ways to do more for people that are easy to maintain for them and inexpensive (No, I
don’t charge the people I know for my work, I do it for fun).
I am staying away from peltiers because of the high maintenance and
probability the end user will screw it up and burn it up. Water cooling
may be a good answer though if we can simplify it a bit and get the
costs down too.