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Nvidia purchases 3dfx

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Friday, 15 Dec, 2000 @ 7:00 PM

3dfx has just announced that it will be purchased by Nvidia. 3dfx make the voodoo range of graphics cards, and traditionally have been the best supported cards under BeOS. Nvidia makes the leading windows 3d graphics card, the GeForce2. Nvidia has traditionally declined to provide Be with the information needed to create BeOS drivers. It is not yet known what will happen to the 3dfx product line, or if they will continue to be open with the needed specs for BeOS drivers. Time to support ATI Radeons and Matrox G400s?

31 Responses to “Nvidia purchases 3dfx”

  1. Andrew Genduso Says:

    There go my plans….

    Just when I thought 3dfx was doing things right and would be good for the future of BeOS… Oh well, I guess it’s time to start looking at a Matrox for my next system. *sniff*

  2. Nem Says:

    In Response To Andrew Genduso @ 12/15/2000 7:20:16 PM

    Re: There go my plans….

    yeah. true. true…
    G450 OEM versions w/16mb of ram go for $80 on pricewatch.
    The Radeon LE looks good too. Im waiting for the next beos release before I purchase anything at all though. I would really like to get a new vid card and a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz or that crazy Guillemot soundcard w/ the box that has the usb hum midi ports game port god knows what else.

  3. Eugenia Says:

    In Response To Andrew Genduso @ 12/15/2000 7:20:16 PM

    Re: There go my plans….

    I would go for an ATI Radeon…

  4. Andrew Genduso Says:

    In Response To Eugenia @ 12/15/2000 7:26:33 PM

    Re: There go my plans….

    Unfortunately, I have to use Win2K more than BeOS. (Hopefully that’s not permanent though…) Last time I tried an ATI on NT 4.0, I got continual BSOD problems, so I’m a bit reluctant to trust ATI’s drivers.

    If only I could make it a BeOS-only system. =)

  5. MrEntropy Says:

    In Response To Andrew Genduso @ 12/15/2000 7:20:16 PM

    Re: There go my plans….

    However, the price of 3DFX cards might drop in price because of this announcement. You might be able to get a good deal on a Voodoo 5.

  6. TheDuke Says:

    Unified NVidia Working Fine

    I have downloaded the Unified NVidia driver from BeBits and had excellent results driving a Diamond Viper V770 AGP card under both BeOS 5 PE and BeOS 5 Pro.

    I was kind of surprised you recommended ATI. I ran with an ATI All-in-Wonder Pro for a while but it would hang when dragging windows. That really got tiresome so I unloaded it on eBay.

    I liked the fact that NVidia had BeOS drivers available for download.

  7. kurt von finck Says:

    In Response To TheDuke @ 12/15/2000 7:52:37 PM

    Re: Unified NVidia Working Fine

    nVidia never had BeOS drivers available for download. they had a link that pointed at http://www.be.com. that’s hardly “supporting” BeOS.

  8. LeftTurn Says:

    Well, here’s an opportunity…

    Well guys, before totally slamming Nvidia for the purchase, now is a good time to email them and see what they have to say. Let them know your thoughts. If they hear from enough people, they may decide to provide support for BeOS. It’s worth a shot.
    Maybe Nutcase can corner them into an interview…

  9. Brad Says:

    In Response To Andrew Genduso @ 12/15/2000 7:28:27 PM

    Radeon + Win2k

    I have been running a Radeon DDR under Windows 2000 with no real problems to speak of. I play quite a bit of Unreal Tournament as well as edit levels for it. I also use 3DSMax 3.0 and Maya 3.0, all with no real problems. Skip the Matrox and give the Radeon the benefit of the doubt.

  10. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To TheDuke @ 12/15/2000 7:52:37 PM

    Re: Unified NVidia Working Fine

    Perhaps i wasnt super clear in the article. Thats my bad… I am referring to official support and full support, such as in the upcoming OpenGL release.

    I reccommend ATI because it is *by far* the best card to use with the upcoming OpenGL according to everyone i have asked with any connection to the project. The drivers for Be are astounding.

    I currently run a Nvidia card in BeOS, under the great 2d unified driver. But when OpenGL comes out, thats out the window, and there’s a Radeon 64mb DDR taking over.

  11. David Bruce Says:

    In Response To LeftTurn @ 12/15/2000 8:54:28 PM

    Re: Well, here’s an opportunity…

    Yeah, fair is fair, there is no reason to slam nVidea for this.

    email them and simply say you won’t buy another card of theirs unless they provide BeOS drivers. You might mention the ATI Radeon as the alternative purchase you have in mind.

    Also, if you buy a Radeon, be sure to email ATI and tell them that the reason you bought it was that BeOS drivers were available.

    We need to provide positive as well as negative feedback.

  12. georges Says:

    [No Subject]

    Ok, so this doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing for BeOS. The 3dFX 3D drivers are alreayd being made for Be.

    We may not get anymore openness from the new giant, but there are others… ATI and Matrox.

    I’d really like to see Sony stick the Emotion Engine on an AGP card :)

  13. Digger Says:

    I’ve got several all beos systems

    As everyone knows. Two use ATI all-in-wonder cards (one pro agp, the other pci) and I’ve had *excelent* luck with the 3rd party driver on bebits.

    The other machine uses a voodoo 3 card that I’m super happy with as well. So I’ll continue to support ATI if 3dfx goes belly up.


    Note: I’ve used Matrox cards under BeOS as well…enjoyed them too.

  14. Pieter Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/15/2000 10:02:00 PM

    Re: Unified NVidia Working Fine

    Hmmm, how do you know? ;)

    I juuuust can’t wait… maybe as a “present” for when my discrete math final is over (Monday) they can release OpenGL ;)


  15. Pieter Says:

    Another point of view

    Well, perhaps 3DFX can implant a little BeOS fanatism into NVidia. I’m not sure whether they’ll be moving into NVidia’s home, but you never know. They can see how well the 3DFX drivers are doing right now (and maybe beating the crap out of windows drivers) and then realize WHOA, we need to write some drivers too.

    Just a thought,


  16. mario Says:

    NVidia buys this and that, NVidia’s in bed with MS…

    Fuck NVidia.

    As usual.

  17. Doc Says:

    In Response To Pieter @ 12/16/2000 2:11:16 PM

    Re: Another point of view

    What do you want to bet that NVidia isn’t going to support BeOS at all. I bet that M$ told them not to deal with BeOS if they want their chips used in X-Box!!!! Them buying 3dfx not only gives them more edge in the graphics market but helps M$ out by cutting out one more thing BeOS cannot support. Crafty those M$ creaters.


  18. bigluke Says:

    In Response To Brad @ 12/15/2000 9:21:17 PM

    Re: Radeon + Win2k

    I have the Radeon 64mb DDR VIVO card. and If you have an TYAN Tiger 133. You can forget about the Radeon (atleast for now) their is no support for it. WinME will boot but crashes alot. Win2K will not even boot.And as far as BeOS is concerned no support their either.(Hope things change fot the better real soon)

  19. Chris Herborth Says:

    In Response To bigluke @ 12/17/2000 6:19:09 PM

    Re: Radeon + Win2k

    With my G400 Tiger 133, I had to turn _off_ AGP 4x and turn _on_ AGP Fast Writes in the BIOS, despite Matrox telling me to do it the other way around. Perhaps a similar tweak will help your system stability?

    - chrish

  20. EDY SENDRA Says:

    M$ MANUVER ?


  21. Pieter Says:

    In Response To Doc @ 12/17/2000 5:46:53 PM

    Re: Another point of view

    Well I thought about it but we’ll have to hope for the better.

    I’d assume the 3DFX HW OpenGL drivers will still be released for BeOS right? If that’s the case I’m gonna be really pissed.


  22. Pieter Says:

    In Response To Pieter @ 12/18/2000 03:28:35 AM

    Lacking sleep

    Heh, ok reverse that last sentence.

    I’d assume the 3DFX HW OpenGL drivers will still be released for BeOS right? If that’s NOT the case I’m gonna be really pissed.

    Discrete Math exam tomorrow, I’m doomed


  23. Frans van Nispen Says:

    Stalk NVidia

    As NVidia does make one of the best cards available, and drivers are a common problem to BeOS, it’s no use to call them names.
    We better organize ourselfs, and start stalking NVidia by Email, asking for drivers. If there are enough people mailing on a daily basis for a couple of days (or weeks), they have to see that there realy is a need for the drivers.

    Or Nutcase can set up a list where people can submit their names and Email, and it can be send as a bulk of electronic signatures to NVidia.

    Frans van Nispen.

  24. mlk Says:

    In Response To LeftTurn @ 12/15/2000 8:54:28 PM

    Re: Well, here’s an opportunity…

    Yeah, a interview would be cool…



  25. mlk Says:

    In Response To Pieter @ 12/18/2000 03:29:53 AM

    Re: Lacking sleep

    Discrete Math exam tomorrow, I’m doomed

    I wish you luck…

    mlk: Successfuly failled many DM exams (and dont the fun type :)

  26. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Frans van Nispen @ 12/18/2000 04:16:44 AM

    Just be judicious

    I think a large number of courteous emails from distinct addresses might be helpful, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for the same people to bombard them with another email every day - once they see that the emails are all coming from the same people over and over again, they’ll just ignore them and maybe get pissed off.

    We might also send some nice messages to ATI thanking them for their cooperation.

  27. LeftTurn Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 12/18/2000 11:41:48 AM

    Re: Just be judicious

    Good call. I had already emailed them the moment I read the story. I mentioned earlier that others should also, but I didn’t think about sending positive emails to ATI, think I’ll do that right now.
    Come on people, friendly emails to Nvidia, to try and get them on our team, and friendly emails to ATI, Matrox, and other companies that support us already.

  28. Mephisto Says:

    In Response To Frans van Nispen @ 12/18/2000 04:16:44 AM

    Re: Stalk NVidia

    Hei! Great idea!
    Mail NVIDIA, why didn’t anybody think of that before?

    Oh wait..
    We did.

    Really though, mailing NVIDIA, Adobe, and etc has been done over and over again.
    They already know the Be market, and if they don’t even reply to our mails, there must be a reason.

    But if you’re sending those mails anyway, power to you. Just please don’t make them rude, for the comunity’s sake..

  29. Andrew Kimpton Says:

    In Response To georges @ 12/15/2000 11:55:57 PM

    Re: [No Subject]

    > I’d really like to see Sony stick the Emotion
    > Engine on an AGP card :)

    Believe me - you really DON’T want this ! The Emotion Engine has an exceedingly ‘odd’ architecture (in order to keep performance up and costs down). That architecture makes writing software for it trickier than most - and would make providing drivers for a high level API like OpenGL complicated & longwinded.

    Andrew 8-)

  30. Andrew Kimpton Says:

    One possible rose in an otherwise weedy garden !

    Remember that the 3dfx drivers are being done by engineering folk at Be. The information used to write the drivers is the register level specs from 3dfx.

    Given access to register specs for a graphics controller a driver is at least feasible (whether it gets done or not depends on time, resources, etc).

    Whilst working at Be (I left six months ago) I had many conversations with nVidia about getting their register specs and writing drivers. None were ever forthcoming. The meetings were always friendly (on one occasion my contact remarked that at least the BeOS users don’t send death threats - unlike Linux users ! 8-( ). The specs were never released in a large part because of a concern over patent dispute issues. These types of documents have been used in the past to provide primae facie evidence of patent infringement.

    Since one of the largest patent disputes in the graphics world (between nVidia and 3dfx) has just been resolved in this deal, perhaps (I repeat perhaps…) the strength of the ‘patent argument’ has been reduced.

    It never hurts to ask - write polite letters. Point out that you’ve been a loyal customer in the past (to whichever brand - and be honest).

    Andrew 8-)
    One-time Graphics Driver Dude

  31. Russ Says:

    In Response To Andrew Kimpton @ 12/21/2000 00:27:12 AM

    Re: One possible rose in an otherwise weedy garden !

    All I need is a v770 driver for my video card.
    Feel free to E-mail me. Thanks.


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