The All in 3Dfx Voodoo 2 SLI build

Jan 15, 2023 | Computing, Retro Gaming

Coming across the elusive Voodoo 2 12MB cards

Somehow, I managed to get 2 3DFx Voodoo 2 12MB cards and the SLI cable. Both cards came from various estate sales over the years and I even gave one away not knowing how it worked. As most people other than me would know, Voodoo cards do not actually output 2D graphics and you need to pass through the 2D part from a separate card with a VGA pass through cable. Once I knew what I had and what they could do, there was only one thing I could do and that was build the over the top, all in 3DFx Voodoo 2 SLI machine I could.

First Variation

The very first version I tried out was with a Super Socket 7 motherboard with AGP, PCI and ISA loaded with a AMD K6-II 400. I had nothing but issues with this configuration, from it not detecting a HDD over 60GB, any serial mouse working at all, bios issues, ram limits, and the CPU not being detected correctly or being able to set the correct CPU speed. I ended up swapping over to a Pentium 233 MMX which was much more stable. The IDE to Sata adapters were causing some sort of issue with the LBA settings and kept triggering false errors with CheckDisk on every boot.

For this version, I ditched the IDE to SATA adapters, lowered the ram and installed a PCI based PS/2 card. This finally gave me a working install of Windows 98SE.

Finding the software, drivers and games

Once I had the install finally stable with all the base drivers installed I could add the Voodoo drivers, something I had never done and had zero experience with. My first port of call was to get all the drivers and utilities for the cards that I had. I ended up finding even more files on as well which basically meant I could use any and all versions of the drivers I wanted to. After some trial and error I landed on using the ‘ FastVoodoo2 4.6’ drivers which seemed to give the best FPS and picture quality. I had a really weird issue with all the images looking extremely over exposed for some reason and discovered it was the Gamma settings in the Voodoo 2 Tweaker control panel that was causing the issue, once I pulled the sliders back it all fell into place.

The donut and Unreal Tournament demos worked flawlessly once I had these drivers installed. 

Now that I had it working, how do I get some games? I found this post on an old forum that listed all the games that had 3DFX Glide as an option. I dumped that list of games and scoured for old ISO’s and installs of every single of one them. I ended up with a total of 177/203 listed. Not a bad effort for a nights trolling on the internet.

2nd and hopefully final version

I still wasn’t satisfied with the build at this point and felt the CPU/Motherboard combo was holding everything back. I did some trolling on eBay and discovered that there were some really uncommon Slot 1 Baby AT motherboards with everything I needed with the addition of USB! Once I ordered one and it arrived the system came to life. The SSD’s worked, the USB mouse worked the PCI expansion card + 300GB hard drive worked and all was good in the world. I added a front mounted CF Card adapter for transferring files on and off the machine and also added an extremely over kill Nvidia Geforce 2 AGP card as the main 2D GPU. I was well aware that this thing would out perform the Voodoo’s but it actually offered the option of running the same games with Glide, OpenGL and Direct3D which gave some awesome benchmarking options.

So the final parts in the build are:

  • Slot 1 motherboard – LuckyTech / Sector SM-P6LX3 – Intel 440LX
  • Pentium II 300mhz
  • 512MB of Ram
  • 2x Voodoo 2 12MB in SLI
  • 64GB Sata SSD main boot drive
  • Nvidia Geforce 2 MX200
  • 300GB IDE drive split into 2 120gb partitions
  • 3.5″ Floppy
  • 5.25″ Floppy
  • DVD Rom Drive
  • Sound Blaster Vibra16 ISA sound Card
  • Promise IDE Card
  • CF to IDE adapter


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