3dfx Voodoo4 GPU gets modded into a laptop: double the VRAM, and overclocked VSA-100 chip

A modder has developed a PCB that houses the 3dfx Voodoo4 process, into an MXM format, working with laptops: VSA-100 chip overclocked, double to 64MB RAM.

2 minutes & 5 seconds read time

Not many gamers of today remember how much the industry was changed by 3dfx in the 90s, but now we've got a modder who has developed a PCB that features the VSA-100 chip, the chip that powered the Voodoo4 graphics card back in the day.

The 3dfx Voodoo4 graphics card was released 24 years ago, designed for power efficiency in a market that was quickly adapting to the mega-success of 3dfx at the time (NVIDIA and ATi, which was later acquired by AMD). Modder "sdz" talked about this modding experience on the Vogons forums, going through the steps and issues that he came across during the custom modification of the Voodoo4 GPU.

The modder created a working Voodoo4 GPU for laptops through a nifty MXM connector, designing the custom MXM carrier and using an FPGA to setup the required hardware and software connections, which is paramount in using older hardware like this. The new Voodoo4 GPU inside of a laptop was made to work with Windows XP, which was an operating system released closer to when 3dfx was still around.

3dfx Voodoo4 MXM GPU (source: sdx/Vogons)

3dfx Voodoo4 MXM GPU (source: sdx/Vogons)

3dfx's now ancient Voodoo4 was modded, with its original 32MB (can you imagine, we have 24,000MB on the GeForce RTX 4090, and most likely 32,000MB -- or 32GB -- on the next-gen GeForce RTX 5090 later this year) up to an awesome-to-see 64MB of RAM, while the VSA-100 chip itself was overclocked from its default frequency of 166MHz up to 192MHz.

The overclocked Voodoo4 GPU inside of the modded laptop scored 2035 points in 3DMark 2001 SE (only the champions will remember running this, I used to for years on end) which resulted in the highest-ever recorded score for a single VSA-100 chip. This overclocked VSA-100 chip used a desktop with an MXM connector instead of a laptop, because the GPU couldn't be overclocked in a laptop.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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