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Review: 3dfx Mac Voodoo4 4500 PCI Graphics Card
By Mark A.
Review date: 11/9/2000

Review Summary
Intro | 2D Performance | 3D Performance | Game Performance | Installation | Summary

The Voodoo4 gives Mac users an exciting choice in graphics cards--although not without a few compromises.

In general, both 2D and 3D performance are excellent, especially given the Voodoo4's relatively easy-on-the-wallet price tag. While it costs $150 less than the Voodoo5, the Voodoo4 offers 3D performance that approaches that of the Voodoo5. And its 2D performance is just as good. Unless you're a hardcore gamer or a 3D graphics pro, there's no reason to choose the Voodoo5 over the Voodoo4--at least not until Macs get faster.

But should you choose a Voodoo branded card at all? The Voodoo4's image quality and compatibility are good--for the most part. However, this is 3dfx's first official offering for the Mac market, and some rough edges show. Color is a bit off, and that could frustrate graphics professionals who count on getting accurate color. In addition, the tested Apple Studio Display wasn't completely compatible with the Voodoo4. And the presence of some in-game and QuickTime movie artifacts suggest the drivers aren't completely ripe yet. If these are serious issues to you rather than minor quirks, you might want to wait a while to see if 3dfx resolves the issues.

For everyone else--the casual gamer who also uses productivity and graphics applications--the Voodoo4 4500 PCI is a fabulous value. You get solid 2D graphics, 3D game performance that lets you keep pace with the big boys, and the promise of MacOS X compatibility, all for a bargain basement price. I for one am glad 3dfx has set its sights on the Mac market, and I hope it helps foster more competition among graphics card manufacturers. Let the games begin!
-Mark Anthony

Requires: 3dfx officially supports the Voodoo4 and 5 when used only Apple G3 or G4 systems. (I.E. Beige G3 or later models, not G3/G4 CPU upgraded older models) Mac OS System 8.5 or higher.

Availability: For more information and the latest info on the Mac Voodoo4 4500 - see the 3dfx's Mac Voodoo 4 PCI product page. (links removed after 3dfx went out of business) Original list price was $169.99

Application and Game requirements will vary as far as CPU and memory requirements. For best results with modern 3D games like Quake3 and Unreal Tournament, I recommend 128MB RAM minimum, 256MB RAM preferred and a G3 or faster CPU.

For more information on graphics card topics and reviews of other models, see the Video Cards page.


Index of 3dfx Voodoo4 4500 PCI Review

Intro | 2D Performance | 3D Performance | Game Performance | Installation | Summary

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