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Quote:Jim Keller, former chief architect of microprocessor cores at AMD, left the chip company for the second time last week to pursue other opportunities. Keller was in charge of the company’s next-generation x86 “Zen” cores, which take center stage in AMD’s roadmap and in its strategy to combat larger rival Intel. Not due out until sometime next year, a successful launch may be AMD’s final chance to reverse a multi-year slide.

AMD downplayed the significance of Keller’s departure, telling news source Hexus that it is still on track to sample “Zen” in 2016 and record first revenues in 2017. Mark Papermaster, AMD’s chief technology officer and senior vice president, will take over Keller’s responsibilities.

http://www.hpcwire.com/2015/09/22/chief-...exits-amd/

Its most likely not a good sign.  

Thoughts?
Probably not a good sign, but what other "opportunities" did he pursue? Like working for another company?
BTW, 14nm over at GloFlo seems to be progressing nicely, with the first step in tape-out:
http://www.techpowerup.com/216361/global...-good.html

Rumors are that AMD's Arctic Islands GPU might be made on GloFlo's 14nm process rather than TSMC's 16nm like NV's Pascal?!?

At least AMD might have Zen on 14nm when it's the same node as Intel's latest-gen once again in many years since - with 10nm Cannonlake being delayed to maybe the end of 2016 (with Kaby Lake coming out in the meantime, which would be like Skylake with the Broadwell L4 crystal well cache).
Wow that's a terrible sign! Nice find, ocre.

AMD looks completely done to me at this point, barring a miracle.
(09-30-2015, 02:40 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]Wow that's a terrible sign!  Nice find, ocre.

AMD looks completely done to me at this point, barring a miracle.

This can only be seen as a positive.

Roy Taylor will be moving into his position.

Roy can say "Moar corez!" with the best of them.
AMD considering other strategic options after failed investment deal


http://www.tweaktown.com/news/47756/amd-...index.html


Quote:Well, that deal has fallen through according to Bloomberg, which reports: "Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a struggling competitor to Intel Corp., was in talks to sell about a 25 percent stake to private-equity firm Silver Lake Management before the negotiations stalled, people with knowledge of the matter said".
 
Bloomberg added: "The two sides, which met over the summer, have put the discussions on hold after failing to agree on a price and strategy, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. AMD is also considering other strategic options, another person said".

So that 20% buy-out fell through.  Good.  Didn't want a Management firm buying AMD's shares. 

You guys know that AMD spun off Radeon Technologies Group, right?
(09-30-2015, 05:17 PM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]AMD considering other strategic options after failed investment deal


http://www.tweaktown.com/news/47756/amd-...index.html


Quote:Well, that deal has fallen through according to Bloomberg, which reports: "Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a struggling competitor to Intel Corp., was in talks to sell about a 25 percent stake to private-equity firm Silver Lake Management before the negotiations stalled, people with knowledge of the matter said".
 
Bloomberg added: "The two sides, which met over the summer, have put the discussions on hold after failing to agree on a price and strategy, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. AMD is also considering other strategic options, another person said".

So that 20% buy-out fell through.  Good.  Didn't want a Management firm buying AMD's shares. 

You guys know that AMD spun off Radeon Technologies Group, right?

Yeah, but they still own it
(09-29-2015, 09:48 AM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]Probably not a good sign, but what other "opportunities" did he pursue?  Like working for another company?


Yeah, that's the thing.....

He just up and left AMD and intends to pursue other opportunities. It was very sudden.
(09-29-2015, 11:01 AM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]BTW, 14nm over at GloFlo seems to be progressing nicely, with the first step in tape-out:
http://www.techpowerup.com/216361/global...-good.html

Rumors are that AMD's Arctic Islands GPU might be made on GloFlo's 14nm process rather than TSMC's 16nm like NV's Pascal?!?  

At least AMD might have Zen on 14nm when it's the same node as Intel's latest-gen once again in many years since - with 10nm Cannonlake being delayed to maybe the end of 2016 (with Kaby Lake coming out in the meantime, which would be like Skylake with the Broadwell L4 crystal well cache).

I heard Zen was gonna be manufactured at TSMC
(10-01-2015, 02:15 AM)ocre Wrote: [ -> ]I heard Zen was gonna be manufactured at TSMC

I'll start caring about Zen when I hear AMD built a CPU that is worth paying money for. Fire003
This is not going to end well.
(10-01-2015, 06:43 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]This is not going to end well.

For who? Do you really care if there are AMD CPUs?

Over 80% of the discrete buyers have given up on their GPUs as well.

It's the way of the world, companies that don't compete leave the market.
I just meant that things are not going to end well for amd. I think they are done.
(10-01-2015, 10:18 PM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]I just meant that things are not going to end well for amd. I think they are done.

Hmmmm....the company that hired people to follow me around the web getting me banned from websites because I posted for NVIDIA is going out of business???

I'll put it this way, if Oprah was AMD in this, I'd be Cruise:

Cruise_zaps_oprah

Fuck AMD and good riddance. They destroyed the forums I loved, had me run off lots of them, and paid shills to lie about their sub-par crap.

Couldn't happen to nicer guys. I feel bad for the legit people who work there, but their PR department breaks all ethical business rules.
AMD is cutting workforce by 5%: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/151001/amd8-k.html
Maybe that is why Jim left
(10-02-2015, 03:05 AM)SteelCrysis Wrote: [ -> ]AMD is cutting workforce by 5%: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/151001/amd8-k.html



Too bad AMD took the path of evil.

Engineers and tech staff certainly had nothing to do with their current rep, but all most people think of is the Advocates and jerks like Roy Taylor.
AMD's management is clearly bleeding the company dry and there is nothing the shareholders can do about it.
yep. About the time of the last Quarterly earnings report (which was terrible times pathetic ^2) they gave out a huge bonus to upper management and board members. I am not kidding, there were huge sums given, just like that, and with no good reason. Those greedy bastards just want to such out every ounce they can as long as AMD has any blood left to suck.

And here we are again, lay offs just a little while later. The money they gave each other just for the heck of it could have paid salaries but they dont give a fuck about that. Their board is taking this ship down and getting the riches on the way.
(10-04-2015, 08:44 AM)ocre Wrote: [ -> ]here is is

http://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/...believable


You can almost see them sitting on piles of money, snorting cocaine and watching Operation Scorpius on a 100" OLED while last year's Miss America runners up service them, laughing crazily about how intel will pay when the FX ninjas attack.



This is 3dfx 2.0. I wonder who will get their IP.
(10-05-2015, 12:04 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]This is 3dfx 2.0. I wonder who will get their IP.

NO!

3dfx was an honorable company that did business in an ethical manner, it was sad when they folded.

AMD has pretty much destroyed the tech industry forums with their Advocates, and mislead the public on numerous occasions for their own gains. (E.G. Bulldozer hype they knew was not true, Fury X "overclocker's dream"- yeah, bad dream)

If they hadn't lied and cheated, they probably wouldn't be in the spot they're in. They had a large loyal following that was pretty used to them being second best.
(10-05-2015, 01:53 AM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-05-2015, 12:04 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]This is 3dfx 2.0. I wonder who will get their IP.

NO!

3dfx was an honorable company that did business in an ethical manner, it was sad when they folded.

AMD has pretty much destroyed the tech industry forums with their Advocates, and mislead the public on numerous occasions for their own gains. (E.G. Bulldozer hype they knew was not true, Fury X "overclocker's dream"- yeah, bad dream)

If they hadn't lied and cheated, they probably wouldn't be in the spot they're in. They had a large loyal following that was pretty used to them being second best.

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that 3DFX died because their management got greedy and basically bled the company dry. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
(10-05-2015, 05:26 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-05-2015, 01:53 AM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-05-2015, 12:04 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]This is 3dfx 2.0. I wonder who will get their IP.

NO!

3dfx was an honorable company that did business in an ethical manner, it was sad when they folded.

AMD has pretty much destroyed the tech industry forums with their Advocates, and mislead the public on numerous occasions for their own gains. (E.G. Bulldozer hype they knew was not true, Fury X "overclocker's dream"- yeah, bad dream)

If they hadn't lied and cheated, they probably wouldn't be in the spot they're in. They had a large loyal following that was pretty used to them being second best.

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that 3DFX died because their management got greedy and basically bled the company dry.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

One thing about 3DFX that is similar is they overextended themselves buying STB, but the other issue is they went from being an agile design company with many quality OEMs to selling only their own self produced cards.

The cards weren't as good as NVIDIA's so they died.
(10-03-2015, 08:30 AM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]Too bad AMD took the path of evil.

Engineers and tech staff certainly had nothing to do with their current rep, but all most people think of is the Advocates and jerks like Roy Taylor.

Haha, I still can't get over how Kyle Bennett reared Roy Taylor's ugly head!!!
(10-06-2015, 02:01 AM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-03-2015, 08:30 AM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]Too bad AMD took the path of evil.

Engineers and tech staff certainly had nothing to do with their current rep, but all most people think of is the Advocates and jerks like Roy Taylor.

Haha, I still can't get over how Kyle Bennett reared Roy Taylor's ugly head!!!

Word.

AMD wasn't fooling anyone with that "fair reviews" BS.

They are reaping what they have sown.
(10-05-2015, 07:15 AM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-05-2015, 05:26 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-05-2015, 01:53 AM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-05-2015, 12:04 AM)SickBeast Wrote: [ -> ]This is 3dfx 2.0. I wonder who will get their IP.

NO!

3dfx was an honorable company that did business in an ethical manner, it was sad when they folded.

AMD has pretty much destroyed the tech industry forums with their Advocates, and mislead the public on numerous occasions for their own gains. (E.G. Bulldozer hype they knew was not true, Fury X "overclocker's dream"- yeah, bad dream)

If they hadn't lied and cheated, they probably wouldn't be in the spot they're in. They had a large loyal following that was pretty used to them being second best.

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that 3DFX died because their management got greedy and basically bled the company dry.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

One thing about 3DFX that is similar is they overextended themselves buying STB, but the other issue is they went from being an agile design company with many quality OEMs to selling only their own self produced cards.

The cards weren't as good as NVIDIA's so they died.

Actually, the 3dfx engineers had Rampage ready but they were all laid off before these cards were mass produced.  If Rampage came out, it would have blown Geforce3 out of the water, and given ATI even more competition with their late Radeon 8500.  One guy actually has a working Rampage sample and included quite a bit detail about it in his blog:
http://www.thedodgegarage.com/3dfx/rampage.htm
It was actually going to be called Specter 1000/2000/3000, moving away from the Voodoo brand name. 

I always knew that 3dfx should've never bought STB before they pulled the trigger.  It was unbelievable how quickly they ran head-first into a financial wall - and what is even more unbelievable is how AMD has been miraculously surviving the chronic bleeding for years now.

I've been hearing rumors of Sony completely shutting down everything except for the console (PS4) dept and the Hollywood movie production studio.  Sony's showcase store in Manhattan near the Rockefeller center is sadly gone.  I really liked that place.
Bofox,
It is easy to say stuff like that.  "rampage was so great it would have blown everything out of the water" and "it was complete and ready but we had to lay everyone off before it could be mass produced."

talk is cheap. We always here stuff like that.  Remember AMD and how they were building a true quad core CPU.  A native quad and how much better it was supposed would be than intel's  method of stacking two dual cores together.  Remember all the hype before Bulldozer and how it was supposed to not onlyt put AMD back in the game but people literally expected it to bulldoze intel.  See had AMD went belly up just before any of those architectures, those hyped up rumors would have survived and that is what we would remember them as....not what they actually turned out to be.  See, no one expected the pathetic outcome of the original phenom.  It was an absolute surprise but not in a good way.  The bulldozer was epic as well, an epic failure to such a degree it too was hard to imagine....although by then, there were people who didnt expect much from AMD but even then, very few people thought it would turn out as bad as it did.

It is easy to imagine that 3DFX was just about to release a come back GPU that would surpass everyone else.  Actually, as a chip maker in those days, it was an expectation that your fresh new launching chip surpasses other chips that were already out on the market.  

It is easy to things and talk is cheap.  

the link you have tells us that the Rampage was a long way from launching.  Minimum 6 months, realistically up to a yr.  
This would have put it launching in 2001.  Since we dont know anything but some paper specs, no one could possibly know if it actually would have blown anything out of the water.  There is more to it than bandwidth, a lot more to it.  For starters, drivers.  The "Specter" would have to run DX games, how well they done this is anyones guess.

Paper specs mean little, we all know that.  Especially though, this couldnt be more true when we are talking about GPUs.   But going by paper specs alone, if we look at the specter specs from wiki, those dont support the guy claiming that it was so far ahead of nvidia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3dfx_Inter...bankruptcy
scroll to the spectre "Rampage" on the chart.  

now look at nvidias
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nv...sing_units

The spectre doesnt look very impressive paper spec wise compared to the Geforce2 gts/pro, which would already have been out.  Paper specs alone, its not impressive unless you consider their imaginary x2 card.  There existed not a single one, not even an engineering sample.  They literally just added the specs together, to represent a card that is made up in imaginations only.  It was imagined to be two chips on one PCB.  Whether or not that was feasible or how well it scaled is anyone's guess.    

Just for the record, the voodoo5 6000 (that unreleased GPU that had a whopping 4 VSA-100 chips on it) had jaw dropping paper specs but in actual performance it would be demolished by the Geforce2.

http://www.x86-secret.com/articles/diver...6kgb-7.htm

The voodoo5 6000 wasnt even feasible in its day. Most people would have literally had to buy an extra power supply just to run that card. But 3DFX was such a mess at this time that they were not only dreaming up these things, they actually were telling the press it was on its way.

But lets forget about the terrible idea of 4 chips on a single PCB. If we look at the Voodoo5 5500, which was a dual VSA-100 power suckle, with its awesome paper specs it couldnt keep up with a geforce1 the geforce 256DDR.

So, the specs of their dual rampage are much more meaningless than the specs of the single chip versions. The scaling of twice a single chip is a joke. The paper specs of the 3DFX Rampage arent impressive, not the Spectre 1000 or the 2000. These specs were not impressive for the 2000-2001 era.

We just have a case where people attached to the company really wanted to see them do something great. And just like the phenom and bulldozer, this thing got hyped up. Sure, i would have loved to see what a rampage could have done in the real world. But that is the thing, they were a long way from launching. Drivers and games are very different than theoretical performance. We dont know how well it could have really done.

Just like today, we hear all this hype about AMDs Zen. If AMD goes under, this hype is all people will know about. That is how it will be remembered. See, 3DFX was a long way from launching their rampage. They just got the Voodoo5 x2 5500 chip out and went under. If you ask me, the rampage was at least a yr away from feasibility when the company went under, it wasnt ready for manufacture. It is hard for me to see how it could have saved them at all.
Good post Ocre!

You are correct, that was the beginning of NV's "big GPU dominance" and launching 2-4 less capable GPU cards was not the way forward. Nonetheless, as Voodoo1 and Voodoo2 buyer, 3DFX will always have a place in my heart. Back then, you had 3DFX or it sucked.

You're also right about the FailDozer hype, if AMD would have went broke for the next ten years we would have heard about how they were about to change the whole industry. (when the reality was they were about to be laughed at for releasing a slower chip than their last one)
(10-08-2015, 06:33 AM)ocre Wrote: [ -> ]Bofox,
It is easy to say stuff like that.  "rampage was so great it would have blown everything out of the water" and "it was complete and ready but we had to lay everyone off before it could be mass produced."

talk is cheap. We always here stuff like that.  Remember AMD and how they were building a true quad core CPU.  A native quad and how much better it was supposed would be than intel's  method of stacking two dual cores together.  Remember all the hype before Bulldozer and how it was supposed to not onlyt put AMD back in the game but people literally expected it to bulldoze intel.  See had AMD went belly up just before any of those architectures, those hyped up rumors would have survived and that is what we would remember them as....not what they actually turned out to be.  See, no one expected the pathetic outcome of the original phenom.  It was an absolute surprise but not in a good way.  The bulldozer was epic as well, an epic failure to such a degree it too was hard to imagine....although by then, there were people who didnt expect much from AMD but even then, very few people thought it would turn out as bad as it did.

It is easy to imagine that 3DFX was just about to release a come back GPU that would surpass everyone else.  Actually, as a chip maker in those days, it was an expectation that your fresh new launching chip surpasses other chips that were already out on the market.  

It is easy to things and talk is cheap.  

the link you have tells us that the Rampage was a long way from launching.  Minimum 6 months, realistically up to a yr.  
This would have put it launching in 2001.  Since we dont know anything but some paper specs, no one could possibly know if it actually would have blown anything out of the water.  There is more to it than bandwidth, a lot more to it.  For starters, drivers.  The "Specter" would have to run DX games, how well they done this is anyones guess.

Paper specs mean little, we all know that.  Especially though, this couldnt be more true when we are talking about GPUs.   But going by paper specs alone, if we look at the specter specs from wiki, those dont support the guy claiming that it was so far ahead of nvidia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3dfx_Inter...bankruptcy
scroll to the spectre "Rampage" on the chart.  

now look at nvidias
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nv...sing_units

The spectre doesnt look very impressive paper spec wise compared to the Geforce2 gts/pro, which would already have been out.  Paper specs alone, its not impressive unless you consider their imaginary x2 card.  There existed not a single one, not even an engineering sample.  They literally just added the specs together, to represent a card that is made up in imaginations only.  It was imagined to be two chips on one PCB.  Whether or not that was feasible or how well it scaled is anyone's guess.    

Just for the record, the voodoo5 6000 (that unreleased GPU that had a whopping 4 VSA-100 chips on it) had jaw dropping paper specs but in actual performance it would be demolished by the Geforce2.  

http://www.x86-secret.com/articles/diver...6kgb-7.htm

The voodoo5 6000 wasnt even feasible in its day. Most people would have literally had to buy an extra power supply just to run that card.  But 3DFX was such a mess at this time that they were not only dreaming up these things, they actually were telling the press it was on its way.

But lets forget about the terrible idea of 4 chips on a single PCB.  If we look at the Voodoo5 5500, which was a dual VSA-100 power suckle, with its awesome paper specs it couldnt keep up with a geforce1 the geforce 256DDR.

So, the specs of their dual rampage are much more meaningless than the specs of the single chip versions.  The scaling of twice a single chip is a joke.  The paper specs of the 3DFX Rampage arent impressive, not the Spectre 1000 or the 2000.  These specs were not impressive for the 2000-2001 era.

We just have a case where people attached to the company really wanted to see them do something great.  And just like the phenom and bulldozer, this thing got hyped up. Sure, i would have loved to see what a rampage could have done in the real world.  But that is the thing, they were a long way from launching.  Drivers and games are very different than theoretical performance.  We dont know how well it could have really done.

Just like today, we hear all this hype about AMDs Zen. If AMD goes under, this hype is all people will know about.  That is how it will be remembered.  See, 3DFX was a long way from launching their rampage.  They just got the Voodoo5 x2 5500 chip out and went under.  If you ask me, the rampage was at least a yr away from feasibility when the company went under, it wasnt ready for manufacture.  It is hard for me to see how it could have saved them at all.

OpenGL was always Nvidia's strength.  Even TNT2 Ultra gave Voodoo3 3500 a serious run for its money in Quake3, in 16-bit color mode.  Voodoo5 6000 still came within a few % of Geforce2 GTS in Quake3, at 1280x1024 resolution.  The scaling was wonderful for that resolution.

It was quite simple to do SLI back then.  Surely, it would have been ready as well, if 3dfx didn't have all of these financial problems.  Obviously, R&D was being cut, projects were being delayed, etc..   But then again, putting 2 of these chips on a card was something 3dfx engineers could easily do, as proven with the awesome Voodoo5 5500 that I had (awesome for full AA in games just a couple years old like Need for Speed 3, etc..).  The Rampage Specter 3000 would've mopped the floor with Geforce 2 Ultra, the first $500 gaming card.  With DX8 and additional DX9 capabilities, even Geforce3 would've had a hard time keeping up with the dual Specter with Sage T&L unit.  Apparently, you missed this part:
Quote:Although there's only 1 TMU per pipe, the chip can out match the NV20 in Multi-texturing as it can apply 8 textures in a single pass. This is done using Rampage's texture computer and its unique "loopback" function.

And this part as well:  "The REV-A1 boards screamed. We were laid off on Friday we had debugged that board till Thursday night. It ran Quake3, It would have been a real threat to Nvidia due to cost and performance. We hit 250 Mhz DDR"

Why would they lie about it, long after it's been history, long after 3dfx was out of business??  Anyway, the blogger does not claim that Rampage would've saved the company - being humble enough to say

Quote:"Could Rampage have saved the company? Without knowing all the facts it is tough to say, but it would have been another 6 months before the first SPECTER boards started showing up on the shelves with only the Daytona and the older Napalm chips to shoulder the burden till then. The Specter family of boards was very powerful and would have outperformed any other current graphics solutions by a wide margin."

Well, 3dfx was already doomed with the delayed Voodoo5 anyway.  If they never bought STB, it would have been delivered at least 6 months earlier, preventing some more of the damage that Nvidia was doing with their full 32-bit color support (with a heavy 50% performance hit that was usually not feasible until the DDR version of Geforce), and their heavily advertised T&L unit that was not practical until Max Payne a couple years later (when Geforce3 was out anyway).  3dfx would've continued to work hard on their projects, perhaps even hiring more engineers, and delivered Rampage before Nvidia's Geforce3. 

But Ocre, maybe you're right - like the plagued Voodoo5 6000 that was never really fixed, perhaps 3dfx would've also had issues with Rampage in SLI and with that T&L unit.  It would've been kickass to have RGMSAA and 16x AF long before Nvidia or ATI made these features feasible.  Just imagine how much better games would've looked with at least 8x AF with its efficient 8-pass "loopback" texturing function?

Also, I held onto my Voodoo5 5500 for years, for optimal Glide experience with key games such as Unreal Tournament, Half Life, etc..  Couldn't stand the glide wrappers that not even my Geforce4 Ti could handle as nicely.  Glide might have lived on a bit more if Voodoo5 wasn't delayed, and especially if Rampage was produced. 

Ahh, nostalgia during my most crazed gaming period of my life!  When playing games so much, for hours and hours, more IQ could not be overvalued.
(10-09-2015, 05:34 PM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]Good post Ocre!

You are correct, that was the beginning of NV's "big GPU dominance" and launching 2-4 less capable GPU cards was not the way forward. Nonetheless, as Voodoo1 and Voodoo2 buyer, 3DFX will always have a place in my heart. Back then, you had 3DFX or it sucked.

You're also right about the FailDozer hype, if AMD would have went broke for the next ten years we would have heard about how they were about to change the whole industry. (when the reality was they were about to be laughed at for releasing a slower chip than their last one)

At this rate, AMD might just as well bleed for another 10 years if AMD has demonstrated this miraculous inability to die!!!
LOL! I had forgotten 3DFX and the T&L unit that wasn't.

Didn't they say Voodoo 5 had hardware T&L acceleration and it turned out to be driver based or something like that?

Those were different times-

We had 3DFX, NVIDIA, Matrox, Rendition, PowerVR, ATi all struggling to claim the 3d computer gaming market. The internet was barely around, so we subscribed to Computer Shopper and Computer Gaming World.
Simply put: AMD's CPU segment is really the thing that would've killed AMD off if they didn't have the Radeon. AMD's CPU is dead, and I do not believe in AMD's Zen. It will just be another Phenom II, prairie-dogging against Intel's Kaby Lake.

AMD's Radeon is impressive with a few of the 3dfx engineers acquired (while NV acquired most of the 3dfx engineers), helping to develop a decent Crossfire "SLI" capability, etc.. and is probably the metaphysical (hello Poppin) reason that AMD is still alive today. Tongue
Here is an article explaining Rampage in depth:
http://ixbtlabs.com/articles/3dfxtribute/index.html
(10-10-2015, 12:15 AM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]Here is an article explaining Rampage in depth:
http://ixbtlabs.com/articles/3dfxtribute/index.html

Ah, the good ol' T-Bluffer!



(10-09-2015, 10:55 PM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]LOL! I had forgotten 3DFX and the T&L unit that wasn't.

Didn't they say Voodoo 5 had hardware T&L acceleration and it turned out to be driver based or something like that?

Those were different times-

We had 3DFX, NVIDIA, Matrox, Rendition, PowerVR, ATi all struggling to claim the 3d computer gaming market. The internet was barely around, so we subscribed to Computer Shopper and Computer Gaming World.

Nope, never a mention of T&L unit for Voodoo5, I think.  Perhaps what you were confusing it with was 22-bit color on Voodoo3 that looked decent with the games back then (or the limited texture size of 256x256 that I disliked).  Most games didn't even use more than a million colors anyway, and it just the screenshots that made 22-bit color look overly dithered when in action, it didn't matter due to such limited color gradient in practically all of the games, especially the sky in Quake3 that still showed banding in 32-bit color mode.  Games looked so awful in DX6/DX7 mode anyway, and it was optimized OpenGL that looked best until DX8/DX9.  Unreal Tournament did look better in the beta OpenGL mode that was patched later on (which provided great scaling, unlike Glide), but was missing out a couple of the original graphical features. 
Even Nvidia's Geforce4 MX cards released wayyy later on supported only DX7.  If it could still be that wildly successful just by the time DX9 was around the corner with Far Cry, with 9700 Pro to power it, I really think 3Dfx could've hung in there very nicely for the time being if they didn't buy STB, and used the $$ to better advertise certain features.  It didn't help that circa year 2000 was such a chaotic time of tech business when all of the enthusiasts spending $300 on a card wanted the latest features that wouldn't be feasible until 2-3 generations later (and only on these later cards) anyway. 

I wonder how much things would have been different today with GPU technology had 3dfx chosen a different path, lessening its focus on Banshee and Voodoo3, ignoring STB's buy-me-out plea (that caused critical delays with fabbing schedules), and accelerating Voodoo5 to beat Geforce DDR's launch date...    While Geforce SDR was "meh, blah", the DDR was much more impressive, and then Geforce 2 GTS completely shook the world.  Then that's where Rampage would've come in, to tame the Geforce2 Ultra a few months later on while Geforce3 was extremely unimpressive.

Ahh, now I think I remember what you might've confused it with.  3dfx was advertising Voodoo5 6000 to be the first gigapixel card ever, but GF2 Ultra took that title.  GF2 Ultra even had 2 GigaTexels/sec, over 4x that of Geforce DDR. 

I really think that Specter 3000 would've beat Geforce3 Ti500 in more cases than not.  Only Geforce4 Ti would've taken the crown back with vertex shading prowess, but 3dfx would've had some considerable time on the throne in 2001 with RGMSAA and 16x AF goodness that would've made it very hard for gamers to switch back to Nvidia until 3dfx got ready with their next release after Rampage.  But then the legendary 9700 Pro with a 256-bit bus released just a few months after Geforce4 Ti made sure that the Radeon brand was here to stay...  Nvidia probably needed 3dfx to beat ATI after that, lol..

Ahh- interesting (from http://www.rashly3dfx.com/products/rampage.html ): 
Quote:The original Rampage chip was actually scheduled to be released before the Voodoo 2. Of course it was much different than the later Rampage chips, but they never had all the features complete. Instead they released the Voodoo 2 as a gap filler until Rampage was ready. Ballard wanted a 2D/3D card ASAP though, so Banshee ended up being released. By that time, they ahd to completely redesign rampage, so Voodoo 3 was released as another gap filler and later the Voodoo 4/5 to stay in the market until Rampage was ready. 3dfx claimed bankruptcy before it was ever ready, but by the time of thier demise, it was working(to an extent).

The Rampage chip would have been released on the cards named "Spectre", to be released late 2000, early 2001 if everything was on time. Since it wasn't on time, tapeout was scheduled for March 2001. They didn't want to continue the Voodoo brand name on account of a totaly new architecture.

The only Rampage technology nVidia has used thusfar is a decent chunk of the 2D engine in the NV25 and NV30. There is speculation that 3dfx's Fusion design was merged with nVidia's original NV30 design (hence the FP16/FP32 dual formats) for the final NV30, but there is no proof of this. One of Rampage's lead engineers (Emmett M. Kilgariff) was responsible for the NV40's pixel shading and texturing technology (including the L2 cache implementation). About 100 3dfx engineers were asked to work at nVidia, and out of the ones that took the job, more than 60% of them were working on the nForce project (their input would go to the nForce2+).

Ocre, here's something to cure your skepticism:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmTSRdE-Gb4
(10-10-2015, 05:05 AM)RolloTheGreat Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-10-2015, 12:15 AM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]Here is an article explaining Rampage in depth:
http://ixbtlabs.com/articles/3dfxtribute/index.html

Ah, the good ol' T-Bluffer!




Oh, LOLOLOL.  Nice!!!
(10-09-2015, 10:39 PM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]OpenGL was always Nvidia's strength.  Even TNT2 Ultra gave Voodoo3 3500 a serious run for its money in Quake3, in 16-bit color mode.  Voodoo5 6000 still came within a few % of Geforce2 GTS in Quake3, at 1280x1024 resolution.  The scaling was wonderful for that resolution.

It was quite simple to do SLI back then.  Surely, it would have been ready as well, if 3dfx didn't have all of these financial problems.  Obviously, R&D was being cut, projects were being delayed, etc..   But then again, putting 2 of these chips on a card was something 3dfx engineers could easily do, as proven with the awesome Voodoo5 5500 that I had (awesome for full AA in games just a couple years old like Need for Speed 3, etc..).  The Rampage Specter 3000 would've mopped the floor with Geforce 2 Ultra, the first $500 gaming card.  With DX8 and additional DX9 capabilities, even Geforce3 would've had a hard time keeping up with the dual Specter with Sage T&L unit. 
The voodoo5 5500 was two VSA-100 chips on one PCB, the vsa-100 was an updated avenger chip used in the voodoo3.  In a time when 3dfx was really slipping behind, they spent valuable time updating the avenger architecture to finally release the dual chip voodoo5 5500 in june of 2000. You may or may not know this but one of the major reasons in updating the avenger chip was scalability, its design centered around using more than one chip on a single board. The letters in VSA-100 stand for Voodoo Scalable Architecture.  

But why waste valuable time updating the Avenger architecture ballooning its 8 million transistors to 14 million if it was just so easy to put 2 chips on a single card all along.  Why didnt they just throw 2 avenger chips on a single pcb and had a card nearly as powerful as the voodoo5 5500 -a year and 3 months earlier- in march of 1999?    

3DFX was struggling to keep up and their solution was to use multiple chips in order to compete.  The VSA-100 came as a result of that ambition, the first GPU to use the chip was the Voodoo 5500, which was a dual chip design.  The only issue in my opinion is that 3DFX didnt have the valuable time it took to make that happen.

The Spectre 3000 never existed, not even in a C-clamped and duct tape form.  We can only imagine if the Rampage already had VSA-100 like scalablity features baked in its design....but if it did, then what a waste for engineers to be sampling and testing single chip configurations.  Especially more interesting considering that the VSA-100 debuted in a dual chip GPU right off the bat.  And i guess that is one of the bigger issues i took with the blog and information you first posted.  The figures and numbers the guy spouts out ("10.2 GB/S bandwidth with a fillrate of 1600-2000Mpixels/S. To give you a point of reference Nvidia didn't have anything matching these performance specs till....") and the story of how they had everything done but were laid off before it could be mass produced, they dont align at all.

the only thing engineers had was some very very early stage single chip prototypes. So quoting specs of the 100% imagined spectre 3000.........there was none of those ready.  The feasibility and ability of the rampage is a complete unknown, the 8 or so engineering prototypes dont tell us much except that they were in development of a new architecture.  But there is a lot that would have had to happen from that point until the spectre 3000 could have launched.  For starters, engineering samples which just dont exist.    

(10-09-2015, 10:39 PM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]Apparently, you missed this part:

Quote:Although there's only 1 TMU per pipe, the chip can out match the NV20 in Multi-texturing as it can apply 8 textures in a single pass. This is done using Rampage's texture computer and its unique "loopback" function.
And this part as well:  "The REV-A1 boards screamed. We were laid off on Friday we had debugged that board till Thursday night. It ran Quake3, It would have been a real threat to Nvidia due to cost and performance. We hit 250 Mhz DDR"

Why would they lie about it, long after it's been history, long after 3dfx was out of business??  Anyway, the blogger does not claim that Rampage would've saved the company - being humble enough to say

Quote:"Could Rampage have saved the company? Without knowing all the facts it is tough to say, but it would have been another 6 months before the first SPECTER boards started showing up on the shelves with only the Daytona and the older Napalm chips to shoulder the burden till then. The Specter family of boards was very powerful and would have outperformed any other current graphics solutions by a wide margin."
So it ran Quake? okay, that is great. But how well? Yeah......that is kind of important.
Why would they lie? That is interesting cause i am not calling them liars. Just saying.....
There is no way that anyone knows what would of or could of happened. We do know for sure what did happen though. And anyone claiming this or that would have been the outcome in some made up event that is all in there head........that is all just wild speculation.

If he says they were able to run the DDR at 250mhz, well that is great!!!!
But is that supposed to convince me that nvidia would have been in some serious trouble? HOW?

Do you remember when intel was wiping the floor of AMD using bulky and much slower front side buses? The 250mhz DDR doesnt somehow mean that nvidia would be in trouble nor does the fact that the prototype board actually booted up and ran quake. I mean, at the very least......shouldnt it boot up and play at least one game? And that is all we have, some paper specs and the very least real info we could possibly have. It booted a game, WOW!!!


(10-09-2015, 10:39 PM)BoFox Wrote: [ -> ]Well, 3dfx was already doomed with the delayed Voodoo5 anyway.  If they never bought STB, it would have been delivered at least 6 months earlier, preventing some more of the damage that Nvidia was doing with their full 32-bit color support (with a heavy 50% performance hit that was usually not feasible until the DDR version of Geforce), and their heavily advertised T&L unit that was not practical until Max Payne a couple years later (when Geforce3 was out anyway).  3dfx would've continued to work hard on their projects, perhaps even hiring more engineers, and delivered Rampage before Nvidia's Geforce3. 

But Ocre, maybe you're right - like the plagued Voodoo5 6000 that was never really fixed, perhaps 3dfx would've also had issues with Rampage in SLI and with that T&L unit.  It would've been kickass to have RGMSAA and 16x AF long before Nvidia or ATI made these features feasible.  Just imagine how much better games would've looked with at least 8x AF with its efficient 8-pass "loopback" texturing function?

Also, I held onto my Voodoo5 5500 for years, for optimal Glide experience with key games such as Unreal Tournament, Half Life, etc..  Couldn't stand the glide wrappers that not even my Geforce4 Ti could handle as nicely.  Glide might have lived on a bit more if Voodoo5 wasn't delayed, and especially if Rampage was produced. 

Ahh, nostalgia during my most crazed gaming period of my life!  When playing games so much, for hours and hours, more IQ could not be overvalued.
[/quote]

The Rampage could have been all that and a bag of chips, it could have been the excalibur of GPUs -OR- it might have not have been able to compete at all.
Just saying it had DDR or it ran at 250mhz, it is all pretty meaningless. Using it is one thing, how well it uses it is another. And this, we know nothing at all about.

I am just saying, the only chip that we see was being worked on is a single chip prototype. The specs of a single Rampage arent impressive at all, not when you look at other chips in the same era. And for all the special claims, the only real thing that matters is the real world performance of the final product, which was a good ways off. The chip might have needed a respin or erratum anything. There might have been issues in their new DDR memory controller.......just look at this for a minute. These were the very first samples of a new design that just got in the engineers hands. They were largely untested and very little known when it comes to their actual performance. I mean, my point is.......All we know about it is the hype. That is it




edit--------
i cant stop chuckling when i think of the DDR "250mhz" statement. I mean surely bofox, you know that an individual max capability of a prototype chip and the actual feasibility (when it comes to mass producing) are two drastically different things. Binning, binning, binning. I am sure nvidia has gm200 chips that could reach well over 1600mhz in the lab....do i really have to go any further? Anyway, just thought i might add that.
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