Techworks – Power 3D2 review

PCI 3Dfx Voodoo2 3D-only card
Photo of Techworks – Power 3D2
£80 + VAT

The 3Dfx Voodoo2 chipset has proved to be one of the fastest 3D graphics solutions for PC gamers, and is supported by a large number of 3D games. The trouble is, compared with some competing technologies, the Voodoo2 chipset is a complicated beast, with three separate graphics processors not to mention plenty of memory chips. That tends to push the price of cards towards the £200 mark, but Techworks has come up with a card that’s less than half that price.

Visually, there’s little difference between this card and any other one based on the Voodoo2 chipset. The 3Dfx reference design has been used, with 24 separate chips providing the card’s 12MB of 3D texture memory. This is a PCI card, designed to be used in conjunction with an existing 2D card. For that reason, there’s a VGA connector cable included in the box that must be used in order to get a picture on-screen. It’s a somewhat clumsy solution, but no different to any other 3Dfx card.

Supporting Direct3D and the games sub-set of OpenGL, this card is a real screamer when playing the latest crop of 3D accelerated action games. It even comes with the necessary cable for connecting two identical cards together in SLI mode, should you really want to go to town with your 3D gaming. And, most important of all, it works flawlessly. Games are accelerated whether they access the card directly or go through one of the supported graphics APIs for Windows 95/98 or Windows NT. This can provide a real, tangible boost for older, slower systems, helping to put off the inevitable day of obsolescence.

Company: Techworks

Contact: 01753 898500


Verdict
There's really very little difference between this Voodoo2 card and the many others on the market from better-known manufacturers. Which begs the question; why are the others so much more expensive? If you're after fast, inexpensive 3D graphics acceleration for your PCI system, you're unlikely to do much better than this.