|The Monster 3D from Diamond is nowadays quite a
famous card. This is due to the fact that it's probably the most sold add-on
3D card with 3Dfx Voodoo chip on the market. It shares its features with
most of the other 4 MB Voodoo cards, the difference is mainly determined
by the games it is sold with and the connector cable, which Diamond lately
changed to a very high quality one.
To say it again, this card is used as addition to
your existing graphic card, using up another PCI slot ,but don't worry
about IRQs, the Monster 3D doesn't need one. The card needs to be connected
in between your exisiting graphic card and the monitor, using a special
cable to connect the output of your normal graphic adapter with the 2D
input of the Monster 3D. This procedure is the same as with any other Voodoo
card, the only difference is the quality of the connection cable. If it
is of low quality, it can degrade the quality of the 2D signal of your
2D graphic adapter. Diamond is lately using a very thick high quality cable.
3D graphic cards with 3Dfx Voodoo chip have pretty
much revolutionized the gaming market in the last 12 months, because these
cards can display high quality 3D at a pretty high speed. Many games are
using the proprietary 3Dfx 'Glide'-engine to get the most out of the card,
but the Direct3D support is excellent as well. Until recently, Voodoo cards
were not only the quality, but also the performance leaders in the 3D gaming
market and the performance is still pretty competitive. The Voodoo scales
pretty clean from low end CPU to high end CPUs, giving even a 6x86 system
the power for decent 3D gaming, as well as letting a PII 300 system fly.
One of the theoretical disadvantagesof the Voodoo
chip is that it can accelerate 3D only in full screen mode, in a window
the 3D application will run as if the Voodoo chip wasn't even there. However,
this chip is made for 3D gaming, and who would play a 3D game in a window
anyway? The next disadvantage is the limited 3D screen resolution. The
Monster 3D ships with 4 MB onboard RAM, 2 MB for textures and 2 MB frame
buffer. In 2 MB frame buffer you can only get a 3D resolution of 640x480
pixels and this is the limit of the Monster 3D as well as most other Voodoo
cards. Only cards with more than 2 MB frame buffer can do higher 3D resolutions.
The advantages of the Monster 3D are much shinier
than the disadvantages. First you can continue using your 2D graphic adapter,
which comes in very handy if you've got a high quality 2D card that is
crap at 3D, like e.g. the Matrox Millennium I and II. You can use the Monster
3D with any graphic adapter available, regardless if it's
a 3D accelerator already, regardless if it's an AGP or PCI card. In case
you are using it with a (maybe slower) 3D accelerator card, you only will
have to tell the games which card or engine you want to use.
The second advantage is the wide support of 3Dfx's
3D engine. Hardly any games developer would dare not supporting the 3DFx
'Glide', and from what you hear, the games developers are pretty pleased
with 3Dfx's engine anyway. This means that if you buy a game, you can count
on good picture quality and high 3D performance with Diamond's Monster
3D. What else can you ask for? Reason number three is the Voodoo's 3D image
quality. So far I still have to see a card that's supporting all the 3D
features that the Voodoo supports. I haven't seen any game or benchmark
yet, which wouldn't look best on the Monster 3D. The last reason for buying
this card could be this special 'OpenGL' portation of the 'Glide'. This
doesn't mean that the 3Dfx Voodoo can do real OpenGL, but it does OpenGL
good enough for running some games written for OpenGL, like the famous
GLQuake or the newer GLHexen. A Quake player that hasn't seen GLQuake on
the Voodoo chip hasn't really played Quake. It is almost unreal how much
better it looks than the standard version. Quake II will support the Glide
in an GL version as well.
All in all the Diamond Monster 3D is still one hell
of a 3D gaming card and you can use it in any system.
out where to buy the Diamond Monster 3D 4MB EDO
3D Image Quality
Motoracer: The Monster 3D offers a perfect 3D image.
Final Reality: A perfect image; cross, exhausts and
cloud - everything looks fine.
For more information about 3Dfx Voodoo cards go to