King Shaman 20MB & MGV2020 4MB 2D Video Module Review

  • Hello everybody,

    after the Review of the Stoned Shaman 20MB written by Marlon, great and well-known Voodooalert Enthusiast whom I greet affectionately, it's time to review the next release created by Anthony:


    The King Shaman & MGV2020 2D Video Module



    When did Anthony come up with the idea?

    At the following address you will find one of the first posts where you thought about how and if it was possible to create a video card SLI Voodoo 1:


    Voodoo 1 Sli how it should be?



    Features of the King Shaman & MGV2020:

    • The King Shaman consists of two Voodoo (1) Graphics (FBI) chipsets and 4 Texture Mapping (TMU) units on a single PCB.
    • The total memory is 24MB.
    • 2MB for each FBI dedicated to the framebuffer.
    • 4MB for each TMU dedicated to textures.
    • 4MB for the MGV2020 2D video module.

    The King Shaman, combined with the MGV2020 2D video module, is an independent video card and can also be combined with another video card.


    Imagine having a system with a powerful Agp video card and King Shaman card with 2D video module installed at the same time.

    Sometimes, you want to play dos games (Vigre uses the S3 Trio 2D core which is famous for perfect dos mode compatibility) or you are something of a "pervert" (note from @Anthony 😉) and you like to see the acceleration 3D with S3 Virge. Thanks to the pass-through vga port, just connect your Agp video card to the King Shaman, replace the main video card, in the motherboard bios, selecting the boot from PCI and you're done.


    The King Shaman has the ability to "hear" the vga signal and guide it to the display. This vga switching is based on modern MAX4885AE vga switch chips and provides near perfect quality if you use good vga cable.



    Build quality and assembly:

    King Shaman & MGV2020


    MGV2020 (Logo S3 edit by Photoschop 😉)


    At first glance, at least from the photos, the King Shaman gives the impression of being very fragile.

    Instead, having it physically in your hands gives you a completely different impression. The card, combined with the video module and the passive heatsinks that I have personally added, weighs 390 grams.



    The precision of the assembly of the components on the PCB is impeccable, I would say almost "maniacal" (note of ciacara 😉) also because, in the event of problems with soldering and/or components, there is no debugging tool to identify any malfunction . It all depends on the quality of the components and the precision of the assembly. Now I understand why Anthony defines the assembly phase as "boring" and unnerving.


    It should be emphasized that the disassembly/assembly of the MGV2020 video module, even if assembled very well, must be carried out with care. Too quick and inattentive extraction and/or assembly of the video module would risk bending the contacts of the 14-pin connector (ciacara note 😉).



    Siligraphy and PCB color:


    Perhaps because I am in love with the Black color, I could not imagine this card, according to my personal tastes, of another color. The White Siligraphies drive me crazy, they stand out on the color of the PCB in an impeccable way. The Shaman graphics printed on the King Shaman are original designs by the Developer who was inspired by John Travolta's facial physiognomy (Anthony's note 😉). While the "ZXCXIV" logo is the acronym written in the "Roman Alphabet" of the nickname used by Anthony in his beloved homeland, Russia, which is zx-c64. Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, two other myths that are unforgettable for me (ciacara note 😊).


    However, for lovers of classic PCB color, a green version of the King Shaman and MGV2020 2D video module has also been released.


    King Shaman & MGV2020 Green PCB version



    Installation and User Manual:

    King Shaman and MGV2020 2D Video Module Installation and User Manuals


    Both hardware components, the King Shaman and the MGV2020 video module, have a user manual written by the developer, with the basic and essential functions for correct operation, installation of the software hardware and a section, in case of problems, of analysis and software debugging.


    In particular, the King shaman manual has undergone a revision of the text by John Shaul, another Enthusiast of the 3dfx world that I warmly greet, which has made the instructions written by the author even more understandable.


    I want to clarify that these creations are aimed at an audience of enthusiasts and experts of this world who, with their experience, can better manage this new video card with the heart managed by chips created by 3dfx.


    At the following addresses it is possible to download both manuals in Pdf format:


    King shaman https://drive.google.com/file/…sMzWjMXc/view?usp=sharing

    MGV2020 https://drive.google.com/file/…JqdgEqWO/view?usp=sharing


    The files have been added to this review anyway.



    Configuring OLD Version Tests:

    For the OLD session, given the amount of work done by @Marlon in the Review of the Stoned Shaman 20MB, I'll run the same tests with an Intel motherboard with 440BX chipset. I will be using all the Game Tests and Demos for a full comparison.


    Motherboard

    Asus P2B Rev.1.04 I440BX Bios 1014-003 (Fake Asus MB);)


    Ram

    512MB PC133


    CPU

    Intel Pentium II 264 - 66

    Intel Pentium III 363 - 66

    Intel Pentium II 448 - 112

    Intel Pentium III 600 - 100

    Intel Pentium III 750 – 100

    Intel Pentium III 1000 - 133


    Graphic Card

    King Shaman 20MB & MGV2020 4MB


    Reference graphics cards by Marlon

    Diamond Monster 3D

    2themax Voodoo II

    Stoned Shaman Voodoo Graphics SLI

    3dfx Voodoo 3 2000 PCI

    STB Velocity 128

    Asus V3800-M

    ATi Rage128 Xpert 2000

    Matrox Millennium G200

    Matrox Millennium G450 DH


    Audio card

    Ensoniq Audio PCI 5000 Creative ES1371


    Hard disk

    Maxtor D740X-6L 40GB


    Operating system

    Windows 98 Second Edition


    Video Driver

    Ciacarhaman-1.0 Driver Kit Post


    Benchmark Software

    3D Mark99

    Expandable Demo - Direct 3D

    Quake II - OpenGL

    Quake III Demo - OpenGL

    Unreal Tournament - Glide (Voodoo), OpenGL (Riva), Direct 3D (Rage128/ Matrox)

    Trespasser - Direct 3D


    Graphic Resolution

    640x480 16bit

    800x600 16bit


    The 640x480 graphic resolution was chosen to compare the results obtained also with the Diamond Monster 3D.



    Driver details


    Anthony's Video Card is accompanied by a CD with updated Q3D 100DB Drivers, a version for Voodoo 1 Monster 3d and the latest release of IceMan! for Voodoo 1.

    While, for the details of the Nvidia Riva 128ZX, Nvidia Riva TNT2 M64, ATi Rage 128 (Pro) and Matrox G450 Dual Head Drivers, I refer you to the Review written by Marlon for the Stoned Shaman.



    3DMark99Max (D3D)


    3DMark99Max was run with the SLI-D3D option enabled, with a resolution of 640x480 pixels. The Original Diagrams were drawn by Marlon and adapted, with the author's consent, by me to add the King Shaman results.



    While working with a 1.0Ghz cpu, the King Shaman is equivalent to the result of the Stoned Shaman. For now, there is a tie between the two Shaman Family graphics cards.



    Expendable (D3D)


    I really enjoyed this game, very fast-paced, with really bright colors and great effects. The tests were performed with all the cpu listed, the SLI-D3D option activated, with a resolution of 640x480 and 800x600 pixels.



    The differences between the King Shaman and the Stoned Shaman are almost non-existent, except for the section with 264Mhz and 448Mhz cpu, certainly due to the higher Fsb, for the 448Mhz cpu, and for the higher speed of the 264Mhz cpu.



    Quake II (OpenGL Quake)


    Quake II will give the possibility to manage well the graphics necessary for all video cards and CPUs of the test. It will launch with 3dfx OpenGL Quake and will be tested with a resolution of 640x480 and 800x600.



    King Shaman surprises and flies high compared to its younger sister and the Rage 128 Pro, in both resolutions. It manages to keep the comparison even with the g450 up to the pII 450Mhz cpu, then the matrox takes off with the higher cpu.



    Quake III Arena (3dfx OpenGL ICD)



    Here many more factors begin to play, compared to previous tests. Quake III will put both major computing components to the test. The tests will be performed with all available cpu at a resolution of 640x480 and 800x600, with 3dfx OpenGL ICD 505 and the options you see in the second image.



    King Shaman continues to surprise me in both resolutions. With the 1.0ghz cpu, at 640x480, it manages to reach the single voodoo2, distancing the Stoned Shaman and the Rage 128 Pro. While at 800x600, the voodoo2 and the Rage 128 Pro, are now tired and have a flat graphic, while the King Shaman continues to aim high and produce fps. I would like to see what would happen with a more powerful cpu.



    Unreal Tournament (Glide 3dfx)


    Unreal Tournament, another Arena of Enemies ready to put the King Shaman in difficulty. The tests will be performed with all available CPUs, using the default graphics dlls for each graphics chip, at a resolution of 640x480 and 800x600, with 3dfx Glide for King Shaman and the options you see in the image.


    Important note from Marlon, from the Stoned Shaman Review:

    “Under D3D and OpenGL, not all graphics details are displayed ex works, so ATi, NVidia and Matrox accelerators had to do less work to achieve a correspondingly higher FPS.

    However, the results obtained should argue even more in favor of Glide and its 3DFX accelerator.

    So I would like to thank "SuperMario" once again very warmly, who gave me the suggestion. "



    King Shaman is irrepressible. At 640x480 it seems as if possessed by the Glide Spirit pushing the FPS, with an unprecedented video quality and scalability, distancing everyone from the first test. It could even reach voodoo 3 2000 (could it? ...;)). But how could a Pentium 200MMX push such power if, neither my Pentium III 1000Mhz @ 133 nor Marlon's Pentium III 1100Mhz @ 100 did it with the Stoned Shaman? It's like having the Bugatti Veyron Supersport and trying to take it beyond 400km per hour in your home parking lot. It's impossible.

    At a resolution of 800x600 it respects the line of its younger sister, while maintaining good scalability and image construction, despite the initial sprint obtained with a Pentium II 400Mhz @ 66 (264Mhz) cpu. Is it possible that this card performs more with a @ 66 mhz bus? To investigate and remove all doubts, I will have to purchase the appropriate hardware and do further tests.



    Trespasser (D3D)



    Trespasser, a 98/99 hardware Tank. Few configurations were able to support it and make it playable/watchable, in fact, the adventure began before the game, it consisted of finding the right hardware, then moving on to the second level: installing Trespasser and playing with it ...8o

    Following the rules of the tests performed by Marlon, the first ones concern the Pentium II 448Mhz @ 112, while the second test will be performed with the Pentium III 1000Mhz @ 133.



    Having explored all the maps, looking for the point where Marlon had measured the performance of his video cards (friend, you drove me crazy 😅), I was able to appreciate the graphic rendering even in an Open Space environment. Only later did I realize that the performance was measured with the Trespasser demo ...8o


    However, I was pleased to find that King Shaman, with a Pentium II 448Mhz @ 112 cpu, was second only to its big sister Voodoo 3. This video card seems to like the resolution of 640x480 pixels very much, given the great performances shown. Even at 800x600 pixels it remains second only to the Voodoo 3, while for the Matrox g450 it is time to retire.

    With the Pentium III 1000Mhz @ 133 cpu, the King of the Shaman Voodoo1 family, still recovers 15% of Framerate compared to the Pentium II cpu, all this always at the resolution of 640x480. While the 800x600 resolution is equivalent to the performance of its younger sister Stoned Shaman. This confirms that the 640x480 pixel resolution continues to be increasingly popular with King Shaman. After this first part of testing, I can confirm that the 1996 Voodoo1 chip remains the undisputed king in the SLI field, even if it was never used at the time. This is because it made no sense to launch a video card on the market that could not be exploited to the maximum. Not even a cpu like that of marlon at 1100Mhz was able to do justice to the Stoned Shaman, just as the Pentium III 1000 did not give the right power to support the performance of this beast, the undisputed king of the Shaman Voodoo1 family.



    Developer Interview

    Well, to complete the Review, a short Developer interview will follow. It was May 8, 2020 and Anthony was busy building the 2D video module for Quantum3D 200sb and x24, the MGV2020-v2 4MB.

    We will also discuss Reverse Enginering Hardware with Anthony. To understand better, point out an article that I wrote some time ago and published on HWsetup/3dfxzone.

    Reverse Engineering (ENG Translation by G. Translator 😅)


    Anthony (zx-c64) with his King Shaman 20 MByte


    Hi Anthony and Welcome, tell us a little about yourself.

    • Have to say about myself that I'm very quiet person. I had an occupation as a web programmer, who do such things as HTML, CSS, Javascript, frameworks and bunch of server-side stuff. One day I found a new hobby as PCB designing and decide to drop web developing. Now this hobby grows to something slightly more to call it just a hobby.

    How did your passion for the world of hardware begin?

    • In yearly 90 '. When playing around with ZX hardware, you know, there’s a lot of great DIY expansion abilities, later continues on PC, of course.

    When did you think about using the Reverse Engineering for the first time?

    • I had good experience with Voodoo 1-2-3 cards at their glory days. Later, was interested in 3DFX hw again and found that sufficient amount of technical documentation is available. I thought, why not to try figure out how all these components connected?

    Why did your attention focus on Voodoo1 3Dfx models?

    • Mainly two reasons. Perfect Glide apps compatibility and very elusive models with configuration other than 1 FBI 1 TMU, 4MB total memory. Who will be interested, let's say, in V2, right? Although, I have almost completed V2 design, will do this board just for my kicks, once upon a time.

    Have your creations always been successful with the Reverse Engineering technique?

    Since you are an expert in this sector, tell us about the Reverse Engineering techniques that you have applied to carry out your past and present projects.

    • I'm not expert and hope, very much, not will. Just because it's very boring. All begins with sanding PCB layer by layer and scanning results. All scanned images i combining in graphics editor. After that, recreating schematics and creating symbols for CAD begins.

    The application of the Reverse Engineering on hardware is now clarified.

    For IC chips, for information purposes only, can you explain what they are, if Reverse Engineering can be applied and with what techniques?

    • Sure, IC chips reversing is possible. If we are talking about complex products, serious equipment and skills required, thus, it’s very expensive. I suppose, all begins with scanning too. Here is a good example of Reverse Engineering the MOS 6502 CPU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NZlrrAOxRU

    What is more involving for you, the Reverse Engineering of a Hardware component or an IC Chip?

    • Neither of them. As both these occupations are big time wasters. I’d hire someone to do such job.

    Do you want to add something that you have made just for you thanks to the technique of the Reverse Engineering?

    • I reversed very limited amount of PCBs. Certain models of V1, V2, V3, V4, V5 5500 and S.B. AWE64 CT4520. Couple of PCBs were scanned just for double checking as I had datasheets for all components.

    You still have so many projects in the drawer to carry out, can you give us some news on your future creations?

    • If you want to make god laughing, just tell him about your plans. This means, if you expose your plans, it's more than likely they will fail. I prefer keep my mouth shut regarding hw in developing, but I may say that I have interest in combined boards, when certain graphics chips reside on one PCB in unusual combinations.

    Do you want to add something?

    • Guess, something new will appear in this year. It mainly depends on logistics functioning these days. However, new cards designing leaves me almost no time for other occupations. Just for understanding, King Shaman was designed thru all summer of 2019, 8-10 hours per day, often including holidays. So, intentions and abilities, hope I will have both of them in future.

    Thank you Anthony.



    Special Thanks

    A warm Thanksgiving goes to Anthony K. (zx-c64) for sharing a bit of personal Knowledge, for supporting us in the realization of this Review.


    3DFX:

    Gone But Never Forgotten!:respekt:

  • Work draft under construction


    Welcome to the second part of the Review.

    As previously mentioned, in this review session there will be Stability tests with the New Driver Kit, Overclocking, tests on new configurations, etc etc.



    New Driver Kit

    For the King Shaman, I assembled a New Driver Kit, consisting of various updated files taken from multiple Driver releases, for Quantum3D 100DB and Voodoo 1 cards.

    I've been working on it for a while. I state that, I have not modified any file created by Q3D or 3dfx, I have only created/adapted the ".INF" file that best suits my needs.

    I must say that, having no notion about it, I found myself really in trouble, because I did not know the function of the installation commands, the lines for writing the windows registry, etc etc.

    Then, slowly, I started to understand the basic functions and I managed to get a good result.

    The hardest part was getting the original Q3D driver to work, which is based on a modified Glide2x API for Obsidian 100DB, and the new updated files, including the new glide2x / 3x api, taken from other releases that don't allow you to use the options specials, such as SLI for Direct3D, which positively distinguish the Q3D drivers from all the others.

    In short, I had to bring together and transport "the Wolf, the Goat and the Cabbage" in the same boat. I could not even change the name of the files to make them coexist because the system and the video card drivers could not recognize them and use them for their own purpose. Ditto for games and various Benchmarks.


    But I "have a hard head" and I managed to find a solution. :spitze:


    Given the work that went into all of this, the hours / tests I ran, the installation / uninstallation of drivers / hardware and windows 98 and 98se (imagine the stress :mauer:), I decided, based on experience that I have matured, to create this new Driver Kit.


    3dfx Opengl

    Always with the aim of obtaining the best Performances, I tested the available / compatible 3dfx Opengl ICDs, from v1.0.0.0421 to v1.0.0.0579b, discarding the previous ones for poor performance and the following ones for incompatibility, and I selected the most performance, which corresponds to the 3dfx OpenGL ICD Release V1.0.0.0505, by inserting it in the new Driver Kit. Testing was done with Quake3 Demo v1.11 demo1 and Quake3 v1.32c demo Four.


    You will find Anthony's open discussion on the King Shaman, which hosts the New Driver Kit file at this address:


    Ciacarhaman-1.0 Driver Kit Post



    Overclock and Temperature Test

    To test the stability of the King Shaman in Overclock and find the maximum achievable value of the system and hardware, I ran tests that lasted 60 minutes. All tests were performed with a resolution of 640x480 pixels 16bit, V-Sync disabled.

    The test hardware, Asus P2B + pIII 1000 @133mhz + 512MB @133 di Ram, was installed in an open case, with 2 routed cooling fans on the King Shaman.

    Temperatures were measured at 10 minute intervals on the front and back of the video card.

    To detect the Temperatures on the back and front of the card, I used an infrared thermal detector with a laser pointer.

    I compared the temperatures detected and I always reported the highest of the thermal readings.

    To properly stress the King Shaman, ho eseguito I looped:

    • Quake 3 Demo v1.11 Demo1
    • Quake 3 Arena v1.32c DemoFour


    These are the results of the tests performed:



    In light of the tests I performed, after trying various clock frequencies, the maximum stability was reached at 60Mhz. Beyond this value, the system becomes unstable and is subject to system freezes.



    King Shaman Extreme Overclocking Challenger

    To complete this Test phase, the Extreme Overclock could not be missing. It was not performed to find the stability, but to find the maximum Overclock value that gives me the possibility to successfully terminate at least one Timedemo Test, with the maximum clock value and detect the Framerate reached. Like a ¼ Mile Dragster Dace.

    The games chosen for the competition are:

    • Quake 2 Demo1 v3.20
    • Quake 3 Demo1 v1.11
    • Quake 3 DM.Four v1.32c
    • Unreal Tournament Benchmark v436.

    These are the results.


    Quake 2 Demo1 v3.20


    Quake II, in 8 seconds, produces 86.00 FPS, at a maximum frequency of 65Mhz and with a resolution of 640x480 pixels @ 16bit, with a performance increase of approximately 12%.


    Quake 3 Demo1 v1.11


    Quake III Demo1, in 20.7 seconds, produces 64.90 FPS, at a maximum frequency of 65Mhz, as in Quake II, with a resolution of 640x480 pixels @ 16bit, with a performance increase of about 30.5%.


    Quake 3 DemoFour v1.32c


    Quake III Demo Four, in 20.2 seconds, produces 62.30 FPS, at a maximum frequency of 65Mhz, as in Quake II and Quake III Demo1, with a resolution of 640x480 pixels @ 16bit, with a performance increase of approximately 46.5%.


    Unreal Tournament Benchmark v436.


    UT Benchmark, in 142.48 seconds, produces 94.29 FPS, at a maximum frequency of 63Mhz, with a resolution of 640x480 pixels @ 16bit and a performance increase of approximately 18.1%.


    At the end of this Overclock Dragster, quite exhausting, given the continuous blocks, restarts and various errors, I must declare the winner of this Extreme Overclocking Challenger who is:


    • Quake 3 DemoFour v1.32c


    With an increase in performance of 46.5%, and a clok frequency of 65Mhz, it has shown that it deserves the title of Winner.


    It must be said that Ureal Tournament GOTY Benchmark is a fairly long test, almost 2 minutes and 23 seconds, and has put the King Shaman to the test which, despite the maximum load, the execution time and the clock of 63mhz, and managed to produce a maximum peak of 143.26FPS, and a minimum of 54.91FPS which would be enough to exceed the framerate of Quake 3 DemoFour which is 42.60FPS clocked at 50mhz.


    Furthermore, in this UT Timedemo Test, it also surpassed the 3dfx Voodoo 3 2000 in the comparison of Unreal Tournament with the other video cards, which you will find in the first part of the review, where it had totaled 90.00FPS with the resolution of 640x480 @ 16bit.



    King Shaman Extreme Overclock Video Section

    In this section I will insert the links of the Video Tests performed with King Shaman and the relative configuration.

    The tests aim to get the highest clock with the maximum Frame Rate per Second. The reference resolution is 640x480.


    Quake III Demo1 v1.11 https://youtu.be/f9VUEe0POZI

    Hardware Configuration

    • CPU: Intel Tualatin 1.266GHz
    • Motherboard: Asus TUSL2-C
    • RAM: PC133 512MB SDRAM with ECC
    • Hard Drive: Segate Barracuda 250 GB 7200 RPM
    • Optical drive: LG DVD-Rom
    • Sound card: Creative SoundBlaster 128 PCI
    • Power supply: L&C LC-B300ATX (300W)


    Final Evaluation

    I conclude by confirming that the King Shaman has proved to be a solid product, which has endured all the mistreatment to which it has been subjected, even if built and assembled by hand, but with the precision of a Robot, it is a product that deserves a little more attention by fans of the 3dfx community.

    While basically an Evolved Voodoo1 SLI, it has proven to compete with Voodoo2, Matrox G450 and 3dfx Voodoo 3 2000.


    Well, we have come to the end of this mega review, which put a strain on me, the King Shaman, Anthony, inundated with my emails and had to wait 6 months to get this review, which however brought some news, such as the New Driver Kit Ciacarhaman-1.0, dedicated to the Shaman Voodoo1 Family, and to the ObsidianQ3D 100DB, as soon as someone will test it and confirm that it works correctly.


    I thank Marlon for the support, the suggestions and the Diagrams of the first part, Anthony for having designed and built a Monster by the name of King Shaman, the Voodooalert Community and all its Collaborators who continue to host me (and put up with me) giving me the possibility to leave this trace of my passage in this Forum dedicated to 3dfx Technology.


    See you.


    Francesco D.V. (ciacara)



    Work in Progress ;)

  • Thanks Marlon !

    Anyway, I'm not done with the review yet.

    I will soon post the new Kit Driver which hopefully will also be compatible with Stoned Shaman, so you can test them and tell me what you think. There will also be the second part of the tests.

    For the rest, even if the attention is not maximum, it is important that the review is done well.

    Regarding the attention, if I deserve it, they will come with the passage of time. :)

  • Hello everybody,

    updated the first post, added the link to the New Driver Kit Ciacarhaman-1.0.


    The

    Link--> Second part of the Review

    has been published. ;)


    If there is someone on Voodooalert who has an ObsidianQ3d 100DB, I kindly ask him to test, if he can, the New Driver Kit to confirm that it works correctly with this video card as well, and give me the opportunity to update the driver and make it official also for ObsidianQ3d 100DB.


    Thank you and I wish you a good reading.


    See you.:)