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The 3dfx Voodoo Could Ride Again, in Lego Form


Lego has an Ideas website, where users can submit ideas for products that Lego will consider turning into actual collectible sets. The idea of the website is simple: Anyone can upload a Lego design, which is then voted on by the community. If a project receives a certain number of votes, the length of time it has to meet the next interest tier is extended. If it reaches 10,000 votes, Lego may officially consider the set for production. Now, someone has proposed a GPU based on a design some of you might find a wee bit familiar.

3dfx may have vanished from the industry decades ago, but one creator has had the idea to bring the GPU back in Lego form. For those of you don’t remember, the 3dfx Voodoo was the first mainstream 3D accelerator for gaming systems. The Voodoo family implemented a simplified version of OpenGL that 3dfx called “Glide.” It wasn’t capable of displaying a 2D desktop — you actually connected the Voodoo or Voodoo 2 directly to your existing 2D GPU by an external monitor cable, then hooked your monitor to the Voodoo card.

3dfx-Lego-Voodoo-2

Fun fact: we didn’t actually call them GPUs back then, because the term hadn’t been invented yet. Nvidia popularized the term GPU, while VPU, ATI’s proposed alternative, failed to catch on in-market. The 3dfx Voodoo became a legendary GPU for a lot of people. I didn’t personally own one; I got into 3D gaming when an uncle bought me a Diamond Monster 3D II for Christmas circa 1997, and I’m a bit disappointed that we’re starting with the original Voodoo rather than the significantly improved follow-up.

As the creator notes:

In the early 1990’s, more complex PC video games would demand more powerful computers, forcing PC gamers to upgrade from 286’s to expensive 386’s and beyond to play the latest titles. With the appearance of 3D graphics cards, such radical upgrades were no longer as necessary and cards such as the Voodoo quickly became the upgrade of choice for PC owners wanting to play games such Quake by id Software at their best. This card was one of a short series of PC cards I made for fun in 2019 as fun way to pass the time. I’ve enjoyed making them and they have been a source of some enjoyable nostalgia.

The Lego Voodoo has met the 100-vote and 1,000-vote requirement interest tiers so far. I’ve never bought a Lego set as an adult, but if the company actually built this, I’d probably buy one. The fact that there’s a faux shadow on the Lego build is a really nice touch to the way we typically handle product photography. No word on whether this model comes with an SLI pass-through cable, and you may have trouble finding a motherboard that supports Lego PCI, but it looks like a worthy endeavor to us.

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