3dfx announced yesterday its first officially-Mac-compatible graphics boards, the Voodoo4 4500 PCI and Voodoo5 5500.

The company announced at Macworld Expo in San Francisco in January that it would be making 3dfx-branded boards based on the VSA-100 processor with native Mac support and acceleration, but has waited until now to release the details.

The two boards are expected to be available in the summer.

About time The two products are the company's first Mac products - until now, Mac-compatible boards based on 3dfx chipsets have been on the market from third-party manufacturers. Mac drivers have also been available from 3dfx for some of its Voodoo2 and Voodoo3 products for some time, but no official support was offered by the company.

The VSA-100 (Voodoo Scalable Architecture) processor at the heart of the boards incorporates industry-standard 3D features including 32-bit RGBA rendering, 24-bit depth-buffer, 8-bit stencil rendering, FXT1 texture compression support, 32-bit textures, and advanced texture and colour combine capabilities. It also includes a powerful 2D engine and video features such as 350MHz RAMDAC.

The Voodoo4 4500 PCI, carrying 32MB of graphics memory and a single VSA-100 processor, is aimed at pre-press professionals or "casual gamers". Expected to sell for under $200, the board renders two pixels per clock, and delivers fill rates up to 333 megatexels/megapixels per second. It also has planned Mac OS X support, and drives Apple's new digital flat panel monitors.

Virtual Voodoo The Voodoo5 5500 PCI has two VSA-100 processors and 64MB of memory. It's particularly suited to 3D modelling, CAD, animation and virtual reality applications. It enables T-buffer digital cinematic effects, such as motion blur, programmable depth-of-field, soft shadows and soft reflections. The Voodoo5 5500 PCI renders four fully-featured pixels per clock and delivers up to 667 megatexels/megapixels per second fill rates. This board is expected to sell for $329.