Q: Why am I getting an error when trying to setup or initialize voice-over-net using the Voice Tweak application?


Q: Why am I getting a "wave_out" error when I try to run the Half-Life Voice Tweak application?


Q: How do I adjust the voice and microphone volume in the Voice-Over-Net feature?


A: HL only wants to see ONE sound device. You may have a voice modem installed in which case you'll have a driver listed for a "Modem Audio Device" in your Windows Device Manager under "Sound, Video and Game Controllers".

To fix the problem, disable (do NOT remove it!) the modem audio driver (do NOT disable the modem driver itself, just the modem audio driver).

Then run VOICE_TWEAK.EXE in the Half-Life folder, click on the System Setup button and follow the instructions.



The in-game settings for Voice-Over-Net are located in an ASSININE location - they're in the player network customize menu (the menu where you set you player name and spray for multiplayer). Stupid place to put it (it should be in the sound menu) since you can't access this menu while playing online without disconnecting from the server!

Anyway, there's volume controls for the microphone and the voice audio in here. Also there's a checkbox to enable/disable the voice feature.

I found that to disable the voice feature you need to uncheck the box AND set both volume sliders to the full left position.

Q: Why are all my games running at 60Hz refresh in Win2K or WinXP?


Q: Why can't I set a higher refresh than 60Hz in Windows 2000 or WinXP?

A: Download the NVidia Win2K/XP Refresh Rate Fix Utility

Q: I've installed a Voodoo3 in Windows 98 and I can't change the resolution or refresh, or I have only a very limited selection of resolutions or refreshes. I know my monitor can handle higher settings so is there any way to get them? 

A: This is usually an issue with the monitor driver - not that there's really a monitor driver per-se, but an INF file that tells Windows what resolutions and refresh rates the monitor can handle. Plug and Play monitor detection sometimes goes screwy in Windows with a Voodoo3.

Try manually setting the monitor type. Go to Display Properties, Settings, Advanced and click on the Monitor tab, DISABLE Plug and Play Monitor detection then click on the Change button and pick a model with a high range of refreshes and resolutions. Try a Dell V17X for starters - that should go up to 1600x1200.

Q: I'm trying to play first-person shooter games with a Microsoft (Intellimouse or Explorer) or Logitech Optical Mouse and it goes crazy when I try to make sudden turns, usually ending up pointing me straight up. What gives?

A: This is usually caused by having mouse acceleration enabled. It can also happen if the mouse sensitivity is set extremely high. Go to the Mouse settings in Windows Control Panel and disable Acceleration. If the problem persists, turn down the mouse sensitivity, either in Windows or in the game.

Q: Since I updated to Half-Life 1104, I'm getting an error when I try to run in OpenGL Standard or 3Dfx Miniport using a 3Dfx Voodoo card saying it can't find an OpenGL driver. What's wrong?

A: When Valve updated HL to v1104 they added a minor bug that affects 3Dfx cards. To fix this, copy the 3DFXGL.DLL file from the \HALFLIFE\GLDRV folder to the \HALFLIFE folder and it usually fixes the problem.

Q: I'm having trouble getting my Voodoo2 working on an Athlon system. What can I do? animnew.gif (6685 bytes)8/13/00

A: These hacked drivers posted at AngelFire supposedly allow the V2 to work properly on Athlon systems. They're only for Win 95/98 though.


Q: I'm having trouble since I installed my GeForce card. It crashes and locks up in games.  animnew.gif (6685 bytes)7/27/00

A: Make sure the Geforce card is NOT sharing an IRQ with another card. If it is, you may be able to change the other card's IRQ from Device Manager. However, there's another IRQ sharing issue that can't be addressed this way called IRQ Channel Sharing. IRQ channels are hardwired into the motherboard and can not be changed from withing Windows. You must physically relocate the card that's sharing an IRQ channel with the AGP slot to another PCI slot (this issue does NOT affect ISA slots). More information on this here....

If you have a system with an Athlon CPU, check with the motherboard manufacturer to see if there are compatibility problems with GeForce cards, or there may be a fix in the form of a flash BIOS update on their webs ite. 

Some motherboards (particularly ones using Intel LX chipsets and early Athlon designs) do not supply enough current to the AGP slot to allow the GeForce and some other high-current 3D cards to work properly. Check with the motherboard manufacturer.

Make sure to remove ALL traces of the previous video card, including any background apps and utilities (these may need to be unistalled via the Add/Remove program icon in the Widows Control Panel).

Q: Why doesn't the gamma / brightness work properly in Quake 3 Arena? animnew.gif (6685 bytes)7/27/00

A: Go into the q3config.cfg file in the \Q3A\BASEQ3 folder and change then line 

seta r_ignorehwgamma "0" 


seta r_ignorehwgamma "1" 

This disables the brightness control in the menu which doesn't work right with GeForce cards. You will then you have to manually input the gamma settings in the console. Type 

\r_gamma "1"

1 is the default value. Adjust the number after it to a value you like, and the change will be instantly visible.

Q: The menu animations in Half-Life move very slowly - is there any way to speed them up? animnew.gif (6685 bytes)4/10/00

A: Yes! Got this great tip from 3D Spotlight in a V3 tweak article by Thomas McGuire. A lot of good info in this article BTW:

WARNING: Read these instructions carefully! You can screw up you Windows installation by deleting the wrong entry in your registry, and there's NO undo command! I take no responsibility for what happens to your system, yada, yada ,yada...

In Half-Life you may notice the menu is very slow. Click on Start, Run, type "regedit: (without quotes) and press the Enter key. Open this key:


Add/Edit a new string value entitled CPUMHZ & give it a value of 1. This should solve the problem.

Q: Is there any way of improving the image quality in Q3A on a 3Dfx card?


Q: Is there any way to eliminate the sky banding in Q3A on a Voodoo3 card? 

A: Yes! You can dramatically improve the image quality in Q3A on a V3 card. This will also help on a V2 card, but on a V3 you can get nearly the same image quality your friends with NVidia cards are bragging about :)

First off, install the WickedGL miniport (NOT the Wicked3D driver, the WickedGL miniport!). You need to sign up for a registration number, but it's free. Keep the number in a safe place - you need it to register the miniport and any future updates. When you run the installer, select ONLY Q3A and don't install it for other Quake games (the 3Dfx miniport works better in other games).

When it asks you if you want the standard or high resolution miniport installed, select standard. The high resolution miniport is buggy and is only intended for high-end systems running Q3A at over 1024x768. 

The WickedGL miniport alone will dramatically improve both visual quality and performance, but there's one more thing to do. Add these two lines to your Q3A AUTOEXEC.CFG file:

set r_intensity "1.7"
set r_gamma "0.9"

Many thanks to Death2Uall (the artist formerly known as "D") for this tip! If you want more details on this, including comparison screen shots, read his article at the Oxygen Tank.

Q: How do you disable the netgraph (lagometer) in Q3A? animnew.gif (6685 bytes)1/19/00

A: In the console, use the command cg_logometer 0 to disable it. Set it to 1 to enable it again.

Q: I can't seem to run any OpenGL programs on my Voodoo3 card (other than Quake games). What's wrong? 

A: The problem is that 3Dfx doesn't give a rat's behind and that, despite what they tell you, their OpenGL driver is essentially nothing but a Q3A miniport. I've tried dozens of OpenGL apps, screensavers and demos and few of them run properly, if at all, with the 3Dfx OpenGL ICD. You should e-mail them and complain LOUDLY. I don't expect we'll see a real OpenGL driver until there are more OpenGL-only games released.

Q: I'm getting slowdowns in Q3A whenever a lot of gibs fly around, or when I fire rockets. Anything I can do? 

A: As of this date (1/8/99) the 3Dfx Voodoo 2 and 3 OpenGL driver SUCKS (to put it politely). 3Dfx recommends turning off gibs (oh yeah, that's practical). 

A better solution is to install the Metabyte WickedGL Quake miniport. You have to fill out a registration form on their website and they'll e-mail you a download link and a registration number (it's free). SAVE THE REGISTRATION NUMBER! You'll need it for future updates. Also, install the normal miniport and not the high resolution miniport for the best performance.

When you run the installer, select only Q3A (you should use the 3Dfx v1.48 miniport for all other Quake engine games as it works better). This will eliminate the slowdowns and, as a bonus, improve the texture quality.

I'm seeing lines through decals and/or shadows (venetian blind effect). How can I fix this? 

A: If you see a Venetian blind effect (usually diagonal) in distant textures as they appear in the distance, this is normal and is a limitation of the HL Quake engine. This is very common in custom maps or in Counter Strike. The Quake engine has a problem with large map areas and CS uses very large open areas in some maps. 

There is another problem which is not normal and involves seeing lines or bars in shadows or decals. It's caused by a bad setting in the config.cfg file, but I don't know specifically which console variable is affected. The only way I've found to fix this is to delete the CONFIG.CFG file located in the \HL\VALVE folder. If it only happens when playing a mod (like TFC or CS) then just delete the CONFIG.CFG file in the mod's folder. Keep in mind you'll have to configure your keyboard binds again in the controls setup menu in the game.

If you use an AUTOEXEC.CFG file, it's possible the bad setting is located in there and deleting the CONFIG.CFG file will have no effect so I would either move or delete this file as well (you probably should move or back it up in case there's custom binds in there you'll need later). 

Q: Is there any way to bypass that annoying video that runs when you start Kingpin? 

A: Yes! Just go to the \KINGPIN folder and either delete KPINTRO.EXE, or rename it KPINTRO.BAK

Q: I have a motherboard with an onboard video card. Can I disable it and replace it with a Voodoo3 (or another 2D/3D combo card)?

A: You may be out of luck, it depends on the motherboard. The Voodoo3 also doesn't like sharing the mobo with another video device. Some people have gotten it to work on their systems, others have had no luck.

First off if there's any way to disable the onboard video card either from BIOS or a jumper on the motherboard, that would be the best way to go. Check the manual, the manufacturer's website, or contact customer support. However, few mobos have this feature.

If not, try this: Before installing the V3 card, boot into Safe Mode (right before the "Loading Windows..." message appears, before the Windows logo comes up, press the F8 key to force the Windows boot menu to come up and select "Safe Mode"). Be patient - safe mode can take a long time to load because it uses 16-bit drivers for the hard drive.

Once in safe mode, go to the advanced display properties and change the driver for your on-board video to a "Standard VGA" card in Device Manager. Exit Windows and shut down. Install the V3 card and connect the monitor to it. Boot back into safe mode. If you get a blank screen, try connecting the monitor to the old video card instead and see if you get a picture there.

If you can boot into Safe Mode with a picture on one of the two cards, then go into device manager and disable (DON'T REMOVE! JUST DISABLE!) the driver for the onboard video card in the Windows Device Manager (to get there click on Control Panel, then System, then Device Manager). Now reboot with the monitor connected to the Voodoo3 card.

This time let it boot into Windows normally. Once in there Plug & Play should detect the Voodoo3 and ask you for the drivers, etc (remember that the V3 also needs to install some utilities from the CD, but you can do this later - read the manual for instructions).

Plug & Play may also re-detect the onboard video card . If it does, let it do it's thing, but then go back into Device Manager and disable the driver for it again (don't remove it, just disable it).

When you're done you should be running off the V3 and the onboard video will have a red "X" next to it in the Device Manager to let you know that it's been disabled. That's okay.

If this doesn't work then you're screwed. Your only alternative is to exchange the V3 for two 3Dfx Voodoo2 cards. The V2 is a 3D only card and will work with any other card installed. Two V2s in SLI mode will give you very nearly the same performance as a V3. Go here for more info on the Voodoo2.

Q: Can I use a Voodoo3 and a TNT2 (or some other) video card in the same computer using Win98's Multimon?

A: No, not that I'm aware of. By all reports Voodoo3 doesn't support Multimon. Also, even if it did, Multimon is ONLY for 2D - it doesn't support 3D. Essentially there is no way to install two 2D/3D cards in a computer and be able to use them both for 3D.

If you want a 3Dfx card for Glide games, but want another card for OpenGL and D3D, your only choice is to install a Voodoo2 (or two for SLI performance which is very nearly as fast as a V3). The V2 is a 3D add-on card and will work with any 2D/3D card installed in a system. Go here for more info on the Voodoo2.


Q: I've installed the latest Quake3 Arena Test compliant beta or release candidate drivers for the V2, but some other games don't work very well with them. What can I do?

A: I do NOT recommend beta or release candidate drivers. At this time (7/3/99) the most stable drivers for the V2 are the 2/1/99 reference drivers. You can find them on my files and drivers page.

You can run Q3A Test with the stable reference drivers by doing the following:

Extract the following files from the V2 Q3A compatible driver executable using Winzip (right click on the file and select "WinZip" and then "Open with WinZip". Copy the files into the Q3ATEST folder:


When you run Q3A Test, it should automatically select "Voodoo OpenGL" as the video driver. If you also have a 2D/3D card installed with an OpenGL ICD, like the TNT, it may default to "Standard OpenGL". Just go into the video menu and select "Voodoo OpenGL" to use the V2 card.


Q: I've heard there can be problems upgrading to Voodoo2 from Voodoo3. What procedure should I use?

Remove the V2 drivers from the Device Manager. It would be a good idea to remove the INF files and registry entries for the V2 cards. Go here for details. Then change your video driver to "Standard VGA" then shut down. Pull the cards and install the V3 and boot up. It should ask you for the drivers. Direct it to the CD that came with the V3.

After the drivers install and you reboot, you then have to install the V3 control panel and the 1.48 Quake miniport patch from the V3 CD.


If you upgraded from V2 to V3, there's a problem that can come up because the old V2 driver files are still in there. I have a fix posted here.

Q: The "Higher Quality" setting in the Voodoo3 display properties doesn't seem to do anything. How do you enable 22-bit color texture rendering?

A: The 22-bit rendering (Higher Quality) setting doesn't work properly in the original v1.00.00 release of the V3 drivers. You can enable 22-bit rendering by making a change to the V3 registry settings. The procedure is explained in this 3Dfx technical document:

It has come to our attention that the "Use higher quality but lower performance video" switch in 3dfx Tools isn’t setting the correct value in the registry for Glide\OpenGL. The correct value should read SSTH3_OVERLAY_FILTER_2X2 = 1. We are in the process of fixing the bug and expect to release a driver update the week of April 19th. In the meantime, here is how to make it work.

After you check the "Use high quality but lower performing video" box in the 3dfx tools page you can run regedit and rename the string to activate high quality video.

To start regedit go to the Start button select run and type in "regedit" and follow the path shown in the first two screen shots shown below (My Computer to HKEY LOCAL_MACHINE to System to CurrentControlSet to Services to Class to Display). Then locate the sub folder under the Display folder that contains the Voodoo3 information, most likely (but not limited to) the "0000" key. The correct folder will have the text "3dfx Voodoo 3" under Data as shown in the third screen shot below. Then open the GLIDE folder and highlight the text under Name that reads "FX_GLIDE_OVERLAY_FILTER_2X" and right click to bring up the drop window and select rename. Then change the text from "FX_GLIDE_OVERLAY_FILTER_2X" to "SSTH3_OVERLAY_FILTER_2X2 = 1". Then close regedit and high quality video will be turned on. Please note that the button still does not work. To turn it back off, follow these same steps, except delete the "SSTH3_OVERLAY_FILTER_2X2 = 1". To turn it back on, repeat the original process.


Q: Why is my mouse overly sensitive in Quake2 or other Quake engine games after playing Half-Life since I upgraded to version and Team Fortress Classic?

A: The problem some people have experienced is that after playing HL, the mouse is VERY sensitive in Q2 until you reboot. It seems this problem may be limited to systems with a wheel-type mouse installed that also has a mouse utility installed that adds extra features for the wheel. I've seen it happen with both the MS Intellimouse and the Logitech wheel mouse. In the case of the MS mouse, it seems the problem can be fixed by uninstalling the Intellipoint utility that comes with the wheel mouse. You don't need the utility to use the wheel in Windows or games, however by uninstalling the utility you'll lose some advanced features like wheel scrolling support in applications that weren't originally written to use the wheel. I haven't heard if the same works for the Mouseware utility that comes with the Logitech wheel mouse. Try uninstalling it and see if it fixes the problem.

Hopefully Valve will address this problem in a future patch.

Q: I have an AMD K6-2 or K6-3 processor. Why can't I run Quake2 using the 3DNow OpenGL miniport?

A: The Quake 3.20 miniport only supports Voodoo2. Full Voodoo3 support will have to wait until AMD releases an updated version of the miniport.

There is a hack to make the existing 3DNow miniport work with Voodoo3:

1) Install the Quake2 3DNow miniport if you haven't already. You can find a link to it in my Files Section.

2) Rename the file in your \QUAKE2 folder called 3DFXGL.DLL to OPENGL32.DLL

3) Go to the Quake2 Video Menu and select "3DNow OpenGL" as the video driver.

Q: I can't set my resolution any higher than 800x600 in Quake2 on my Voodoo3 card. What's wrong?

A: You need to install the Quake 3Dfx v1.48 OpenGL miniport driver that comes on the Voodoo3 installation disk.

Q: I can't ALT-TAB from a Quake engine game to the desktop on my Voodoo2 or Voodoo3. What's wrong?

A: This is a known bug in v1.47 and v1.48 of the Quake 3Dfx OpenGL miniport drivers. The next release is supposed to fix this. Voodoo2 users should use the v1.46 miniport for the time being. Voodoo3 owners will just have to wait for the next version because only the v1.48 miniport works with V3.

Q: I'm having problems upgrading from a Voodoo2 to a Voodoo3. When running a 3D game I'm either getting a black screen or a Glide error saying it's "expecting Voodoo2". What's wrong?

A: Apparently when you upgrade from the Voodoo2, and maybe other 3Dfx cards, you can have problems with copies of driver files left over from the previous card's installation. This fix was originally submitted by Bryan J. Smith and posted on Voodoo Extreme. I have not tried this myself but others have and it does seem to work. The only thing I disagree with is Bryan's method or removing DirectX. I think it's safer, and more thorough, to use the Ebrink Dx Uninstaller. I've taken the liberty of making some minor changes to the procedure based on feedback and I've added comments in yellow where I think necessary.

PLEASE NOTE: Use this procedure at your own risk! If you're not comfortable or not familiar with some of the technical aspects, such as modifying the registry, print out this procedure and take it and your computer to a mom & pop computer repair shop (NOT a big-name place like CompUSA - you'll be lucky if they fix anything and you'll pay a fortune for it).


Please e-mail me with feedback on this procedure so I can improve it! Thanks!




a. Delete c:\program files\directx (FP: I recommend using the Ebrink Dx Uninstaller instead)
b. Delete c:\windows\glide*.*
c. Delete c:\windows\system\glide*.*
d. Delete c:\windows\inf\other\3dfx*.inf
e. Delete any c:\windows\inf\voodoo*.inf
f. Possibly some 3d*, 3dfx*, direct* files (be careful) in both c:\windows, c:\windows\system (FP: This is very dangerous. I would only delete files starting with 3dfx as that would be safe)


NOTE: I strongly recommend you backup the registry first. In Win95 you can use a utility located in the "Misc" folder on the Win95 installation CD called ERU (Emergency Recovery Utility). In Win98 you can use Windows Backup to make a backup of just the registry (don't select any folders to backup, just go into options and select "backup registry"). If you're using NT you should make a Repair Disk.

a. Run "regedit"
b. Look in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE and delete any folder named DirectX, Glide, 3Dfx/3dfx, Diamond (for V1/V2 board OEM), or whatever the name of the manufacturer of the V2 drivers you were using, etc...



a. Install Voodoo3 drivers and 3dfx Tools
b. Install DirectX 6 from the Voodoo3 Installation CD (NOTE: It's important you install DirectX from the Voodoo3 CD and not from any other source!)

Q: Is there anyway to prevent the custom graffiti logos from loading while I play?

A: If you have decals disabled (r_decals 0), or you just don't want HL to download all those player's graffiti logos while you're playing, you can disable in-game downloading by adding this line to your autoexec.cfg file:

cl_download_ingame 0

This won't affect map and other downloads, only logos.

You should DEFINATELY disable logo downloading if you're playing on a dialup connection or your game will slow down while it downloads logos.

Q: I'm getting a grainy or noisy picture when using SLI, but the picture looks better when using just one Voodoo2 card. How can I fix this?


Q: On a Voodoo2, I'm seeing a grid or other regular pattern in dark areas or smoke effects. Is there a fix for this?


A: It's most common in SLI, but normally this is an artifact of 3Dfx's filtering algorithm. This is one reason why the V2 is considered to have an uglier image than cards like the TNT and especially the Matrox G200. Reducing the gamma in the V2 display properties helps. Bring it down as low as possible - ideally under 1.6 for glide and under 1.3 for D3D. Also if the game has a built-in brightness control, avoid turning it up over 75%. If the game is too dark, some games have tweaks to brighten them that don't affect gamma. I have brightness tweaks in my FAQ for Half-Life and Quake2.

The Q2 tweaks MAY work in Sin and other Q2 engine games also - haven't tried it yet so. As BC mentioned, lowering the refresh rate of the V2 card also helps. 75 Hz is more than enough for gaming.

In some cases the effect may be caused (or made worse) by a loose fit between the V2 card and the PCI slot. Go here for details...



If you have this problem only when using SLI and not a single V2 card, the problem could have a different cause. SLI image quality is usually slightly inferior to that of a single V2 but under normal circumstances this should not be very noticeable. Using a cheap quality mobo, Voodoo2 or 2D video card can aggravate the problem - there's a lot of variables involved. There's a few visual artifacts that are common to SLI systems:

RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) can be produced by the monitor, the mobo, or the 2D video card. Computers generate a LOT of RFI (put an FM radio near one and you'll see what I mean). The way a V2 loops the monitor signal through the passthrough jumper is an invitation to have RFI inject itself into the 3D card's electronics.

The timing between the two Voodoo2 cards in SLI mode in VERY critical and can easily be distrupted causing all kinds of visual defects such as lines, dots, specks, grids, and grainy textures (Note: setting the gamma over 1.5 can also cause grainy textures).

Another problem which may seem related, but is not, is the appearance of naked (non-textured) or flashing triangles. This is almost always due to bad texture memory on a defective card.

The Voodoo2 is prone to poor contact problems with the PCI slot connector. A poor contact will can cause visual defects on both a single and an SLI system, but SLI is much more sensitive to this problem.


There's a few things you can try that may help:

- You should check to make certain that the V2 cards are seated properly in their slot connectors. This is a VERY common problem with the design of Voodoo2 cards. This is usually the cause of visual defects - I can't stress this enough. I'd say this cures it 70% of the time, but most people only check for this half-heartedly. A CASUAL INSPECTION OF THE CARDS WILL NOT DO! It can look and feel like it's fully seated, and still be making poor contact! Go here for instructions.

- Running the refresh lower (both 2D and 3D) usually helps. I'd recommend you use 72 or 75 Hz for the 2D card and 60 Hz for the Voodoo2.

- You can install noise chokes on each end of the monitor pass-through cable - these are designed to clamp around the cable. You should also put one one the monitor cable itself if there isn't one molded into it already (that's what that bulge is on the cable near the connector that's on most monitor cables). You can buy cable chokes at Radio Shack - they're called "Snap-on Ferrite Data-Line Filters" and the part number is 273-105C. They cost around $5 (US).

- Sometimes moving the Voodoo2 cards as far as possible from the CPU and RAM will help (these are the predominant sources of RFI in a computer).

- If you overclock the motherboard's frontside clock over 100 MHz, it can sometimes make the problem worse as well. Most motherboards are not FCC certified for operation at over 100Mhz and will produce excessive RFI at frequencies above it.

- Some of us, because we're tinkerers, like to leave the screws off our cases. This can also cause excessive RFI. The case cover must be solidly grounded to the rest of the case in order to perform it's primary function as an RFI shield. The screws are usually what grounds the cover to the rest of the case. If you leave the cover off entirely, your computer will broadcast a LOT of RFI.

- Overclocking SLI configurations can also cause a noisy image. The timing between the two cards in SLI is VERY critical - much more critical than for a single V2 card. If either card becomes slightly unstable due to overclocking, the image will not be assembled properly (each card is drawing each alternating horizontal line of pixels separately). I do not recommend overclocking SLI configurations.

Q: Can I use two different mixed brand Voodoo2 cards in SLI configuration? 

A: Yes, there's some caviats though:

- The standard V2 driver doesn't support mixed brand cards. You can either modify your drivers or download drivers that have been modified. Either way you can find this info at Devnull's Mis-Matched SLI Site.

- When you mix an 8 and 12 Mb card, the 12 Mb card will be treated as an 8. For SLI to work, both cards MUST have the same memory size. The memory is NOT additive - both cards must load duplicates of all the textures. So 4 Mb on the 12 Mb card will be ignored and go to waste. 8 Mb SLI is no great shakes - you'll still suffer from texture thrashing in some games because you only have 4 Mb of texture memory (again, the memory is not additive between the cards). I would recommend selling or giving the 8 Mb away and buy a 12Mb card - or two. You'll get more of a performance boost from one 12 Mb V2 than 8Mb SLI just from reduced texture thrashing.

- Don't even THINK about trying to overclock mixed brand cards in SLI. SLI is very unstable when over clocked even with matching cards. Most drivers actually slightly underclock SLI to improve stability.

- Your warranty will be voided by doing this and no manufacturer will give you customer support for mixed cards (no big deal, really).

Q: Sometimes I get a "Mutual Exclusion Error". What's that and how can I fix it?

A: This error is caused when you try to run two applications simultaneously that both require the 3D card. Sometimes this is caused by double-clicking on a game shortcut twice. Sometimes a game won't close itself down properly and leave a copy of itself running in the background.

When you get this error, just hit "ctrl-alt-delete" and it will display the task manager which lists everything that is running on your computer. In this list you should see the game that is currently using the Voodoo2. Just highlight the game that is running and click "end task" which will close that application.

Q: I own a Diamond Monster 3D2. I originally had the Diamond drivers installed but switched to the 3Dfx reference drivers. However, I now have display property tabs for both a Voodoo2 and a Monster3D2! How do I get rid of the old Monster 3D2 tab?


Q: How do I wipe out all traces of the Voodoo2 driver settings from my registry?

A: Run the Windows Registry Editor (REGEDIT). Click on the "Start" button, select "Run.." and type:


and press the Enter key.

WARNING: Read these instructions carefully! You can screw up you Windows installation by deleting the wrong entry in your registry, and there's NO undo command! I take no responsibility for what happens to your system, yada, yada ,yada...

Left click on the plus sign next to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE", left click on the plus sign next to "Software" and you will see a folder called "3DFx Interactive". This folder holds all of the settings for your V2 card . This folder needs to be deleted. just right click on the folder and select delete (enter).

Now find the folder called "Diamond" it is in that same listing you just found the last folder. (this is the set-up for the monster tab in your display properties. Right click on this folder and select delete (enter).

Now close the registry editor and restart Windows to allow the changes to take effect.


Q: After typing some tweaks at the Q2 console (or adding them to the autoexec.cfg file) Q2 won't run now - I get the dreaded gray screen. Removing the tweaks doesn't help. What do I do?


Q: How do you reset all of Quake2's console variables back to the original default values?

A: Q2 saves any changes to the console variables in it's config.cfg file. There's two config.cfg files - one for solo games located in the \quake2 folder and one for multiplayer located in the \quake2\baseq2 folder. So if you've added some tweaks to your autoexec.cfg file, deleting them or even deleting the autoexec.cfg file once you've run the game and applied those tweaks won't change things back to the way they were - Q2 remembers the last value set for all console variables.

In order to restore all console variables back to their default values, first make sure that the new settings are removed from your autoexec.cfg file, or delete or rename the autoexec.cfg file in your \quake2\baseq2 folder (remember that there's an autoexec.cfg file in each mod folder as well). Then delete or rename your config.cfg files in both your \quake2 and your \quake\baseq2 folders. The next time you run Q2 it will be forced to restore all the settings to default and make new copies of the config.cfg files. This will clear any funky tweaks out and should cure your problem. You'll need to restore your keyboard bindings and aliases as these will all be reset to default. If your binds were in the old autoexec.cfg file, copy and paste them into a new autoexec.cfg file WITHOUT any of the tweaks.


Q: Why is my player model flickering in the skin select screen in Quake2?

A: You have gl_trick set to 1 in your autoexec.cfg file. By default gl_ztrick is set to 0 and you should leave it that way.


Q: I've installed the version update patch, but now I don't see any blood, bullet holes or graffiti on the walls. What's wrong?

A: Valve added a new console variable called r_decals which limits the number of decals you can see during multiplayer to reduce lag. Unfortunately it sometimes defaults to 1 after the patch which virtually turns off decals. To fix this,type this at the console:

r_decals 500

You'll have to add this to your autoexec.cfg to make it permanent. 500 is what Valve recommends for modem play, but you may not see as many decals as you'd like to. You can increase this number (no idea by how much) to assign more memory to the decals, but if you set it too high you'll get lag.

Q: My Voodoo2 card won't work with my Sound Blaster Live card (or other PCI sound card). What's wrong (PCI IRQ channel sharing problem)?


Q: My computer reboots or locks up after playing a game for a few minutes. What's wrong?


Q: While playing on a LAN or some other connection requiring an ethernet card, my computer reboots or freezed during a game, but it's fine in solo play. What's wrong?


Q: What is a PCI IRQ Channel sharing conflict?


A: This problem seems to be related to PCI IRQ Sharing. 3D games may lockup or in some cases the computer will run fine for a few minutes and then reboot by itself. On some systems the game will freeze every few seconds while the sound stutters (a sure sign that it's related to the sound card). 

It's important to understand that this is NOT the same as an IRQ conflict and it can't be resolved by changing resources in the Device Manager. This problem is caused by a PCI card that doesn't want to share a PCI IRQ channel. I've seen it happen with PCI sound cards, PCI ethernet cards, GeForce video cards (the AGP slot shares an IRQ channel with a PCI slot) and PCI modems (ISA cards are unaffected).

If it's caused by the ethernet card, the problem will only occur when you're actually using the network (transferring data over it). For instance I had this problem myself with an ethernet card and it only happened at LAN parties, but never at home because I don't have it connected to a network at home.

The problem is very common with the Creative Labs SBLive! sound card but it's been known to happen with other PCI sound cards.

To confirm that the problem is with the sound card, run Quake2, bring down the console and type this:

set s_initsound 0

This will disable the sound for that session - sound will be enabled the next time you run the game. Try playing the game a bit now (yes, you can play Q2 without sound). If the problem doesn't occur, then the culprit is definitely the sound card.

Most mobos are designed so that two (or more) PCI slots share the same PCI IRQ channel (this is not exactly the same as IRQ resources in the device manager, and it will not show up as an IRQ conflict in Windows). There are only four PCI IRQ channels and they must be shared between all the PCI slots and the AGP slot. To do this, the motherboard uses IRQ Channel Sharing which allows two cards to share the same IRQ channel. This usually works just fine but can occasionally cause problems with some combinations of PCI cards. PCI ethernet and sound cards (the Creative SBLive! in particular) seem to have the biggest problems.

These IRQ channels are usually hard-wired in and you can't change them through software or BIOS (a few fancy high-end mobos do allow you to change it via BIOS, but they're the rare exception). All you can do is move cards around to different slots. Your mobo's manufacturer should be able to tell you which slots share IRQ channels (check the manual) and then you can try to match up cards that don't use an IRQ with ones that do on the same channel. Otherwise, your only choice is to play musical slots and do it by trial and error. 

This is the best procedure: Remove all your PCI cards except your video, 3D and sound cards (PCI cards only - this problem has nothing to do with your ISA cards). Try different slot combinations until you find one that seems to work, then add your other cards one by one, testing each configuration to make sure it's stable. If all your PCI slots are full then you may have a problem finding a combination that will work.  

You don't have to uninstall the drivers for a card to move it - BIOS and Windows will know you've moved it and take care of it. Needless to say ALWAYS turn off the computer when removing or inserting cards, and take proper static discharge precautions to prevent damaging the computer's components. 

Keep in mind that on some motherboards, the USB device and the hard drive controller uses a PCI IRQ channel and you can have a conflict between it and any AGP or PCI card (so it's possible to have a problem with only one card installed). Check your motherboard's manual to see if it tells you which slots share with these devices, or you'll just have to play musical slots.

Q: Quake2 runs fine in solo, but always crashes after a few minutes of multiplayer. What's wrong?

A: This is often caused by having corrupt player model files. Try temporarily renaming your \QUAKE2\BASEQ2\PLAYERS folder to something else (this will remove all the player models except those that came with the retail version) and see if it cures the problem.

It can also be caused by a PCI sound card or PCI ethernet card sharing an IRQ with another PCI card (known as PCI Steering). Go here for more info...

Q: I've heard that the Dx6 compliant Voodoo2 drivers are buggy. Which driver should I install?


Q: I've heard there's a way to install Glide 2.54 from the Dx6 compliant Voodoo2 drivers, without installing the buggy Dx6 driver. How?


Q: The documentation with Half-Life says it requires Glide 2.54, but 2.54 only comes with the beta Voodoo2 drivers and I don't want to install a beta. What should I do?

A: As of this date (2/19/99) all manufacturer's Dx6 compliant Voodoo2 drivers are either betas or release candidates (and if the manufacturers says they aren't they're lying). I do NOT use beta drivers in my systems and I do NOT do free beta testing (they wanna pay me, that's a different story) and neither should you.

My advise to you is to use the latest 2/1/99 3Dfx reference driver which is not a beta.

If you have installed a V2 Dx6 beta driver, and it works okay for you, don't worry. Go ahead and continue to use it. Some of these drivers are okay. If it doesn't work properly, re-install the previous version of their driver or 3Dfx reference driver. You can find the reference driver link in my files section...

NOTE: It's important to properly uninstall the old drivers before installing different ones to prevent problems. Go here for details...

Q: I'm using the 3DNow miniport for Quake2 with Half-Life and my crosshair is flying around all over the place! Is there a fix for this?


Q: Is there any way to use the 3DNow miniport with Half-Life?

A: There's a hacked 3DNow Half-Life miniport patch available at You can download if from their files section. Keep in mind this is an unofficial and unsupported patch, but it does seem to work and will give you some performance improvement on a K6-2 system. The only problem with this patch is that it makes the crosshair move around the screen, but there's a fix for that. Type this at the Half-Life console (you must be in a multi-player game or start the game using the -console command line parameter to have access to the console):

gl_flipmatrix 1


Q: Half-Life is very dark, and turning up the brightness doesn't help much. What else can I do?

A: Half-Life needs to have a dark contrast otherwise the subtle detail in the textures will be washed out making it look cartoonish. There are some settings that will help.

I use the following settings in HL's autoexec.cfg file:

echo "Execing Hal-Life Autoexec.cfg"
brightness "1.2"
gamma "3.0"
texgamma "3"
lightgamma "2"

This will brighten things up but still keep the contrast dark so the wall textures look realistic. If you still find it too dark, you can increase "brightness" up to 2.5 but it will start to wash all the fine detail out of the textures much above the setting I recommend above.

Q: I have a low-end system and would like to improve my framerate in Half-Life. Are there any adjustments?

A: Add these commands to an autoexec.cfg file in your \half-life\valve folder (make one if you don't already have one). Please note, Half-Life does NOT want you to put "SET" in front of these commands like Quake2 does - HL uses the older QuakeWorld console code:

cl_download_ingame 0
This disables the downloading of player grafitti logos. You definately want to disable this on a dialup connection or you'll get major slowdowns while downloading logos.

mp_decals "0"
This turns off all bullet holes, graffiti ,and explosion marks etc. about 8% fps increase (use only as a last resort - deathmatch levels look boring without this). Alternately, you can set this to a low number like 50 (default is 3000) which will limit the amount of decals used.

r_drawviewmodel "0"
This turns off the weapons model. About 10% fps boost (worth it if you can get used to it).

cl_himodels "0"
This turns off high quality player models. Saves on texture memory (same as the check box in HL's video mode menu for "Detailed Models" (note, for the very popular HL mod CounterStrike, you must disable Detailed Models or all terrorist players will appear to carry a backpack instead of just the one carrying the C4 explosive)

r_shadows "0"
Turns off shadows. About 15% fps boost (This is the BIG one kids! We don't need no stinkin' shadows! I even have it turned off on my P2-300). Granted shadows look COOL, and if you have a high-end system with a good 3D card, you can get away with leaving them on. But if you have a border-line system and you're framerate is dropping too low every once in a while, try disabling shadows and you'll notice a big improvement.


Half-Life seems to use the QuakeWorld method of assigning system memory, unlike Quake2 which does it automatically. If you have 32 Mb of RAM or more in your system, you should add this to the end of your QuakeWorld command line:

-heapsize 24000

For instance, your quake command line might look like this:

hl.exe -heapsize 24000

If you have 32 Mb or more, make the heap 28000. This allocates 28 Mb of memory to Half-Life. Basically, the more the better. The number corresponds to thousands of bytes and you can set it for up to 48000 (by most reports, heap sizes above 48000 don't have any benefit).


There are also three variables that affect netplay (rate, fps_modem and pushlatecy). Click here for instructions on how to set them properly...


Q: The sound is very choppy or stutters - it keeps cutting in and out. Is there something wrong?

A: Start Half-Life with the console by modifying it's shortcut to add the -console command. The target line in the shortcut should look like this:

hl.exe -console

Now type this line at the console (press the tilde ~ key during the game to bring down the console):

_snd_mixahead 0.20

This should make the change permanent.

Q: Which driver do you recommend I use with my Banshee card?

A: You should ONLY use the latest driver from your card's manufacturer. You should NEVER use the Banshee reference driver unless you know for a fact your card uses the reference design. Most Banshee cards DO NOT use the reference design and using the reference driver will either lead to poor performance, or it may not work at all.

Q: Which driver do you recommend I use with my Voodoo2 card?

A: Unless your card is not a reference design (Canopus, Wicked3D and Quantum 3D are the only two that aren't that I'm aware of), I recommend you use the 3Dfx reference driver instead of the Manufacturer's driver.

3Dfx writes the driver then sends the source code to the manufacturers for customizing. They usually only add their logo and customize the control panel and that's it. Meanwhile, the manufacturer sometimes introduces bug inadvertently during the process, and the manufacturer's driver can take some time to be released because it has to be beta tested.

If you want the latest driver with the least problems, use the latest reference driver (I don't recommend using a beta or release candidate reference driver, though).

NOTE: This DOES NOT apply to Banshee cards!
You should NEVER use the Banshee reference driver unless you know for a fact your card uses the reference design. Most Banshee cards DO NOT use the reference design and using the reference driver will either lead to poor performance, or it may not work at all.


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