Creative won the race of which company will be first on the market with a Voodoo² 3D accelerator and after we've seen the performance of the pre-release Voodoo2 card from Diamond, it's now time to check how well a final product will perform. The 3D Blaster Voodoo2 comes with 12 MB of onboard memory, 4 MB frame buffer and 4 MB texture buffer for each of the two Texelfx2 units, making 12 MB altogether. This is 4 MB more than what Diamond is planning to put on their Monster 3D II card, which is only one of the reasons why Diamond and Creative didn't have anything better to do than throwing mud at each other in the press previous to the release date of the 3D Blaster Voodoo2, with most of the weight on Diamond's side. Now, since Creative Labs started shipping their 12 MB Voodoo2 board, Diamond changed their mind from 'offering a 12 MB solution shows that Creative doesn't have any idea of marketing' to 'Powered by the Voodoo2 graphics chipset from 3Dfx Interactive, the new 12MB Monster 3D II will ship early in the second quarter of 1998 '. Isn't it always nice to see how people can suddenly change their minds? A similar thing must have happened within Creative though, because Electronic Boutique took pre-orders for 6 MB 3D Blaster Voodoo2 boards back in January and suddenly Creative came up with the idea of selling 8 and 12 MB boards instead.
Anyway, we customers couldn't care less about this unpleasant soap opera between Diamond and Creative Labs, we want to know which product is best for our needs. One of the things that are of major interest is the difference between the 6, 8 and 12 MB versions of Voodoo² boards. The preview of Diamond's Monster 3D II already showed that the Voodoo2 can run games at 800x600 just as fine as at the default of 640x480, so that it has to be considered as unwise producing a 6 MB board that won't allow you a resolution of 800x600. The difference between the 8 and the 12 MB version however is determined by the difference in texture buffer size, similar to the difference between Diamond's good old Monster 3D and Canopus' Pure3D Voodoo accelerators, where the Pure3D also comes with double the texture memory. Tests showed that there was hardly any game so far, that would be able taking any significant advantage of the 2 MB more texture RAM and hence there's now the question if the 12 MB Voodoo2 cards are mainly a marketing gag or if we really get additional performance for additional money.