The Riva 128 chipset was an instant hit when it was released, the main reason behind its success was the fact that it combined Voodoo-like 3D performance and outstanding 2D performance comparable to that of the Millennium II.  However, since the release of the Voodoo2 chipset the popularity of the Riva 128 as a 3D solution has dropped considerably.  The reasons for this are obvious since the Riva 128 no longer is a top tier performer in the 3D world, the only room for the chipset now is as a complement to a Voodoo2 unless the price of a Voodoo2 is still too much for your budget.

Going on the fact that someone with a Voodoo2 needs a 2D solution to complement the card, Canopus took the extra steps necessary to make every Voodoo2 owner want their newest Riva 128 based AGP card, the "WitchDoctor".   Canopus' original Riva 128 card was available in a PCI version only and was called the Total3D 128V.  A highly successful card, the Total3D 128V brought new features to the nVidia 3D accelerator market such as an outstanding TV-Output feature as well as their patented user friendly Software Utilities.  Building on the success of their original Riva based graphics accelerator, Canopus added a few new features to their repertoire when they designed the AGP Total3D 128V, rightfully entitled, the Witch Doctor - capable of transforming any system into a force to be reckoned with. 

The short AGP card is virtually identical to the Diamond Viper V330, which is also based on the nVidia Riva 128 Reference Design.  The AGP connector interface itself carries the same annoying "tail" that plagued Viper V330 users as it can interfere with the installation of the card if any tall components are found at the end of the AGP slot.  The easiest way around this obstruction is to take a saw to the unused portion of the connector (there are no contacts present in the "tail" so this won't harm the board, however do so at your own risk as AnandTech isn't responsible for any damage you may cause to your card as a result of this and it does void your warranty) and simply cut it off.  Most newer motherboards don't have any capacitors or other such components at the end of their AGP slots so this shouldn't be that big of a problem.  The first revision of the FIC PA-2012 did have a small electrolytic capacitor placed flush against the end of the AGP slot, fortunately that capacitor was removed in the later revisions of the motherboard.

The card has two connectors on the board itself, both of which are feature connectors.  The 26-pin male connector is for future expansion, and is quite common on most video cards today although rarely is it ever used.  The second connector is a 14-pin female connector that can be used to internally connect the Witch Doctor to a Canopus Pure3D II or a Pure3D II-LX.  The benefit of this internal pass-through is the decreased amounts of visual degradation as a result of the use of an internal connection which requires that the video signal pass through 1 cable and 2 connectors vs a VGA pass-through cable which requires that the video signal pass through a total of 2 cables and 3 connectors.  This is extremely beneficial to users that run their desktops at high resolutions (1024 x 768 and above...), if you own a 21" monitor you will probably fall in love with this feature, provided that you have a Pure3D II instead of another Voodoo2 accelerator.  So what happens if you don't have a Pure3D II?

You make use of the second reverse pass-through cable connection setup on the Witch Doctor, by using Canopus' provided proprietary reverse pass-through cable you connect your monitor directly to the Witch Doctor and connect your 3Dfx card to the Witch Doctor using the provided cable.  This also helps to eliminate 2D image quality loss while at higher resolutions due to the direct connection of your monitor to your 2D card which in this case is the Witch Doctor.

How does this reverse pass-through design work?  The best way to think of it would be by imagining that you are in a room with filters at each door way.  Every time you walk through a door way part of your matter is filtered out, and traveling from one room to a room two rooms down will take a considerable amount of your matter away.  The same thought process can be applied to the reverse pass-through design of the Witch Doctor.  Instead of sending your video signal through two doorways, or filters (one on the Voodoo2 and one on the 2D card) you send it directly to the 2D card and then to the 3D card, which provides for sharper image quality.  

By using the Witch Doctor as a companion to your Voodoo2 you automatically transform your current Voodoo2 card into a full fledged 3D accelerator with TV-Output functionality.  The Witch Doctor's use of the reverse pass-through design allows for Canopus' own TV-Out as well as their own software utilities which will make anyone's desktop look and operate like an actually productive environment, in spite of the fact that you'll be using the utilities to help play games ;)

Card Specifications Installation

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