Ensoniq 3D Banshee (Vanguard Memory)

Ensoniq 3D Banshee (Vanguard Memory) - Front

BIOS Boot-Up String

VGA BIOS - Version 1.00.04-ET
Copyright (C) 1990-1998 Elpin Systems, Inc.
All rights reserved.

3Dfx Interactive, Inc.


The board was also installed in Gateway OEM systems in exactly this design. There is another PCB revision (inconsistently called Rev. 2 - this one is Rev. A..) of the Ensoniq Banshee, which uses a smaller heat sink.

There are quite a few things interesting about my Ensoniq cards (I have 2 of them): Both cards have a PCB date of 9845, which is an rather early production date for regular cards. Both have different memory brands and both have pretty late BIOS versions installed (most Banshees using reference BIOSes have versions from October or even August of 1998 installed). This card has a BIOS from mid-November of 1998, the other one even from February of 1999.

My theory towards this: Gateway ordered a large number of PCBs with the beginning of sales and produced the needed cards for their systems when these needed to be assembled.

Tech Specs

  • Core Clock: 100 MHz
  • Memory Clock: 100 MHz
  • Memory Type: SG-RAM
  • Memory Size: 16MB
  • PCB Date: 9845
  • BIOS Version: 1.00.04-ET
  • BIOS Date: 11/18/98
  • Notes: Vanguard Memory Chips, largest passive heatsink among Banshee cards

Pictures of the card:

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