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Influential cards throughout history (Good & Bad)

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by Hellfire, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Hellfire

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    So, I was having a thought and discussing my old PC specs with friends the other day and it gave me a thought, Which cards do you think influenced the growth of the GPU market and were also the pioneers of their time,

    I don't want everyone to say the biggest or most powerful cards out today, I am not looking for a ATI v Nvidia slagging match but cards you think changed how we do things,

    Also include those ideas that flopped, the idea's companies tried which should never be repeated again.
  2. 3870x2

    3870x2

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    I would say the 9700/9800 pro. This could have just been my experience, but Doom 3 was one of the largest advances in computer graphics, but killed computers at the time in performance. These cards were the weapon of choice and were able to run the game flawlessly.

    Also, these cards came out with the popularity of Direct-X 9.0, and DX9 was easily one of the best updates to DX.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  3. Hellfire

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    And why do you think/say this?

    Also, are you talking Radeon 9800 or Nvidia, they both offered cards named 9700/9800 remember :)
  4. Vertrucio New Member

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    NVidia TNT & TNT2 chipset, it gave them their dominance for that generation, and set them up for the next generation with hardware transform and lighting.

    Wow, that's a marketing term I haven't heard in a long while. :p

    I don't remember what was its competitor at the time, was it still Voodoo 3D?

    Just seems kinda interesting that what gained NVidia its dominance was its adherence to standards back in the day as opposed to V3D pushing propietary stuff. Now the roles are reversed with Nvidia putting out more propietary tech.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  5. 3870x2

    3870x2

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    NV never came out with a 9800 PRO, and I think they only had a 9700M and 9800GT/X
  6. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    8800gt was an amazing thing, Great DX10 performance to all!
  7. Hellfire

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    You're right of course yes, but clarity is best :p

    For me, I think 3dfx Voodoo series, Voodoo one for me was both amazing and amazingly bad,

    The fact it bought 3d into the limelight was great, the fact you still needed a 2d card to run normal stuff and had to run it with a VGA pass through with the card being asleep until needed was a TERRIBLE idea.

    I do agree, TNT series did bring a lot to the market.
  8. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    Worst card ever 7300LE.
    couchman says thanks.
  9. TC-man

    TC-man

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    I also think that 3dfx's Voodoo pushed the 3D hardware accelerated graphics market (mainly for gaming though) on consumer level with the Voodoo 1 and 2 with the Glide api which was way faster than D3D of its time. Actually I liked the idea of such upgrade/expansion card rather than buying a whole new videocard. I still remember the Diamond Monster 3D brand, that was awesome! Also, 3dfx came up with the concept SLI with Voodoo 2, though ATI came up with a similar thing with their ATI Rage MAXX with a dual graphics chips design.

    On the other hand I think Nvidia made a huge mistake by releasing the NV1. I still have it somewhere and it's called the STG-2000, it's all-in-one card, it's a videocard (upgradeable videoram) with built-in soundcard and support several Sega games with Sega Saturn gamepad ports support; the only games that were specially/natively supported are Virtua Fighter Remix, Panza Dragoon and Virtua Cop (this last one was not included in the bundle, I had bought it separately while the native NV1 support was still intact besides the D3D support for Windows 95, if I remember it correctly). The NV1 failed because it only supported quad surfaces, but also because of Microsoft's D3D supported and still supports triangle surfaces, while the product was tied to a failing game console in terms of sales, that's called the Sega Saturn which nonetheless had great games in its library such as Virtua Fighter 2, Panza Dragoon Saga, Sega Fighting Megamix. I heard Nvidia almost died because of this adventure with the NV1, but don't know it's true.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  10. AlienIsGOD

    AlienIsGOD

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    In my opinion the 4850 was one of the most influential cards of all time. It shattered what a mid range GPU could do and the DDR3 memory didnt hold it back that much. Otherwise specs were identical to 4870 and the price for the cards was a steal.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  11. DarkOCean

    DarkOCean

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    Agreed.
  12. Hellfire

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    Wasn't voodoo 3dfx not Nvidia, two different companies. 3dfx crested SLI, a different SLI from Nvidia
    TC-man says thanks.
  13. Widjaja

    Widjaja

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    Also why I bought one and it lasted me a very long time.

    Also I'd have to say the X800pro and the 7600GT were influential.
  14. AlienIsGOD

    AlienIsGOD

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    my 4850s crossfired got me by very nicely from aug 08 to Dec 2011. The only thing i felt that held me back was the 512MB VRAM as i was an early adopter of the HD 4K series.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  15. couchman New Member

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    I would say the nvidia 6600GT and 7600GT for bringing awesome performance for price and SLI to the mainstream. I miss those days. Probably the radeon X1950PRO's as well for bringing the crossfire bridges instead of the PITA dongle!

    On another note I agree with the Radeon X800 series. Image quality was amazing and the fact that you could unlock them to X850 specs was awesome! Same with the nvidia GeForce 6800GT being able to unlock to an ultra. Those were the simple days when they used the same chips and just had pipelines and shaders bios locked before hard locking came into play. Then of course the 6950 to 6970 unlocking was fantastic.

    One really cool way of looking at old cards is this : archive.org/index.php

    I've gone to newegg with that back when al of these cards we are talking about we're released. It's really cool to see how everything was back then with today's perspective. I love seeing the prices as well. It makes for a good laugh.
  16. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

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    starting with directx 9 and on I think it goes (although its a shame not to mention any 3dfx but still its a young crowd these days)
    1. Radeon 9700/9800 pro dx9 and great speed, so much so that they were still decent cards years after launch
    2. 6800gt/ultra first sm 3.0 cards and super fast for the time. Honerable mention goes to 6600gt for its midrange dominance.
    3. 8800gt(s) (9800gt(x), gts250, and all the rebrands) or really g92, unlike its predecessor it wasn't a heat monster, it wasn't super expensive, and it redefined what high end meant. Also at this point the negative elements of sli were greatly reduced.
    4. 5870. AMD/ATI made a decent fight of the 4870 vs gtx280 but lets face it at that point they were aiming for best price/performance rather than the performance crown. but the 5870 now that bad boy proved nvidia didn't own the market, fast, cheap for high end, and had decent power/heat ratios for the time. Not to mention beating nv to the market by a mile and then still offering a better overall product once nv finally launched fermi...now that was an impressive come back. Oh yeah and while there weren't any titles out it still was the first dx 11 gen.
    5. X800GTO^2 (Flashable ones) now the base card wasn't that spectacular and lacked the sm 3.0 support of the nvidia offering, however this card was an overclockers wet dream, cheap, flashes to an X850XT, and then would overclock further. This particular card was the topic of nearly every other thread on this forum at the time. TPU saw a big boom off of this card. http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/127

    dubious renown starting with DX9.
    1. Nvidia FX 5800 Ultra, failed to take performance crown, failed at anything directx 9 (this became more obvious as years went on) and Hair Dryer Nvidia Hair Dryer - YouTube seriously.

    2. Radeon HD2900XT it pains me to say it as I loved mine, but yeah. high heat, failed to even beat the 8800GTS, my next card was a 9600GT and it was FASTER, high power, and as much as it overclocked wonderfully, at stock clocks it didn't fare so well.

    3. Nvidia GTX480 I have 3 of them and I love them (if you're seeing a trend yes I like big, hot, power hungry cards. lol) Late to the market, hot, loud, power hungry, and expensive. This is the card that opened it up for AMD/ATI.

    4. Radeon 9000(9200) Again I had a 9000 and loved it at the time, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a crippled Radeon 8500 rebrand, the only directX 8.1 card in a lineup of directx9 cards. Not only that but it couldn't even match the clocks of its predecessor. I tried to avoid the lowend because well they're supposed to be slow, but come on if you're going to rebrand at least leave the card the f alone and don't cripple it, its not like the 8500 was any real threat to the 9500pro or 9600XT. Some of you may find this ironic...http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showpost.php?p=924187&postcount=48 lol

    5. Radeon X1800XT 512MB This one was actually a great card, the trouble is that it was late (the xl came out months before) and then one month later was replaced by a much better card the X1900XTX. Plus 600$ if you're going to charge me 600$ at least let it be the king for 6 months, not 1. So this one is dubious for bad business decisions. jerks.
  17. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    ATI Rage 3D 2mb, Voodoo 3, X800, 1900XT, 8800GT, 4850, 5850 and even today the 670.
  18. Zubasa

    Zubasa

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    That and the HD3870X2 :laugh:
    Likely the worst dual GPU in recent years.
    Also the 2400Pro was one of the worst performance/watt ever.

    Speaking of truly influential cards must be the G92 variants.
    My word nVidia sold tons of them.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  19. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    the PC i built back in 1998 included the ATI RAGE 3D 4mb card. It was a very mainstream gpu at the time. I would say next is the voodoo2 series which i paired with that RAGE 3D card and i was owning noobs in Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear.

    the early matrox cards were also very very powerful and catered to the tv capture and edit crowd. i had one of those and it worked marvelously.

    finally, i would say one of the most important cards of all time is the first 2x gpu card
  20. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    The best:

    "The Nvidia GeForce 256 (also known as NV10) was the first consumer-level card on the market with hardware-accelerated T&L, while professional 3D cards already had this capability. Hardware transform and lighting, both already existing features of OpenGL, came to consumer-level hardware in the 90s and set the precedent for later pixel shader and vertex shader units which were far more flexible and programmable."

    NVidia stock price subsequently went ballistic when MS adopted thier GPU for use in the Xbox in 2000

    The worst? Good question. The 68xx series of AMD cards isn't much to write home about.
  21. AlienIsGOD

    AlienIsGOD

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    as an owner of a 6870, i disagree. I rather like the performance of my 6870. if anything its the 6700 series that was the disapointment of the 6K series. Total rebrands of the 5700 series, so anyone expecting more performance was likely not happy. 7700's on the other hand are a refreshing card for the ~ $100 price range.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  22. stefanels

    stefanels

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    For me personaly the best card was the 3DFx VooDoo3 back in '98 and ATI 9800 Pro in '03 and the newer HD5870 in 2010...

    The worst was i guess the nVidia 6600GT and AMD HD3850 because i had only bad luck with this cards...
  23. karnak New Member

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    The 8800 Ultra for proving that people really would pay that much for a card.

    Well, I thought it would be more, launch price 2007 $830. In 2011 dollars $900. Huh. Not as much inflation as I was expecting, but still, the 8800 Ultra proved there was a market for graphics cards that cost more than most peoples paycheques. Who can afford to drop an entire paycheck on something so trivial right??
  24. Zen_

    Zen_

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    Geforce3 Ti 200, because it was the first truly great budget card that could run all contemporary games with ease, and it set a precedent what what we now call mainstream performance at around $200.

    I would also rate the 9700 Pro / 9800 XT right up there for longevity, and because for awhile it was the only card that could run Unreal Tournament 2003 and thus, Unreal Engine 2 games. That was during the Geforce FX fiasco.
  25. lyndonguitar

    lyndonguitar I play games

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    +1 One of the first card that can "handle" Crysis, this card was such a beast

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