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Most influential Graphic cards in history

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thilanliyan

Lifer
Jun 21, 2005
11,066
930
126
Originally posted by: lavaheadache
Originally posted by: zerocool84
Voodoo 5 5500, FSAA, motion blur, depth of field, and soft shadows, nothing else at that time had those.
I still fire my v5 up everyonce in a while
I got one recently just for kicks (and a Rage Maxx as well actually). It's a pain in the butt to find a motherboard and CPU for it though.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
5,664
0
0
Originally posted by: Concillian
Originally posted by: MarcVenice
If the 8800gt fits in, then so do the HD4850/4870.
How so?

When the Ti 4200 came out it soundly beat everything available in the market for close to half the price... except the 4600 which was not worth it.

This is a pretty direct comparison to the 8800GT, which was similar performance to a GTX at half the price.

Kinda the same story with the GF2 / GF256 debate. The GF256 brought the technology to the market (at a price). The GF2 brought it to the masses.

IMO the real winners are not the cards that bring technology that nobody can afford. Evolutionary bigger / pricier --> faster is nothing special. The real gems are the ones that smash the existing price / performance paradigms.

Everyone expects next generations top tier to beat the previous generation's top tier. This is evolutionary performance gains. The real winners are the ones where the next generations midrange price point beats the previous generations top tier.

That happened with the 8800GT, that didn't really happen with the HD4850 / 4870.
I think the HD4850 did roughly the same. It was available for $150, whilst it's DIRECT competitor, the 9800gtx, was selling for 250$ and had to drop faster in price then a mobster with concrete around it's feet, to be able to compete.

So if the 8800gt is mentioned, so should the HD4850. If the 8800gt belongs in there at all, is another discussion. In all honestly, I didn't buy hardware back in the Ti 4200 days. I do remember graphics cards, but my dad bought them, not me...
 

qbfx

Senior member
Dec 26, 2007
240
0
0
IMO the GeForce 256 and the DDR version had the biggest impacts - hardware T&L, DDR memory, it was a HUGE leap in performance. TNT 2 Ultra was a great card too.
 

hans007

Lifer
Feb 1, 2000
20,211
8
81
I can't really say a lot of the newer cards are honestly all that "significant". The list in that article is pretty bad if they dont have the powerVR on there.

That said... if I were going to do the list mine woudl be the following.


rendition verite - first 2d and 3d card that anyone actaully really used
voodoo1 - first card that really did anything
matrox g200 - probably the card with the best open GL in the early days, and we do really have to have a representative from matrox. Remember back in the day having to worry about blurry 2d graphics on all other makes of cards at high res? matrox cards were basically the only ones that could display 1600x1200 text well.

voodoo2 - first with sli.
imagination powervr and successors - this was a very important card, and is still used in mobile apps (iphone has a decscendant of it as do a lot of smartphones). introduced tile based rendering. first in matrox /nec powervr. it also made the dream cast far more competitive than anyone would have though.

radeon x1800 - first card with unified shaders (basically is also in the xbox 360).
s3 savage3d (yes you are like wtf, why is an S3 card here but its important) - s3 first pioneered texture compression. s3tc. very significant here, its part of direct X more or less now.

geforce 256 - first card with t&l and geometry processing.

arguably the nforce 2 IGP. first igp with any real 3d built in that was useable.
voodoo 4 / 5 . FSAA and motion blur.




I dont think cards like the radeon 9500 or 8800GT etc are honestly sigfificant at all. sure they were great cards, but they did not pioneer anything at all.







 

Keysplayr

Elite Member
Jan 16, 2003
21,214
50
91
My first 3D graphics purchase was a 12MB Voodoo2 with a dongle connector. For those who don't know about this card, the heavy external dongle cable was used to pass video from the primary 2D card (VGA out), into the VGA input on the Voodoo2. The monitor was then connected to the VGA out on the Voodoo2. So, I think the Voodoo2 was the only card that could be classified accurately as a stand alone graphics accelerator. Which is what they called it then. If the Voodoo1 did this as well, I was not aware of it. AFAICR, the Voodoo banshee was the first from 3Dfx that was an all-in-one 2D/3D card. Then followed by the Voodoo3 2000/3000's. Memory is a bit sketchy though. LOL.

Shortly after, I discovered the Riva TNT 16MB. It performed better than the Voodoo2. At least when Glide was not utilized. Glide was sweet.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,083
489
126
When i think of giant leaps forward I think.

Voodoo2
Geforce256
ATI 9700\9800
Nvidia 6800 series
Nvidia 8800 series

 

Creig

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,171
13
81
GF256 and 4850 should definitely have been included. The GF256 for the first hardware T&L and the 4850 for bringing affordable high-performance gaming to the masses.
 

chizow

Diamond Member
Jun 26, 2001
9,537
1
0
Originally posted by: Seggybop
The 8800GT was actually closer to $300 when it came out. Everyone seems to forget how high the initial prices went from the huge demand. It had been out for quite a while before it got to the $200 range.
It was actually closer to $200 when it came out, I got a EVGA SC on release day for $229 with QW:ET included, as did many others on this forum. Price gouging quickly sent the price up, but it was by far the best relative performance ever seen at its price point. Nearly the same performance of the highest end part on the market for a fraction of the cost.

Originally posted by: MarcVenice
I think the HD4850 did roughly the same. It was available for $150, whilst it's DIRECT competitor, the 9800gtx, was selling for 250$ and had to drop faster in price then a mobster with concrete around it's feet, to be able to compete.

So if the 8800gt is mentioned, so should the HD4850. If the 8800gt belongs in there at all, is another discussion. In all honestly, I didn't buy hardware back in the Ti 4200 days. I do remember graphics cards, but my dad bought them, not me...
The 4850 MSRP'd at $199 and was selling for that much outside of a YMMV price mistake at BB. By the time rebates settled in and the 4850 was consistently below $199, the 9800GTX was EOL and selling for lower than $199 and the GTX+ was selling for $199-$229. The 8800GTS G92 could be had for $150 or less and the 8800GT and 9600GT for $120 or less. So yes, while the 4850 offered great performance at a good price point, it was flanked by similar performing parts at competitive price points. It certainly did not come close to accomplishing the same feat as the 8800GT relative to the 8800GTX/Ultra, if it did you would've gotten 4870 performance for the price of a 4850.
 

Creig

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,171
13
81
I paid $250 for an 8800GT back in the middle of December. Seven months later I paid $140 AR for a faster 4850. And the prices on the G92 cards didn't really start falling until after the 4850 came out.

The 4850 was a MUCH better deal than the 8800GT ever was.
 

WT

Diamond Member
Sep 21, 2000
4,817
57
91
Still have a Canopus Voodoo1 6mb card (n00bs had the 4mb one, I roll with 6mb, baby !!) and a Creative Voodoo2 12mb card. Creative had a firesale back in '98 IIRC, and was selling them for $50.

First true 3D card for me was the STB Riva 128, which didn't have good driver support compared to the 3dfx cards at the time.
 

TantrumusMaximus

Senior member
Dec 27, 2004
515
0
0
Voodoo2
Geforce256
ATI 9700\9800
Nvidia 6800 series
Nvidia 8800 series

Thank You. You made me feel much better about my choices over the past....

I owned each one! and nothing in between!!!! Very true.

First 3D board I bought was almost $300 the first Voodoo daughter card that let me play GL Quake OMG!!!!!!!!

Next Was 2 Voodoo 2 boards! OMG Revolutionary! Look at me play your game at 1024x768 Über RES!!!!

Next on the horizon was the GeForce!

On to the 9700PRO baby! Big Leap ATI was the king legitimately for some time. No argument there.

Boom... the 6800GT x 2... dropped over $800 on the SLI hype that didn't end up delivering the x2 hype at the time however each 6800GT was a landmark overkill card that WHOOPED serious A$$ at the time and prob can play SOME games today even at lower res.

------------

Big Limbo here in purchase land nVidia nor ATI impress at all.... wait I'm a complete liar I did buy an X1900XTX when I got a Dell 2405 to push 1920x1200.

------------

>> 8800GTX Still happy with mine almost 2 years later... shit I just recently bit on ebay and bought a second for $149 eff it. :)

------------

I don't know if I can call anything current "revolutionary".... maybe the next gen after this one. I'm talking single board single GPU of course.... the 4870x2 is impressive and so is GTX280 SLI but I'm not sure either have any of the impact currently that the cards above did.


 

nosfe

Senior member
Aug 8, 2007
424
0
0
i'm pretty sure that the next gen won't be impressive, they both will shrink the die so there won't be any major changes to the architecture

no mention of the gf4 mx440? i know a ton of people who still have it in their systems, comes with living in a developing country i guess
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
10
81
Ahh, Radeon 9700! Brings back memories :) I remember the Radeons 9500 with an L shaped memory that you could mod to a 9700 non-pro. Not to mention how it trashed the FX series :D HL2 was a prime example of it. Had a VooDoo1 and VooDoo2 too, those things were incredible back then. And Glide was amazing, Direct3D was laughable compared to it (like in Freespace, the difference was night and day). Though we all know had that ended :p

A 8800GT has a valid place there imo. It did bring performance for the masses. However, so should the HD48x0 series imo. When both cards debuted, a HD4850 was for 200$ and it's nVidia counterpart, the 9800GTX was for 300$ (I do remember, was considering a purchase at that time). The ATi card was a third cheaper and faster! Same for the HD4870, it debuted at 300$ and it's rival, the GTX260 was well over 450$, again the ATi card was faster and a third cheaper (I clearly remember that, was thinking if I needed the extra punch compared to the HD4850). Not to mention you could buy two HD4850s for 400$ and beat a GTX280 which was like 650$! It seems some of the nVidia fans around here tend to forget that "small" detail. It's only because ATi came in with faster parts at a lot lower prices, did the nVidia cards drop in price too.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,565
1,042
126
Originally posted by: keysplayr2003
My first 3D graphics purchase was a 12MB Voodoo2 with a dongle connector. For those who don't know about this card, the heavy external dongle cable was used to pass video from the primary 2D card (VGA out), into the VGA input on the Voodoo2. The monitor was then connected to the VGA out on the Voodoo2. So, I think the Voodoo2 was the only card that could be classified accurately as a stand alone graphics accelerator. Which is what they called it then. If the Voodoo1 did this as well, I was not aware of it. AFAICR, the Voodoo banshee was the first from 3Dfx that was an all-in-one 2D/3D card. Then followed by the Voodoo3 2000/3000's. Memory is a bit sketchy though. LOL.

Shortly after, I discovered the Riva TNT 16MB. It performed better than the Voodoo2. At least when Glide was not utilized. Glide was sweet.
Voodoo1 was exactly the same implementation as Voodoo2, 3D only add-in card with pass-through dongle. Voodoo2 brought higher core/memory clocks along with SLI to the table.
 

chizow

Diamond Member
Jun 26, 2001
9,537
1
0
Originally posted by: Creig
I paid $250 for an 8800GT back in the middle of December. Seven months later I paid $140 AR for a faster 4850. And the prices on the G92 cards didn't really start falling until after the 4850 came out.

The 4850 was a MUCH better deal than the 8800GT ever was.
So what were you using before the 8800GT and how much did you pay for it? Again, that's where your argument falls flat on its face, the 8800GT destroyed whatever you would've upgraded from (7800/7900 or X19XX) with around 2x performance at a fraction of the price. The same cannot be said of your upgrade from an 8800GT to a 4850.

Originally posted by: Qbah
A 8800GT has a valid place there imo. It did bring performance for the masses. However, so should the HD48x0 series imo. When both cards debuted, a HD4850 was for 200$ and it's nVidia counterpart, the 9800GTX was for 300$ (I do remember, was considering a purchase at that time). The ATi card was a third cheaper and faster! Same for the HD4870, it debuted at 300$ and it's rival, the GTX260 was well over 450$, again the ATi card was faster and a third cheaper (I clearly remember that, was thinking if I needed the extra punch compared to the HD4850). Not to mention you could buy two HD4850s for 400$ and beat a GTX280 which was like 650$! It seems some of the nVidia fans around here tend to forget that "small" detail. It's only because ATi came in with faster parts at a lot lower prices, did the nVidia cards drop in price too.
No one's forgetting those small details, they were beaten to death at 4850's launch. Yes you could daisy-chain a bunch of weaker cards to beat top-end performance; this was already the case with SLI/CF (see 9800GX2, 3870X2, 8800GT SLI etc etc) and there have always been pros and cons in doing so. At the 4850s launch 8800GT and 9600GTs were already going for well below $150. The G92 GTS, which was within 5% of the 9800GTX was at a sub-$200 price point and the 9800 GTX could be had for $250 or less AR (MicroCenter and TD had it for $240 in their fliers). The 4800 series did certainly force NV to lower their prices on the GTX 200 series but that doesn't distinguish it in the overall hierarchy of graphics cards, imo.

My personal list would be:

Voodoo 5: Was slower than its competitors at the time, but was still the best card for Glide, 2D games (still a large % of games at the time) and 3D IQ with FSAA. Great 2D desktop IQ also, even though it was only 16-bit.

9700pro: First card to make AF "free" and really brought AA into the mainstream with playable frame rates with AA enabled even on the most recent and demanding titles. Price was also very reasonable for a flagship part, I believe I paid $329 for mine.

G80 8800: Made single-GPU gaming at HD resolutions a reality. Not only did it improve on everything before it in terms of IQ, AA, and overall performance, it was doing it at resolutions previously unattainable by even predecessor multi-GPU solutions.

Many other honorable mentions, many of which were listed by others.


 

new22003

Member
Jul 16, 2006
64
0
0
I see many newer cards mentioned, but I think if you are truly looking for the most ?influential? you have to go back much further. To the very dawn of consumer 3d gaming and affordable cards.

Modern cards have been evolutionary more than revolutionary. While they have been powerful, few have substantially changed the market as much as those early cards. Below are 2 that I feel REALLY changed the gaming experience.

I remember getting my first graphics card, a 16 meg voodoo banshee pci (not pci-e). It was simply revolutionary and changed my perception of gaming. I remember playing the original Unreal in ?Glide? and blowing my friends and family away. This card, while not as powerful as the voodoo 2, was very low priced and brought 3d into the mainstream. The voodoo 2, 3, and banshee were all extremely important products. I still miss 3dfx.

Another card revolutionary and influential card would be the original Geforce 256. Hardware T&L and many huge improvements from previous gen cards. Sadly this was the card that helped put the nails in 3dfx?s coffin.
 

shangshang

Senior member
May 17, 2008
830
0
0
The real electronic vets will undoubtedly pick Verite and Voodoo, while the youngins are arguing over the 8800GT and 4850, neither of which should be on the list.
 

nitromullet

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2004
9,031
36
91
Originally posted by: hans007

I dont think cards like the radeon 9500 or 8800GT etc are honestly sigfificant at all. sure they were great cards, but they did not pioneer anything at all.
I think you hit the nail on the head with this. The only reason why anyone is talking about 8800GT and/or HD4850 is because they are fairly recent great bang/buck (popular) cards.

When I think of the term 'significant', I think of something that either raises the bar so much or changes the way we think about something.

Since the 9700 Pro, the only cards that are significant IMO are the 8800GTX and the 6800GT/Ultra.

The 8800GTX (G80) because it raised the bar so much over the previous generation and was the first DX10 card. The DX10 part is only really significant because it also was an exclusive to the first Windows OS in seven years.

The 6800GT/Ultra not so much because they were revolutionary on their own, but because they were the first PCIe SLI cards.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,627
236
106
Originally posted by: Wreckage
Originally posted by: cmdrdredd


The 4870 was slower than?
The GTX280 which had been out for awhile. Very much so.

When the 8800 series came out it absolutely demolished any other card on the market regardless of price point.

The 4870 was between second and third place. Hardly "influential" or even mildly impressive.

Had it passed the GTX280 by 30% or more maybe, but it fell behind. In a 2 horse race 2nd place is last place.
It didn't fall behind anything. You do realize that ATI never ment for the 4870 to compete with the GTX280 right? It handily bested the GTX260 which WAS THE COMPETITION FOR IT! The 4870x2 was the card to compete with the GTX280 and it also beat it in most areas.

So again it was NOT slower that it's competitor. It was not meant to be the fastest single GPU solution. It was the best value in the price range and it's that simple.
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
10
81
Originally posted by: shangshang
The real electronic vets will undoubtedly pick Verite and Voodoo, while the youngins are arguing over the 8800GT and 4850, neither of which should be on the list.
I remember my C64 days, then Amiga 500... then my first PC, trust me, I went through Tridents, S3 Trios, Visions, Virges, Voodoo1 and 2s, first Radeons, Rivas, GeForces... you name it, I've been there. All I'm saying is that since they included a 8800GT in the list, they should also do the same for the HD48x0 series. While the GT gave you almost top of the line performance for affordable money, the HD series did the same, forcing the horrendous prices of the GTX series down.
 

hans007

Lifer
Feb 1, 2000
20,211
8
81
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: keysplayr2003
My first 3D graphics purchase was a 12MB Voodoo2 with a dongle connector. For those who don't know about this card, the heavy external dongle cable was used to pass video from the primary 2D card (VGA out), into the VGA input on the Voodoo2. The monitor was then connected to the VGA out on the Voodoo2. So, I think the Voodoo2 was the only card that could be classified accurately as a stand alone graphics accelerator. Which is what they called it then. If the Voodoo1 did this as well, I was not aware of it. AFAICR, the Voodoo banshee was the first from 3Dfx that was an all-in-one 2D/3D card. Then followed by the Voodoo3 2000/3000's. Memory is a bit sketchy though. LOL.

Shortly after, I discovered the Riva TNT 16MB. It performed better than the Voodoo2. At least when Glide was not utilized. Glide was sweet.
Voodoo1 was exactly the same implementation as Voodoo2, 3D only add-in card with pass-through dongle. Voodoo2 brought higher core/memory clocks along with SLI to the table.
the voodoo 2 had 2 texture processors. the voodoo 1 only had 1 and was lower clocked as it was on a larger process.
 

hans007

Lifer
Feb 1, 2000
20,211
8
81
Originally posted by: nitromullet
Originally posted by: hans007

I dont think cards like the radeon 9500 or 8800GT etc are honestly sigfificant at all. sure they were great cards, but they did not pioneer anything at all.
I think you hit the nail on the head with this. The only reason why anyone is talking about 8800GT and/or HD4850 is because they are fairly recent great bang/buck (popular) cards.

When I think of the term 'significant', I think of something that either raises the bar so much or changes the way we think about something.

Since the 9700 Pro, the only cards that are significant IMO are the 8800GTX and the 6800GT/Ultra.

The 8800GTX (G80) because it raised the bar so much over the previous generation and was the first DX10 card. The DX10 part is only really significant because it also was an exclusive to the first Windows OS in seven years.

The 6800GT/Ultra not so much because they were revolutionary on their own, but because they were the first PCIe SLI cards.


I hoenstly don't even really agree that the 6 series was all that significant either.

I can maybe give the 8 series some love since at least it was nvidia's first unified shader architecture. But still, unified shaders were already out on ATI before that.

I'd say the 8000 nvidias were significant, but if I was doing a top 5 it wouldnt be in there.


Seriously outside of unified shaders, nothing has been really ground breaking in GPUs in a while. All it has been has been "MORE" shaders or clock speed. Just normal moores law stuff.

multiple GPUs has been aroudn forever, the fact that its on PCI-E instead of PCI I don't think is somewhat important, but not influential. I mean thats what the article said, influential. And none of these really changed the face of graphics.
 

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