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Question Show and tell: Your all time favorite gpu?

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Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,414
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Top 3 in order
1. Radeon 9700 Pro. Unbelievably long lived, unmatched performance at its time
2. Radeon 290, very affordable, great performance. All of my 290s paid themselves off with mining. I just finally replaced my original blower 290 from launch day in my guest computer just to reduce fan noise but it was still chugging along playing all modern games at mediumish at 1080p to totally acceptable FPS.
3. 1080 Ti, I got the first aftermarket cooler one (MSI Armor). Boosts to 1.9-1.95 constantly, never gets hot, super quiet and amazing performance since launch and continues to be top notch
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
991
287
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That same friend started with an eMachine that had a Rage 128 (first Pentium III model with a DVD drive; was also available with a Voodoo3 1000).
Friend got took to the cleaners back in 2005 with what certainly had to be a stock Emachines with xp no service packs,a celeron 1.8ghz 128mb of ram and then the 128 pro. That pc ALWAYS would blue screen, crash, lock up doing the slightest of things. The dvd rom actually crapped out halfway through a restore i think one of the bands for the motor snapped and i was in the middle of a restore...managed to balance the second disc on a butter knife to drop it on the motor spindle as tray was shot. That was the first official pc hardware swap i did, i found a second hand store that happened to have parts including a new rom. The 6200 le swap was the last thing i did till the entire thing finally pooped itself. Like it was dead Jim.

Fair to assume this Emachines was the sole reason i got into the pc hobby to begin with, before that i only knew how to turn them on and of course restore. Became second nature just to assume if i do a certain task it was very likely we would be screwed and restoring it and usually i was like a jedi i just KNEW when it would happen. I had no idea about ram or cpu upgrades, i barely understood this pc as a whole honestly but i learned something real quick. This pc was complete utter trash.
 
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wanderica

Senior member
Oct 2, 2005
206
24
81
Voodoo 3 hands down, at least for nostalgia. It was nothing special, and mine was just a pci card, not AGP (which was the new standard at the time). Still though, I bought that and a new HDD because Diablo 2 took up a whopping 2.1 GB of hard drive space. I must have watched that old 3D Mark demo a thousand times.

As far as the best I've ever owned, I have to say my current 1080 Ti. This has been the greatest card I've ever owned in terms of performance, and since I bought mine early before the mining craze for the original MSRP, it has also been the best bang for my dollar too. 4 years going strong, and still don't feel the need to upgrade, all for 800 bucks.
 
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CZroe

Lifer
Jun 24, 2001
23,094
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I remember being surprised to see the Voodoo 3 3000 AGP available when I saw it, thinking it wasn't due for a few more days. I ordered it right away for surprisingly cheap (I recall ~$179). It came with Unreal, Descent, Need For Speed III Hot Pursuit, and other full-version games. It seems they expected to bundle Unreal Tournament with it and bundled Unreal instead because it had a mail-in card for free Unreal Tournament and my copy of Unreal was mis-labeled as Unreal Tournament. Like, the permanent disc art was manufactured as "Unreal Tournament."

At the time I didn't own the full version Unreal (only had the Diamond Special Edition version from my Voodoo Banshee) so I thought this was awesome. I found that there was no UnrealEd like they promised was on the disc for every full-version of the game. I didn't think too much about it at the time but later on I found that this was a big deal.

Anyway, Unreal Tournament arrived by mail and I was surprised to find that the disc label was full-color. I was also surprised to find that the game was on two discs since the misprinted copy of Unreal with the UT label was two color screen printed and seemed to indicate it was a single-disc game.

My card died at some point and I got an RMA. They told me not to send in anything but the card since they couldn't guarantee I'd get the other items back, so I kept the games. What they sent back was a full retail box complete with the game bundle! I recall that the Unreal disc was printed correctly this time and I deliberately did not claim the free UT from this since I wasn't supposed to get a second set of games anyway.

So, many years later (2007) I decided to look and see if that misprinted disc was worth anything... AFTER I had listed it in a lot of PC games on eBay. Somehow I stumbled on an Unreal forum where they had some beta UT maps that they had been trying to open for years. I mentioned that my Unreal disc was clearly made before Unreal Tournament was finished and was missing content as a result. They perked up and asked me to see if it still had the UnrealEd.dll file even though... and it did. They got super-excited hoping it was a particular version that was used internally during the UT beta which could be used with UnrealEd to open those long-lost UT beta maps... and it was!

They mastered that Unreal disc in such a rush that they realized it had a beta UnrealEd from an unreleased game, deleted it, and still accidentally left the all-important DLL file. :)

Man, I wish graphics cards had the game bundles they used to have. :(
 
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Tup3x

Senior member
Dec 31, 2016
288
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Tough call, I have had a lot of vid cards over the decades. But I am going with the PowerColor Red Devil Vega 56 that powers my 1080p HTPC/recliner gamer at the moment. Powercolor Pr0n page for the card This thing is an absolute unit. Most overbuilt card I think I have ever owned. 3 bios, so you can mess around with modded ones, basically consequence free. HBM2 memory which is just neat IMO. Looks cool and the red and black matches the theme of the entire build it is in; All AMD build w/all red LED effects, even the ram. And it is a quintessential example of AMD fine wine technology -


While my poor GTX 1070 gets the usual unwanted stepchild treatment older gen cards get from Nvidia.
I'm going with GTX 1070. Performed great right off the bat and has been rock solid. One of the (if not the) coolest and quietest card that I've ever had. Has been great for desktop (proper VP9 decoding) use and games. One of the best investment - I bought it shortly after the release when the prices weren't inflated.
 
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mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
991
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I'm going with GTX 1070. Performed great right off the bat and has been rock solid. One of the (if not the) coolest and quietest card that I've ever had. Has been great for desktop (proper VP9 decoding) use and games. One of the best investment - I bought it shortly after the release when the prices weren't inflated.
Yeah my friend had a 1070, i thought it was amazing for BF4 and GTA V. Not a bad little 1080p card. Yeah you can't max out gta v and hold 60 but drop a few settings down to very high and its prob hold without issue. Still very respectable.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
21,197
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I'm going with GTX 1070. Performed great right off the bat and has been rock solid. One of the (if not the) coolest and quietest card that I've ever had. Has been great for desktop (proper VP9 decoding) use and games. One of the best investment - I bought it shortly after the release when the prices weren't inflated.
Don't get me wrong, I still use my GTX 1070 every week. And the VP9 performance is indeed outstanding, as paired with even a 10yr old Phenom II X4 it will play the video I posted at 1440p60 with CPU usage in the 30's. Even with an old X2 5200+ it was perfectly smooth but with 70-80 percent usage. But like the GTX 660 -750ti-770-960-1060 I owned, at a certain point in the aging process, planned obsolescence kicks in, and Nvidia stops optimizing for it. Understandable biz practice, but not the most consumer friendly. Now, I have 2060&2070 Supers and I will watch it happen again. I like all of them, but my favorite card? Heck no.

I can well see, how 1080ti owners would feel that way though. Card is still a beast. I have never paid $700 for a graphics card, but that one would have been worth it.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
991
287
96
I can well see, how 1080ti owners would feel that way though. Card is still a beast. I have never paid $700 for a graphics card, but that one would have been worth it.
Got mine used for $440 i think, was like $20 cheaper for the Zotac mini 1080ti from the Zotac store off ebay then anyone else at the time. I had my eyes on that or a 2080 super and well not gonna spend THAT much more for the same or a 5% performance difference i could gain from on the 1080ti while also having less vram. I wanted a card i could pass down to my friends and guarantee fit and well the mini does just that. Not the most efficient but it works.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
21,197
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Got mine used for $440 i think, was like $20 cheaper for the Zotac mini 1080ti from the Zotac store off ebay then anyone else at the time. I had my eyes on that or a 2080 super and well not gonna spend THAT much more for the same or a 5% performance difference i could gain from on the 1080ti while also having less vram. I wanted a card i could pass down to my friends and guarantee fit and well the mini does just that. Not the most efficient but it works.
You know, I am probably being too hard on the 1070 too. I did not have it at launch, it is doing great for a card coming up on its 4th b-day. I bought mine, used, like new condition, from FS/FT here, probably over a year after release.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
991
287
96
You know, I am probably being too hard on the 1070 too. I did not have it at launch, it is doing great for a card coming up on its 4th b-day. I bought mine, used, like new condition, from FS/FT here, probably over a year after release.
Yup like i mentioned in a earlier post, i think the 1070 is a solid card and for most of what i play it would have been good enough.My friend let me test drive it back years ago, had bottlenecking on his i7 3770 in BF4 at 1080p. I was trying some 4k gaming and the 1080ti made sense. Idk simply content honestly with my freesync 24'' 1080p monitor these days and now a overkill card for it.

I do love my overkill like i got this Antec 900 that may get 6 delta 120mm fans in the 150cfm range, that or i mod the holy heck out of a CM H500P Mesh. Been some years since i had overkill this badly though. I still obsess over having my OSD enabled even if i know for everything i am cpu limited by about a quarter mile and 10 seconds.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
991
287
96
Unfortunately we didn't have youtube back then to tell us just how bad the 5800 Ultra really was. Instead we had lies from AEG viral marketeers like Trollo:

Yeah a dust buster, idk something about that noise screams performance. Oh wait i seen this before....

 

thigobr

Member
Sep 4, 2016
98
55
61
For me the most impactful cards were:

- 3DfX Voodoo 3 3000 AGP: a fan on the heatsink, overclock and play Glide games!

- A generic ATI 9550 128MB AGP with Samsung DDR memory that overclocked like crazy (from 250/400MHz to 400/600MHz 9600PRO level)

- Jetway Reference 8800GT PCIE 512MB from launch day that's so far was the GPU I kept using as main one for longer than any other
 

Massive79

Senior member
Sep 16, 2004
238
2
81
I have been enjoying my RX 5700 XT.

But my all time favorite is probably the Voodoo 2. It was game changing. At the time most games had software render modes. Switching them to Glide was like starting up a whole new game.

My second choice would be tied between the original Radeon, and the Radeon 9800 Pro. The OG Radeon was a pretty major breakthrough in performance and features. The 9800 Pro was just FAST.

My most hated card, is probably going to be a Matrox G400 that I had. And I didn't know how bad it was until I replaced it with a GeForce 3 Ti200. I then found out the Matrox was literally rendering games wrong. Colors, lighting, textures, everything changed with the GeForce.
Remembering those days where I can not afford a Voodoo 2 VGA card :) :).

My most remembered VGA is when 9800SE pipeline can be unlocked to 9800XT, wish those day exist again now, as we try to look for golden batch 9800SE.
And I also remember having fun with 8800GT in SLI, as those card is slim but quite powerful back then.

I also remember hating 8800GTX and 9800GX2 as it very hard to tame the temperature of those cards
 
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Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
4,569
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Remembering those days where I can not afford a Voodoo 2 VGA card :) :).

My most remembered VGA is when 9800SE pipeline can be unlocked to 9800XT, wish those day exist again now, as we try to look for golden batch 9800SE.
And I also remember having fun with 8800GT in SLI, as those card is slim but quite powerful back then.

I also remember hating 8800GTX and 9800GX2 as it very hard to tame the temperature of those cards
I remember saving up for quite a while in order to afford a Voodoo 2. In the end I ended up having two of them across two different machines. An 8MB version, and a 12MB version.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
991
287
96
HD7950 and R9 290, best cards of the last decade. Even today they can manage to play even the latest 2019 and 2020 games unlike other cards in the same price points (GTX6xx and GTX7xx).
Yeah i opted for a 770 over a 290, was faster in BF4 and that was all i cared about. That and well had a terrible time with the 7970 sleep issue which sold me on never touching AMD again. LOL this time i got a bit lucky though, this 1080ti is not only faster in what i play then anything else in its price range but has plenty of vram. Maybe be the first card that gets phased out before vram is even a issue. I have Yet seen a game ask for more then 8gb and that was COD BO4 with its trash textures. Just cause it uses that much vram does not impress me nor sell me its a next gen game. Its still using a modified decade old engine, lipstick on a pig with that RT in the recent COD title.

Kind of excited to see what massacres this thing and renders it junk for 1080p. Next gen has to for sure, cause this current gen stuff is presenting cpu bottlenecks and low gpu usage in most stuff with a 7700k. No bad performance YET.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
991
287
96
Doom Eternal is the new poster child for how poorly those old GTX cards have aged.


Edit: watched and got my answer, was gonna ask about how 4gb gtx960s do but then saw it in chart. Spare rig has one that roomie is using for LOL. I was surprised to see the 4gb gtx960 in those charts.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
21,197
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Edit: watched and got my answer, was gonna ask about how 4gb gtx960s do but then saw it in chart. Spare rig has one that roomie is using for LOL. I was surprised to see the 4gb gtx960 in those charts.
They call Steve the benchmark king for good cause, he puts the work in. You can always hit up Tech Spot to see the charts without the chatter. I know some old schoolers hate video reviews. I find them entertaining, and would rather watch them than most TV or other streaming content.

BTW, in response to this quote -

Kind of excited to see what massacres this thing and renders it junk for 1080p.
It will be its creator, Nvidia, that deals it the death blow. ;) Look at those Doom Eternal numbers for high end 6 and 7 series.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
66,608
2,265
126
It certainly doesn't work universally, but this shows the AMD advantage of having so much influence on the development of modern API's.
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,177
2,007
126
Yeah i opted for a 770 over a 290, was faster in BF4 and that was all i cared about.
Where did you see this ??? 290 was way faster in BF4 and with Mantle later on , 290 had the absolute performance and smoothness advantage over any NV card at the time.
 

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