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Question Why don't they (or people) start making graphics cards with several old processors on them?

SaltyNuts

Golden Member
May 1, 2001
1,700
95
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With graphics cards prices being INSANE these days, I mean LITERALLY insane, why haven't the graphics card makers, or even aftermarket people like you guys, started pulling processors off old graphics cards and putting them all together on a single graphics card to make graphics cards that are very powerful but still very cheap because the processors were pulled off decade plus old graphics cards? Like hell, get 20 RIVA 128 cards. Pull off the processors. Sure, although each was badass back in its day, they are slow by today's standards. But.... what about 20 of them soldered on a single graphics card? Write some simple drivers to make them work in concert, and I bet it would be fast as fuk, and cheap, or hell probably free if you accept old PC donations... why has no one done this?
 
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BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,862
949
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RIVA128 is DirectX 5.0 so it physically cannot run anything made in the last ~25 years.

"Simple drivers", heh. Even 2 x multi GPU required millions of lines of code to maintain and still had a lot of problems. Good luck scaling that to 20 GPUs.

And where's the VRAM going to come from? How about 4K video decoding? WDDM acceleration? 32 bit color?

You'd have much better luck (and performance) using the WARP rasterizer on a Threadripper.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,351
6,581
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Write some simple drivers to make them work in concert
Eh, that's the rub.

And technically, (well, maybe if they were DX12 spec), you could get a quad-GPU PCI-E riser adapter, four risers, and plug in four GPUs into each PCI-E x1 slot on your mobo, and DX12 games (if written properly to take advantage of multi-GPU) will do that automagically.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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Manufacturing wise even assuming old designs could be updated to modern components like memory and available board parts and such.
How would this solve the manufacturing bottleneck?
Seems like it would be less efficient to make an older chip/card design would actually slow manufacturing.
 

DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,329
233
106
I keep seeing ATI Rage XL 8MB cards pop up. If they wanted to bring back say the 1070/1080 they'd be stuck by other component shortages like GDDR5 being hard to get now let alone GDDR5X and other small components. Even if they made the GPU's they'd end up with nothing to sell due to shortages anyway.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
9,305
2,729
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Even ignoring the (huge) problem of splitting tasks between that many cards- modern GPUs are massively more efficient. A Geforce 560ti is about 7GFlops/Watt, and a Geforce 3060 is about 55GFlops/Watt. The power consumption would be insane.
 

guidryp

Golden Member
Apr 3, 2006
1,314
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started pulling processors off old graphics cards and putting them all together on a single graphics card to make graphics cards that are very powerful but still very cheap because the processors were pulled off decade plus old graphics cards?
This doesn't work on so many levels.

For practical physical reasons you probably won't get more than 4 GPUs working on card. The most old multi-GPU cards ever had were two GPU chips ( maybe some 3DFX prototypes escaped with more).

Who is going to create the cards? It's hard to make serious business manufacturing a card based on old chips that you need to scour EBAY for.

CF/SLI software is not that good/flexible. You can barely get a couple of modern cards working let alone 4+ ancient ones.

Go back very far, and you lack SW support at all.

Even if the software could make it work, memory does't stack across SLI/CF. So at Minimum you would need 4GB card, or more likely 8GB cards, limiting how far back you can go.

So what is the realistic expression of this idea.

You buy 2 or 3 older cards and use SLI/CF.

Let's look at NVidia cards:

NVidia has killed Driver support for Kepler and older cards. So Maxwell.

980 4GB selling around $300 on Ebay.
980 Ti 6GB selling around $400 on Ebay

Buy multiple of these suddenly doesn't looks so hot...

Right now I think you best bet for AAA gaming is to become a Console gamer. Just two days ago I got an email from Microsoft saying the had XBSX at MSRP in stock...
 
Feb 4, 2009
30,454
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Even ignoring the (huge) problem of splitting tasks between that many cards- modern GPUs are massively more efficient. A Geforce 560ti is about 7GFlops/Watt, and a Geforce 3060 is about 55GFlops/Watt. The power consumption would be insane.
If you can make four 560ti’s why couldn’t four 1660ti/supers be made instead?
 

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