I got my first pc in 1997, so I remember the days of the 'old' video cards. The first CPU was the intel 4004, a 4 BIT processor a big deal for its day.
Anyways, I've never been a gamer really, so I've never paid much attention to GPU's, but recently had noticed that they all look like blocks now with their own fans, heatsinks and casings, etc. Back when video cards first came out (circa 1995) they had 4 mb of RAM, no fans at all and maybe a small heatsink if that. Here's an interesting article on the history of GPU's