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The 23 Greatest Graphics Cards Of All Time

The 23 Greatest Graphics Cards Of All Time
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Meet The Most Legendary Graphics Cards

Can you remember the graphics engines we consider worthy of commemoration as the title holders of their time? We thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane and recount the most powerful GPUs. We'll start back in 1996 with a single pixel pipeline and make our way to the present day with modern monsters capable of handling over 3000 pixel shader operations per clock!

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  • 38 Hide
    buzznut , August 19, 2011 5:00 AM
    Its amazing how many of these I've owned. Voodoo II, Voodoo III, GeForce 4ti, Riva TNT, Radeon 9800, TNT 2 Ultra..Course now that I'm married I can't spend money on things like the latest video card. :( 
  • 24 Hide
    dogman_1234 , August 19, 2011 4:45 AM
    Cool. Thanks for the history lesson.
  • 20 Hide
    JackMomma , August 19, 2011 4:40 AM
    Never thought I'd be proud of my ol' 295GTX as I am now... Anyway, it's time to let her cool off again.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    JackMomma , August 19, 2011 4:40 AM
    Never thought I'd be proud of my ol' 295GTX as I am now... Anyway, it's time to let her cool off again.
  • 24 Hide
    dogman_1234 , August 19, 2011 4:45 AM
    Cool. Thanks for the history lesson.
  • 5 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 19, 2011 4:46 AM
    One thing, you part with the 3870 X2 states it had a combined 160 Pixel Shaders but a single 3870 had 320 Stream processors, same as the HD2900, and a 3870 X2 had 640 Stream processing units.

    If anything, the 3870 X2 had 128 SP units that acted as 5 SP units giving it 640.

    Other than that, nice article. I remember my 9700 Pro. Too bad the memory died out on it. But it was ok. I got a 9800XT to replace it.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 19, 2011 4:47 AM
    I was somewhat disappointed the first Matrox dual-head card didn't make the list.
  • 16 Hide
    bin1127 , August 19, 2011 5:00 AM
    Cleaning out the closet at Tom's huh?
  • 38 Hide
    buzznut , August 19, 2011 5:00 AM
    Its amazing how many of these I've owned. Voodoo II, Voodoo III, GeForce 4ti, Riva TNT, Radeon 9800, TNT 2 Ultra..Course now that I'm married I can't spend money on things like the latest video card. :( 
  • 6 Hide
    chillin15 , August 19, 2011 5:05 AM
    proud former owner of the g4 4600 ti
  • 12 Hide
    utengineer , August 19, 2011 5:06 AM
    Still running GTX 280's in SLI. I don't get DX11, but I still play every game out there with no problem. 3 years and still going strong. Great investment.
  • 12 Hide
    cangelini , August 19, 2011 5:16 AM
    jimmysmittyOne thing, you part with the 3870 X2 states it had a combined 160 Pixel Shaders but a single 3870 had 320 Stream processors, same as the HD2900, and a 3870 X2 had 640 Stream processing units.If anything, the 3870 X2 had 128 SP units that acted as 5 SP units giving it 640.Other than that, nice article. I remember my 9700 Pro. Too bad the memory died out on it. But it was ok. I got a 9800XT to replace it.


    Absolutely right. Don must have owned a "special" 3870 X2. I've updated the story to reflect the X2s everyone else owned ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    toxxel , August 19, 2011 5:18 AM
    Still have my MSI Geforce 4 TI 4200 128mb DDR card, no real use for it now a days so it just lays in a box with the rest of my outdated stuff.
  • 17 Hide
    mute20 , August 19, 2011 5:20 AM
    Love this article
  • 10 Hide
    cleeve , August 19, 2011 5:23 AM
    jimmysmittyOne thing, you part with the 3870 X2 states it had a combined 160 Pixel Shaders but a single 3870 had 320 Stream processors, same as the HD2900, and a 3870 X2 had 640 Stream processing units.If anything, the 3870 X2 had 128 SP units that acted as 5 SP units giving it 640.Other than that, nice article. I remember my 9700 Pro. Too bad the memory died out on it. But it was ok. I got a 9800XT to replace it.


    Thanks Jimmy. Not sure what I was smoking when i put that in there, but I was bandying about a lot of ancient statistics so It'd have been a miracle if I didn't make a horrendous flub like that at least once. :) 
  • 10 Hide
    njgtechguy , August 19, 2011 6:10 AM
    There is an error on the GeForce 3 page. Hardware tessellation became supported in DirectX11, not 10.
  • 6 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , August 19, 2011 6:11 AM
    Geforce 256, Geforce 3 Ti, Radeon 9700 pro, and Geforce 8800 GTX. Amazing performance, absolutely revolutionary architectures for their time, and four of my personal favorites. Still have the Geforce 3 Ti 200 my brother gave me.

    No FX5800 Ultra or HD2900XT? lol.
  • -6 Hide
    haplo602 , August 19, 2011 6:20 AM
    You should include GAMING in the title and drop the 'of all time' part. You are missing a LOT of cards in the list with the current title of the article.
  • 3 Hide
    themelc , August 19, 2011 6:24 AM
    I still have my old 3dfx Voodoo3. That sucker ran Quake 3 Arena like mad. Perfect timing for the best game in the world.
  • 1 Hide
    agnickolov , August 19, 2011 6:26 AM
    A more accurate title would be: "The 22 Greatest 3D Graphics Cards Of All Time". The Voodoo 1 and 2 cards in the beginning of the list are not even graphics cards - they are 3D co-processors for a host 2D graphics card!
  • 4 Hide
    QEFX , August 19, 2011 6:27 AM
    Interesting choices. I'd have added:

    Rage Fury MAXX: OK there was that minor issue about not working with anything past WinME

    KYRO II: The little card that almost did

    ATI All-In-Wonder: (8500 mostly) A fast, but not fastest, card that you could game while watching TV (or DVR a show).

    Matrox Parhelia: Best name, how many screens do you need? 3? We can do that. Too bad it was 6 months to a year late (and expensive). Nobody mention that face-mapping thing please. R.I.P. Matrox G-series

    Lastly-
    Glaze3D 4800: The fastest vapor on the planet.
  • 7 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , August 19, 2011 6:28 AM
    "Immediately after, Nvidia launched the GeForce 7900 GTX 512 MB with a 512-bit memory interface to keep the crown."

    The 7900GTX still used a 256-bit memory interface like the 7800GTX. It was a process shrink down to 90nm, coupled with increased clocks and double the GDDR3 that set it apart.
  • -8 Hide
    pirateboy , August 19, 2011 6:50 AM
    not including matrox millenium (and mistique for that matter) shows a noob wrote this....also none of the Hercules cards huh?
    Gfx card history does not start with Voodoo1 you noob.
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