In Pictures: The Best Graphics Card Values In History

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  • dragonsqrrl
    Great article. I still have my GeForce 3 Ti 200 (fan died a while ago though), and I'm still running a GTS 250 in my backup system. Both were excellent values.
  • we_san
    just my thought. how about voodoo banshee ? against voodoo2+you must have/buy a 2d card.
  • michalmierzwa
    Epic, I loved this article. I get emotionally attached to my GPU's as my childhood dreams were based on moving away from playing software rendering Quake 2 to OpenGL. That was my 1st step. Than came Quake 3 and oh boy my dreams come true when a budget card did the trick :-))) Amazing!
  • joytech22
    Thanks for the compilation.
    I enjoyed seeing my first dedicated GPU (7600GT) in there, I was like.. 12 when I got my very first desktop (that I could call my own) and the 7600GT was the card I decided to put into it.

    Ah the memories.. (Even though it wasn't long ago -.-)
  • dirtmountain
    Great piece, sure brings back some memories.
  • Tamz_msc
    Ah! The 6600GT, my first dedicated GPU - thou has served me well.
  • Achoo22
    The author is too young and unqualified to write such an article - I'm pretty sure there were some crucially important budget CGA/etc cards back in the 80s without which home computing for entertainment purposes would've never caught on.

    Once upon a time, pretty much every version of BASIC was specific to a particular video card - much like all PC games before VGA/UNIVBE/Direct X. As a result, you can argue pretty strongly that the cards back then were much more important, historically, than anything on this meager and ill-conceived list. Even if the focus was explicitly on modern cards, the choices were poor. We are not impressed.
  • hardcore_gamer
    I built my first gaming PC with a 6600GT when I was 14. I remember playing HL2, UT2004, farcry,Doom3 etc..Good old days :D
  • theuniquegamer
    My first was TNT 2 then 6600 then 8800gt and 4670 and now i will upgrade to 7000 or 700 series
  • hmp_goose
    When did Ledtek get out of the States?
  • eklipz330
    8800 gt and hd 4850 need to be on this list. needs. to.

    *edit* now that ive looked through it, im glad to see they made the list! even more awesome, my current 6850 is on it tooo

    but i have a request tom.... as a previous owner of crossfired 2900xt's, i think you guys should make a list of WORST video card values in history!

    ive had radeon 7200 pro, 9600 pro, x800 xl, cf'd 2900 xt's, cf'd hd 4850's, and an hd 6850.

    funny thing is, this generation of amd cards is back to 7000! lollll
  • Onikage
    Ah yes Memories memories !!!!!!!!!
    Such a nostalgic Article !!!
    they put in there almost all of my Videocards,
    voodoo 2, Geforce 2mx, 9600 pro 256mb ! the Mythical 6600GT ! and of course the legendary G92 gpu, in my case was 8800GTS 512 which was essentially a 9800gtx ( 250)
  • dragonsqrrl
    eklipz3308800 gt and hd 4850 need to be on this list. needs. to.

    umm... they are.
  • Eman25th
    Nostalgic is right, i see my old Ti 200 up there(which is also still have) ^.^ i like these articles
  • JeTJL
    Wondering what's going to be the next best great card.

    Came from a 9600 GSO to a Ati 5670 to my current Amd 6870.
    And now in my laptop AMD 6520D and a Amd 6550M

    There should really be a article on the value of apus.

    Before that I was using Horrible Intergrated graphics. I'm Definitely not going back.
  • gondor
    Where is ISA Tseng Labs ET4000 ? That thing did more for PC graphics than any of cards pictured here.
  • reyshan
    I love the article. Thank you Don. It's so nostalgic looking at these cards down the memory lane. I first wanted a 8600gt but i got a 9600gso then a 5770 and now a 6950 2gb.
  • Anonymous
    Guys, on Picture 13 of 22 (GeForce 8800 GT), that's 9600 GSO by Gigabyte, granted, I still have one in my rig.
  • belardo
    Before I read this article, here is what I consider Greatest cards, based on priceperformance... Some of them, I owned.

    (order of age)
    0 - Amiga (Because back then... PC was pretty much 16 colors, if that)
    1 - 3DFX Banshee $99 / 1999 (Not quite as fast or expandable as the Voodoo2, but cheaper with 2D support)
    2 - GF2-MX $125~150 / 2000 (128bit version), cheaper than the GF2 GTS & Ultra, get 24bit pallet for cheap.
    3 - GF2-Pro $150~175 / 2000 (OEM card originally - far cheaper than the Ultra while almost as fast)
    4 - GF3-Ti200 / 2001 (Half the price of the original GF3, DX8 is new)
    5 - GF4-Ti4200 $200 / 2003 (blows GF3 out of water)
    6 - ATI 9500/9600 / 2003 (First serious ATI cards)
    7 - GF-5700/5900 (Fixed the screw ups from the rest of the GF5"FX" line)
    8 - GF-7600 = At $185~200, it smoked any 6000 series card for the cheap.
    9 - GF-8800GT = Hitting the market at $250, not quite as fast as the $650 8800GTX - but far cheaper.
    (This GPU gets re-named, repackaged about 5-8 times from Nvidia, even ends up as a 200 series card)

    10 - ATI 3850/70 = $175~200, ATI returns to the market with a good-enough card without the heat. Starts price war with Nvidia.

    11 - ATI 4670 = $90~100. Equal to the 3870 but half the price. (Still what I use today)

    After that... my list pretty much ends. The ATI 5700 series is decent at -$100 pricing. At this point, we're past the classic pricingperformance.
  • belardo
    Now that I read the article… my response.
    What Voodoo2 3000? ERROR! There was the Voodoo3 2000!

    While I replaced my Banshee (back when TOMS was a Voodoo/Banshee site) with the V3-2000, in reality – the Banshee and V3 share many of the same functions. We’d piss off V3 owners calling it the “Banshee 2”.

    Back in the day, I think the Banshee was better than the TNT in value because Glide was API used in most popular games. The Banshee could play DX games… which began the death of Glide/3Dfx. Of course 3Dfx business move to piss off their partners is what kill them.

    Kyro II = garbage… yeah it was cheap, but look at the old reviews. Many games didn’t work right. They did teach the others how to do tile-based rendering… in software. If this card was good, they would have made it…

    Agreed on the 6600GT/ATI800.

    I don’t agree on the ATI 6800 series…
    What makes a card become a CLASSIC BEST, is the introduction to the market with an excellent priceperformance. The 6800 series are on par with the 5800… at best.
    As of today, they are becoming yesterdays 4800 series with the 6870 hitting $140~150.