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Your favorite graphics card?

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by Curio, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. Curio


    Joined: Mar 14, 2004

    Posts: 8,000

    Location: Brit in the USA

    I've had many graphics cards over the years, but a couple stand out.

    3dfx Voodoo2 12MB: IMO, the shift to 3D accelerated graphics has been by far the biggest jump in graphics quality in recent times. I remember seeing Forsaken (1997) in hardware rendered 3D (using a ATi Rage 2 based card) and my jaw hit the ground. Soon after, they announced the Voodoo 2 and I pre-ordered one without a second thought. Then I ordered another for SLI. These days the improvements are incremental, but back in the 3dfx days the Voodoo 2 was a massive leap into the future.

    nVidia GeForce 6800nu: Didn't really buy one of these with the intention of unlocking/overclocking. It was just the best I could afford at the time, and I got one on sale. To my amazement it fully unlocked from 12 pipes to 16. I figured it probably wouldn't run reliably at that, but after testing in 3DMark for an hour or two, it was rock solid! So then I started ramping the clock speeds up. I can't remember how far I got, but it was a hefty chunk before I hit problems. Knocked it back down a little until it was stable. I basically had a 6800 Ultra - and that card ran for years (with no extra cooling) and was absolutely stable.

    Over to you guys.
  2. xb8browney


    Joined: May 19, 2005

    Posts: 5,589

    Location: North East

    For me it has to be the ATI x800 XT
  3. Poneros


    Joined: Feb 18, 2015

    Posts: 3,900

    Can't remember the exact model, maybe it was the 9600 Pro Radeon, but I distinctly remember how much of a game changer it was & how great playing games on it was (had a Voodoo 2 before then iirc). Didn't change it until it burned out (literally) for a 4850, which failed quite quickly then got RMA'ed for a GTS 250. No matter, that's the most memorable one for me, it was such a great performer. Granted, I wasn't really as tech literate back then but I do remember how I felt about it. Got the 7950 soon after release, and that should've been a bigger deal but the CPU upgrade made a much bigger impact so it kinda got overshadowed (Q8200 -> i3 3240). Then I had a 380 briefly and a 480, the latter which was quite good (and still is!) and definitely appreciated it a lot but it was still part of incremental upgrades. And now a V64, which also feels also incremental on the 480 (and it is), and even though I love what a beast of a card it is it's not game changing. I think that sort of a revolutionary shift isn't coming anymore but at the same time I also upgrade more often, so that contributes to it too.

    Regardless - AGP Radeon of uncertain identity you are forever my champion.
  4. Curio


    Joined: Mar 14, 2004

    Posts: 8,000

    Location: Brit in the USA

    Radeon 9600xt by any chance? That was a great card. I had one of those too. It was the bang-for-buck champ at the time.
  5. scorchedbee


    Joined: Mar 12, 2013

    Posts: 580

    Location: Grimsby UK

    either the nVidia 6800gt (my first I purchased myself)

    or the ATI 5850, I put so many hours in bad company 2 with that card!
  6. Chrisc

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 29, 2016

    Posts: 1,211

    Location: Up Norf

    Nvidia ti4200 & the XFX 7950gt which was passively cooled, i loved that card!
  7. TNA


    Joined: Mar 13, 2008

    Posts: 14,167

    Location: London

    Very hard to say. But probably ATI 9700 which I bios flashed to a 9700 Pro. Was so scared I would brick my card as it was the first time I did such a thing.

    Worth giving a shout out to the 8800 GTS and Vega Liquid which is the best looking card ever imo.

    Just remembered the 4870. That would probably be up there contending for first place with the 9700 Pro as it beat the 8800 GTX at less than half the price. Was such a great card.

    Back then I recall only buying AMD cards for a very long time as they were price for performance king. Was exclusively AMD for 4 generation of cards at least.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  8. Darujhistan


    Joined: Oct 28, 2011

    Posts: 4,198

    AMD 7850.

    What a card that was for 5 years I had it. Only really bad card I had was the classic to everyone else NV 8800GTS , ran at 90 degrees (tbf I didnlt know much about case cooling then), so I quickly sold sold it.

    I never bought another ref/blower card again.
  9. Yadda


    Joined: Nov 19, 2009

    Posts: 3,766

    Location: Baa

    Although never a serial upgrader I've owned quite a few cards, from the early 4MB Voodoo days.

    They each had their own "wow" moments, from having my first taste of hardware accelerated 3D graphics on the Orchid Righteous Voodoo, my first taste of SLI with Voodoo2, hardware t&l with Geforce 256 DDR, the extra grunt of Geforce 2 64MB and Ti4800. The 6800GT brought with it Doom3 and the Half Life2 with the 9800pro... and so on...
  10. TJM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 10, 2007

    Posts: 2,379

    Battlefield 1942 on the 9700 Pro was peak gaming and it’s still my favourite card even though it didn’t work for several weeks on my new PC because of that black screen on boot error.
  11. Poneros


    Joined: Feb 18, 2015

    Posts: 3,900

    Could've been but I just can't remember. All I know is it was an AGP Radeon around that time and I loved it. :D
  12. Gray2233

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 25, 2010

    Posts: 2,159

    ATI 9500 with L shaped memory, soft modded to an ATI 9700.

    Probably the best bang for the buck I've ever had with a GPU.

    Honourable mentions to my old 3DFX Voodoo 3 and AMD HD7950.

    I also once bought a Geforce 4 Ti4200 and ended up with a Ti4400, which was a lovely surprise.
  13. Chrisc

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 29, 2016

    Posts: 1,211

    Location: Up Norf

    +1 on the vega liquid
  14. chaparral


    Joined: Nov 27, 2005

    Posts: 20,649

    Got be my voodoo 1 which after seeing my mates PC with a voodoo 1 pulling me away from my playstation very quickly ;)

    For high performance increase over last gen one card that really stands were my SLI 8800gtx's that gave a major performance increase over my SLI 7800gtx's

    :D:D:D But my SLI 8800gtx's were still far from being fast enough for the crysis snow levels at 1920x1200 :D:D:D

    I Pay around £800 for them 2 8800gtx's to see 15fps in crysis and people moan about 2080ti price vs performance of only getting around 60FPS at 4k :p
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  15. azazl187

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 19, 2010

    Posts: 2,397

    8800GTX for me. That just knocked everything else I had before it out of the park!
  16. Robzere31


    Joined: Nov 20, 2005

    Posts: 4,118

    Location: Redditch

    My first gpu upgrade was a tnt2 back around the late 90s.
    Coming from an S3 virage it was a big upgrade & played Max Payne a maximum settings :D

    Then the 9700 Rrived around 2000 was a great card.
    Flashed it with a pro bios & it served me very well.

    Since then my current 1080ti has been an excellent card.
    3 years old & still a beast of a card imo.
  17. Quartz


    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 10,476

    Location: Aberdeen

    I got a Voodoo 1 variant card when they first came out. It was game-changing. I got a Voodoo 3 3000 then 5500 all pretty much on day 1. The integration of GPU and accelerator was too tempting.

    The next game-changer was my GTX 780 Ti with which 4k gaming came alive.
  18. Panos


    Joined: Nov 22, 2009

    Posts: 13,200

    Location: Under the hot sun.

    Club 3d ATI 9500np, because of pencil mod :D
  19. The-Plethora


    Joined: Mar 17, 2009

    Posts: 406

    I can only narrow it down to 3

    Voodoo 3 16mb - An upgrade from the 6mb Voodoo Rush. Really well supported and nice and fast and supported all the 3DFX glide games so great compatibility and served me well for years.

    Power VR Kyro 2 Prophet 4500 64mb - At the time it was a choice between this card and a geforce 2 MX. This was a great card and in some cases actually faster than the geforce 2 Ultra thanks to it's tile based rendering. Only issue was that they barely updated the drivers.

    Radeon 9700 Pro 128mb - Such a beast, it made 1600 X 1200 gameplay with anti aliasing possible at high frame rates. ATI were on top of their game here.
  20. Woodsta888

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 24, 2013

    Posts: 1,316

    Location: Exmouth, Devon

    ATI RAge Fury MAXX
    ATI RAdeon 9800 Pro
    NVidia 8800GTS 320mb (couldn't afford the +600mb one)
    Radeon 7990 (Dual 7970ghz gfx card)
    1080ti I reckon will stick out, in time.