TOP 5 videocards of all time

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby Cga.8086 » 2017-12-25 @ 03:17

#1 Voodoo2
#2 Geforce2
#3 Ati radeon 9800pro
#4 Geforce 8800gt
#5 TNT2

what about you?
Posts: 94
Joined: 2017-4-16 @ 22:38

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby CkRtech » 2017-12-25 @ 05:13

What is your criteria?

There are a lot of different approaches to this. Like I would put the move from CGA to EGA or (in my case) CGA straight to VGA in there - but I don't have a specific card to mention for that change. Also - why GeForce 2?

The jump to the original GeForce T&L was more of a defining moment in history, imo. That said, it happened at a time when raw power (TNT2 Ultra) was more useful in cases where T&L couldn't be utilized - original GeForce had a bit of a bridge period like that, and then the Gf2 was released and had a more friendly price point in addition to better T&L support on the market at the time of its release. (An argument perhaps for why you selected it?)
User avatar
Posts: 582
Joined: 2014-8-23 @ 00:54
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-12-25 @ 05:27

It seems we're talking video chipsets here. Anyway, in no particular order:

Voodoo 1
Geforce 256
Radeon 9700 Pro
Hmm... Tseng ET4000
SGI RealityEngine / InfiniteReality
User avatar
Posts: 5020
Joined: 2015-11-03 @ 05:51
Location: The Great White North

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby agent_x007 » 2017-12-25 @ 09:06

#1 Voodoo 1
#2 Radeon 9700 Pro
#3 GeForce 8800 GTX
#4 GeForce 256 DDR
#5 Radeon HD 4870/5870
User avatar
Posts: 888
Joined: 2016-1-19 @ 11:06

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby vlask » 2017-12-25 @ 09:32

1]Voodoo 1 - 3d revolution
2]Geforce 256 - 1st working DX7 card and also destroyer of eveyone else except ATI
3]S3 Trio64V+ - cheap, fast and with video CD acceleration, almost everyone had them - brings video CD to people
5]Hercules card - 1st chip with custom language fonts support, used till early 90's
Not only mine graphics cards collection at
Posts: 375
Joined: 2009-6-29 @ 18:01
Location: Czech Republic

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby Zup » 2017-12-25 @ 10:21

There's no Top 5, a new videocard will (almost) always top anything in the list. I guess the correct approach (taken by everybody) would be the 5 most influential video cards, but maybe most lists are wrong. There are some suggestions.

- Voodoo 1. The card that fuelled the 3D revolution, but wasn't the first 3D card and lacked features (still needed a 2D card in the PC, and only supported Glide games). Maybe this place could be taken by the first (consumer) 3D card, some other chipset that inspired later 3D chips (obviously, NOT NV1!) or a card that integrated 2D and 3D in a single card.

- Geforce 256. First (consumer) GPU, every later video card had to include the same features or fade into oblivion.

- Hercules Graphics Card. Maybe the first "office" card, brought high resolution to desktops... but no colours. Also it was the first time that a card succeeded without copying IBM designs.

- EGA or VGA. EGA was maybe the first general purpose video card. It had higher resolutions for work and could do 16 colours for gaming, but was a mess of chips. VGA enhanced the EGA card and integrated everything in a single chip (but still had the register mess inherited from EGA).

- Maybe the last place could be populated with one of those SVGA cards that extended VGA to 1024x768, one of those ATI cards that had 2D, 3D and TV on the same card, a S3 card cheap, reliable and slow or the i740 that show AGP capabilities (at a slow pace, so everybody could understand the advantages ;) ). Maybe some obscure professional 3D card that predated and evolutioned into 3D consumer cards, or the 8514 that influented some later (and cheaper) SVGA cards. Maybe it could be the first chipset that supported LCDs and allowed to build laptops. Or maybe this place could be for a display instead of a video card... I guess that the first multisync monitors that overcome "fixed" resolutions should be honored.

Every one of this cards is important on its own, so it makes no sense in giving a first or fifth place, and it's hard to trace the origin of some improvements on videocards (i.e.: although GF256 was the first consumer GPU, I'm sure that there were previous professional cards that featured GPUs).
I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!
User avatar
Posts: 1062
Joined: 2003-10-04 @ 12:16

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby jheronimus » 2017-12-25 @ 10:35

Not the "most significant cards in history" list, just cards from my collection that I like the most:

1) Voodoo 3. I have this card in both AGP and PCI versions and I use them for most of my "fast" builds: Pentium 3, Pentium Pro, Super Socket 7
2) Matrox Millenium — my default card for all Pentiums, from Pentium 60 to P-MMX@233
3) Cirrus Logic 5428. Admitedly, that's my only VLB videocard, but it works really nice in all my VLB builds. It has decent performance and compatibility and is easier to find than Tseng/S3 VLB cards.
Socket 7: Pentium 166; 64MB RAM; Matrox Millenium+Voodoo 1; AWE32 PnP w/28MB + GUS PnP Pro w/8MB
Slot 1: Pentium III 500; 384MB RAM; Voodoo 5 5500 AGP; AWE64 Value w/8MB + Diamond Monster Sound MX300 + SoundBlaster Live!
User avatar
Posts: 781
Joined: 2015-12-10 @ 00:09
Location: Moscow

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby dr_st » 2017-12-25 @ 11:33

1) Voodoo 3 3000 AGP
2) Gigabyte N66T128VP (passively-cooled 6600GT AGP with VIVO)
3) 9600GT
4) GTX660
5) Whatever I'm going to get for my next gaming PC

Why? Because these are the cards I chose to buy at the time I bought them; obviously it makes them the best.
User avatar
Posts: 1092
Joined: 2015-4-09 @ 07:18

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby clueless1 » 2017-12-25 @ 12:06

Obviously these lists are personal and usually tied to our own personal experiences. That said...
1) ARK2000PV - fastest period-correct DOS chipset ever made, very hard to find and relatively unknown
2) GTX 750Ti - best bang for the buck for a couple of years, legendary performance efficiency
3) Voodoo 1 - the 1 that started it all
4) Tseng ET4000 - The fastest DOS chip before the ARK Logic chip came out
5) Matrox Millennium - the chip that wrestled image quality and Windows performance away from ATI's Mach lineup, all while being super fast in DOS too
The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks
User avatar
Posts: 3607
Joined: 2015-12-22 @ 17:43
Location: Midwest US

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby slivercr » 2017-12-25 @ 14:43

my list has just 3d capable hardware

  1. Voodoo2: SLI, legendary. Has to be here
  2. GeForce 256 / GeForce2: either of these. The former was the "revolution", the latter came soon after and was more widely available
  3. Radeon 8500: ATI waking up and giving GF3 a hard time
  4. Radeon 9700 / 9800: either of these. ATI kicking butt
  5. GeForce 460: performance for the masses.
Outrigger: OR840 / 2x P3-S 1400 / 2 GB RDRAM / QuForce FX 5800 / Voodoo2 SLI / Win2k
User avatar
Posts: 261
Joined: 2017-2-16 @ 18:00
Location: Groningen

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-12-25 @ 18:00

I'm going to go with the most common "best bang for the buck" cards from a particular era. These are cards that almost everyone bought unless they had tons of money to throw at a PC. If there were lots of cards in a particular era that were popular, none will be listed (since they all shared the market at that time).

Voodoo 3 2000 (For only $99 it offered tons of performance for any system, even if you didn't have an AGP slot, the PCI version was an amazing card)

Geforce 2 MX (Yet again, tons of performance for a low price, could run basically anything until DirectX 8 support became a requirement)

I can't pick anything for several years here... The Geforce 3 through 7 and Radeon 8500 through X1xxx era was highly contested so its hard to pick specific cards here... Ti 4200, 8500, 9500 Pro, 9700 Pro, 9800 Pro, 6600GT, 6800GT, were all popular, but no single model was so common that they were ubiquitous. I think early on it was mostly because the best buys tended to be more expensive cards... the mainstream cards at this time were way behind, like the Geforce 4MX, Radeon 92xx, . This probably pushed more people to get more comfortable spending more on GPUs (9700, 9800, 6800, 7900GT), then we ended up with:

Geforce 8800GT\9800GT (More expensive cards than others that were highly popular, but they were extremely common and still are after nearly 10 years... trounced all previous generation high end cards, offered DX10 support and were plenty fast enough for most gamers for many years.)

Geforce GTX 750 Ti (Super common, amazing efficiency, can still play anything at reduced graphics settings... the go-to card for those not worried about max settings and would still be today if they still made and sold them for a reasonably price)
Time Machine = FIC PA-2013 2.1 - K6-2 500 - 256MB PC-100 - TNT2 Pro 16MB AGP - Labway Yamaha YMF719-E - Midiman MM401
Amibay For Sale Threads
I have lots of PC stuff for sale on Mercari! Get a $10 sign up credit with invite code VBGQMM.
User avatar
Posts: 1024
Joined: 2016-3-16 @ 21:33

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby Davros » 2017-12-25 @ 20:35

Voodoo1 also supported direct 3d and had a minigl
Guardian of the Sacred Five Terabyte's of Gaming Goodness
User avatar
Posts: 2475
Joined: 2004-3-01 @ 03:08

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby Unknown_K » 2017-12-25 @ 21:36

Tseng ET4000W32 VLB made windows more fun and was good for gaming as well plus it was cheap.
Matrox Millenium 1 PCI. Great refresh and visuals (color depth and clarity), passable for gaming (chained to a voodoo), great for Windows with solid drivers.
STB TNT1 AGP was the first 32 bit color 3D AGP gaming card. Things started heating up at this point and separate 3D cards days were numbered.
Orchid Voodoo 1 with the mechanical SSR, started the real push for 3D games after many false starts by others.
Geforce 2. The original Geforce SDR and DDR were the first T&L cards but games didn't support them until the GF2 was out plus GF2 was faster.
Collector of old computers, hardware, and software
Posts: 682
Joined: 2013-4-22 @ 18:59
Location: Youngstown, OH USA

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby silikone » 2017-12-26 @ 03:26

Voodoo 5
Voodoo 4
Voodoo 3
Voodoo 2
Voodoo 1

*This post was sponsored by 3dfx
Do not refrain from refusing to stop hindering yourself from the opposite of watching nothing other than that which is by no means porn.
User avatar
Posts: 204
Joined: 2012-3-21 @ 19:53

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby Plasma » 2017-12-26 @ 05:27

1. IBM VGA - Set the PC video compatibility standard for the next 30 years
2. IBM EGA - First color video card that didn't suck
3. IBM CGA - First color video card
4. 3dfx Voodoo - First 3D accelerator that didn't suck
5. Hercules Graphics Card - First high res graphics video card
Posts: 85
Joined: 2016-12-12 @ 08:38

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby jade_angel » 2017-12-26 @ 14:07

1. IBM VGA - for its pivotal role in setting standards. This standard, old and moldy as it is, isn't defunct even today.
2. 3dfx Voodoo Graphics - Plasma said it all, "First 3D accelerator that didn't suck", at least for PCs.
3. Hercules Graphics Card - yep, this put PC graphics on the map and provided capabilities not fully replaced by bitmapped graphics until the SVGA revolution.
4. ATi Mach64 and its derivatives. Fast enough to get the job done well, used on at least six different bus standards (ISA, EISA, VLB, PCI, AGP, PCIe), hung around forever (still not defunct, I don't think). In a vacuum, there's nothing really remarkable about the Mach64. The Tseng ET4000 variants and ET6000 were faster, even among pure-2D chips, and the variants including 3D were utterly lackluster, but its ubiquity and longevity secures it a place here. Arguably, it's why ATi stayed in the game long enough to compete with nVidia.
5. Silicon Graphics XZ/Extreme graphics - real high-resolution 3d graphics on a workstation, with proper acceleration. SGI had some 3d graphics hardware before this, but the XZ was the first system to put it in a desktop machine, AFAIK. Not a PC card, of course, but without things like this, we'd likely never have gotten the Voodoo.
Wintendo: Core i3-6100 | GTX 960
Linux Box: Core i5-4760K | GTX 550 Ti
98/2000 Box (Broken): K6-III+/500 | G400 MAX
PCI DOS Box: 5x86/133 | S3 Trio64/V2 PCI
VLB DOS box: 486DX4/100 | Cirrus GD5428 2MB
User avatar
Posts: 353
Joined: 2017-1-03 @ 00:10
Location: Virginia

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-12-26 @ 15:21

More than anyone else, SGI developed the technology and talent on which everything else has been built.
User avatar
Posts: 5020
Joined: 2015-11-03 @ 05:51
Location: The Great White North

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby blurks » 2017-12-26 @ 16:21

I don't know about the numbers 2-5 but for number 1 I would probably choose the Voodoo2, as it is one of the very few cards that managed to fit in a wide range of machines (~ 150 Mhz to 450 MHz), thus making it the most versatile card for a period of almost 1,5 - 2 years, back in the days when every 6 month a new revision, competitor or a new GPU lineup hit the stage. That is a true accomplishment.
User avatar
Posts: 242
Joined: 2017-1-14 @ 21:49

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby 386_junkie » 2017-12-26 @ 23:20

I don't know if this is this bus specific... but the title does say "of all time" so given that I really only have pre-PCI hardware, with very little PCI even at that, I guess my vote still qualifies.

I'm going to be a bit leftfield here (as I've tested more pre-PCI video chipsets than anyone else I know)... and will not even put a Tseng card on my list.

The TOP TOP TOP most bestest video card I've ever known and own in VLB is 'The' Spider 64 (photo below), which utilises the Cirrus Logic 5434 chipset. This is a 4MB VLB card and bests any S3 card I can throw at it in terms of both picture quality and speed... this includes even the high end Vision series. It can even run at 32bpp at various resolutions, Only two S3 chipsets can do this (not even Tseng!), Vision 968 and Trio 64.

Other cards that perform close to, if not better than perceived TOP cards are: -

Ark - 1000VL... Everybody knows.
UMC - 85C418F... This card is amazing, also kicks the ass of many S3 cards, better than some Tseng's.
Western Digital - WD90C33-ZZ ... very similar to Tseng 4000 based cards.
Spider 64.jpg
Best VLB card... "of all time"
User avatar
Posts: 931
Joined: 2014-4-15 @ 20:02

Re: TOP 5 videocards of all time

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-12-27 @ 00:23

mos vicii
--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketæ :: ]-/\--
User avatar
Posts: 640
Joined: 2016-2-03 @ 13:34
Location: Lexington VA


Return to Video

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: istellabot [Bot], viper32cm and 1 guest