First post, by yjfy
History of nVIDIA Graphics cards Vol. 2 GPU competition
On August 31, 1999, nVIDIA announced the integrATion of hardware T&L (Transform and Lighting) into the graphics core, the first GeForce (Geometry Force) product-GeForce 256 graphics card, which pioneered the concept of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). The GPU originally referred to display chips that support hardware T&L, but today, all display chips are collectively referred to as GPUs.
The GeForce 256 graphics card uses the T&L engine to share the processor computing load. For video games that support the T&L engine, the performance of the GeForce 256 can be fully utilized, bringing a revolution in 3D graphics performance.
GeForce 256 Engineering sample
The strongest rival of GeForce 256 is undoubtedly Savage 2000, which was announced by S3 the day before. S3 had high hopes for Savage 2000. On June 22, 1999, it made a desperate acquisition of Diamond, turning a chip manufacturer into a graphics card manufacturer. In November, it released the Viper II Z200 graphics card based on the Savage 2000 chip.
Viper II Z200 QualificATion sample
Savage 2000 hardware supports S3TL similar to hardware T&L, but the initial driver is based on DirectX 6 (DirectX 7 is the first version to support hardware T&L), resulting in S3TL not working at all and it is not a real GPU. The 3D performance is only 80% of the GeForce 256 graphics card, so S3 lost the title of "The world's first GPU". The miserable ending was acquired by VIA on August 5, 2000, and it exited the GPU competition early.
The GeForce 256 graphics card is too powerful, and even the Rage Fury Maxx graphics card with dual RAGE 128 Pro cores on November 7, 1999 could not be matched by ATi. Rage Fury Maxx graphics cards are priced higher than GeForce 256 graphics cards, and their 3D performance is only about 80%, which is slightly weaker than Savage 2000 graphics cards.
Rage Fury Maxx
Even the well-known 3dfx Voodoo3 graphics card (April 3, 1999) in the same period can hardly conceal its brilliance, and the 3D performance is only about 70% of the GeForce 256 graphics card. In 1999, nVIDIA surpassed 3dfx for the first time with a shipment of 10 million pieces.
Voodoo3 Engineering sample
Since then, nVIDIA's Geforce series has established GPU dominance in one fell swoop, gradually letting out competitors one by one.
GeForce 256 series products include GeForce 256 and GeForce 256 DDR. The professional version is called Quadro and is based on GeForce 256.