VOGONS


First post, by W Gruffydd

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I always thought the DDR version of the GeForce 256 was released in 2000. Then someone posted their December 23, 1999 receipt for GeForce 256 DDR. Now I've gotten my hands on a GeForce 256 DDR with 1999 manufacturing dates on everything.

Creative Labs 3D Blaster Annihilator Pro, Model CT6970. This happens to be the same model that the aforementioned owner bought, but it is not the same card.
dscn5725a3eecu.jpg dscn5727ajqf6v.jpg

The PCB was manufactured week 45 of 1999 (November 14-20). All of the RAM was manufactured week 43 of 1999 (October 17-23).
dscn5729a40fo8.jpg dscn5734au3dco.jpg

This chip may be from week 35 of 1999 (August 22-28):
dscn5735adkeye.jpg

This isn't definitive; I can't say when every part of this card was made, and I have no idea how long it took them to get this card into retail channels after manufacturing was finished. But it is suggestive.

My list of wanted hardware

Reply 1 of 20, by Baoran

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I always thought they started selling them in December 1999. There is anandtech review from 25th of December 1999 online where they said that cards are now becoming available on the market.

Reply 4 of 20, by Big Pink

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Been lurking here for a while but wanted to jump in and say I've also got the same card. PCB is week 45 1999, the RAM is week 47 1999 and the small chip reads 9933. Got it a few months ago off eBay - surprised I was the only bidder.

32070014348_7d0bd34faf.jpgDSCF4437 by Ghett Bendt, on Flickr

32070013528_0fbe2ef619.jpgDSCF4438 by Ghett Bendt, on Flickr

I thought IBM was born with the world

Reply 5 of 20, by swaaye

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A friend had one backordered in Nov-Dec 1999. Availability was poor.

I got a Creative Annihilator Pro open box in early 2000. I returned it though because I felt its rendering was strangely choppy. Frame rates were great but it seemed to have a stutter to it. Stuck with my overclocked G400.

Reply 6 of 20, by LunarG

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😳
I had one of those cards back in the days. It was awesome. 😀

WinXP : PIII 1.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 73GB SCSI HDD, Matrox Parhelia, SB Audigy 2.
Win98se : K6-3+ 500MHz, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD, Matrox Millennium G400 MAX, Voodoo 2, SW1000XG.
DOS6.22 : Intel DX4, 64MB RAM, 1.6GB HDD, Diamond Stealth64 DRAM, GUS 1MB, SB16.

Reply 7 of 20, by The Sandman

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I also had this card back in early ~2001. Bought it as used and I still got the driver CD+Benchmark CD the seller sent with it. I think I payed roughly 100$ for it. Was my first real 3D-Accelerator besides a Riva TNT I owned before. Golden Times.

Modding began with this card for me.

geforce-iq2plcaz.jpg

Not my pic, but I did the same. 150-MHz GPU-clock ftw.

Just read the txt file the seller burnt on the cd: "If the Fan fails, you can contact Creative for a new one - they are aware of the poor quality and will send you a replacement one for free". 🤣 😵
Whise words, after several months the fan started to make strange noises and I did the mod above. Several cards from all manufacturers were equipped with this little bugger (nV might built these cards cheap and sold the pcb and the cooling solution for rebranding), guess it was common to mod it. Screw nV for selling such a pricy card with such a lowq Fan. The original "Founders Edition"

Reply 10 of 20, by arncht

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They were available, but in a very small amount, and just some brands. The manufacturing date means not too much, it took weeks, months until they reach the customer.

Check the newspaper ads, i found the reference or close to the reference cards were in the market first (eg creative, leadtek), but the custom cards, like the asus v6800 just around febr/march - not so much before the gf2gts.

The question is always… when they released, and was it available or not. Eg you can read lot of tests about the ghz pentium3, but it was available just in very small amount for the selected oems, so you do not have chance to build a pc in the first part of the 2000, based on this cpu (the reality was around 800 in the early months). The real period correct top millennium pc is not too easy 😀

My little retro computer world
Bought this retro hardware

Reply 11 of 20, by arncht

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Yawnald wrote on 2018-11-20, 13:47:

Can confirm. Got my gf256 DDR in December of 1999.

Which brand?

My little retro computer world
Bought this retro hardware

Reply 12 of 20, by 386SX

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If the SDR version wasn't already enough when the DDR version came out it felt everything was changing in the market at a speed few could follow. And the R100 SDR/DDR feel like the only other solution that survived that period.

Reply 13 of 20, by rmay635703

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That era Matrox cards were cheap and good enough, got a $50 g400 around that time, later
I bought a Matrox Parhelia for under $100 in 2004 to sell off an Duron 1.2
I had with a 2d video card, I hated the fact it required Win2k + as I mainly had 98se and Milkenium licenses and couldn’t even be bothered with XP until a brief period 2009.

1999-2005 was a very strange transitional time for PCs and the average consumer still wasn’t well versed in 3D performance

Felt like a race to the bottom and with all the unreliable power supplies maybe it was, I remember fireballs coming out my 400 watt PSU more than once in the Duron/Athlon era

Reply 14 of 20, by 386SX

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But anyway the high expectations that the Parhelia came with suffered the same situation seen before with the S3 Savage 2K. Probably still trying (but not realistically) to compete in a market sector where there wasn't much space anymore and I suppose the amount of resources needed to always have the "best" solution didn't have much sense anymore. Which was the difficulty 3dfx found much before not having the long story on that market that S3, Matrox, Cirrus Logic, Trident, ATi had, 80's companies that had a long time success before but I suppose after the 2000 each ones had to follow different road to survive.

About the PSU I agree the common consumer oriented ones were mostly very cheap and I don't remember many or any discussions about PSU quality in the late 90's at least for the gaming consumers, reviews, etc.. Of course there were high end PSU too but the home computer oriented ones were often low quality.

Reply 15 of 20, by Tetrium

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386SX wrote on 2022-03-21, 14:34:

If the SDR version wasn't already enough when the DDR version came out it felt everything was changing in the market at a speed few could follow. And the R100 SDR/DDR feel like the only other solution that survived that period.

Things moved so fast in those days that there were people actually waiting instead of buying bleeding edge rightnow because 3 months down the line performance could be again significantly improved, especially regarding graphics cards.

Of course waiting was also somewhat pointless btw.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 16 of 20, by 386SX

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-23, 09:53:
386SX wrote on 2022-03-21, 14:34:

If the SDR version wasn't already enough when the DDR version came out it felt everything was changing in the market at a speed few could follow. And the R100 SDR/DDR feel like the only other solution that survived that period.

Things moved so fast in those days that there were people actually waiting instead of buying bleeding edge rightnow because 3 months down the line performance could be again significantly improved, especially regarding graphics cards.

Of course waiting was also somewhat pointless btw.

I wonder why others companies didn't understand the marketing weight that a feature like T&L might have had (more or less like a usable "32bit" rendering number) once the "first GPU" would have been released beside which might have been the first. I suppose most companies knew what Directx7 had as features list. Nowdays it seems quite obvious what Direct3D was offering compared to the usual next generation chip with higher clocks or few proprietary features or proprietary API.
I wonder if it was "that complex" to design in term of transistors number for the companies that anyway some of them were in the market from the 80's so possibly having quite the experience to compete on that.

Reply 17 of 20, by Tetrium

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386SX wrote on 2022-03-23, 10:53:
Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-23, 09:53:
386SX wrote on 2022-03-21, 14:34:

If the SDR version wasn't already enough when the DDR version came out it felt everything was changing in the market at a speed few could follow. And the R100 SDR/DDR feel like the only other solution that survived that period.

Things moved so fast in those days that there were people actually waiting instead of buying bleeding edge rightnow because 3 months down the line performance could be again significantly improved, especially regarding graphics cards.

Of course waiting was also somewhat pointless btw.

I wonder why others companies didn't understand the marketing weight that a feature like T&L might have had (more or less like a usable "32bit" rendering number) once the "first GPU" would have been released beside which might have been the first. I suppose most companies knew what Directx7 had as features list. Nowdays it seems quite obvious what Direct3D was offering compared to the usual next generation chip with higher clocks or few proprietary features or proprietary API.
I wonder if it was "that complex" to design in term of transistors number for the companies that anyway some of them were in the market from the 80's so possibly having quite the experience to compete on that.

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean. You mean GPU manufacturers or card manufacturers?

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 18 of 20, by 386SX

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-25, 19:17:
386SX wrote on 2022-03-23, 10:53:

I wonder why others companies didn't understand the marketing weight that a feature like T&L might have had (more or less like a usable "32bit" rendering number) once the "first GPU" would have been released beside which might have been the first. I suppose most companies knew what Directx7 had as features list. Nowdays it seems quite obvious what Direct3D was offering compared to the usual next generation chip with higher clocks or few proprietary features or proprietary API.
I wonder if it was "that complex" to design in term of transistors number for the companies that anyway some of them were in the market from the 80's so possibly having quite the experience to compete on that.

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean. You mean GPU manufacturers or card manufacturers?

I mean GPU manufacturers I suppose knew much before how and where Directx specifications were going to. It was becoming the "standard" API much before and clearly were leaving proprietary APIs to their past and the Transform&Lighting part of the rendering in hardware (even if used much later) was on the marketing side a huge feature just as powerful as the 32bit rendering. So just like S3 tried to do, I suppose that road was the one and only possible for every GPU architectures. Just like it happened before with the Riva128 that beside its own unique rendering, was clearly a fast Direct3D oriented chip when others were still thinking to proprietary features how could some think might have been used (T-Buffer as an example, Directx6 chips in almost Directx8 time for others). The only explanation I can think about is that maybe some of them were already changing their market sector when the gaming one wasn't possible anymore for its costs. But how much complex would have been to make what NV and ATi and even S3 did with the right time factor to benefit from that on the marketing side I wonder.

Reply 19 of 20, by Tetrium

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386SX wrote on 2022-03-26, 10:44:
Tetrium wrote on 2022-03-25, 19:17:
386SX wrote on 2022-03-23, 10:53:

I wonder why others companies didn't understand the marketing weight that a feature like T&L might have had (more or less like a usable "32bit" rendering number) once the "first GPU" would have been released beside which might have been the first. I suppose most companies knew what Directx7 had as features list. Nowdays it seems quite obvious what Direct3D was offering compared to the usual next generation chip with higher clocks or few proprietary features or proprietary API.
I wonder if it was "that complex" to design in term of transistors number for the companies that anyway some of them were in the market from the 80's so possibly having quite the experience to compete on that.

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean. You mean GPU manufacturers or card manufacturers?

I mean GPU manufacturers I suppose knew much before how and where Directx specifications were going to. It was becoming the "standard" API much before and clearly were leaving proprietary APIs to their past and the Transform&Lighting part of the rendering in hardware (even if used much later) was on the marketing side a huge feature just as powerful as the 32bit rendering. So just like S3 tried to do, I suppose that road was the one and only possible for every GPU architectures. Just like it happened before with the Riva128 that beside its own unique rendering, was clearly a fast Direct3D oriented chip when others were still thinking to proprietary features how could some think might have been used (T-Buffer as an example, Directx6 chips in almost Directx8 time for others). The only explanation I can think about is that maybe some of them were already changing their market sector when the gaming one wasn't possible anymore for its costs. But how much complex would have been to make what NV and ATi and even S3 did with the right time factor to benefit from that on the marketing side I wonder.

My guess is that it was also a matter of there simply being very little time for GPU manufacturers (I'm calling them all GPUs even though this is semantically incorrect in this context) to implement new features and also keep up with the competition.
There being very little time also meant mistakes could mean your graphics cards will simply not sell, competition in the later 90s and early 00s was murderous.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!