What Is Your Personal Favorite Video Card of All Time?

Hmmmmmm....

I have many favorites that I've liked a lot... However I think my most favorite was my first 3D card: The Voodoo 2. I'd never actually had a "graphics card" before that, my computers had integrated video of various kinds. The system I built also had a good 2D graphics card, but the 3D acceleration was what just blew my mind. Not only did it look WAY better but it was also WAY faster. It was just a surreal experience.

I had tried to play Quake before, but my computer just couldn't handle it. Too small on the CPU. New system was fairly nice for the time, P2 300 I think, which could easily handle Quake but also with the Voodoo 2, GLQuake. A friend came over and got it all set up for me while I was at work. When I got home he launched Quake in software mode and I was super happy. That new graphics card was so worth it I felt, because the game was running at like 640x480 reasonably smooth (probably like 30fps). He laughed and said no that is just for reference and then fired up GLQuake. Suddenly it was running at 800x600, and the textures were all smooth and bilinear filtered and it was running FAST. Not sure how fast, probably 60 or more. The rez was higher, the fps was faster, the textures were better, the lighting was better, it was just transformed.

So despite some other very favorite cards (like the 1080Ti, 8800GTS) I think that is my all-time. The difference between 3D on the CPU and 3D on a graphics card, even one that was literally just a single ROP and 2 TMUs, was stellar.

It also completely destroyed console graphics, which is an obsession I continue with to this day.
 
My tri sli gtx480’s that I used for 3d vision before they removed support for it.

Also doubled as a space heater.
 
How old are you?

Early 50's.

When it came to getting those DOS games to work, I was either the luckiest SOB alive, or maybe just got lucky with QEMM getting almost everything to work beautifully.

It didn't work with that awful Voodoo memory manager used by Origin for Ultima VII and Ultima VII part 2... Getting that plus a mouse driver, and a sound card driver while leaving enough lower memory was a challenge.
 
My tri sli gtx480’s that I used for 3d vision before they removed support for it.

Also doubled as a space heater.
Doesn't sound like a favorite. Sounds more like a glory memory with a big miss!
3X $$ and you admit it was a glorified space heater.
Maybe you meant to post in Greatest nostalgia massively overpriced without results thread?
 
Feel free to hate on it (it was after all the cool thing to do at the time) but I really liked those cards and 3d vision. The days of when if you wanted more performance you could just slot in another card. I used them till I swapped to a gtx970, which gives nothing but bad memories with it’s dodgy vram making me upgrade earlier than I wanted to to escape the 3.5GB vram limit.
 
Early 50's.

When it came to getting those DOS games to work, I was either the luckiest SOB alive, or maybe just got lucky with QEMM getting almost everything to work beautifully.

It didn't work with that awful Voodoo memory manager used by Origin for Ultima VII and Ultima VII part 2... Getting that plus a mouse driver, and a sound card driver while leaving enough lower memory was a challenge.
Drivers used to be a nightmare. It's so simple now.
 
Honestly, my favorite video card is the one I have today. It's the 6800 Red Dragon. It was easy to install, worked great out of the box with Linux, and runs all my games at 4K in relative quiet.
 
I really liked my Geforce 4400TI had a lot of fun modding with that card and really was a big jump in gaming for me at the time, don't remember what it replaced though.
 
I think it would be my GeForce 4 Ti 4600, it was at a time when things were changing so often and new tech was around every corner. I had a Slot A Athlon 1GHz paired with it and I think that it was my most favorite system.
 
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Diamond Stealth 32 PCI video card

This was probably the best card for DOS-based gaming, using the Tseng Labs ET4000 W32P chipset (a rarity). It also did exceptionally well in Windows, which is probably why Diamond pulled this card, since it was cannibalizing their Stealth 64 sales.

I remember using this card with an ordinary AMD 486 DX-40 CPU, and being able to play Tie Fighter and Pacific Strike using pretty aggressive graphics settings, and I'd swear that it produced just as good of Windows 3.11 performance as my next card did (ATi Winturbo with 2 MB of VRAM). Imagine hearing that Japanese pilot screaming "Yarareta!" without any FPS drop. When I was looking to upgrade to a Pentium system, I strongly considered one that used VESA local bus, just to keep this card.

At the same time, a lot of folks with Pentium systems and Diamond Viper cards (Witek GPU, fantastic for Windows, horrible for DOS) were having troubles playing those games at even low to moderate levels of detail. I remember some folks basically running the games without the sound card driver, just to get a few more FPS.
I had one and it was fast.
Of course a year later the Stealth 64 Video VLB came out at a balmy $399 and it was game over. Doom and Sam and Max never played better. Partly due to having a 4 Plex CD rom SCSI with "massive" 1MB buffer. Cut those load times way down. And that was on a lowly 486 DX33 EISA box with 16MB RAM.
 
I think it would be my GeForce 4 Ti 4600, it was at a time when things were changing so often and new tech was around every corner. I had a Slot A Athlon 1GHz paired with it and I think that it was my most favorite system.

I had the TNT 2 with my Slot A 1GHz Athlon. It was a pre-built from HP.
 
Bro I've been doing 4k for years on 1080ti. Is ray tracing really all that? I can't tell from YT vids and screenshots if it's worth a $1k upgrade.
Yeah I ran 4k on dual 970s in SLI, 1080, 1080ti, and then a 2080ti. They all did it with IQ sacrifices.. depending on the game a lot too.. I always found a sweet spot and was generally happy.. That said the RT looks nice on Cyberpunk for sure... It's not just the RT but all of the other IQ tweaks and holding 120Hz with all that... I am super excited for the Liberty City expansion.. Man that game is gorgeous! Hogwarts Legacy is another one that looks stunning. Talk about feeling like you're in that world.

Anyways.. Is it worth the $$? That is a subjective question but I was refreshing my whole platform for the first time in five years so I went big guns. Best former setup I can compare it to was SLI'd GTX8800 ... just melts everything I throw at it.. including power connectors. :eek:
 
I had a GTX 295 for a while. It was an odd card. I remember it being super-powerful at the time but as with any dual-gpu card it tended to be glitchy- but when it worked, it was amazing.
 
I have some fond memories regarding several of the cards mentioned here. Will throw in the GTX Titan X (Maxwell), the most powerful card, to my knowledge, to still directly support CRTs. Also was fully enabled, which was sweet aesthetically. And I got a good deal on a used water cooled one at the time.
 
I had a GTX 295 for a while. It was an odd card. I remember it being super-powerful at the time but as with any dual-gpu card it tended to be glitchy- but when it worked, it was amazing.
It was very buggy and power hungry back in 08'-09' similar to HD 4870x2. I remembered reading the majority of enthusiasts were recommending people to buy SLi GTX 285s instead of that.
 
My voodoo2, TNT2 Ultra

1080ti
IMG_2898.jpegIMG_2899.jpeg
 
I had both the TNT and 2, bot died. I’m pretty sure the TNT had a very cheap fan that failed and killed it but don’t remember what the issue was with the TNT2.
 
I have several favorites, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be the GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB. I ran a pair of EVGA cards in SLI and it handled games like Half-Life 2 and the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with no problems. Close 2nd would have to be the Voodoo II (specifically the Diamond Monster 3D II), which is the first 3D accelerator card I had.
 
I got an X800 XT PE AGP for a great price. It led to me buying that Asrock motherboard with both an AGP and PCIe slot that was also probably my favorite motherboard

I think my first PCIe card was the 8800GT.
 
Diamond Monster 3D (3DFX Voodoo 4MB).
The card that kicked off 3D madness to new levels.
 
My first card I purchased separately was a Geforce 3 Ti 200. That was a start of my PC building obsession.
 
I had both the original Voodoo and 2 Voodoo2 too (try saying that fast 😀) and the thrill of seeing 3d games running butter smooth with that special less grainy “voodoo” look was genuinely exciting at the time. The only slight bummer was the video pass through as I was already a bit of an image quality nut at the time and I remember hooking up an extra monitor switch to compare image quality, buying new shorter shielded cables etc.
 
I had both the original Voodoo and 2 Voodoo2 too (try saying that fast 😀) and the thrill of seeing 3d games running butter smooth with that special less grainy “voodoo” look was genuinely exciting at the time. The only slight bummer was the video pass through as I was already a bit of an image quality nut at the time and I remember hooking up an extra monitor switch to compare image quality, buying new shorter shielded cables etc.
That's what made the Voodoo 3 so awesome when it arrived, combining the 2D and 3D and no passthrough cables on a 3DFX card. Sometimes I literally just turn on my retro PC to smile... :)
 
For what it's worth, the 4090 is moving up my list rapidly. It's the first card in forever where I truly do feel like I can throw anything at it and things just work, trouble free. Plus, it sounds like Nvidia doesn't have a successor coming any time soon so it should be seen as the pinnacle GPU for devs to target for a while.
 
Vega 56, a lot of soft modes for it, was cool to play with memory settings, overclock and everything work great in games :)
 
The 9700 Pro sure had some staying power for longer than graphics cards typically did back then. 8800 GT was another fun one. More recently, the 1080 Ti was still a good price and lasted through several gens at this point.
 
First "GPU" I ever bought, the GeForce 256. Around the time of my first personal build. Jammed it in a ready built Gateway 2000 PC with a AMD Athlon K7. Loved it. Wish I'd kept it. Next would definitely be the ATI 9700 Pro. The mad box-art needs to come back!!
 
For what it's worth, the 4090 is moving up my list rapidly. It's the first card in forever where I truly do feel like I can throw anything at it and things just work, trouble free. Plus, it sounds like Nvidia doesn't have a successor coming any time soon so it should be seen as the pinnacle GPU for devs to target for a while.
The 4090 was one of my first thoughts too. I remember enjoying my ATI X800 Pro also since it was a big upgrade for me at the time and played Far Cry very well.
 
I think I already posted here. But I love this thread.

If you've been around for a while this thread delivers great memories.
 
Defintely it was the original Voodoo. The Voodoo 2 was better, but the OG Voodoo was a revelation.
 
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