Discussion Community Questions: What's Your All-Time Favorite GPU?

Jsimenhoff

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We recently updated our GPU Performance Hierarchy to include a few brand-new cards, which got us thinking: What’s our favorite graphics card of all time? Everyone has their own personal golden age of gaming. If you were born in the late 1970s, perhaps it was the DOS era of PC Gaming known for its innovative 2D RPGs, adventure Ggames and shooters. Or if you’re like me, gaming utopia began in 2011. Behind each of our gaming golden years lies a graphics card powering our screens and pushing out the pixels that make up some of our favorite games.

Do you have a favorite all time GPU? What piece of silicon do you owe most of your gaming to?

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Joshua Simenhoff @Johnny5
 
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My PC gaming utopia began around 2003, using integrated graphics until I bought a VisionTek Radeon 1300X a couple years later from Circuit City, only to find out a few weeks later I could have bought a much better 8600 GT for the same price. By the time I bought another GPU it was the Radeon HD 2600 Pro. I always had budget cards until around 2016, but I would have to say my favorite GPU of all time was the Nvidia 8800 GT 512MB. I believe the one below is the 256MB one though. I was around 17 years old when these bad boys were released.

An article to go with it: https://www.anandtech.com/show/2365

 

hotaru251

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as a person born in '89 I grew up during a great time for gaming.

as for fav gpu? whatever one came in intel cpu's around the mid to late 90's. diablo, starcraft, diablo 2, C&C, civ., etc. (golden years of gaming to me)

idk if they even made standalone gpu's bac in those days.

if i had to pick an actual gpu? i'd say the ati radeon x1300 as it was the 1st actual gpu i bought with my own $ and was a huge upgrade for vanilla WoW (over integrated graphics)
 
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takeshi7

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Definitely the Geforce 8800 Series. It was a huge jump over everything previously, first PC GPU with unified shaders, first DirectX 10, first CUDA, first hardware h.264 decoding (technically the 8600 was the first with that feature, but it eventually made it to the 8800GT).


I had a 8800GTS 640MB SLI setup, and I was honestly sort of disappointed when the 8800GT came out a few months later because it was better or equal performance for a much lower price. But I can't deny the 8800GT was probably the most amazing card ever released. Even at the time the price to performance level was unbeatable.
 
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tkline

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For me it my fondest memory anyway was when I got the voodoo graphics expansion card, back in like '96 ... seeing my games suddenly come alive with colored lighting just blew me away. And then upgrading it later on to whatever card was the first one to offer Anti Aliasing.. then getting like 5 FPS with it turned on, but still loving it.
 
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larkspur

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The standard config on the 560 ti was 1gb of vram. You obviously had one of the non-standard AiB models - which was great for you as the standard's 1gb was eventually its weakness.

I'd say my favorite card was probably my original 3D card - a Geforce MX2-400 as that card was cheap and played everything I asked it to.

My favorite overclocker was the Geforce Ti 4200 - mine easily OCed to get me Ti 4600 performance. Haven't really had a card that OCed that well since.
 
There are very few GPUs that I have irrational emotional attachment to... but my first 3D Accelerator is at the top of my list... I fell in love with that card, and the system it was in.

The S3 Savage4 Pro was my first "GPU" just before they were called GPUs.

I got it as part of my first PC build with the intention of playing all the latest and greatest games. My favorites from the time were Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Quake, Star Trek Elite Force, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, Warcraft 2, and Starcraft. The Savage4 Pro played all of them pretty well. I had the card for 2 years before a friend of my Father was building a new PC and wanted me to assemble it for him. He paid me with $40 and a GeForce 2 GTS... not long before the GeForce 3 launched.
 

rubix_1011

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Here are mine, in somewhat substantial, yet chronological order:

Voodoo 4 4500 PCI: my first discrete gaming card. Before that, I had whatever onboard crap my old PC was shipped with. For me, the Voodoo 4 4500 PCI was one of the most memorable card purchases- I could play Command and Conquer Red Alert, Unreal Tournament and Quake 2/3 without visual deformities and at decent image quality.

Radeon 8500LE - 128mb: this was my first jump into AGP graphics. I wanted a 4600 Ti, but got this instead. (budgeting in college sucks)


BFG 5800, otherwise known as the leafblower. It was loud as hell, very hot, and prone to graphic tearing and anomalies. I recall my apartment getting quite hot during long gaming sessions and hearing the whine of the cooler through my case and headphones. Oh, I bought a Razer Boomslang mouse at the same time. Anyone remember those?

BFG 6800 GT: (at this point forward, all cards will be watercooled)

The next big step came with my 6800 GT - I remember getting this for a LAN party and dropping it in, only to be disappointed over the comparison to the 5800 it was replacing...then I realized I needed to update my motherboard drivers, and saw a 50% increase immediately. I recall closing on my first house a few days prior, so I bought a new GPU as some sort of reward for adding a huge chunk of debt to my life.

EVGA 7900 GT - I have almost no memory of this card other than knowing I spent money on it.


EVGA 8800 GTS: the GTS was a good card for those would couldn't afford the 8800 GTX/Ultra and wanted more than the GT. I always felt this card should have been more than it was, but sadly, wasn't.

EVGA 9800+ GTX (x2 SLI) - Got a new credit card = let's buy computer parts and while we're at it, make it a dual graphics card setup. My first SLI setup, both were watercooled with universal waterblocks...RAM sinks on the vRAM.


GTX 260 core 216 (x2 SLI) - I feel like there was a card between these 2, but pretty sure there wasn't. Again, SLI and watercooling. Decent performance of the day, kind of like the 1070's of the 10-series. I waited, and waited, and waited for these to come back into stock on Newegg so I could buy a pair instead of the vanilla 260. I was glad I did, but couldn't explain to others 'why'.

EVGA GTX 560Ti (x2 SLI) - I would almost copy/paste the same here as for the 260's above. Nothing notable other than being decent price/performance parts. For what I paid for SLI cards, I should have just got a 580. Shame on me.


EVGA GTX 770 - back to a single card...tired of that SLI nonsense. A good card for its time, my son actually still runs this in his rig.

EVGA GTX 1070 FE - just recently had this card. A lot of fond memories - would likely still use this today (Feb 2019). Very capable, almost overpowered for its tier. I really, really, REALLY loved this card. Maybe the most enjoyment that I've had cumulative to any one single card I've ever owned.

EVGA RTX 2080 - jury is still out on this one. I really like the 4k gaming on some titles, others it doesn't impress any more than the 1070 did. Seems to run a bit warm, even with a full cover waterblock. I want to like it because of the $800 it costs (plus the +$130 for the water block). It's a strong card that I can tell isn't even stretching its legs yet...more will have to come to prove the power it has.
 
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Suiton20

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My current favorite is my r9 390. Got it shortly after it released. My favorite is whichever let’s me maintain near max settings the longest. I think I have about a year or 2 left before it dies or unable to play ultra settings. My next card that will be my favorite is a 16gb card(not Radeon VII)
 

Vorador2

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Personally the 660 Ti, my previous card. It was a great middle-range card with an excellent performance that lasted until i replaced the entire rig recently when the 1080 came out

But honestly, my all time favourite (that i didn't own since it was never released outside engineering units) is the insanity that was the Voodoo 5 6000.
 
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To me the 8800GT is the best all time GPU. It provided 90% of the performance of 8800 GTX at less than half the price. It was a phenomenal card in terms of perf/$ which is something we sorely miss nowadays.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/2365/9

The HD 4870 is a close second imo as it forced Nvidia to cut prices on the GTX 260 and GTX 280 just 2 weeks after launch. It also forced Nvidia to come out with the 216 core GTX 260. That generation was the fiercest ever in terms of Nvidia vs ATI/AMD rivalry I have seen in more than 2 decades of following PC technology.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/2556/7

RV 770 had fantastic perf/sq mm for that GPU generation. Nvidia struggled to compete in perf/sq mm until Kepler when the tables were turned around and after that Nvidia just kept getting better and better while AMD kept falling more and more behind.
 
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Pompompaihn

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9700 Pro, not even a question.

Gave me a few years of high end service and a few years extra of "It'll do" until I could afford another build. Longevity is a key factor.
 
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agent88

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My first true GPU was the 3DFX Banshee back in 1998. I remember it was the first pc that I built myself. It was powered by an AMD K6-2 350mhz CPU and the Diamond 3DFX Voodoo Banshee. Half-life, Quake, Tomb Raider, C&C Red Alert, Warcraft 2 were among my favorite games at the time. The glide rendering on the 3DFX just blew me away. I could not believe the difference it made compared to the old software based rendering. Fun times indeed!!! Since then, I've had the following GPU's: Geforce 4400 Ti, Radeon 1950 Pro, Radeon 5770, Radeon 270, and now a Geforce 1060 6GB. It's amazing how far technology has come since those days.
 
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The original Voodoo. The first time I played Unreal I was blown away. Nothing else touched it when it came out. It was a transformation for gaming and set the standard for all future cards.
 

hannibal

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Radeon HD 5800, 5900 did have super price performance ratio. Now Nvidia 1070ti most likely is is similar position.
Sometimes there just Are cards that Are so much better that anything else in the market.
 

TripleHeinz

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nVidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti the legend

That GPU does everything, ages well in time and is so efficient that it powers itself through photosynthesis.

Honorable mention to the S3 Savage4 with its revolutionary S3TC, when it came out it was mind blowing.
 
nVidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti the legend

That GPU does everything, ages well in time and is so efficient that it powers itself through photosynthesis.
I should have mentioned this one. I owe it for the most hours of my gaming in the past decade. It was the perfect entry-level GPU in its time. Even though it was released in Feb. 2014, it got me back in to gaming in 2015 after a long hiatus. I eventually sold my EVGA GTX 750 Ti SC to upgrade to the GTX 950, and then to the GTX 1060. But, I wish I would have kept it. My hardware addiction only increased from there. I hope to get back to spending more time gaming than I do money and time on hardware. :devilish: yet here I am. :rolleyes:

 

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