Fallen Enthusiast GPU Manufacturers

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IInuyasha74

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I left Kyro and all PowerVR based graphics solutions out, because PowerVR is not a fallen GPU manufacturer. Technically, a company could still use PowerVR graphics on a GPU add-on card or as an integrated graphics solution.Intel did this a few years ago with its Atom-based systems. PowerVR also has a long list of graphics processors it has developed over the years, more than all of the companies listed above combined. More than enough to warrant a separate piece of its own when time permits.
 

Realist9

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I still remember the 3dfx voodoo2 and sli. When I finally got Jedi Knight Dark Forces II into "3d", it was awesome. Never will forget that.
 

clonazepam

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A memory that really sticks out for me is when glide was out, and games had to be patched to opengl. We're talking about hundreds of MBs over dial-up.

I ended up selling my two Voodoo2s to an enthusiast around '99-00.
 

DoDidDont

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3dLabs?? The company was a leader for years in the professional graphics market, and considered the "choice" brand for professionals. They brought many innovations that still exist today under different guises. I remember Nvidia buying up all the Realizm 800's after the company was sold and broken up by Creative. Cant believe their GPU support site is still up and running... Nvidia and ATi had nothing that could come anywhere near the performance of the Realizm 800 the year it was launched.
 

Fixadent

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3Dfx and the Voodoo 2 are still legends in the world of GPU's.

I wish that 3Dfx still existed and competed with AMD and Nvidia.
 

LORD_ORION

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I had a Diamond Vodoo 1, Mech Warrior 2 3dfx edition was so damn good.
I also had a vodoo 5.... Heretic II was so heli-good with AA.
The cards were expensive and quickly fell behind in performance though... so poor investments. :(

Anyone remember the 3dfx commercials? ;)
Like the one when they are makinf advanced medical equipment and then... everyone stop, we're going to use this tech to make video game cards instead.
 
I don't know how much market share they had, but my first computer in 1993 was equipped with a Western Digital Paradise 1mb card. Ran Wolfenstein, Ultima 8 and Warcraft (and later Warcraft 2) like a champ. However, when I upgraded the computer to Windows 95, it struggled really bad and I still had to run games in DOS to avoid massive lag.
 

CaedenV

Splendid
Um... did they not realize that Matrox is still in business and bigger than ever?
They are huge in the custom GPU business for specialty video applications, and while they don't make a lot of desktop GPUs any longer, they are still have a few offerings that are helpful for people who need ultra high resolution displays (8-16K), or several displays (9+).

I used their G550 back in my first video editing rig, and tied it to a RT2500 as soon as I could afford it. I was so in love with the Parhelia card when it came out, but the 3D performance just wasn't high enough and non-linear editors were finally giving better AMD and nVidia, so I went with nVidia and never went back.
 

barryv88

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Back in the days of the 486 and first Pentium systems, I recall there were also a bunch of companies that made display cards: SiS, Trident, CL (Cirrus Logic), Tseng. Just to name a few. Anyone know what happened to them?
 

tingRe

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Sniffle, sniffle. That brings back memories of my dual Matrox 200 MMS (Multiple Monitor System) PCI cards. After everyone else went from PCI to AGP to PCIe, I was still running Matrox 200 MMS PCI cards.

The MMS was very different from the standard Matrox video cards.

While everyone else scrapped their 21" CRTs for 15" LCDs, I was picking up bargain 21" and even 23" CRTs. I had an antique table with a 21" and 2 23" CRTs lined up on it, and 3 21" CRTs below. If you ignored the one-foot gap, I had a really nice large display.

This was when two monitors on one PC was considered incredibly difficult.

I never did get my Matrox g450 MMS to work with the 200 MMS. What you describe as really severe driver problems was just a problem coexisting with other cards.

I am looking at maybe buying a used Dell r710 server (dual socket 1366 Xeons, 72 GB RAM) and noticed it has an embedded g200 video chipset.

Matrox was still happily providing free telephone tech support on 10 year old cards purchased off eBay at one point.

I miss Matrox. I guess it's a good thing that their best selling point (MMS) as eventually built into Windows, but I miss them. I miss scrounging ebay for those LFI-to-dual-VGA or LFI-to-dual-DVI adapters. I used to hoard those things.
 

Vlask

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Answer for BARRYV88

They mostly ended sold to other companies. And there were a LOT of companies mainly in early 90's, but most of them left business when PCI bus came and rest of them didn't survived DX7 requirements coming around year 2000 - including profi cards. You can check them and how they ended at mine site (from where are also most photos here) - i did chart covering almost all gpu makers.... http://vgamuseum.info/index.php/history-tree
PS: for better reading comfort try full size image (link is in info text on site), but have to warn you, its twice bigger and you have to scroll a lot....
 

edlivian

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you should write a piece about fallen audio manufactures, Aureal A3d crushed Creative Labs when it came to 3d sound techniques, but creative sued them out of existence
 

iam2thecrowe

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That's not a bad idea, but maybe just "a history of pc audio" or something to make it a bit more broad. Many younger people probably don't know about the good old days before sound cards, or MIDI... Hah! who remembers MIDI? And all those dos commands to set IRQ's, DMA and such to get your sound card working...and not conflict with other devices.
 

IInuyasha74

Splendid
Moderator


Yes, we did realize this, which is why the article says "Following the Parhelia-512, Matrox exited the enthusiast graphics market. Though the company is still in business today, it focuses on more specialized applications." Technically they do product GPUs still, but as you yourself mentioned these are designed for special applications and not really in the same market.
 

barryv88

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VLASK - Thank you very much for that history tree. Wow.... there's even companies on that list that I've never heard of before. But good to see what their history entails. Tom's should actually make reference to that list somehow as it holds a magnificent amount of info through time. Good stuff :)
 

Elchi

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Call it nostalgia but I still keep one of my old computer running on win-98 with a Pentium II and a Quantum 3D Obsidian 2 X-24.

One day it will be a collectible ;-)
 

bit_user

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I think the Matrox Millennium had acceleration for Gouraud shading and maybe z-buffering. Those were the 2D cards to have, back in their day. Maybe Number Nine's Imagine 128 was faster, but I could never sort out the driver problems with the lone example I got to play with.

That's not a meaningful difference from your position on Matrox. If you're going to cover them in a separate article, fine. But, I think it makes sense to consider all companies that have exited the PC mainstream GPU race, whatever their reason or present circumstances.

Please do a round 2 of this topic. I'd have liked to see coverage of: 3D Labs, PowerVR, Number Nine, Trident, and Cirrus Logic. That's not even all of them, but the first two certainly seemed like players. Thanks.
 
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