Graphics card history: How pixels learned to run

Graphics card history: How pixels learned to run

It is going to be 3-dimensional

Now it has become 3-dimensional. nVidia tried the NV1 and landed a total flop with it because, in contrast to all other attempts, and especially in contrast to Microsoft's DirectX, it did not use any triangles as a geometric framework.

Back then S3 had its While the Virge series was a huge hit, what these cards showed was nowhere near 3D. Matrox and ATI couldn't exactly shine with their 3D functions either.

ATi Rage pro

That was the big hour of 3Dfx, who with their VooDoo chip put everything possible back then in the shade. The big advantage was that you could use the VooDoo card in parallel with the previous card, and so the investment that might have just been made was not lost again.

3Dfx Voodoo Graphics by Diamond

Another ingenious feature of the VooDoo (and later also theVooDoo2) was the so-called SLI capability, which made it possible to connect 2 cards with each other which should share the computing power. Unfortunately, at the time of Voodoo Graphics, this technology was hardly available on any board and only Quantum 3D brought out a single PCI card on which two parallel Voodoo Graphics units with their two chips each worked, unfortunately this monster cost well over 1000 DM.

3Dfx Voodoo Graphics SLI from Quantum3D

The VooDoo-Rush, a card that should cover the functions of a normal graphics card in addition to the 3D capability, flopped due to its poorer performance compared to a separate Voodoo-Graphics, moderate 2D -Display and many compatibility problems with the games of that time.

3Dfx Voodoo Rush

One is persistent

While all chip manufacturers admitted defeat to 3Dfx and actually brought nothing revolutionary on the market, nVidia was not satisfied with the defeat and presented the Riva128 which also hit like a hammer.

nVidia Riva128 by Diamond
nVidia Riva128 (with heat sink from ASUS)

It was the first combined 2D/3D card that was on a par with a VooDoo in terms of performance and also offered TV in/out. A feature that was only available on ATi cards at the time, which were only 3D capable to a limited extent.In addition, it was the first graphics card on the market that came with a 128-bit graphics processor. 3Dfx did not take long to offer this and a short time later pushed the VooDoo2 onto the market in order to regain the crown. Technically nothing had changed compared to Voodoo Graphics, the multitexturing capabilities were owed to an additional texturing chip, so that now three chips on a Voodoo2 card did their job.

3Dfx Voodoo2

On the next page: The second generation