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Graphics card history: How pixels learned to run

Graphics card history: How pixels learned to run

Of strategists and strategies

NVidia has now started flooding the market with many versions of their graphics cards. There were the TNT-Vanta in the low-cost sector, which housed a TNT2 chip on a PCI card, and the TNT2-M64, which had to get by with a 64-bit memory interface, and in the high-end sector, the TNT2, TNT2/Pro and TNT2/Ultra which had a full one 128 bits offered and only differed in the clock frequency.

nVidia TNT2 M64

In the short term, Matrox was able to regain the top performance when the G400MAX offered a chip that is extremely fast, especially under 32Bit, which a TNT2ultra shouldn't be afraid of needed and moreover offered a flawless display quality, so that even today some copies are still used for gaming.

Matrox Millenium G400 MAX

TnL or not TnL

Next was nVidiawith the GeForce256 in autumn 1999 to take over the sole control of the graphics market.

The GeForce256 was initially sometimes even slower than the TNT2-Ultra from own production, but a sophisticated marketing convinced the now 3D-obsessed Player of the need for hardware T&L, which should relieve the CPU of transformation and light calculations. In addition, the number 256, which indicated a 256-bit graphics processor, cast a spell over many gamers.

nVidia GeForce256 from Hercules

The GeForce256, which was later even delivered with DDR RAM, quickly became the new standard in the graphics market. The counterattack by 3dfx with the Voodoo 4 and 5, which were technologically no longer up-to-date despite the 32-bit rendering that had been introduced in the meantime, because they were completed with a six-month delay, subsided in the euphoria that was caused by the GeForce they already had to deal with the GeForce2GTS at the time of its market launch.

3dfx Voodoo4 4500
3dfx Voodoo5 5500 AGP
3dfx Voodoo5 6000
VSA-100 Collection

On the next page: Secondary theaters of war

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