WOF: What was the first graphics card you ever owned?

By on March 29, 2013, 5:00 PM

This week we published the first in a four-part article series chronicling the history of the modern graphics processor, from the early Wild West of competing ideas to the market's consolidation and how we got where we are today. Hat tip to Graham Singer (a.k.a dividebyzero in our forums) for authoring and contributing the lengthy piece for all of us to enjoy.

It’s been quite a ride for sure, and many longtime TechSpot readers or anyone who’s been a PC gamer for a while will remember -- perhaps with a little nostalgia -- several of the companies and products that left their mark one way or another.

With that in mind, today we want you to take a trip down memory lane with us and tell us about the first graphics card you ever owned, as well as the games you were playing at that time. If you remember your entire graphics card purchase history to this day, we also want to hear about it!

User Comments: 210

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Guest said:

Ati rage 3d pro 8mb

jznomoney said:

My first 3d card was a Diamond Viper V770. It was a TNT2 based card. It kicked butt against my friends 3dfx 3000 video card.

OneSpeed said:

Hercules Mono

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

An Ati Xpert&Play and it was terrible, replaced it with a Matrox G400 after a few months.

2 people like this | Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

9800 pro (thought I was the beez kneez when I got it)

Upgraded to x1800xt

Upgraded to 4870 DK TOP

Upgraded to 5830

Upgraded to 6870

And now I broke down and switched to nvidia :<

Upgraded to a 660ti

Somehow I got emotionally attached to each card. They each have a special place in my heart

MrAnderson said:

My 1st graphics accelerator was a Diamond Fire Pro (1st use of the Glint chip).

xtas420 xtas420 said:

First I had Voodoo 5 5500

MrAnderson said:

My 1st graphics accelerator was a Diamond Fire Pro (1st use of the Glint chip).

edit: FireGL I think it was....

ikesmasher said:

I believe I had an intel graphics controller 2500 or something. It was with an old...pentium 4? celeron? I think.

First actual card was an HD3450 in the fam computer.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Canopus Voodoo 2 with SLI technology, technology later purchased by NVIDIA and repurposed.

Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

Hercules MDA ISA 8bit with about 16k memory as I recall - provided more density than 640x480 but the graphics were limited to what you could twist out of text. No pixel addressing. It was weird and soon displaced by EGA (thank heavens!). Played Rogue, Hack and Colossal Cave Adventure. I wrote a version of Hammurabi which I gave out to friends in my computer club.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

ATI Rage 3D - back in the stone age.

dotVezz said:

GeForce MX440 =D

mls067 mls067 said:

A voodoo rush. The guy at compusa said it was awesome! Worse p.o.s. card ever. . After that I believe I purchased a voodoo2, then the GeForce 3 ti200 Series I believe.

MrBungle said:

Diamond Viper V330 (4MB PCI based on nVidia Riva 128)

TechGamer TechGamer said:

Geforce 6200 1st ever

gtx 660 ye I skipped lots of generations

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Lets just say that during the time I started installing graphics drivers, they were referred to as CGA, VGA, and SVGA. I can't remember the specifics and a quick Bing search didn't refresh my memory either. Graphics was integrated on Packard Bell proprietary motherboards. At this time there was no PCI card slots or ATX form factors. ISA card slots and AT form factor was the standard. As for gaming at the time (1987), if you can imagine gaming before Doom or even Duke Nukum was available.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

GeForce 4 MX440 :D

Then upgraded to a Sapphire Radeon 9600XT.

Demigod001 said:

Had something in an ISA slot cant remember what then got a Voodoo Graphics PCI. Had it for a few years then got a voodoo 3 2000 with a whole 16mb! which still ran fine last time I checked in an old windows 98 box I kept for old dos games Just use dos box now and GOG

Raducu Raducu said:

Matrox G200 8 Mb

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

GeForce FX 5200

Bought it for my first build knowing it was weak, because I thought gaming with keyboard and mouse was stupid.

12 video cards later....

MSI GeForce 5200 128MB

XFX GeForce 6600 LE 256MB

BFG GeForce 6600 GT 256MB

MSI GeForce 7600 LE 256MB

BFG GeForce 7900 GS 512MB (x2)

Zotac GeForce 8800 GT 512MB

Sapphire Radeon 4830 512MB

Diamond Radeon 4850 1GB

Sapphire Radeon Vapor-X 5770 1GB

Sapphire Radeon 6950 2GB (x2)

Sapphire 7870 Gigahertz Edition 2GB...

Guest said:

I remember this like it was yesterday lol

3dfx Voodoo3 3000

Guest said:

Number 9 or ATI All in wonder

davislane1 davislane1 said:

GeForce 6600GT (the AGP model). In spite of some of it's limitations, I was able to get it to run competently for over 6 years without much fuss playing games like TES: Oblivion, Doom 3, CoD: 4, FarCry series, and a few other titles that were popular around the time AGP slotted mobos were being discontinued. The longevity of the card was what really impressed me about it. In spite of the obvious limitations of both the card and the AGP, I was able to keep it running relatively well (I.e. didn't have to dumb the graphics down on games too drastically) until around 2009-10 when it finally died. I read a review some while ago that called it "the little card that could," and that is certainly an apt description of the card.

I did replace the card late in 2010 with a Sapphire Radeon HD3850, but ultimately wound up "downgrading" the following year when I got a MBP for school.

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

Hercules Dynamite TNT

Cueto_99 said:

It was back in the year 2004, I bought an ATI X300 it was an entry level card, but it overclocked quite well! Good ol' days!

Guest said:

Gecube ATI 9550

misor misor said:

My video card history...

1998: first I have is a 4mb video card (shared memory) for my intel Pentium 166mhz mmx processor; can't recall the brand.

2003: inno3d mx440 128mb video card for my intel Celeron 1.7ghz

2009: palit nvidia 9800gt 1gb ddr3 for my intel core i3-530; evga nvidia g210 512mb ddr3 for my intel Pentium dual core e5400.

2013; intel hd 4000 for my intel core i5-3570k; have yet to buy NVidia 650 or NVidia 660 if I can stretch my budget within two weeks.

elTano06 elTano06 said:

Palit GeForce4 MX440 64mb 2003

Gigabyte radeon 9600xt 128mb 2004

Gigabyte radeon x1650 256mb ddr2 2008

Xfx radeon hd 4650 512mb ddr2 2009

Xfx radeon hd 5670 1gb gddr5 2011

Sapphire radeon hd 7750 1gb gddr5 2013

dotVezz said:

Geforce 6200 1st ever

gtx 660 ye I skipped lots of generations

You also moved up in price brackets!

Guest said:

3dfx Voodoo2

SourDo said:

3dfx Voodoo 2!

Randomthom Randomthom said:

Voodoo 3 2000 PCI ('cause my mobo at the time didn't have an AGP socket).

metalSHOCK said:

Riva TNT2.......right after Counter-Strike beta coming out. Now those were the good ole days when killing lpb's had more meaning.

Guest said:

Ragepro 8 mb

voodoo 2

Were a couple of the first ones I bought. Since then I have bought so many I have lost count. Currently running a gtx 480 watercooled and overclocked because it was $200 and has better performance than the gtx 570 that was $300 at the time I last upgraded.

BMfan BMfan said:

My 1st one was an entry level Nvidia 7200.

2nd was a Sapphire 1900gt.

3rd & 4th were 2 sapphire 4770's(still my favorite cards)

5th was a 5670 for a couple of months

6th was a gigabyte 6850

7th & 8th were sapphire 7750's

9th & 10th were sapphire 7770's OC

11th & 12th were gigabyte 7850 OC cards.

13th and current is a Gigabyte 7950 boost.

MrBungle said:

2MB S3 Trio

So how many other than me and this guy remember the days when the resoutions/color modes available to you were determined by how much RAM you had on your graphics card?

This thread makes me feel old. lol

EEatGDL said:

It was an ATI [unfortunately I don't remember the model, I was too young -9 yo- to take note of it, but it gave me wrong idea that any PC could handle any PC game, boy I was wrong when "unexplainably" my cousin's PC couldn't run nice and smooth the MS Flight Sim 98]; next one was a NVIDIA TNT2 after my old IBM PC (3 GB HD, 32 MB of RAM, W95, the previously mentioned unknown ATI) couldn't do more.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

It was a voodoo card cant remember which one.

TechGamer TechGamer said:

You also moved up in price brackets!

True :P I guess from candy pocket money im up to some real stuff if u know what I mean

mGuy said:

GeForce2 MX200

GeForce2 MX400

GeForce4 Ti4200

Radeon 9800

GeForce 7600 GS AGP

GeForce 7900 GS

GeForce 8600 GT *

GeForce GTX 660 Ti

My vote for the best buy-for-the-buck and longevity is the 8800 GT.

Guest said:

Ati 9550 128bit 256MB, best moment in my life :D Even only had 4 pixel shader, I still can enjoy a lot of game. Thanks Ati.(y)

1 person liked this | scorpian007 said:

2MB S3 Trio

So how many other than me and this guy remember the days when the resoutions/color modes available to you were determined by how much RAM you had on your graphics card?

This thread makes me feel old. lol

Likewise And DOS configurations to make different games work. Ahh himem.sys!

Steve Steve said:

3DFX Voodoo Banshee 16MB

Zeromus said:

Geforce 6200. The number was badass.

popkiller popkiller said:


S3D Virge 4MB + Orchid Righteous 3D (Voodoo)

Matrox Millenium G200 + Orchid Righteous 3D (Voodoo)

Voodoo Banshee

Riva TNT2 Ultra

Matrox G550

Geforce4 MX440

Geforce 6600GT

Geforce 8800GT

ATI HD5850

ATI HD5850 CrossfireX

Geforce GTX 670

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

My first card was some sort of S3 that I believe I got in '95. I paid an extra $300 to upgrade it to 2MB and it was an open-box (return) at the Base Exchange. This was around the time I was really getting into VRML and now I work with one of the guys who originally worked on that project.

Valkyrie743 Valkyrie743 said:

First card was a evga 7900 GT KO Superclocked

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