The History of the Modern Graphics Processor, Part 4: The Coming of General Purpose GPUs

By Jos · 21 replies
Apr 16, 2013
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  1. cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I've owned so many of the cards mentioned in these 4 parts... and it feels like it's been such an awesome trip to get to where we are now. I've loved almost every high end (for the time) gpu I've purchased regardless of brand.
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    Terrific series of articles. Really brought back some fun memories. And believe you're spot on, Graham - upgrading is becoming less and less of a necessity as the power of the new cards will handle anything game developers are going to be putting out for quite a while.
  4. I love rounding errors... 100.2% total market share :-S
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,147   +915

    Aawww man, I was enjoying these, but they were all a very good read I have to say, I did notice the GTX285 wasn't mentioned but I guess it didn't need to be as it was only a tad faster than a 280.

    Do you plan on doing any other articles like this? such as for chipsets, CPU's, display technology or sound cards? although I have to admit, GPU's firms have (had?) definitely got the more interesting tale to tell xD
  6. fraggleki

    fraggleki TS Rookie Posts: 17

    That 8800 GTX brings back so many good memory! First card I ever bought on my own. Also the 4870x2 was my second card and it was great but got to hot and eventually died. :(

    The 6970 is my new card but thinking about switching to Nvidia again!
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  7. SantistaUSA

    SantistaUSA TS Booster Posts: 94   +22

    Back in my younger days (I'm 34 now) I was so jealous that my rich friend had a nice setup with the vodoo video cards, those graphics blew me away back then. Nowadays I have a EVGA GTX570 (in use with i7 3770k) and so far it plays games pretty well at 1080p.

    Great article!
  8. I've been really enjoying these articles, some of my favourite pieces as of late.
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,669   +1,102

    Really good article, but I remember the 4000 amd series having a much bigger impact than what I got from reading this. it might be just me.
  10. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,957

    I thought your could do better than that. Having written such a comprehensive graphics history, and without the will to push the envelope and make future predictions.
  11. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,957

    There is so much more to it from today that the article didn't go over. I don't follow all of that, but what I did hear about:

    1. The coming support of HDMI 2.0, its competition with DisplayPort;
    2. MS announcing there will be no DirectX12
    3. All the buzz about 4K and its support.
    4. The battle of oncoming play stations, 720 vs PS4

    There is so much one could at least try to predict in the world of graphics...
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,733   +3,704

    But the article is about history, not predictions of the future. Besides DBZ doesn't have access to the Iranian time machine.
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Once again great article.

    Don't hate.
  14. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    My 8800GTS and GTX 280 were some of my favorite cards. A 512bit bus on that 280 to this day is still remarkable.
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    As Clifford noted, the series is about history, and not about making pronouncements regarding future history.
    I could I suppose expound upon...
    ...except that the company doing the announcing is AMD and not Microsoft, and the guy doing the announcing is a marketing guy. I suppose you could take the concept and run with it, but I seem to remember that the last time AMD marketing guys expounded on APIs they managed to invent the internal confusion engine...
    Richard Huddy (then) of AMD talks of doing away with the API (and just not DirectX) on 16 March, 2011
    ...and two days later, Neal Robison (then) of AMD announces that the API is alive, well, and the way forward

    cliffordcooley likes this.
  16. Love this series.
  17. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    I recently sold my 295 and my 8800 ultra not even 3 months ago. Kind of miss those things.
  18. Footlong

    Footlong TS Booster Posts: 79   +38

    Good memory. I think that the market is different now, since PS4 and the next Xbox (no given name yet) are going to be x86. The API are all shader model 5 with PS4 using OpenGL and OpenCL. There are people talking about XNA2 being almost identical to DX 11.1. This means, at least for me, that games are entering in a murky and troubled waters. DX11 games requires a lot of processing power. Open games like FarCry3 and Crysis3 struggle GPU's like HD 7950 and GTX 660Ti. They are the middle ground for desktop, but faster than what console can perform.
    Microsoft needs to sell the new Xbox. Creating a new API to sell more Windows "blue" or 9 means that the market will split again. Those who have the new DX12 and those who don't. The base will be shader 5, in a different API sure, but this leave us in the same situation as we are today. All of this off course with one problem: the stakes a much higher and developing games that fully uses a good implementation of DX 11 are too expensive.

    On a side note: The WItcher 2 showed a lot of critics that DX 9.0 C is pretty good at making a graphical demanding game.
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,733   +3,704

    Tell me, why did you quote so many comments?

    Better yet why did you quote my comment? Your reply seems to be irrelevant to my comment.
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  20. Footlong

    Footlong TS Booster Posts: 79   +38

    It was an accident! My bad :p
  21. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    Loved these articles. Seems like a good opportunity to list my graphics card history :)

    I had a matrix mystique then bought an orchid rightous 3d (yes it clicked) 4mb 3dfx card primarily to play quake. After that I upgraded to a creative voodoo 2, tried out a tnt2 which kept crashing (but I was trying to play hidden and dangerous so everything crashed with that game). Took it back and got a voodoo3000. Used that for ages then got a NVIDIA geforce 2mx. Great card. Sort of upgraded to a radeon 9200 then got a 9700pro when prices dropped. After that I had a radeon x1950pro then a x850xt platinum. Used that for ages before getting a new pc with a radeon 4850 in it which I upgraded to a 460gtx 1gb overclocked model) couple of years ago now. Still cooking with gas on that one. Don't think I left anything out :) had totally forgotten a few of those before reading these articles.
  22. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 302   +108

    Great article... Wondering how great is going to be the jump in performance in the new video cards. Games like Crysis 3 are very demanding so if that's the standard for the next AAA games, there should be a great performance jump in the next cards.

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