Top 10 Most Significant AMD GPUs of All Time

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
Over the years I have so many of these old ATI cards! I remember having the Rage, the 9700 pro, the X800 XT! (Anyone remember the double cross demos?) Then a period of Nvidia and finally back to Radeon with a pair of 280X which were great cards really, then an RX580 which was ok and after that I went back to Nvidia after being well and truly infuriated by AMDs modern drivers.

To me it definitely feels like Radeons have gone downhill since the AMD takeover of ATI.
 

s3thra

Posts: 33   +38
TechSpot Elite
I haven’t owned any in the article specifically, though I started out with the 9600 XT, then the HD 4830, HD 5770, R9 270X, RX 570, RX 580, and currently have the RX 5600 XT.
A while back I bought an AGP X1950 XT for a throwback build with an S939 Athlon 64 X2.
After my 9600 XT, my only nVidia purchase was a passively cooled GeForce 6600GT to get better FPS on UT2004 and Doom 3.
Chances are in a few years time if AMD keep up their naming convention, I’ll end up with a 9600 XT again... 20 years later lol.
 

AMN3S1AC

Posts: 80   +51
I had a HD 4850 512mb, that was awesome, I remember playing a lot of Modern Warfare with it. The other AMD card I owned was a 7950 3gb, that card overclocked really well, and lasted a lot longer than I thought. Currently on a 3060 ti, as no amd options were available at a reasonable price in my region.
 
I had a Rage Fury MAXX 128. 64MB was not enough to beat the 16MB voodoo 2. The rage sucked. Huge. I know, I sold my voodoo for one. Even years later the sapphire Radeon was absolutely trash in comparison to the 3dfx and nvidia cards. Even today, team GeForce has the best.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,403   +1,999
I remembering buying that ATI Radeon DDR which was the first radeon made. Think I've owned every radeon since and skipped only a few of them. I skipped the Rage cards as they were pretty up and down with the drivers.
 
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fadingfool

Posts: 232   +230
Was on Ati/AMD for years:

9600 mobile (in an Athlon 64 laptop)
HD3450 (came included in a prebuilt)
HD4550 (first standalone GPU I bought - couldn't afford anything better at the time - still L4D ran really well).
HD5550 (moved from 720p to 900p so needed a little more oomph)
HD6570 (finally moved up to 1080p)
HD7750
R9 270
then moved to a GTX 970 and finally a 1080Ti. With the prices/availability of GPUs it looks like I'll be keeping the 1080 Ti for a while yet.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,881   +2,199
Staff member
How come no 4770?,it was the 1st 40nm card and when OC'ed it was quicker than even the GTX 470 in Furmark yet a lot cheaper.
They made the 4830\4850's pointless.
The process node was pretty much all it had going for it. The HD 5750 was released just 5 months later, and for just $30 more, one had a much better graphics card.
 

Stoly

Posts: 91   +56
Only owned a ATI 3D RAGE PRO (my first 3d gaming card) and 4850,

Gotta say the rage pro was a great card for me, I remember playing Rogue Squadron and Viper Racing. Then I got a RivaTNT2 and was blown by it, I've been mostly nvidia since then.

Considering getting a 6800 if I can ever get my hands on one.
 

R00sT3R

Posts: 481   +1,321
I got a 4850 with 1GB of VRAM, which was on offer and only cost something like £20 more than the more usual 512Mb versions that were available. Best £20 I spent in a long time as that extra 512Mb kept the card relevant for gaming a good 12mths longer than it should have otherwise done.
 

kmbear

Posts: 14   +19
Had that 9700... such a great card Was able to overclock it past the 9700 Pro marks and save some money! Card lasted me a long time playing some great games back then! Used that one for at leat 5 years. Played Far Cry and even Half-Life 2 on this and they looked beautiful!
 

ClintL

Posts: 23   +49
The process node was pretty much all it had going for it. The HD 5750 was released just 5 months later, and for just $30 more, one had a much better graphics card.

Yes the next generation card was quicker.
You had a midrange card with the "pretty much all it had" node and GDDR5,even the 4850 only had GDDR3 at the time.
 

nismo91

Posts: 1,147   +184
My very first laptop 16 years ago came with just 64MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 and 1024x768 screen. I remember well at the time I could play any game in high settings, that includes well known titles such as Half Life 2, Battlefield 2, Age of Empires 3, GTA SA, NFS Most Wanted - most of which usually requires 128MB GPU at minimum.

can't believe I can play all those exciting and beautiful games at high settings with just 64MB VRAM. on a 3kg business laptop. without any sort of cooling aids or "turbo fan" mode.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,881   +2,199
Staff member
Yes the next generation card was quicker.
You had a midrange card with the "pretty much all it had" node and GDDR5,even the 4850 only had GDDR3 at the time.
Not denying that it was a good product, but it wasn't significant. Despite having GDDR5, it had less memory bandwidth than the HD 4850, due to using a narrower bus. The better process node helped reduced power consumption and offer higher core clocks, but little else was changed - the RV740 GPU was only used in two products.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,043
TechSpot Elite
Let's see... cards that I've owned which were mentioned in the article are the VGA Wonder, the A8-3500M, the HD 4870 1GB, the HD 7970, the R9 Fury and RX 5700 XT. I've also owned an EGA Wonder and HD 5870 (not in the article).

I don't understand why Sami focuses on the two places where the 1st-Gen APU was least successful, in the low-power (Brazos) and desktop (Llano A8-3850). Brazos was was designed to compete with the Intel Atom in Netbooks which were kinda cute-looking but extremely limited in capability. They were so bad in fact that people stopped buying them and extinction set in. Desktop Llano wasn't really competitive because with an unlimited amount of electricity, the efficiency of Llano was overshadowed by the fact that it couldn't keep up with a lot of high-end discrete cards.

Where AMD Fusion really shined was in the mobile Llano platform because it had an incredibly efficient and solid-performing IGP, the Mobility Radeon HD 6620G. The A8-3500M and its rival, the i5-2520M were like two sides of a coin. The Intel APU dominated in CPU-intensive workloads while the AMD APU dominated in GPU-intensive workloads (like games).

They weren't equal sides of the same coin though. The A8 was "heads" and the i5 was "tails" because the A8 was far more balanced and therefore more versatile than the i5. While the A8 was slower in CPU-intensive tasks, it could still perform them to completing, it just took longer. However, in a lot of GPU-intensive tasks, specifically games, the i5's pedestrian HD 3000 IGP was completely useless. Several games that were playable on the A8-3500M were completely unplayable on the i5-2520M, assuming that they would even load.

Back when Tom's Hardware was good, they did an extensive 23-page review of the A8-3500M. They mistakenly called it a desktop-class APU (it's mobile) but it's what convinced me to buy my old Acer A8-3500M craptop. It's still decent for most tasks today, 9½ years later:
The AMD A8-3500M APU Review: Llano Is Unleashed
 
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SamiHA

Posts: 42   +53
Staff member
I had a Rage Fury MAXX 128. 64MB was not enough to beat the 16MB voodoo 2. The rage sucked. Huge. I know, I sold my voodoo for one. Even years later the sapphire Radeon was absolutely trash in comparison to the 3dfx and nvidia cards. Even today, team GeForce has the best.
Thanks for the reply. It seems like Radeon had its moments, but far fewer than its rivals. You'll enjoy next weeks Nvidia story for sure!
 

SamiHA

Posts: 42   +53
Staff member
How come no 4770?,it was the 1st 40nm card and when OC'ed it was quicker than even the GTX 470 in Furmark yet a lot cheaper.
They made the 4830\4850's pointless.
Thanks for the reply. It was hard to omit this one, but I had to make room for some of the other entries on the list.