Top 10 Most Significant Nvidia GPUs of All Time

Vanderlinde

Posts: 47   +42
Nvidia made chipsets too; and they where actually better then Intel's or AMD's. Nforce2 for example, build in Geforce 2MX etc. That was untill both intel and amd pulled the plug on chipset licencing.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 585   +506
The MX 400 was my first Geforce.

Upgraded from a Voodoo 3 3000.

The MX400 had more video memory and I noticed that details in my games, such as gauges in flight simulators (Janes USAF) looked animated and better.

From thence on, I prefer to get as much VRAM as possible.

Th3 most important Nvidia GPU is always the next one.

Right now my 3090FTW3 and the Kingpin 3090 are at the absolute top of the pile.

What Nvidia really needs is a 3080Ti for $1099 that isn't scalpable. IE: sell it direct to consumers.

Had a similar upgrade path myself: Voodoo 3 to GeForce 2 MX 400, which to be fair was in a TON of OEM PCs back in the day.

Made some poor choices after that: Geforce 5500, 9800 GX2, ATI 4890 (failed after three months). Got smart after that though: 770 GTX to 1080 GTX.
 

AMN3S1AC

Posts: 80   +51
Due to different situations such as upgrade timing, finances, and availability, the first Nvidia card I actually owned was a GTX 970. While I was initially annoyed by the 3.5GB debacle, I quickly got over it and the card proved to be a wonderful performer (it still works away in my kids PC). Currently using a 3060 ti, and so far have been enjoying the performance it gives.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,224   +5,926
Had a similar upgrade path myself: Voodoo 3 to GeForce 2 MX 400, which to be fair was in a TON of OEM PCs back in the day.

Made some poor choices after that: Geforce 5500, 9800 GX2, ATI 4890 (failed after three months). Got smart after that though: 770 GTX to 1080 GTX.


My Computer at that time was a HP Pavilion 8570c. Pentium III 450Mhz, 96MB of SD RAM (upgraded to 128MB ), Voodoo 3 3000 (Upgraded to MX 400), 20GB HDD.

Needless to say, the upgrade was great up until about 2001. I could run Half Life, Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, Janes USAF and a bunch of other games...but as the CPU speed requirements increased, I got locked out of upgradeability.

So I moved to XBOX and then Xbox 360 and then Xbox One...re-entering PC gaming during the Geforce 980Ti era.

Now that I'm not a college kid anymore and I have disposable income for PC environments, I am PC Master Race till I die.
 

8600M GT

Posts: 21   +12
the mobile 8600M GT is definitely the worst. the card itself is removable (MXM-II) but OEM specific bios means you can't easily swap it to another MXM-II card or even remove it to switch to integrated graphics. it's the worst when you're not in the US (part of settlement lawsuit) and your laptop is not one of those select OEM covered (Dell, HP, Compaq, Apple).

a friend gave me her acer 5920 with dead 8600M GT. at the time I thought I could maybe get some lower-end MXM-II card over ebay and have a pretty decent laptop at the time. boy I was wrong, even crappy card costs hundreds of dollars. I guess nvidia sort of "scammed' those OEM when they supplied them with the horseshit that is the 8600M GT.

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/new...faulty-processor-suit-dell-hp-compaq-mac.html

That's the GPU my laptop has, and it is the worst! The DDR2 variant of it to be precise, not the superior GDDR3 variant. Which means its memory runs at 400 MHz instead of 700 MHz. The only way to know which one you were getting was to research the specific laptops and the feedback from people who had bought them, though - another reason it is the worst.

I've had relatively good luck with the GPU considering. I played tons of games on it from 2007 - 2011. The frequency of BSODs due to Bumpgate issues gradually increased over the past decade, and it finally got bad enough that in 2018 or 2019 I switched to a second 8600M GT. But I'd bought spares knowing it would eventually fail, and have a third one in storage. It is unfortunate you have to get the OEM-specific one, but at least you can swap them out. Few laptops allow that these days, and even in 2007 it was becoming increasingly rare.

My current one will still occasionally freeze up or BSOD (and it's almost always an nVIDIA-related BSOD), and it can't seem to handle DVDs anymore. But the rest of the laptop is good enough that I've put up with the nVIDIA issues. If only I could swap it for the similarly-performing Radeon HD 3650, it would be perfect.

Before the 8600M GT, I had the GeForce 4 MX 440. The MX 400 series has to be among the worst, too. Greatly deceptive marketing, it looked like it was part of the GeForce 4 series, but it actually performed worse than a GeForce 3. Of course I didn't know that at a time, and the 128 MB of VRAM looked super appealing coming from an 8 MB Matrox card. It was still more powerful, of course, but retrospectively better choices could have been made. Then again that PC also had a Pentium 4 Northwood, so it might not have been the worst component in that computer. By comparison, the 8600M GT was light years ahead performance wise, if not quality wise.

After Bumpgate I resolved to go AMD on the GPU front, and have had two Radeons and a FirePro since then. But I did buy a newer laptop with a 1050 for mobile gaming a couple years ago, after tiring of waiting for good mobile Radeons. I still use the 8600M GT laptop more, though; it has better ergonomics if I'm using it as a laptop without an external keyboard and mouse.
 

8600M GT

Posts: 21   +12
a friend gave me her acer 5920 with dead 8600M GT. at the time I thought I could maybe get some lower-end MXM-II card over ebay and have a pretty decent laptop at the time. boy I was wrong, even crappy card costs hundreds of dollars. I guess nvidia sort of "scammed' those OEM when they supplied them with the horseshit that is the 8600M GT.

If you still have that laptop and want to try to revive it, search for "baking your gpu for fun and profit", without quotes. If you bake the 8600M GT at the right temperature for the right amount of time, it will reflow the solder and (at least temporarily) bring it back to life.

I haven't done that myself yet due to good fortune and spare Dell 8600M GTs going for $25 or $30 back in the day when old laptops were being parted out, but probably will at some point. There's no lead in the solder, so no risk of dying of lead inhalation.
 

8600M GT

Posts: 21   +12
Pretty good list. It's probably a bit too soon to put the RTX 3080 on it, but other than that I see few nits to pick, and it may well wind up being worthy even when it's not the hot new thing.

The real question is, is there going to be a similar list for non-ATI/nVIDIA GPUs? SIS maybe? That's one where I probably would not be familiar with most of the GPUs.
 

Tyrchlis

Posts: 155   +120
Nvidia GPUs I've owned:
Geforce 3 - Asus V8200 Deluxe
Geforce 4 Ti 4400 - MSI
Geforce 6800GT - BFG
Geforce 7900GT - XFX
Geforce 8800GTS 320mb - EVGA
Geforce 8800GTS 640mb - EVGA
Geforce GTX 580 - EVGA
Geforce GTX 680 - EVGA *longest lasting GPU in personal history - 5 years
Geforce GTX 1080 Ti - Gigabyte Aorus *second longest lasting GPU in personal history - 4 years
Geforce RTX 3090 - PNY Revel XLR8 Epic-X

ATI/AMD GPUs I've owned:
ATI Expert@Play - Rage Pro Turbo, ATI branded
ATI Radeon 64mb ViVo, ATI branded
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro AIW, ATI branded
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, ATI branded
ATI Radeon 9800XT, ATI branded
ATI Radeon 4870, free sample from AMD directly
AMD Radeon 5870 (2x in Crossfire)

3dfx GPUs I've owned:
Voodoo Graphics (Diamond Monster)
Voodoo II (STB Blackmagic 12mb, 2x in SLI)
Voodoo Banshee (Guillimot Phoenix)
Voodoo 3
 

Stoly

Posts: 91   +56
If you still have that laptop and want to try to revive it, search for "baking your gpu for fun and profit", without quotes. If you bake the 8600M GT at the right temperature for the right amount of time, it will reflow the solder and (at least temporarily) bring it back to life.

I haven't done that myself yet due to good fortune and spare Dell 8600M GTs going for $25 or $30 back in the day when old laptops were being parted out, but probably will at some point. There's no lead in the solder, so no risk of dying of lead inhalation.
I "baked" my desktop 8600GT several times for several years until I got rid of it. I really can't tell if I did a lousy job so it worked only for a few months until it had to be baked again. I think "my recipe" was 300°f for 10 min IIRC.
 

Stoly

Posts: 91   +56
Pretty good list. It's probably a bit too soon to put the RTX 3080 on it, but other than that I see few nits to pick, and it may well wind up being worthy even when it's not the hot new thing.

The real question is, is there going to be a similar list for non-ATI/nVIDIA GPUs? SIS maybe? That's one where I probably would not be familiar with most of the GPUs.
Maybe a list the the best cards overall from any maker, or cards that brought up new things to the table, like the Matrox Parhelia bringing multimonitor. Or the Kyro cards that introduced tile based rendering. S3 and the S3TC texture compression, etc.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 307   +194
Just as Intel provides better software support for its CPUs, Nvidia provides better software support for its GPUs than AMD. If AMD doesn't address this issue, having better price/performance won't always be convincing to buyers, since a product that doesn't do what you need can't be a bargain. With AMDs current success, it should be able to afford to dedicate some resources to closing this important gap.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 56   +62
The worst graphics card I ever had was Nvidia, it was an FX5200 and it was a mess!

Those FX graphics or MX versions are the baddest from the bad, the lowest end (usually older chips renamed) gpu and memories, very narrow busses and very low performance. Garbage.

I had one of the first TNT worldwide and it was AWESOME! I also had graphics from Matrox which were PRO cards and the quality was great, the performance though was not good. Great times... as good as I upgraded from CGA to VGA and the Super VGA! That time 640x480 or 800x600 was smashing! And 1024x768 was like "8K" now :)
 

BrianMontanye

Posts: 83   +65
I could do it easily because I've been around as long as I have. In no particular order:
  • GTX 970 (1GB of VRAM slower than the other 3GB)
  • GTX 480 (OMGWTFBBQ!)
  • GTX 590 (Unstable and weaker than the HD 6990)
  • 8400 GS (Glorified video adapter so weak that it can use PCI)
  • GTS 250 (Re-branded 9800GTX+ but nVidia didn't want anyone to know)
  • FX 5400 (Sounded like an old Electrolux vacuum cleaner)
  • NV1 (Horrible picture quality compared to the competition)
  • GT 1030 DDR4 (Half the performance of the GDDR5 version at the same price)
  • Mobile 8400 GT (Bumpgate)
  • Pick another mobile GPU that was affected by bumpgate
That bumpgate scandal affected SO MANY mobile GPUs (at least two entire generations) that you could do a bottom ten using only those. Nope, not a challenge. :D

I think the challenge lies in picking just 10 :)
 

veLa

Posts: 1,117   +753
Even though I was a youngster who could only afford a GeForce 6200, the GeForce 6000 series was one of the most exciting generations for me. At the time, the reintroduction of SLI meant that dual GPU rigs were set to be the future of ultra high end gaming rigs for the foreseeable future.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,041
TechSpot Elite
I think the challenge lies in picking just 10 :)
I agree with you but that's not the vibe that I got from their post:
BTW picking just 10 best is an easy task on nivdia. Now having a 10 worst, heck even 5 worst cards, that would be a challenge :):laughing:
Picking 10 best cards from nVidia would be easy but picking 10 worst or even 5 worst would be a challenge? I get the distinct impression that this person's opinion is that nVidia is incapable of making bad cards. If only 10 was the challenge then they would have said "heck, even 20 worst would be a challenge" instead of 5.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,041
TechSpot Elite
Even though I was a youngster who could only afford a GeForce 6200, the GeForce 6000 series was one of the most exciting generations for me. At the time, the reintroduction of SLI meant that dual GPU rigs were set to be the future of ultra high end gaming rigs for the foreseeable future.
It was only on the PCI-Express cards. I know that my XFX GeForce 6200 didn't have an SLI connector at the top:
2200-front.jpg

From what I can see, SLI cards were all PCI-Express only. See, the 6800 Ultra didn't have an SLI connector port on the AGP model:
xfx_1.jpg

but the 6800 Ultra PCI-Express version did (little off-white connector at the top):
ImgW.ashx

Come to think of it, I don't think that I've ever seen an AGP card that could be used in a dual-card setup. That doesn't mean they don't exist but I've never seen one.
 

veLa

Posts: 1,117   +753
It was only on the PCI-Express cards. I know that my XFX GeForce 6200 didn't have an SLI connector at the top:
2200-front.jpg

From what I can see, SLI cards were all PCI-Express only. See, the 6800 Ultra didn't have an SLI connector port on the AGP model:
xfx_1.jpg

but the 6800 Ultra PCI-Express version did (little off-white connector at the top):
ImgW.ashx

Come to think of it, I don't think that I've ever seen an AGP card that could be used in a dual-card setup. That doesn't mean they don't exist but I've never seen one.

That's correct. SLI was only for PCIe cards.
 

Stoly

Posts: 91   +56
I agree with you but that's not the vibe that I got from their post:

Picking 10 best cards from nVidia would be easy but picking 10 worst or even 5 worst would be a challenge? I get the distinct impression that this person's opinion is that nVidia is incapable of making bad cards. If only 10 was the challenge then they would have said "heck, even 20 worst would be a challenge" instead of 5.
In my defense I was thinking of real gaming cards, not cheapo crap. Because in that case dozens of AMD/nvidia cards would fill the list.
 

Stoly

Posts: 91   +56
It was only on the PCI-Express cards. I know that my XFX GeForce 6200 didn't have an SLI connector at the top:
2200-front.jpg

From what I can see, SLI cards were all PCI-Express only. See, the 6800 Ultra didn't have an SLI connector port on the AGP model:
xfx_1.jpg

but the 6800 Ultra PCI-Express version did (little off-white connector at the top):
ImgW.ashx

Come to think of it, I don't think that I've ever seen an AGP card that could be used in a dual-card setup. That doesn't mean they don't exist but I've never seen one.
you couldn't SLI on AGP simple because there was only 1 AGP slot and it was never intended for multiple AGP cards. You could have multigpu on a single board like the RageFuryMaxx and Vodoo 5 series.

Only PCI-e cards were SLI/crossfire capable.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,041
TechSpot Elite
In my defense I was thinking of real gaming cards, not cheapo crap. Because in that case dozens of AMD/nvidia cards would fill the list.
Hey, no worries. I wasn't attacking you, I was just giving information. Of the ones I presented, four of them were high-end gaming cards and someone else pointed out that I could have put the FX 5800 instead of the FX 5400 so that's five.

It's important to remember that ATi had existed for eight years longer than nVidia and has released a tonne more product as a result so there was far more opportunities to make "flops". I think that the RX 6000-series is ONE BIG flop for example :)laughing:). Over the years, there's an ebb and flow to the market and who makes great products and who makes awful ones. The differences are insignificant between the two and it's important that people realise that.

Before you sing their praises to the heavens, never forget that nVidia has screwed people over deliberately and has done things that have reduced the enjoyment of gaming for everyone. I've never understood how anyone could love a company, let alone one that does terrible things to consumers just to make more money when they're already richer than Midas.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,041
TechSpot Elite
you couldn't SLI on AGP simple because there was only 1 AGP slot and it was never intended for multiple AGP cards. You could have multigpu on a single board like the RageFuryMaxx and Vodoo 5 series.

Only PCI-e cards were SLI/crossfire capable.
Yeah, that's what I had always assumed but never really gave it much thought.
 

evolucion8

Posts: 56   +20
The worst graphics card I ever had was Nvidia, it was an FX5200 and it was a mess! Before that I remember my dad upgrading the TNT with a voodoo. I never had much love for Nvidia growing up.

Things have changed though because now they absolutely smash Radeon.

They dont, the last time nVidia did smashed AMD was on the 8800/9800 era vs the 2900/3870 as after that, AMD became competitive and reached peak performance once again until they fell flat with Vega and now they are almost up to par with Navi21.