Digitaltrends Top 6 Nvidia Cards of All Time List. Agree or disagree?

gvx64

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No love for the Geforce FX 5800? 🤪



Seriously tho. I have fond memories of my Geforce 6800 GT as it was a great card for the money that made up for the Geforce 5 series mess, see above.

That video was awesome, thanks for sharing it. I remember the leaf blower analogies made about the high end GeForce FX series. Honestly, 2002-2003 was a very weird time for PC hardware. It wasn't just the ATI/NVidia war but the AMD/Intel one as well. Between Intel's Prescott "heaters" and Nvidia's FX-series leaf blowers you could have a full multipurpose home utility box instead of just a PC!

But yeah, obviously this period was a time that caused major reflection on the part of these companies and was what eventually gave us some of the best hardware leaps that we have ever seen. I remember when the GeForce 6600GT came out in 2004 and it was significantly faster than the unbeatable Radeon 9800XT from 2003. We certainly don't see $199 cards today that beat the pants off of the top-end enthusiast cards from the year prior.
 

Domingo

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The Nvidia "blower" era is the single happiest I've ever been with an ATI/AMD product ever. The 9800 (Pro in my case) might be the single best video card I've ever bought. I kept that thing for something like 5 years with no desire to upgrade. I've never experienced that before or since. I've also never owned another product from ATI/AMD that didn't have any caveats. Even the drivers were solid at that time.
 

Armenius

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The Nvidia "blower" era is the single happiest I've ever been with an ATI/AMD product ever. The 9800 (Pro in my case) might be the single best video card I've ever bought. I kept that thing for something like 5 years with no desire to upgrade. I've never experienced that before or since. I've also never owned another product from ATI/AMD that didn't have any caveats. Even the drivers were solid at that time.
All NVIDIA cards used blowers after NV30 until Turing came out. They certainly improved the design after the original neon monstrosity. For me it's really a tossup between the 9700/9800 Pro and 8800 GTX for greatest video card of all time. I lean toward giving that crown to ATi.
 

auntjemima

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The Nvidia "blower" era is the single happiest I've ever been with an ATI/AMD product ever. The 9800 (Pro in my case) might be the single best video card I've ever bought. I kept that thing for something like 5 years with no desire to upgrade. I've never experienced that before or since. I've also never owned another product from ATI/AMD that didn't have any caveats. Even the drivers were solid at that time.
The 10 series cards are still out there living their best lives. My 1080 still does everything I want I to and if I had a 1080ti, I would be even more set.
 

staknhalo

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I was using an EVGA 1080Ti FTW until April-ish (friend lent it to me after I sold my 2070super before PC apocalypse in Aug 2020 and couldn't replace it for non-scalper pricing)
 

pandora's box

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All NVIDIA cards used blowers after NV30 until Turing came out. They certainly improved the design after the original neon monstrosity. For me it's really a tossup between the 9700/9800 Pro and 8800 GTX for greatest video card of all time. I lean toward giving that crown to ATi.

9700 Pro is the best card of all time in my books. Slightly skewed for me as I upgraded from a GeForce 2 GTS to the 9700 Pro so it was a mind-blowing experience.

It'd be interesting to see a similar article but with a AMD/ATI focus. Top cards on the ATI/AMD side for me would be:

  • Radeon 9700 Pro
  • Radeon X800 Series (This series of cards was baller back in the day. Completely destroyed Nvidia's Geforce 6800 series with Anisotropic filtering). It was also the first card series (for me) that allowed the jump from 1280x1024 to 1600x1200 gaming. Fond memories of Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Half Life 2 on this card. Had the X800 XT Platinum Edition myself.
  • Radeon 5700 XT
  • Radeon 7970 - AMD fine wine here. Didnt win against the competition at time of release, but one year later - was beating the competition.
  • Radeon 4870 1GB
 

Wade88

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I remember buying a 4600ti from Best buy on black Friday. They were sold out by the time I got there but I saw one sitting on the counter back in computer area. I snatched it and ran. It probably was someone's card that put it down for a sec. It was a hell of a deal for like $250 then.
I snatched a 250 gigabyte hdd from the cart of a fat man that wasn't paying attention and was instead watching the home theater section in 2002 at Best buy on black Friday. I think it was 2002, whenever it was it was the first time I'd seen a 250 gigabyte disk for sale in my town.
 
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That video was awesome, thanks for sharing it. I remember the leaf blower analogies made about the high end GeForce FX series. Honestly, 2002-2003 was a very weird time for PC hardware. It wasn't just the ATI/NVidia war but the AMD/Intel one as well. Between Intel's Prescott "heaters" and Nvidia's FX-series leaf blowers you could have a full multipurpose home utility box instead of just a PC!

But yeah, obviously this period was a time that caused major reflection on the part of these companies and was what eventually gave us some of the best hardware leaps that we have ever seen. I remember when the GeForce 6600GT came out in 2004 and it was significantly faster than the unbeatable Radeon 9800XT from 2003. We certainly don't see $199 cards today that beat the pants off of the top-end enthusiast cards from the year prior.

Yeah, 2003 got wild because of Half-Life 2. IIRC Valve demo'd it on a ATI 9600 or 9700 and nVidia tried to offer something with Geforce 5900s but Valve said no thanks. It was probably a good thing for nVidia when HL2 got delayed a year as it gave them time to catch up with their Geforce 6 series against ATI.
 

DejaWiz

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TnT2
256
8800 GTX
980/Ti
1080/Ti
3080/Ti

The way I see it, the TnT2 was the first real threat to the Voodoo lineup, the 256 was the nail in the coffin since they were on shelves months before 3Dfx had anything to answer with and, by that time, the GeForce2 was a big middle finger to the Voodoo 5.

8800 GTX...beast mode.

980...still adequate for some newer games today.

1080...heck of a jump from the 980.

3080...redemption for the laughable 2080.
 

DukenukemX

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Digitaltrends made a short list of their top 6 best Nvidia Cards of All time.

Personally, I'm disappointed to not see the ti4200 on there. Every lan center in the country practically had one. Remember those? They were such a clutch option to basically run anything and everything, with affordability.

List goes as this :

They explain in detail on why they chose these - do you agree? If not, what's your top 6 best Nvidia Cards? And no, this isn't obviously the most powerful list.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-nvidia-gpu-of-all-time/
I don't agree.

My personal list would be.
  1. Geforce 2 because it sold like gangbusters. It sold so many that the infamous Geforce 4 Mx fooled so many buyers thinking they got a cut down version of the Ti's. They got an overclocked Geforce 2. Scummy move by Nvidia but they got away with it because the Geforce 2 was that good.
  2. Geforce 6800. Why? Because I modded and unlocked all the pipes.
  3. Geforce GTX 970 because despite it's 4GB ram flaw, it sold like gangbusters and wasn't much slower than a GTX 980. It's still a usable card for todays games.
  4. Geforce GTX 1080 was a good card but there's so many better options now. I would put a Vega 56 here because it beat the GTX 1070, but if I had to choose Nvidia then GTX 1070 it is.
  5. Honestly none of Nvidia's RTX 3000's series deserves a mention just due to the last 2 years of fucking around they've done. The RTX 2060 though has had an interesting ride, from being hella over priced when released, to coming back to life just because the introduction of the RTX 2060 Super reduced the pricing of the 2060 and started selling well, which forced Nvidia to continue to produce more RTX 2060's. During the pandemic when Nvidia couldn't make enough RTX 3000 cards, they re-released the RTX 2060 yet again. Steams Hardware Survey shows that it's the 4th most popular GPU used on Steam at 5%. The RTX 3080 is a sad 1.68%.
 

Zepher

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this was my first Nvidia. Would you put this on the list?
7800-1.jpg
 

Armenius

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  • Radeon 7970 - AMD fine wine here. Didnt win against the competition at time of release, but one year later - was beating the competition.
That is because they released the GHz Edition, which gave it sizable legs. They even reused the GPU in the 280X.
this was my first Nvidia. Would you put this on the list?
View attachment 503377
This was also my last AGP card. I had the BFG Tech version. Can't say there was anything special about it. For me, it really didn't feel any better than the 5900 XT that it replaced since it was held back by the AGP bandwidth. It ran most things I still played at the time just fine, but I only used it for about a year before I built my first beast (QX6700 with 8800 GTX SLI).
 

Armenius

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Where's the Riva 128? 🤨
I don't recall how it competed with the Voodoo on the 3D acceleration front, but it was certainly NVIDIA's first notable video card on the market. As far as I can remember, it was the first video card to support AGP and the first to integrate 3D acceleration into a single chip.
 

M76

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Where's the Riva 128? 🤨
I've had one and it definitely doesn't deserve to be on a best of list. It was faster than a voodoo, but at the price of image quality. Outside of the 2MB S3 Virge, the Rive 128 had the worst image quality of any card I owned. Everything looked like Quake on it, brownish washed out colors, and it had horrible dithering. They fixed some of it's issues with the 128ZX but that was too little too late.

Geforce GTX 1080 was a good card but
Of all the cards on their list, the 1080 is probably the least deserving to be there. When my 980TI decided to die I got a 1080 as a warranty replacement, and I wasn't impressed, even back then in 2017 it was struggling to play some games well.
 

vegeta535

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I've had one and it definitely doesn't deserve to be on a best of list. It was faster than a voodoo, but at the price of image quality. Outside of the 2MB S3 Virge, the Rive 128 had the worst image quality of any card I owned. Everything looked like Quake on it, brownish washed out colors, and it had horrible dithering. They fixed some of it's issues with the 128ZX but that was too little too late.


Of all the cards on their list, the 1080 is probably the least deserving to be there. When my 980TI decided to die I got a 1080 as a warranty replacement, and I wasn't impressed, even back then in 2017 it was struggling to play some games well.
That is a pretty good upgrade for a warranty replacement. How can you not be happy with a free ~20% upgrade?
 

DukenukemX

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9700 Pro is the best card of all time in my books. Slightly skewed for me as I upgraded from a GeForce 2 GTS to the 9700 Pro so it was a mind-blowing experience.

It'd be interesting to see a similar article but with a AMD/ATI focus. Top cards on the ATI/AMD side for me would be:

  • Radeon 9700 Pro
  • Radeon X800 Series (This series of cards was baller back in the day. Completely destroyed Nvidia's Geforce 6800 series with Anisotropic filtering). It was also the first card series (for me) that allowed the jump from 1280x1024 to 1600x1200 gaming. Fond memories of Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Half Life 2 on this card. Had the X800 XT Platinum Edition myself.
  • Radeon 5700 XT
  • Radeon 7970 - AMD fine wine here. Didnt win against the competition at time of release, but one year later - was beating the competition.
  • Radeon 4870 1GB
If we add ATI/AMD to the list and go back more years then things change a lot.

  • Nvidia TNT2. I never had one of these personally as I had a Voodoo3 3500 TV, but no one can deny how good these cards were with 2k texture sizes and a better color pallet than the Voodoo cards. You can include the TNT as there wasn't a huge difference.
  • ATI Radeon 7200. These cards put the Geforce cards against the wall, as they had hidden features like early pixel and vertex shading abilities, and were cheaper.
  • ATI Radeon 8500, which was considered a terrible card when released, but as time went on and Nvidia pushed for DX8.1 because the Geforce FX cards were terrible at DX9. This meant that Geforce 4 Ti's and Geforce 3's could not play games that used DX8.1, but the Radeon 8500 could. Plus John Carmack got involved and pointed out some driver bugs which unlocked the potential. It was so good that AMD eventually re-released it as the 9200, which out performed the 9000 even though the 9000 was suppose to be faster. Also, 8500 owners could flash them to 9200 and get cool new features.
  • ATI Radeon 9500. Because some of these cards could be unlocked into a 9700 Pro, which I did and still have the card laying around.
  • Geforce 6800, which I've previously mentioned for similar reasons as the Radeon 9500.
  • AMD Radeon HD 3000/4000 series. Because DX10.1 was better and Nvidia had Assasin's Creed remove a DX10.1 patch that made their Geforce cards look slow in comparison. This is why a 8800 GTX is stupid because they were slower and use a lot more power.
  • Geforce GTX 970, which I already did mention.
  • AMD Radeon RX 480, because these cards pushed Nvidia to keep their GTX 1060's cheap. These were so good that miners still use them today, as well as gamers.
  • GTX 1060, because it's the #1 GPU on Steam. These cards only deserve a mention for this reason only, because later on Nvidia released the 3GB version which basically told consumers to eat a dick.
  • Vega 56, because this was the one product that forced Nvidia release the GTX 1070 Ti just to beat it.
  • RTX 2060, because like I said it was cheap and pushed Nvidia to re-release it at least a few times.
 

M76

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That is a pretty good upgrade for a warranty replacement. How can you not be happy with a free ~20% upgrade?
I said I was not impressed with it, not that it was not a fair warranty replacement. Coming from the 980ti it seemed more like a side grade than an actual generational leap. Especially in 4K 20% can mean 42 fps instead of 35.
 

Zepher

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That is because they released the GHz Edition, which gave it sizable legs. They even reused the GPU in the 280X.

This was also my last AGP card. I had the BFG Tech version. Can't say there was anything special about it. For me, it really didn't feel any better than the 5900 XT that it replaced since it was held back by the AGP bandwidth. It ran most things I still played at the time just fine, but I only used it for about a year before I built my first beast (QX6700 with 8800 GTX SLI).
My last AGP card was the 1950X or X1950. Used that till I went C2D 8400 and 9800GT.
 
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If we add ATI/AMD to the list and go back more years then things change a lot.


  • RTX 2060, because like I said it was cheap and pushed Nvidia to re-release it at least a few times.

Eh... I bought a RTX 2060 first day before the crypto craze as it was the first card that I paid over $300 for, mine was closer to $380 so I don't consider the RTX 2060 ever cheap.
 

DukenukemX

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Eh... I bought a RTX 2060 first day before the crypto craze as it was the first card that I paid over $300 for, mine was closer to $380 so I don't consider the RTX 2060 ever cheap.
I wouldn't either but it was the cheapest good card you could get that was RTX based. It's also hilarious that Nvidia kept bringing it back due to demand
 
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