GeForce 256 Launched this Day in 1999

crispyb

Magical Crispyness
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I was on a v550 and skipped the expensive 256 and upgraded to a Guillemot (remember them?) GF2 pro, the one that could Oc to ultra specs.



Hell yeah, I was in Tribes on the Renegades_base mod. Played a million hours of that with some friends on a party line (spoiled kids these days with the many chat apps) and a cable modem on a certain Celeron 333 processor. Those were the days.
Damn that brings back memories. I know I had a GeForce256 made by a company that started with a "G". I was thinking Gainward or Guillemot. I remember working in EB back then and rocking the discounts from Voodoo, RivaTnT, and GeForce. The good ol days convincing people to buy the original Starcraft, Diablo, Tribes, Quake, and other shit.
 

Filiprino

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I was running on a Pentium MMX 233 MHz with an S3 ViRGE 2MiB and 32 MiB of system RAM (EDO). To me these "powerful" 3D accelerators were something from an alternate dimension lol.

Some years later I had access to a PC with a GeForce 2 MX64. I got to play a demo of Serious Sam: The second encounter. A driver update gave a noticable improvement in FPS.
 

Balkroth

Limp Gawd
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Dec 15, 2011
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Pre-Voodoo, I had the PowerVR m3D. Seeing Unreal in hardware 3D vs. software 3D was amazing. Low framerate, but still amazing.
Activating S3TC in UT with the high res pack back in the day was crazy.
 

dergreg

Cookie
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Man, that was my first "big boy" card that I ever bought for myself when I had JUST turned 18. I got the super cool Asus V6600 Deluxe with the video input capability. It came with the active-shutter 3D glasses, too. Hard to believe I was reading this site back then and I still use it as the gold standard for figuring out what I'm going to be able to get out of my systems. Before that I had some sort of PCI card with an S3 chip I think?
 

djoye

2[H]4U
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I remember when a friend got a GeForce 256, can't remember what we were playing at the time (Unreal, Quake, etc.), but I definitely remember him being hyped about Halo since it was then going to be on Windows instead of Mac (and there were vehicles!), I think we then went to see The Matrix at a budget theater down the street.

Meeeeemmmories, light the corners of my mind.

/myage
 

Khahhblaab

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Was still wondering what happened to the integraph reactor and how soon would it be that I could run all of my games at 620 x 480 without choppiness.

620 x 480 was the s**t.
 
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Sigh. How I wish modern video card is as small and as slim as that GeForce 256 card, and being able to be cooled by a tiny little fan, yet maintaining today's performance. Storage media has gone smaller, like SSD. But graphics card has gone bigger, probably satisfying the e-peen wish.
 

GoldenTiger

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I wish graphics & video cards now days gave me the same awe, wonder & excitement that they did back in those days. Maybe its nostalgia, but those days were something special for PC gaming a 3D Graphics.
I miss them too, we had really big advancements whereas now it's just speed cod the most part. I loved my voodoo 3 3000 and v5 5500 cards. Next up was a 9700 pro and a 9800 pro for a second computer.

I also miss the days of tighter communities online.
 

msshammy

n00b
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Aug 9, 2012
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Ahh I remember all these cards! Good memories. I don't think any of them could hold a candle to the "Bitchin' Fast 3D 2000" in Maximum PC :)
 

deaedius

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I had a GeForce 256 with 3d glasses! Decent 3 was amazing in 3d, minus the fact that I'd end up with a vicious headache after 20 minutes of gameplay.
 

pmrdij

Limp Gawd
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Jun 16, 2004
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197
nVIDIA's page on their bringing the GeForce 256 to the masses still exists: https://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce256.html
https://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce256.html
Was quite amazing going from a Matrox G200 8MB card with the 8MB addon module and two 3DFX Voodoo 2's in SLI.

For it's part, though, I still think 3DFX had way better advertising than nVIDIA or any other hardware maker both then and now. Their chips being the ones that would help advance medicine in ways mankind had never imagined, would end world hunger and give us gigantic all white meat chickens, and save the planet but...

 

Stoly

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I had a RiveTnT2 and upgraded to the Geforce256 a couple of months after it came out. Then got a Geforce 2 GTS

I remember running all the nvidia demos with every new upgrade up until the Geforce 6800

 

Presbytier

[H]ard|Gawd
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I had a RiveTnT2 and upgraded to the Geforce256 a couple of months after it came out. Then got a Geforce 2 GTS

I remember running all the nvidia demos with every new upgrade up until the Geforce 6800

It's a shame they stopped doing demos. Technically you can watch a bunch of gameworks demos on YouTube but it is a far cry from actually getting to run them on your own card.
 

Presbytier

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sigh. How I wish modern video card is as small and as slim as that GeForce 256 card, and being able to be cooled by a tiny little fan, yet maintaining today's performance. Storage media has gone smaller, like SSD. But graphics card has gone bigger, probably satisfying the e-peen wish.
If you look at a Vega without its shroud the actuallPCB is pretty small when all you have to design for is VRM and the actual die. But then they slapped they giant shroud on it. I imagine a fan sitting on radiator directly on GPU die would be more effeciant cooling wise plus a lot smaller.
 

grtitan

Telemetry is Spying on ME!
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Software Ect. was an awesome store! Picked up my Creative Geforce 2 Annihilator Pro there, which I still use from time to time. Great store before the cancer as we know as Gamestop swallowed them up.
Ahh, Software Etc, my first job!!

Really missing that franchise.

Piles and piles of free magazines, sadly, was required to rip the cover before taking them.

Sadly, all i could afford was a Super Nintendo and a Genesis on those days.
 

Krenum

[H]F Junkie
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Ahh, Software Etc, my first job!!

Really missing that franchise.

Piles and piles of free magazines, sadly, was required to rip the cover before taking them.

Sadly, all i could afford was a Super Nintendo and a Genesis on those days.
Tried getting a job their so many times. Got to know the store manager there pretty good. Good times. Miss stores like that.
 

Whach

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I remember stuffing one of these in Gateway PC with a PIII 500Mhz. Or was it a Athlon K7? I don't remember. Bloody memory is going. I still have the gateway mug and toy cow somewhere. Good times. Was genuinely excited then, not so much anymore.
 

Ranulfo

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I had an Asus card in a P2 400mhz system. Good ol Starcraft and Diablo2 days.
 
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I remember buying that card back in the day when I used to work running cable in resorts. I had the card paired with a Pentium II 400Mhz, 256MB of PC133 memory and an ATA66 20GB hard drive with onboard controller.
 

AceGoober

Live! Laug[H]! Overclock!
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I owned a GeForce 256 DDR. Drivers sucked but the card did perform well for its time.
 

focbde

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You had a lot of new improvements, not just speed. From 3D hardware to T&L and making water looking great to bump mapping .... Each new one brought new features that improved the visuals a whole lot. When I saw that water in Unreal, it was so real looking. Ripples and stuff. It was great. Morrowind was another one that blew me away when I went to a 9700Pro. Just looked so real at the time.

Now, it's just more speed. The game engine can use the GPU so well, there really isn't much more to add. I thought PhysX was going to be the next big thing, but I was way off on that one. Excellent idea, just not implemented well. Physics in games is improving, but I want atmosphere. Dust, wind blowing trees, paper and cloth moving right. Not just a texture of clothing, but a body underneath with clothing on top where it moves independently. So much potential.
This.

Whilst there are occasional improvements in features, the curve has leveled off to a large degree. Of course, there's also the possibility that gaming and GPUs in general has become more mainstream, so announcements regarding tech advances and what can be done aren't so much shouted from the rooftops as relegated to a footnote.
 

Pulsar

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Ah yes. I was just about to start my first year of college and was rocking a TNT2 at the time. Didn't get to replace the TNT2 until the Geforce 2 GTS got cheaper since both time and money were in pretty short supply back in those days.
 

squad

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Jesus Christ I love this thread. Memories of the good times when stores were awesome, music was good, food tasted good and drinks (Coca-Cola) had that amazing burning effect when it was super cold. Electronics were built to last and always amaze people with new technology evolving. Out of curiosity, which game store was older Software Etc or FuncoLand?
 

dburgo

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Feb 3, 2017
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Yup I replaced my voodoo banshee for this card. Q3 Arena ( I swear I couldn't even rail until I upgraded nevermind rocket jumping) wing commander, and Unreal championship ran pretty good on it! I think I upgraded for UT2k4, COD what was that allied WWII game called tho darn it? lol! I loved that game too but COD actually had aright and left lean... heheh they should bring it back!

Edit: Oh yeah Medal of Honor! Tribes, Half Life, Abe's Odyssey, too many to list!
 
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Khahhblaab

Limp Gawd
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Apr 23, 2017
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I'm sure you mean 640 x 480...
Uhhh. Yeah. Thats, the ticket :facepalm:

Been so long since those numbers came together and meant really good resolution, that I got con-foosed.

I do remember when I was able to run games at <quick, google to make sure :) > 800 x 600 with good frame rates and felt that I had made it.

Then was 1024 x 768 and I didn't need anything else for quite a while.

The game that many of us played and started us on this computer hobby was "doom" and it played at 320 x 200. (is that where that '20' came from?)

320 x 200!


320 x 200!

320 x 200!

:jawdrop: :jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop: :ROFLMAO:

Wow! Times have really changed when today we feel slighted if we cant run our newest game at 4K resolutions with ways of drawing graphics on screen that werent invented back when doom was king at 60 and better fps. Doom at 25 fps was good.

Wow.:LOL:
 

LaAaZ

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Feb 19, 2016
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This was a fun thread to read. I think my first real video card was a Canopus 3dfx card with 6 megs of memory. Quake was so incredible with that card
 

pcgeekesq

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IIRC, the first GPUs we had here was Matrox Milleniums (always two there are, one for me, one for She Who Must Be Obeyed). Picked up a pair of Intergraph Reactors when Intel sent me to a trade show. That must have been in 1996 or so. Eventually replaced them with Riva 128s, and had an Intel 740 card at some point -- I did work for Intel at the time, after all. Pumping Doom pixels to our 21" Sony Trinitrons, woo hoo!

Don't really remember whether I ever had a GeForce 256, but odds are I did. There were so many over the years, and I usually threw them out after five or six years of sitting in electrostatic bags in the closet.

20 years after I first setup three Pentium-based computers on a coax-based 10Mbps Ethernet in a spare bedroom so my wife, a friend, and I could shoot each other up playing Duke Nukem, I'm sitting with a 34" 4K monitor and four 24" 1440p monitors in front of me, supplied with pixels by a GTX1080 (the 4K) and a GTX1060 (all the rest) . I think all of them combined weight less than one Trinitron did. it's on 1000baseT network with five other PCs, two WiFi routers, an Internet-enabled 4K Blue-Ray player and Internet-enabled 4K OLED, and a 8 Terabyte (net) RAID-5 NAS, an internet-connected mattress (yes, really -- it knows when I've been sleeping), four cellphones, a tablet, and a few other things.

I can't even imagine what will have replaced all that in 20 years.
 

tetris42

Supreme [H]ardness
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Alright, so anyone recognize every game those were from? I saw:

UT2004 / Painkiller / Bloodrayne / Borderlands

I wasn't sure what the mech / cult guy / black stamp ones were from.
 

ccityinstaller

Supreme [H]ardness
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Software Ect. was an awesome store! Picked up my Creative Geforce 2 Annihilator Pro there, which I still use from time to time. Great store before the cancer as we know as Gamestop swallowed them up.

------------

1999, I was gaming on a Diamond Viper 770 (TNT2). Never got a Geforce 256, did get a Geforce 2 however.
It certainly was! I bought my V 3000 AGP there since the manager gave me a 25% off coupon since my buddy worked there.


I do and don't. It was a more exciting time for sure, but I had much less disposable income then, and the second you dropped that last component into your new build, you could almost audibly hear the tick-tock down to rapid obsolescence begin.
Man I know that feeling...I never knew it but I had some severe ADHD back then where I waited until the last minute to do ANYTHNG, but would crush it at the last minute. Work, school grades, girls you name it. I spent every penny I had on car audio and computer gear and somehow still managed to have a great social life. I remember going from a Riva TNT to a i740 AGP to a V3 3000 AGP to a TNT2 Ultra to a Geforce 2 GTS in a ~3 year span. CPU wise I went from a K6 233 to a K6-2 350, to a Pentium II 400 to a Cellery 300A@550, to a P3 533B@668. I remember blowing the guys away over @ Anandtech with that sweet sweet 167Mhz FSB OC.


Those years were all about Starsiege Tribes.
God I miss this game. It was the defining moment in my gaming life. Other than Total Annihilation and Super Mario Bros 3, it was my favorite game of all time.


What was I doing on this day in 1999? I was probably getting laid.
I am surprised at how much ass I crushed back then, considering I was a hardcore computer geek. Luckily I hid it well, and the ladies only saw the 6'3'" fit guy with a great smile.

I wish graphics & video cards now days gave me the same awe, wonder & excitement that they did back in those days. Maybe its nostalgia, but those days were something special for PC gaming a 3D Graphics.
You took the words outta my mouth. I miss those times so much. I still love computers but it just doesn't have the same awe and wonder it did back then. It truly was the golden age of HW. I mean we got 2X the performance every 6-15 months.


By the way playing total annihilation at higher resolutions felt like cheating.
Indeed it did. My friends used to always bitch that I was doing something to be able to crush them, even when they teamed up against me 3v1 lol. I didn't clue them int the fact I was playing @ 1600x1200 while they were at 1024x768. :)
 

Riccochet

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Apr 11, 2007
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23,955
I upgraded from a Diamond Stealth 3D 3000 (S3) to the GeForce 256. I was honestly surprised to see one on the shelf at the PX.
 

ScottSummers79

Weaksauce
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Jun 6, 2017
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I was probably in my garage about to rip into the RAM chip on my Riva TNT (not 2), but not be able to afford the new GTS :'(
 
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