Microsoft's Direct3D Team Mounts Old GPUs on Their Office Wall

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by AlphaAtlas, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    Throughout their history, Microsoft's Direct3D team, who are responsible for the various incarnations of DirectX and other related APIs, had to test quite a few graphics cards. In their own words, they've accumulated "a LOT" of old GPUs, and instead of storing them in boxes, the team decided to proudly display them on their office wall. They have the cards arranged chronologically, and I see an ancient IBM CGA, at least one 3dfx Voodoo, an Intel i740, and an S3 Savage among many other gems and oddities. Thanks to RockPaperShotgun for spotting the MSDN blog post, and I agree with their sentiment: it's a shame Microsoft didn't post higher resolution shots.

    402 different GPUs covering 35 years of hardware history... Our collection includes mainstream successes, influential breakthrough products, and also many more obscure cards that nevertheless bring back rich memories for those who worked on them. It only covers discrete GPU configurations, because mobile parts and SoC components are less suitable for hanging on a wall. We think it's pretty cool - check it out if you ever have a reason to visit the D3D team in person!
     
  2. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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  3. Endgame

    Endgame Limp Gawd

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    10th card down..
     
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  4. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Good job not reading the article. The close-up shots show two Matrox cards, even.
     
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  5. exlink

    exlink 2[H]4U

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    Paging erek.

    I feel like this is one of your dreams.
     
  6. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    while very neat i have to wonder given that they appear to be using thumb tacks to hold them up how long before some fall down due to being bumped or just the weight of the card.
     
  7. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    Correct; just was scanning through it and then I looked down and noticed my IP phone was offline. Been working on a router issue since.
     
  8. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Gotta like the Etch-A-Sketch. Wonder what the description reads? As for the thumbtacks, very likely that a mature corp like Microsoft has an entire section in the P&P manual about how and what can be mounted on a wall. This team is probably pushing the point by counting the display as 'posters'.
     
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  9. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Seems their photo equipment is from the early days of dx as well. Those images are like they were made with a cell phone from 2008.
     
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  10. RadXge

    RadXge 2[H]4U

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    I heard that the Geforce FX 5800 is displayed somewhere in a vacuum museum
     
  11. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    I hope this is just a proof of concept and they get someone to install a more permanent display. It's very cool, but looks pretty janky with all the printer paper and thumbtacks.
     
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  12. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ahhh I remember the days of pulling open an old PC and saying "Wtf is that?" when you saw the graphics card. So many types, APIs and manufacturers.

    Then having to hunt through your collection of PC Mag cover CDs to hopefully find a recent (or any) driver for it. Not to mention the patches for it. It was easier to get them that way than try to download stuff.


    Plus...I so wanted the Parhelia to be a truly great card. One of my biggest tech disappointments of all time.
     
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  13. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    So you were aware that you did a poor job in information gathering, yet opted to draw a conclusion on it?
    Is that you normal work/analyse praksis?
     
  14. That_Sound_Guy

    That_Sound_Guy 2[H]4U

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    My OCD is on full chaos mode with those pictures. Take the time to make straight tape lines and then just put cards all over the place with what amounts to bar napkins as info sheets.

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the idea. I'd struggle to walk through that hallway sadly.
     
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  15. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX [H]ardness Supreme

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    Those cards are mounted on walls as a warning to those who trust Microsoft to update their drivers.
     
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  16. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think that would make for an interesting museum display
     
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  17. Gigantopithecus

    Gigantopithecus [H]ardOCP Case Reviewer

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    Exactly my thought. I'd pay money to walk through this display.
     
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  18. Glock24

    Glock24 [H]Lite

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    Very nice idea. Brings back many memories, good and bad.

    My first graphics accelerator (or dececelerator) was an S3 Virge I bought to play Descent II with hardware rendering. Big mistake.
     
  19. modi123

    modi123 [H]ardness Supreme

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    So.. ah.. er.. how much BTC you getting mining with all those? :D
     
  20. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    That brings back some memories...
     
  21. EarlKeim

    EarlKeim Gawd

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    My very first 3D card was an Orchid Righteous 3dfx. I thought the card was brilliant because it made a very audible click whenever it went into true 3D mode. I had a driver issue one time and didn't know it until I tried to play a game and didn't hear that click. That told me right away to install drivers again. Little touches like that really made hardware enjoyable back then
     
  22. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Did this make it on the wall? :D:p
    bitchin.jpg
     
  23. R_Type

    R_Type Limp Gawd

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    This is brilliant !
     
  24. Hulahoops

    Hulahoops Limp Gawd

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  25. cjcox

    cjcox [H]ard|Gawd

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    it's a shame Microsoft didn't post higher resolution shots.

    Uh.... it's because all their discrete GPUs were mounted on a stupid wall.... duh....
     
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  26. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    For my two cents my favorite GPUs of all time were the Radeon 9600 Pro you could flash to 9800 Pro speeds and I had this SLI set of PNY 9600 GSO 768MB I won the lottery on and could flash to 8800 GTX speeds.

    I know I'm wrong on this but to me the Ti4x00s ie ti4200 were the first real 3D gaming cards you could run Source games on ultra. Everything previous was either forgettable 2D cards for Diablo and such. Very personal experience obviously.

    Worst card I've probably ever owned was an Nvidia 5750 Ultra? It was a RMA upgrade for a Ti4600 dying. I was wowed by the upgrade until I found out it was the series where odd numbered cards were garbage and evens were great? I forget which was which but I had the shit one. Someone can clarify that maybe.
     
  27. admiralperpetual

    admiralperpetual Limp Gawd

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    I had that Diamond Voodoo card... my mind is drawing a blank on the company who used to silk screen in beatles lyrics on their cards...
     
  28. VoodooRufus

    VoodooRufus n00bie

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    Kyro2! Still have mine.
     
  29. U-238

    U-238 Limp Gawd

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    Great reflection of the time when there was actually competition in the GPU industry.
     
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  30. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    Being a collector of old CPU's. I'd love to have space to also collect old video cards. I like how they laid them out in a timeline
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  31. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Number 9 Visual Technology - Your ticket to ride.

    I have an Imagine 128 around somewhere...
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  32. ScuNioN

    ScuNioN [H]Lite

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    Oh how far we have come but not so much has changed. Evolutionary vs Revolutionary.
     
  33. Stimpy88

    Stimpy88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Shame they spend more time making pretty walls in their office, instead of optimizing Direct-X performance and ironing out bugs. This is the same lot that had no idea how Direct-X 9 worked, or how it was coded...
     
  34. mouacyk

    mouacyk n00bie

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    Too many young ones to recognize that. Good work. They probably wrote a d3d driver for it.
     
  35. MrRuckus

    MrRuckus Limp Gawd

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    While the S3 Virge found in 1000's of OEMs at the time was pretty trash, the Redition based cards were not bad. I had a Diamond Stealth S220 that competed with my brothers Cirrus Logic 5446 2MB 2D card / Monster3D 3Dfx Combo.

    The first single card that wowed me was the Diamond Viper V550 RivaTNT. Riva128 was garbage, but the RivaTNT competed with everything else quality wise at the time when the Riva128 cut corners. Great memories!
     
  36. masquap

    masquap [H]Lite

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    Noob question, why is the Intel i740 description blurred out?
     
  37. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

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    Hercules - there a video card name I haven't thought of in a long time!

    I loved the VESA local bus cards - if the 32 bit connector popped out of the socket and only the ISA connector was then attached, graphics would slow to a laughable crawl. AGP was a huge improvement over that mess...

    Came across my 3dfx card too again the other day. I wish I would have kept my last AGP Radeon - it was a beast of a card with video in/out too.
     
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  38. KazeoHin

    KazeoHin [H]ardness Supreme

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    For Nvidia cards they use wood screws....
     
  39. erek

    erek 2[H]4U

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  40. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    I think I've owned almost all of these at some point.
     
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