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

AlphaAtlas

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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!
 

Exavior

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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.
 

Dr. Righteous

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

Dead Parrot

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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'.
 

M76

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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.
 

Kardonxt

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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.
 

daglesj

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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.
 

SvenBent

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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.

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?
 
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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.
 

Glock24

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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.
 

modi123

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

EarlKeim

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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
 

ir0nw0lf

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

cjcox

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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....
 

piscian18

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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.
 

admiralperpetual

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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...
 

NeghVar

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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
 
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ScuNioN

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

Stimpy88

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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...
 

mouacyk

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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'.

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

MrRuckus

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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.

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!
 

DocNo

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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.
 

KazeoHin

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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.

For Nvidia cards they use wood screws....
 
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