The [H]ardforum video card all time power ranking poll nomination thread.

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So I started a thread about the 5700xt that was largely panned by the community. However in that thread I was given the suggestion that a poll was needed. So then I thought that I would expand the poll to include all graphics cards just for fun. I do not have the knowledge to make that list, but many on these forums do. I did not want to label this "greatest of all time" because then it would just be about the most powerful, end of story. The nomination process is simple. Post your graphics card nominee with a simple statement of why. Reasons could include relative value, market shifter, power(relative to the time), market saturation(was it ubiquitous enough to change game design), importance to the developer, overclockability/flashability, new technology/features introduced...I could go on.
After a week or so, if there is any interest, I will tally the results by counting individual posts for cards and likes received for those cards and then make the poll. I can't wait to gain some knowledge from this so please commence with your nominations.
 
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I’m gonna have to say 8800 GTX. There is simply no other card that comes to mind that was so dominant for so long. The feature set was state of the art, the cooling system was fairly exotic at the time, and ATi simply could not touch it for years. I’ve been in the game since the first 3D cards and without a doubt G80 was absolutely amazing.

Runner up is easily 9700/9800 pro/xt. R300 smacked Nvidia hard and R350 and R360 continued the pummeling. Trouble is, back in those days the next gen was always only ever about 6 months away and nvidia soon enough had the 6 series out which was an excellent comeback for the green team.
 
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exlink

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Nvidia 8800 GTX

Runner-ups:

ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti
AMD Radeon HD 7970

All four of these have one thing in common; they offered incredible performance for their time and were viable for high-end gaming for years after their release.
 

harvestor

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8800gtx was a killer card i think i got 3 years out of it.
Before that was a x1900 loved that card, people always talked about the x1950xtx but clocked the x1900 gave it a run for its money if i remember right
 

70 Polara

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3dfx Voodoo or Voodoo 2

Runners up:

Geforce 4 Ti4200
Radeon 9500/9700 series
Geforce 8800 series (or really any G80/G92 variant)
Geforce GTX750 Ti (amazing how many of these are still in use)
Geforce GTX1060 6GB
Radeon RX 470/480/570/580
 

arestavo

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1080 Ti - I got quite a few years out of mine, and to extend its life, I got another one for SLI when the 20 series flopped into the picture (until I got a 3090 which is faster than both by a fairly small amount, all things considered).
 

freeagentt

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I pondered a bit, and you know.. my 980 Classified still rips the shit out of 1080p. That thing was like 700USD in 2014 when it was released. Obviously you could do better, but 2014!

I had a bunch of cards that are listed already.. but nothing newer than my 980.
 

Sorbert

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In no order 1080ti, 8800gts, voodoo 2. cant recommend the ati9700 because mine lasted less then 1 year and they wouldn't honor warranty.
 
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The fundamental problem with this poll is the fact that most members don't have access to the latest cards.
You have a point but the reality is that 3080/3090 and 6800/6900 series cards aren’t too far apart in performance and feature sets in any meaningful way and to top it off it’s they aren’t readily available. These facts amongst other things keep them from being OMGWTFBBQGOAT!!!!

Also, this isn’t a poll, not yet anyway
 

Phelptwan

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I was going to throw the Ti4200/4400 into the mix. I ran that EVGA 4400 for YEARS.
 

III_Slyflyer_III

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Most my suggestions have been said already, but I'd throw the following cards into the mix as well...

- Voodoo3 3000 AGP 16Mb (probably the pinnacle of 3dfx for most users IMO)

- nVidia GeForce GTX 285 (this card rocked for the time and had 1GB vRam and was a great value)
 

Chief Blur Buster

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3dfx Voodoo2 SLI

1024x768 at over 60fps in 1998-1999 in Quake 2 and Quake 3 Arena

The old days!

Honorary Mention: Tseng ET4000 VLB (VESA Local Bus, pre-AGP!) scorchingly fast at VGA and ran DOOM at 35fps reliably on a mere 486DX2-66 in 1993-1994. Before Matrox Millennium (Honorary Mention #2) came out!
 
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madpistol

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8800 GTX - most innovative GPU of all time, insane performance.


Runner-Ups:

9700 Pro - DX9, crazy powerful
HD 7970 - GPU which got better with age.
Geforce 4 Ti 4600 - BEAST and a half.
HD 4870 - matched Nvidia's GTX 200 lineup at half the cost


I refuse to add any card made in the last several years to this list. The 1080 Ti is an amazing card, but it didn't really introduce anything new. It's just very fast and the price was right.

And the newest generation of GPUs just launched, so they can't be the greatest. On top of that, both Ampere and and Big Navi have pretty major compromises, not to mention insane power consumption.
 
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Enigma

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Voodoo 2 Hands Down
1610854756349.png
 

noko

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  1. ATi 9700 Pro - A surprise out of the blue or red, that was DX 9 compliant, performance was top notch and viable for years and the price was so heavenly affordable. Farcry, HL2 and even Doom 3 ran and looked great even after a year and a half later after launch.
  2. Tie - AMD HD 7970 and Nvidia GF 8800 GTX -> Both had new features that defined an age long after launch, both remain viable as a top gaming card for years.
  3. Nvidia GF3 - Don't understand why this generation and the refresh GF3 200 and 500 are never mentioned. 1st Pixel/vertex shading cards that beat anything ATi had for awhile, made people drool looking at 3dMark 2001 SE with the Matrix type scene and the outside trees, leaves and streams never seen before for a graphics card in real time which at the time ATi had no answer
    1. MadOnion actually pushing next generation graphics and beyond at the time - > 2 decades ago ->
I never owned a Voodoo so missed out of those few good years of spectacular new stuff.
 
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euskalzabe

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I’ll say Voodoo Banshee - the first card to combine 3D an 2d acceleration in one product. Pretty earth shattering at the time.

GTX 8800 without a doubt, marked a before and after.

Nothing ever since has felt that dramatic. Now it’s all small improvements year on year, which makes buying a new GPU exciting to me only if I wait 3-4 years.

I miss the good old days of constant amazing progress!
 

funkydmunky

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  1. Nvidia GF3 - Don't understand why this generation and the refresh GF3 200 and 500 are never mentioned. 1st Pixel/vertex shading cards that beat anything ATi had for awhile, made people drool looking at 3dMark 2001 SE with the Matrix type scene and the outside trees, leaves and streams never seen before for a graphics card in real time which at the time ATi had no answer.
ATI had the 8500 series. I bought a 8500 128MB initially. It had driver problems for me so switched it out for a GeForce Ti200 64GB (notice how the Ti came before the number back then) Eventually I moved back to the ATI 8500 128MB later and it served me well for years.
 

cdabc123

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Tahiti
Hawaii
Polaris

Boy did those chips make their way around. I can't count how many tahiti chips ive used in the mining days. (Mostly firepros)

The 980ti had a pretty good run as well
 

FlawleZ

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Another for the 8800GTX. That card not only brought brand new features like DX10 and Physx, but was over 100% faster than the previous generation flagship. It was so good that sometimes even the next generation flagship 9800GTX still lost to 8800GTX.
 

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People nominating Tahiti, not all was roses with the the now well regarded 7970. I remember like it was yesterday. I sold my GTX 580 some time before Christmas to free up money for the purchase. The NDA expired and I was disappointed to hear that it was still to be a few weeks till cards would be available. At release, the performance was something like 30% faster than the GTX 580 which many people were pissed about. Then out came the GTX 680 which was built around nvidias mid range Kepler die and happen to edge out AMD’s much larger Tahiti die most of the time. Many people believe nvidia merely changed their mid range chip into their high end due to AMD’s lack luster launch performance. Well, over time AMD managed to get their driver optimizations up to snuff and not only did the 7970 overtake the 680 but eventually mostly beats out the the big Kepler die found in the 780 and Titan cards. Tahiti has a fond spot in my in my graphics card hobby obsession but can’t quite call it a GOAT since it literally took years to become what it was.
 

madpistol

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People nominating Tahiti, not all was roses with the the now well regarded 7970. I remember like it was yesterday. I sold my GTX 580 some time before Christmas to free up money for the purchase. The NDA expired and I was disappointed to hear that it was still to be a few weeks till cards would be available. At release, the performance was something like 30% faster than the GTX 580 which many people were pissed about. Then out came the GTX 680 which was built around nvidias mid range Kepler die and happen to edge out AMD’s much larger Tahiti die most of the time. Many people believe nvidia merely changed their mid range chip into their high end due to AMD’s lack luster launch performance. Well, over time AMD managed to get their driver optimizations up to snuff and not only did the 7970 overtake the 680 but eventually mostly beats out the the big Kepler die found in the 780 and Titan cards. Tahiti has a fond spot in my in my graphics card hobby obsession but can’t quite call it a GOAT since it literally took years to become what it was.
I would actually love to get my hands on a GTX 780 and an HD 7970 for testing just to see how they stack up in modern games.

The last I checked, the HD 7970 was still not as fast as a GTX 780, but it was within about 10%.
 
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Neapolitan6th

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I clicked on this thread thinking it was a ranking of graphics cards with the highest power consumption.

Would make for a fun thread haha.
Having a user leaderboard for stock and overclocked power consumption categories. Performance may wane, but power consumption does not!
 

M76

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The best I've had was GTX660 in SLI, it was faster than a 680 ultra, and didn't cost me half the price.
Second is the Radeon 5850, because it served me almost 3 years without having to upgrade.
 

greyboxer

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I would say 8800GT but it seems like everyone is going for the G80 so how about the next card up = HD4870. When that card launched at its price point it became the darling of every review I ever read for ages.

Radeon hasnt done anything very interesting since then, which leaves us to remaining Nvidia cards as yet unmentioned, so let me say the original GTX Titan. Unlike the 8800 Ultra, wihch was merely a mildly overclocked 8800 GTX, the Nvidia Titan created a whole new class of consumer graphics card, and was the first and hopefully only card I ever paid $1000 for. I used it from launch until I got a 1080ti, and it crushed every game I threw at it.
 

FlawleZ

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I would say 8800GT but it seems like everyone is going for the G80 so how about the next card up = HD4870. When that card launched at its price point it became the darling of every review I ever read for ages.

Radeon hasnt done anything very interesting since then, which leaves us to remaining Nvidia cards as yet unmentioned, so let me say the original GTX Titan. Unlike the 8800 Ultra, wihch was merely a mildly overclocked 8800 GTX, the Nvidia Titan created a whole new class of consumer graphics card, and was the first and hopefully only card I ever paid $1000 for. I used it from launch until I got a 1080ti, and it crushed every game I threw at it.
HD4870 and later the 4890 were welcomed so warmly mostly because AMD was not competitive for 2 generations in a row at the top level. And the fact they were priced very well for the performance they offered.

The original Titan will always live in the shadow of the 780 TI. What Nvidia did to their customers was wrong and and should not be forgotten.
 

madpistol

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HD4870 and later the 4890 were welcomed so warmly mostly because AMD was not competitive for 2 generations in a row at the top level. And the fact they were priced very well for the performance they offered.

The original Titan will always live in the shadow of the 780 TI. What Nvidia did to their customers was wrong and and should not be forgotten.
The best part about the HD 4870 is that it forced Nvidia to do a price cut to their GTX 200 lineup of cards. That was a massive win for everyone.
 

Armenius

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Another vote for the 8800 GTX, Voodoo2, and 9700 Pro. I would put them in that order 1-3.
 

FlawleZ

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The best part about the HD 4870 is that it forced Nvidia to do a price cut to their GTX 200 lineup of cards. That was a massive win for everyone.
And yet today when they bring competition in the form of 6800/6900 all the prices just increase these days. :-/
 

sabrewolf732

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Another for the 8800GTX. That card not only brought brand new features like DX10 and Physx, but was over 100% faster than the previous generation flagship. It was so good that sometimes even the next generation flagship 9800GTX still lost to 8800GTX.

I mean the 9800gtx was an 8800gtx so.. it wasn't really a new generation.

The 8800gtx was a fantastic card for sure, but I'm going to say the 8800gt was the real gem from that generation. It retailed for ~$200 and gave ~$600 flagship performance (8800gtx). It overclocked like a bat out of hell. It's like a 1060 giving 1080ti performance or a 3060 giving 3080 performance. Absolutely insane and will likely NEVER happen again.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/2365/9
 

hajalie24

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I'm going to go with the 4850/4870 for my vote as well. I was still relatively new to this scene then and man did those cards kill for the price.
 

Decko87

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9700 9800 pro has to be #1. GTX 8800 was a great card, but I think 8800 GT was a better card in terms of price/performance. The Radeon 4850/4870 were the most underrated cards of all time considering the price / power / performance relative to Nvidia at the time. Best modern card has to be the 1080 ti.
 
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