What was your least favorite graphics card?

PhaseNoise

2[H]4U
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
2,380
Sierra Screaming '3D with the rendition V1000. Never really lived up to expectations as an alternative
I may change my answer to the V1000. I forgot about that one! That may have been the shortest-lived card in any system I had. Very underwhelming.
 

newls1

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
4,229
Diamond i740 2D card to go with my Voodoo 2's...remedied that with a matrox shortly after.
Couldnt agree more! That Intel GPU blew chuncks and had HORRIBLE driver support. If I remember correctly I went to a nvidia TNT 16mb card to give me 2d for my voodoo2 sli setup. Then upgraded to a PII 450 shortly after and the voodoo's werent choked so bad by my pentium166mmx. Damn good memories
 

Halon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
337
Yeah, that was quite the cluster. It was such a pain-in-the-ass to work with, Carmack swore off native rendered versions of Quake afterwards. Quake was instead ported to OpenGL, and everyone had to create a MniGL just to get in on it.

It always amazed me that v1000 was so hobbled, the vQuake port didn't run much better on the second generation.

https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/VQuake

r_surfacelookup = 0 made things lot faster :D

I only played VQuake for single-player (edge AA basically for-free), but the rest of the wold abandoned it for GLQuake/QuakeWorld.
It was easier to write a subset of OpenGL and optimize it specifically for Quake engine games than it was to create a technically accurate, expansive, proper OpenGL driver for hardware that was still going through plenty of growing pains of its own. Outside of Nvidia I wouldn't say reliable, full-featured OpenGL on the PC was really a thing until TNT2-era hardware. Even then there were whack-a-mole problems played with GL extensions and feedback from developers. Such a mess.

I loved playing around with a V1000E I found in a spare parts bin a decade ago! Rendering quality was decent and the native ports were alright... but VGA emulation performance was dreadful, to the point that Doom II didn't hit its 35 fps cap on an Athlon 500. Like a lot of other early 3D accelerators z-buffering took a big toll on performance, to the point that running GLQuake with a miniGL resulted in around half of VQuake's performance at similar settings. The drivers were also hinky, and abandoned in 2008 aside from a 2D-only Win2K beta driver for V2x00 chips. The microcode should have given the cards longer life and the possibility of somewhat improved features over the competition, but I think they made some technical decisions that didn't scale well. Oh, what could have been - finding out what held up the release of the V2x00 series is just infuriating. All of that said I loved VQuake and think the lack of a Windows port was a headslapper when VHexen II ran so well. The VQuake2 port also worked remarkably well on V1000 hardware, albeit without colored lighting.
 
Last edited:

mvmiller12

Gawd
Joined
Aug 7, 2011
Messages
930
nVidia Riva 128 hands-down as absolute trash. The TNT and TNT2 weren't any better (I had a friend that insisted on using these), but we were using Super-7 stuff, and the nVidia cards were notoriously terrible when used on that platform. I personally ran VooDoo 1 and that was the gold standard for a reason.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
9,355
Difficult question actually, as I don't think I've ever actually owned a GPU that I hated, as long as we are talking about GPUs that I put in my own computer. There were a few cards that did turn out to be somewhat less than ideal in the long-term though.

Voodoo Banshee PCI. I bought this because my ~1997 era PC at the time did not have an AGP port. It was not a terrible card, but I wished that I had got a Voodoo2 PCI instead and used the built-in S3 video for 2D (Voodoo2 did not do 2D, only 3D).

Radeon X850XT-PE AGP. I bought this because it was one of the best AGP cards at the time, when everything was already moving over to PCI-E. I was running an overclocked Dual-Xeon rig at the time which I wanted to continue using, but it only had an AGP port. It was not a terrible card, but it was always overshadowed by the Nvidia 6800 Ultra, and it had limited usefulness over time because it only supported DirectX 9.0b, not DirectX 9.0c

Radeon 4850. Again, not a terrible card, but had some issues. Only having 512mb VRAM sort of sucked. It also used a single-slot cooler that did not really do a great job cooling the card. Only good thing about it really, was that I was able to get a 2nd card cheap and that was one of my first experiences with multi-GPU.
 

StaticShoes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
151
Unfortunately S3TC didn’t debut until the S3 Savage3D. The Virge went through multiple revisions and late model Virges were around twice as fast as the earliest, but it was like turbocharging a Mercury Topaz. Even the Savage3D was pretty broken - the closest thing S3 had to a successful 3D accelerator was the subsequent Savage4, which had cheap memory and dodgy drivers and was consigned to the bargain segment by 64-bit memory. But at least it had S3TC...
Damn it all you are right, my personal RAM must be getting fuzzy logic :D I know I dealt with both Virge and Savage4 chips, must have been the latter I tried for Unreal Tournament, in any case the card deserved to be curb stomped.
Edit: Found the card in a jumble, Diamond Stealth III S540 Savage4 was what I had used for UT, such a waste of money, I should have bought Parrot Bay rum instead.
I saw tons of them burn up due to bad VRMs. They were shit hardware wise and the image quality did seem a bit worse than my 9600Pro.
My 4400Ti suffered that fate after hours of Quake 3, but NOT ENOUGH HOURS OF QUAKE 3 DAMMIT :arghh: That experience put me off dodgy warranties and questionable vendors.
 
Last edited:

Halon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
337
nVidia Riva 128 hands-down as absolute trash. The TNT and TNT2 weren't any better (I had a friend that insisted on using these), but we were using Super-7 stuff, and the nVidia cards were notoriously terrible when used on that platform. I personally ran VooDoo 1 and that was the gold standard for a reason.
RIVA 128 had teething issues - incomplete blending mode support, polygon gapping, iffy drivers. The 128ZX doubled the framebuffer size and fixed most of its worst problems, but it was still well short of the TNT. Which brings up your next point: how desperately awful AGP was on non-Intel hardware in the early days. Plus the TNT series wasn't especially CPU-efficient... 3Dfx offered a great drop-in solution, as anything with a PCI slot could provide the single memory range the cards needed to work. I just wish 3Dfx had gotten itself together, spent its money efficiently, and prioritized its research instead of trying to grunt the Voodoo Graphics core along past its prime.

Incidentally I had really good luck with a Geforce4 Ti 4600, and kept it in a spare Athlon XP box for years. The feature set was limited and stuck in the DirectX 8 doldrums, but what it did, it did very fast.
 

AltTabbins

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
19,744
Nvidia GeForce 5200 256mb. or ATI x700.

Both were really lack luster, even at their price points. It only took about a week before I realized that I should have saved just a little more and gotten the next tier up.
 

n370zed

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
348
I had a 9800 Pro which I was very proud of. Then I thought I hit the jackpot when I had to RMA my XFX 8800 GTS 320mb card and got back an incredible G92 8800 GTS 512mb. So my favorite is the G92 512mb.
 

ThreeDee

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Messages
10,727
Nvidia FX 5900 Ultra .. was all giddie to get this card only to have to severely underclock it to get to not crash at desktop let alone trying to play games... returned it and I don't remember what I got instead
 

p_monks33

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 3, 2012
Messages
131
Least favorite card I have ever owned was the HD7970 at launch, on its own that card was great. I had that card in crossfire however, and it was one of the most infuriating experiences I have ever had with a PC. Stuttering mess, frame drops non stop. Even got to the point where if Crossfire was enabled, the drivers to my mouse would screw up, and reset the DPI of my mouse mid game. I was stuck with them for a while though, I had a custom loop with both cards having full coverage blocks.
2nd Would be a MX440 that I got because I was too broke for a TI4200. Figured I would be able to run some games I had wanted too play, but it was just too slow. Ended up saving a few months, and got a BFG TI4600 that ran all my stuff flawlessly.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
692
every amd card(not ati) i have hated. every nvidia card i have owned is my favorite. as a teen i got a lot of gaming done on a radeon 64mb and then a 9600 xt or whatever. then the dark times came, had a HD series card? but then i got a 8800. that was nice. then i got a 7950. hot caca. then i got a 1060. that was nice again. i am saving for a 2070S, no more amd. no.
 

Fix Me

Gawd
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
690
every amd card(not ati) i have hated. every nvidia card i have owned is my favorite. as a teen i got a lot of gaming done on a radeon 64mb and then a 9600 xt or whatever. then the dark times came, had a HD series card? but then i got a 8800. that was nice. then i got a 7950. hot caca. then i got a 1060. that was nice again. i am saving for a 2070S, no more amd. no.
ATI were great, AMD just isn't the same. I'm hoping they get their act together for their next GPU release, we need some competion on the high end to bring prices down.
 

Gideon

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
2,477
ATI were great, AMD just isn't the same. I'm hoping they get their act together for their next GPU release, we need some competion on the high end to bring prices down.
Prices are not coming down as they seem quite fine with lower quantity and higher margin.
 

Fix Me

Gawd
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
690
Prices are not coming down as they seem quite fine with lower quantity and higher margin.
They'll come down if and when a competitor releases a lower priced card that perform as well as or better than what is available.
 

Gideon

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
2,477
They'll come down if and when a competitor releases a lower priced card that perform as well as or better than what is available.
Your assuming either one wants to lower the prices, being a few bucks under wont change anything.
 

Halon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
337
At the lower end the pricing's hinky right now because there's a limited supply of RX 5500s, and a lot of Polaris inventory still out in the wild. In another six months things will hopefully look a bit better with the RX 5600 series providing a needed middle ground and the RX 5500 series gaining lower price sanity, but right now it's not great out there.

Obligatory on topic: the Permedia2 was an interesting part. It lacked blending modes for colored lighting but had a solid OpenGL driver and worked within its limits pretty well. Ugly as sin in 16-bit color - IIRC it was technically running in 15-bit color with one channel for alpha - and 24-bit performance stank, but it looked rather good.
 

DejaWiz

Oracle of Unfortunate Truths
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
19,541
I was a Vérité V2100 owner for less than two days.
Bought it at a local B&M, installed it in my PC, tried to enjoy some hardware accelerated graphics in games such as GLQuake but found that it was a stuttering choppy mess even at resolutions as low at 640x480, and took it back for a refund.

Opted for an Intergraph Intense 3D Voodoo Rush, and it was an order of magnitude better than the Vérité...the Glide wrapper did wonders for 3D games back then.


Fun times, those were.
 

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
4,271
The only GPU purchase that I've made that disappointed me was my Radeon VII. Totally self induced, though; I read the reviews, saw the complaints (loud, hot, buggy, spotty performance) but plopped the money down for one to replace my 1080 (hybrid unit too) - total AMD fanboy move, I know. Sold that GPU only a few months later (picked up a 2080 Super).

Still, every other GPU purchase of mine has been well thought out and planned - so I'm rarely disappointed.
I really don't get the hate for the VII. It was overpriced, sure, but it performed well for me from launch, especially at 4k. I had one in my primary machine until recently and it played everything I threw at it.

My least favorites:

GTX 480. Hot, power-sucking, overpriced. Had three RMAs over a year on a number of cards. In SLI, a 1000w PSU barely cut it

RTX 2080. Performed no better than its true predecessor, the 1080 ti, and took rotten product segmentation to a new level. nV tried to justify the absurd launch price with features whose support never really materialised. You just knew you were getting screwed and the price/performance needle was stuck.

ATI 3870. The first card that said "we can't compete with nV" so we're going to string two together and make it our flagship.

6800 GT. A reasonably good card if you didn't know you could buy a vanilla 6800 for $100 less and unlock it

GTX 780 ti. Viable card for about 4 months before games that required more than 3GB VRAM started arriving.

And the winner is... I'm going to be a bit unconventional and pick a mobile card: the utterly awful GTX 480m. So bad nV effectively pulled it from production in 2-3 months and replaced with a revised 485m. The problem wasnt really performance, but the 140w+ power suck which would create molten mainboards and required daisy-chained laptop PSUs for anything but stock clocks. The card/chip should have never seen the inside of a laptop.

Dishonorable mention: 4870 X2 mobility. Apart from power draw, it was actually a pretty solid solution. The issue is ATI decided they weren't going to support it with a single new driver. ATI made some excuse saying vendors e.g. Asus should be making the drivers -- and vendors, quite rightly, fired back saying that was ridiculous. Everyone new it was BS, and due to ATI nearly going under before AMD acquired them, and that AMD had no interest supporting pre-acquisition products. Not a single driver upgrade for a $700+ mobile graphics solution. If this had happened today it would be immediate class action.

Not to be controversial, but I didn't really think my 5800 Ultra was that bad. It was loud and overpriced, but I think it gets a worse wrap than it deserves only because the 9700 pro overshadowed it so thoroughly.
 
Last edited:

SeymourGore

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
2,899
I really don't get the hate for the VII. It was overpriced, sure, but it performed well for me from launch, especially at 4k. I had one in my primary machine until recently and it played everything I threw at it.
It performed well enough for me (Resident Evil 2 @ 4k ran great for me), but it was the noise levels and regular crashes that irked me the most. I remember those fans drowning out SFX in Resident Evil 2, for example.

The GPU itself looked and felt fantastic - loved the silver with the red Radeon logo. But - yeah, coming from my near silent hybrid 1080, it was disappointing, and now that I've moved on to a RTX 2080 (gaming x trio) I've got no regrets selling the VII.
 

flynlr

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 22, 2005
Messages
2,092
my first 486 I built had a Trident 8900 isa card with 512K on it. true POS but all I could afford at the time.
the Trident 9400 VLB i stuck on my next build was better but still crappy. was not happy until I got my first ATI All in wonder card.
 

Ryan7968

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
291
My least favorites:

- GTX 480. Hot, power-sucking, overpriced. Had three RMAs over a year on a number of cards. In SLI, a 1000w PSU barely cut it
I ran these in SLI and they eventually caused my 24pin connector and plug on the motherboard to melt. Probably the worst card I ever bought, and then bought again.
 

Keljian

Gawd
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
836
S3 trio 64 was pretty bad, I think the 6600gt agp I had sucked, The cooler on it was horrible and the ram started artifacting...

I had cards I didn’t like, such as the Vega 56 (noisy unless you tweaked it a lot) and the gigabyte 1080ti range, noisy again.

Can’t really think of one that was terrible, just not good.
 

Wat

n00b
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
25
ATI EXPERT @PLAY
First card that I paid full price for (rather than a gift, trade or hand-me-down)
Buggy and slow. Replaced with a voodoo banshee which was dramatically better in the games I was playing at the time.
 

Halon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
337
my first 486 I built had a Trident 8900 isa card with 512K on it. true POS but all I could afford at the time.
the Trident 9400 VLB i stuck on my next build was better but still crappy. was not happy until I got my first ATI All in wonder card.
There used to be an outdoor computer sale in Dallas called First Saturday, where local vendors could sell to the public. There was a big truck that came by offering a constellation of vaguely tech-related things, from turntables to game consoles to old PC hardware that looked like it had sat in a warehouse for a good long time, and one night they had a plastic bag sale. Anything you could cram into a plastic grocery bag, you could walk away with for $3. The only thing I remember snagging was a Trident ISA graphics card with a princely 256K of video memory and barely - I mean barely - managed VGA graphics. But it worked in a command line Linux server in the corner for a few years without complaint, humming along and thunking out text about as well as a vintage text terminal over a serial interface would.

The Trio64 was A-OK as an OEM 2D card, and after a die shrink, tweaks and improvements to 2D, and the addition of 3D hardware, became the basis for the Virge. OEMs shipped approximately 80 jillion of them, and when knocked upside the head with a VESA TSR they were a solid way to get high-res DOS video modes.

Dollar for dollar the FX 5600 series might have been the very worst FX cards overall, and that is saying a lot.
 

lopoetve

Imhotep
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Messages
29,107
Hey, this was back in 2003. Actually, considering what it had under the hood, it wasn't too bad! :)

AMD A64 3200+
512 MB RAM
80GB (4200 RPM!!!) HDD
Mobility Radeon 9600

Not too shabby in that time. And it was pretty inexpensive.
I had three of those - first had hinge issues, second died after a week, third lasted me a good couple of years. Good systems with some questionable build quality, but they fixed it and warranty support was great.
 

Formski

n00b
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
5
The worst video card I've ever had to deal with was a SiS 6326 '3D accelerator' back in the late 90s. Never managed to get any 3D games or applications to run successfully on it. Ever.

Paying for my 2080Ti was not my favourite moment either, but admittedly the card itself is doing the job.
 

FighterAce124

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
2,561
FX 5200. I dont overly hate it, as compared to all the stuff I had previously it was a good improvment, but compared to other cards of the same generation, it was by far the crappiest. It didnt even have the power to use certain features - like Pixel Shader 2.0 - Yes it could make water look super sexy, but at the massive FPS of 3. It was just a derp card all around - but being limited to PCI at the time, i didnt have a lot of choices. I eventually swapped it out for a Radeon 9200 256MB card which was far better performance for the same price.
 

kdh

Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
803
I would say my first real gfx card being a 9800GTX. That thing was basically a rebranded 8800GTX. When it kicked on playing left for dead, it sounded like a hair dryer, and it put out just as much heat. Least memorable was the 550GTX I had.
 

RPGWiZaRD

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
1,077
ATI Rage IIc 2MB AGP card, I was using this when most games of the time started to require or required 4MB of memory for Direct3D support so it was mostly software rendering for me at that time (FFVII in glorious 320x300 to keep it fast enough!), also UT99 :(

A whole new world opened when I got myself some budget 32MB Riva TNT2 M64 (I think?) later-on.

I can't believe what this crap goes for on Ebay, maybe time to dig it up as it starts having some museum value it appears xD
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ATI-Rage-IIC-2MB-AGP-Graphics-Card-109-48300-00-/323744230925
 

tunatime

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
3,254
Only bad cards I had where when my dad had his friend build me my frist gaming PC had a 9200 in it thing was so slow.
The 7900gtx was a bit of a let down only because the 8800 kicked it ass so much
 

Halon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
337
ATI Rage IIc 2MB AGP card, I was using this when most games of the time started to require or required 4MB of memory for Direct3D support so it was mostly software rendering for me at that time (FFVII in glorious 320x300 to keep it fast enough!), also UT99 :(

A whole new world opened when I got myself some budget 32MB Riva TNT2 M64 (I think?) later-on.

I can't believe what this crap goes for on Ebay, maybe time to dig it up as it starts having some museum value it appears xD
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ATI-Rage-IIC-2MB-AGP-Graphics-Card-109-48300-00-/323744230925
That’s delusional madness, especially when you can buy a new in box Rage Pro in various places for less than a third that price... Why you would unless you had an ancient box that needed *a* graphics card to run is another question.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
529
I think my least favorite is the GT210. Not because I hated owning it, but because they are still selling it. My old job would stick those in PCs that needed to hookup an extra monitor. I'm just like "Dude, even Skylake's IGP is probably faster than this thing!).
They bought hundreds and hundres of them! Even when I left in 2019!
 

acascianelli

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,867
Hey, this was back in 2003. Actually, considering what it had under the hood, it wasn't too bad! :)

AMD A64 3200+
512 MB RAM
80GB (4200 RPM!!!) HDD
Mobility Radeon 9600

Not too shabby in that time. And it was pretty inexpensive.
Those things were pretty good for the price at the time. IIRC, eMachines laptops were made by Medion. I had one of the older M5310's which was Athlon XP-M powered. I ended up dumping way too much money into that laptop for marginal performance gains. Swapped the processer out for something slightly faster, maxed out the RAM, 7200rpm hdd (no SSD's at the time). The IGP320 graphics on mine really held it back.

Those Athlon 64 powered ones were much easier. The CPU and GPU both overclocked well out of the box. You could still upgrade the CPU and RAM in them, they had much better cooling.
 

jbltecnicspro

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
5,603
Those things were pretty good for the price at the time. IIRC, eMachines laptops were made by Medion. I had one of the older M5310's which was Athlon XP-M powered. I ended up dumping way too much money into that laptop for marginal performance gains. Swapped the processer out for something slightly faster, maxed out the RAM, 7200rpm hdd (no SSD's at the time). The IGP320 graphics on mine really held it back.

Those Athlon 64 powered ones were much easier. The CPU and GPU both overclocked well out of the box. You could still upgrade the CPU and RAM in them, they had much better cooling.
Yes, the cooling on my old eMachines was awesome. Solid copper piping the whole way.
 

5150Joker

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
3,592
Hmm probably the Tnt 2, do you guys remember those? They weren't quite enough to keep up with the demands of quake 3 so I had to ditch mine as soon as nVidia introduced the GeForce 256 which was way way better.

I also hated my ATI 6970m cards as they were plagued with driver problems that never got fixed.
 

Unabomber

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,802
I've been either relatively happy, or very happy with all of my video card choices, except for two...

My first PCI-e card was a BFG GeForce 7900GS. Performance was actually quite good, but the RAM for some reason, kept on overheating, resulting in a lot of artifacts on the screen. I put some heat sinks on the RAM, and that helped reduce the artifacts, but in the end, it was determined that the RAM was defective.

When I tried to initiate a return to BFG, the rep said that the warranty was no good, since I had installed a third party mod. I ended up donating the card to a parts recycling center, since that card came with a pretty nice copper heat sink and fan for the GPU itself.

I remember making a post about it on this forum a long time ago, and one of their other reps, Jeff, said that he could help out with it. Unfortunately, since I already gave away the card, and that it was obsolete by that time, it simply wasn't worth the time.


The other card was a Matrox G200 (my first real AGP card). Image quality was pretty darn good, but drivers for Windows 98 were very buggy. About every 10 reboots, I would have to reinstall the drivers, since for some reason, the system would automatically detect it as a generic VGA card.
 

cyklondx

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
416
amd 6950 - slower than previous gen in 90% of cases. This felt like a step backwards, in all cases for me - had a bad feeling since this was first card released as amd since amd acquired ATi (thankfully GCN happened with 7000 series).

geforce 2 mx 400 agp (32mb) (what a garbo - even in those times) This couldn't even play fluid JK Dark Forces 2 at decent resolution with hardware acceleration or it had trouble even with software at higher resolution.*i was running Decent= 1024x768 - Higher= 1600x1200
(While on the other hand, older ATi Rage 128 Pro 16M was much faster - and could even bear JK Outcast at few fps)
 
Top