Direct3D team office has a Wall of GPU History

When you are the team behind something like Direct3D, you need many different graphics cards to test on.  And when you’ve been doing this for as long as we have, you’ll inevitably accumulate a LOT of cards left over from years gone by.  What to do with them all?  One option would be to store boxes in someone’s office:

But it occurred to us that a better solution would be to turn one of our office hallways into a museum of GPU history:

402 different GPUs covering 35 years of hardware history later:

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!
Comments (24)

  1. Steven Don says:

    That is just awesome. I have memories of very first Voodoo 1 card and was just as awestruck by it as I was by the first AdLib soundcard. And the original GeForce 3 is probably the most expensive video card I ever bought, as I got it new before even the Ti200 and Ti500 were released.

  2. _Simon_F_ says:

    Just noticed that next to the PowerVR Kyro card ( someone has written “OIT”. I believe they were thinking of the previous generation, Neon250, that was related to the CLX2 chip in the Sega Dreamcast. Those devices did have “translucency sorting” AKA Order Independent Translucency.

    Kyro did have some other interesting features such as fast trilinear on DXT1 textures.

  3. LazerFX says:

    I think my Dad’s still got my very first discreet graphics card – a Trident TVGA-8900c… a solid graphics card for a ’91 286 computer 😀

  4. Ascendor says:

    Hey, awesome idea, nice collection! Any chance to get more hi-res pictures of the cards and labels? Asking for a tech nerd 😉

  5. David Penney says:

    That’s pretty amazing. Very nice to see how far things have come since the early days. It’s a great reminder of progress.

  6. Tom S' says:

    could you perhaps post photos that are bigger than a Gameboy Classic resolution ? 🙂 because they are really interesting 🙂 thx

  7. ToBeOrToBe says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE!!! High Res pics of every single card!!!!!!!

    For all the things sacred and Microsoft!

  8. EvertM says:

    Pretty please share the complete collection with us, high resolution photos and descriptions 💕

  9. Lexx says:

    Thank you very much for sharing! If you get a chance, can you share the entire collection and with higher resolution images? I know matching the preeminent games that aligned or pushed the boundaries of these cards would be asking too much perhaps but maybe a few key ‘showcase’ games per DirectX version would be the icing in this display!

  10. UltimateGTR says:

    What an extraordinary collection of GPU! Please share the high-res photos of them if possible! They’re very interesting!

  11. Sonzaisuru says:

    Spooky how many of these cards I had: Voodoo, Voodoo2, Rage Pro, GeForce 256, G400, Geforce 3, Radeon 8500… Working in a local computer shop had its advantages I guess, but at the same time I must have spent a good chunk of my income on each new card as it came out.

    Like everyone else here I would love to see a site put up with more details and better images.

  12. Vladul says:

    This is awesome! I’d love to see the full collection!

  13. ccmiller2018 says:

    for all those saying “post high res”- the problem is, they don’t have a graphics card any more in any of the office machines to render the higher res images for the web 🙁

    Awesome collection. where do i have to go to see this in person?

  14. Wyza says:

    It would be amazing if you could do a virtual walkthrough of this hall so that we could walk down it in VR.

  15. Ryan.Carter says:

    Should post a wish list of cards you don’t have, so if anyone wants to contribute to the collection in order to complete it, they’d be able to.

  16. Vlask says:

    Hello, great collection. I will not ask for photos of all cards as i most of them have online. But i’d like to ask to do some photos of rare cards, that might be on your glorious walls. These are prototypes and photos or better info cannot be found online.
    Also i have small personal project that maps all released graphics chips (mobile market not included) and missing some basic info about few prototypes – . So if you can add missing info (memory size, planned year of release) to these cards, i would be very happy. Please do photos of all these cards, if you can. Thanks.
    Following cards missing some basic information:
    Avance Logic – 27000 (?MB – 199?)
    BitBoys – Hammer (?MB – 200?)
    Gigapixel – GP-1 (?MB – 1999), GP-2 (?MB – 2000), GP-3 (?MB – 200?), GP-LP (?MB – 200?), GP-4 (?MB – 200?)
    Intel – i754 (?MB – 1999), Capitola (?MB)
    Microsoft – Talisman (new to me, thanks to your photo)
    Realtek – RTG3107 (?MB – 199?)
    Real3D – R3D/100 (?MB – 1995), R3D/PRO-1000 (?MB – 1997), Cobra (?MB – 1999)
    Tseng Labs – ET6300 (?MB – 1998)
    VideoLogic – Midas 1 (?MB – 1995), Midas 2 (?MB – 199?), STMicro Kyro III (64MB – 200?)
    Weitek – Power 9200 (?MB – 1995)
    For these cards i have some info, but not photos…
    Alliance – ProMotion aT3D+ & aT4D (16MB – 1997), Paladin LT & EX (16MB – 1998)
    ARK Logic – ARK8100 – Tiger 3D (8MB – 1998), ARK8800 – Cougar 3D (16MB – 1999)
    Oak – OTI-64017 (4MB – 1997), OTI-64317 Warp 5 (8MB – 1997)
    Rendition – Vérité V3300 (6MB – 1999), Vérité V4400E (12MB – 1999)
    S3 – Savage XP (128MB – 2002), GammaChrome S19 & S14
    SiS/XGI – Xabre II (256MB – 2003), Volari 8600 (128MB) / XT (256MB – 2006)

    Any other photos of unknown prototypes are welcome. For example on 5th photo with year 1996 i see under atomic signs some unknown very long card with dual VGA and 3 main chips. 2 rows under it is another nowhere to be seen prototype of card with orange memory modules?
    If you dont have a good camera around, please do scans of cards on your local A3 copy machine. If you put A3 paper over sides of card, it would be still looking good.

    BTW: if someone be able to leak some datasheets of cards from companies that long time ago bankcrupted, i would be happy too. These are sometimes impossible to find and im happy for every new one i find.

  17. irq7dma1 says:

    some of those cards are really expensive today as there are vga collectors in many countries. And those that were not released must cost a fortune. please share more photps of everything in HD . the cards from 1996 ISA are those Tseng labs?

  18. Pablincho78 says:

    From all those cards, for me the most iconic videocard of all is the ATI Radeon9800 pro. The card that raped nvidia and the one i will never forget. It has a very special place in my heart because it is from the Half Life2 era and because the card is from an era were we left the ugly beige computer cases and moved on to black, side panels, aluminum, cathode tubes, coolers with leds, . Another card that marked an era for me was the Voodoo2, during that time very few people had a 3d accelerator card, many games were done with voodoo support and looked awesome, but most of the games were not made to have voodoo support. Lastly the other iconic card was the Nvidia 8800gt. I played so many games with it that it was worth every penny

  19. KevinFolz says:

    I believe there is a similar archive at the AMD Santa Clara office… though here in Markham, we have a selection on display in our lobby in glass cabinets. Having the retail boxes is neat, as it shows the “killer feature” for the time like “512MB GDDR3!!!” or “Supports DirectX 11”. The box for the watercoooled Radeon 295×2 is massive. Please provide higher quality photos of the wall 🙂

  20. I bought a Voodoo 2 card literally the day they hit the streets in NYC. Paired it up with the Riva TNT 2 and Wing Commander was amazing on it. whatever the 3d wing commander was.

    Also met one of the early employees of Nvidia where I live. Like when they only had a few dozen people there.

    1. Anonymous says:
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  21. stephc_msft says:

    The online ‘OS2museum’ has many features about old video cards and old audio cards

  22. danchar says:

    Awesome! Jeff Noyle’s wall has been recreated in the new building… finally!Good work everyone!

    I hope the two ATI Radeon HD 3000 series boards with the hi-res graphics of the ATI mascot pre-dating Ruby that I salvaged made it on the wall!

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