History of Graphics Cards

Timeline created by cbalstatt
  • Graphics Chips (and the Namco Galaxian arcade system)

    Graphics Chips (and the Namco Galaxian arcade system)
    Arcade system boards have been using specialized graphics chips since the 1970s. Although they weren't exactly graphics cards they pioneered the way for more imporvements, including Fujitsu's MB14241 video shifter and Namcos Galaxian arcade system in 1979. The Galaxian hardware made substantial imporvements in RGB color as well as multicolor backgrounds and sprites.
  • Commodore Amiga

    Commodore Amiga
    Commodore Amiga, from Amiga, featured a groundbreaking GPU, unprecedented for a personal computer at the time. Ran extremely graphics oriented coding and supported the drawing of an image. These computers still weren't widely avalable, but sparked a series of imitations from others, causing the 80s to be a decade of innovation.
  • The TMS34010

    The TMS34010
    In 1986, Texas Instruments released the TMS34010, the first microprocessor with on-chip graphics capabilities. Ran general purpose code very well even with it's graphics oriented instuction set. Used mainly by coders, it left a significant impact on the speed in which coding could be done. Later became the basis of the Texas Instruments Graphics Architecture ("TIGA") Windows accelerator cards.
  • IBM 8514

    IBM 8514
    In 1987, the IBM 8514 graphics system was released as one of the first video cards for IBM PC compatibles to implement fixed-function 2D primitives in electronic hardware. These computers were the first time that the general public would have access to computers with a video card, or anyone for that matter.
  • X68000 by Sharp

    X68000 by Sharp
    Sharp released the X68000, which used a custom graphics chipset that was powerful for a home computer at the time, with a 65,536 color palette and hardware support for sprites, scrolling and multiple playfields, eventually serving as a development machine for Capcom's CP System arcade board. Source for all previous: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_card
  • Namco System 21 and Taito Air System

    Namco System 21 and Taito Air System
    The Namco System 21 and the Taito Air System introduce the first dedicated polygonal 3D graphics boards in arcades.
  • 3Dfx Voodoo: Changing the business

    3Dfx Voodoo: Changing the business
    Grew the capacity of chips from 2MB to 8MB. Just as revolutionary was it's ability to process 3D graphics, the first of it's kind. Other designers became obsolete seemingly overnight, taking over 85% of the market. Took away the need for Z Buffering, and the mechanical clicking of other chips of it's time. The card inspired competitors to take a stance in the 3D rendering market. Source: http://www.techspot.com/article/653-history-of-the-gpu-part-2/
  • ATI Radeon DDR & GeForce DTS

    ATI Radeon DDR & GeForce DTS
    Support of the DirectX 8 and and technical implementation brought the use of DVI outputs by integrating support for the interface into the chip itself. These cards make NVidia and Radeon giants in the industry
    The NVIDIA GigaTexel shader supported "effects such as specular shading, volumetric explosion" and more. It's GPU was powerful enough to allow transforming, clipping, and light transformations to be handled by it alone. The ATI Radeon skimmed vertexes and allowed polygons to move fluidly.
  • 8800 GTS 640MB

     8800 GTS 640MB
    After the launch of Direct X 10, the race was on once again. ATI(now AMD) went down an open-developer path for software, while NVidia developed CUDA which helped "Nvidia's PhysX physics engine as well as its distributed computing projects, professional virtualization and OptiX, Nvidia's ray tracing engine". The invention put Nvidia far past AMD, Shading was increased from 24 to 32 bit, and the overclocked GTX crushed all.
    Source: http://www.techspot.com/article/653-history-of-the-gpu-part-2/
  • Graphics Cards Today: The GeForce GTX 980 Ti

    Graphics Cards Today: The GeForce GTX 980 Ti
    Nvidia continues to dominate the market, with competition in some forms from AMD, continuously leading the way in ridiculous innovation. The GTX 980 Ti is the newest in the ever expanding conquest, boasting a 6 GB memory, a 100 MHz clock, 4096 x 2160 at 240 Hz, 336.5 GBps bandwidth, and 4 monitor support. Nvidia leads the software side as well, opening to the community and opensourcing to make sure all cards get thier max preformance. Source: https://www.google.com/shopping/product/43606068233