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HardwareZone's 10th Anniversary: The Y2K Era

The GPU Scene in Year 2000

The GPU Scene in Year 2000


  • To combat the threat that was the awesome GeForce 256, ATI came up with the radical ATI Rage Fury MAXX, which was probably the first card to ever feature 2 GPUs (Rage Fury chips) on a single PCB. It employed something called Alternate Frame Rendering (AFR) and was fast enough to match the GeForce 256 cards which used SDRAM. However, its lack of T&L support ultimately meant that it wasn't a card for the future and it had operating system compatibility issues outside of Windows 98.
  • It wasn't much of a matter, because later in 2000, ATI unleashed the Radeon. We had the ATI Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO AGP in our labs and found it to be a quite a capable card. At this point, things were really looking bad for 3dfx and they had to respond. Fast.

 While NVIDIA had the GeForce 256, ATI, on the other hand, had the Radeon. Together, they would bring 3dfx to its knees.

  • 3dfx soon released the eagerly anticipated Voodoo 5. Looking back, Voodoo 5 was too little too late and some of its other features were too soon for its time. At that time, however, we thought that despite its shortcomings, the Voodoo 5 was still a good card and could even possibly herald the comeback of 3dfx. And ever present in the minds of the techies was the legendary Voodoo 5 6000, which had four GPU cores, powered by an external power brick and never saw the day of light in retail.

 The Voodoo 5. This was to be 3dfx's last graphics card. The twin-threat that was the GeForce 256 and Radeon proved to be too much for the ailing graphics card company to handle.

  • Ironically, later in the year, 3dfx declared bankruptcy and was eventually bought over by NVIDIA. From this point on, the graphics card market was dominated by ATI and NVIDIA.
  • In 2000, NVIDIA also built on the success of their GeForce 2 line by introducing the GeForce 2 MX GPU. The MX denotes that the chipset is for the more budget-conscious. It was much more affordable than its higher-end siblings and therefore was extremely popular, especially amongst OEM system builders, who now had a low-cost 3D solution.

Despite being targeted at the budget-minded, it was still a capable performer, as evidenced by the Asus AGP-V7100/Pure 32MB SDRAM .


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