We’re back to normal, and NVIDIA’s overall line is to make very good graphics cards at an unpopular price point, but it’s still the first option for most users. We choose the graphics cards that landed the best, leaving behind the ones that convinced the worst.
The five worst graphics cards in the last ten years
In recent years, the world of personal computers has undergone an important development that shook the world of graphics cards. The leap from DirectX 11 to DirectX 12 and the growing popularity of Vulkan affected many generation models that did not support both APIs well, and the increase in graphics memory consumption made many of the “best of the best” solutions obsolete.
It can be said that it is the law of life. All computer components have a service life which is also determined by their strict specifications which can be shortened or lengthened depending on other important factors, how to support advanced technologies and the path the industry takes. The latter is very important. In fact, we’ve already seen at this point how stagnation around the antiquated API, DirectX 11, can hurt more advanced graphics cards designed for DirectX 12 and Vulkan.
I am sure that many of our readers will know what point we talked about in the previous example, at what stage two generations of Kepler based NVIDIA GPUs coexisted: GTX 600 and GTX 700 (except) GTX 750 and 750 Ti (based on Maxwell) and Radeon HD 7000 and Radeon RX 200. The dominance of DirectX 11 in 2012-2016 coupled with the low demand for graphics memory in most games has kept Kepler a very powerful architecture, but today, with the arrival of DirectX 12 and Vulkan, Radeon HD 7000 and Radeon RX 200 You aged much better.
Pure performance is important, that’s clear, but when we talk about graphics cards, we also need to take into account other factors that were already anticipated, such as architecture, API and high tech support, and of course the amount of graphics memory installed. AMD did better in this regard as it introduced higher memory configurations and opted for technologies that did not have good support at the time, such as for example asynchronous computing, but made mistakes as well.
We could give many examples, but I think this is the clearest thing we’ve experienced with the arrival of the Radeon R9 Fury and Fury X., two graphics cards based on HBM memory and limited to 4GB. This became a very serious problem as the games used up more graphics memory and both fell below their direct NVIDIA competitors. The GTX 980 Ti with 6GB of graphics memory has aged better than the Radeon R9 Fury X.
It’s clear that both NVIDIA and AMD have made mistakes in the last few years, although today both luckily know how to play their cards well and we have a high level of competition in the graphics card sector. NVIDIA democratized ray tracing with the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, and the giant from Sunnyvale reacted heavily with the launch of the Radeon RX 6000, a generation of graphics cards that achieves a good price-performance ratio.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll see the performance of this next-gen graphics and tell you everything you need to know to judge if the different models are a really good buy. In the meantime, we invite you to join us to animate the expectation. What were the five worst graphics cards in the last ten years? I assume that we are going to abandon the classic low-end models, which usually offer terribly poor value, in favor of a more interesting, complete and less “predictable” item.
The five worst graphics cards in recent history: GeForce GTX 690
There was certainly a lot to choose from, mainly due to how old the Kepler architecture from NVIDA was. The fact is that this architecture was a very important change as it marked the disappearance of “hot shaders” and allowed NVIDIA to triple the number of shaders compared to the previous generation based on Fermi.
To give you an idea, the GTX 580 had 512 shaders while the GTX 680 had 1,536 shaders. The second tripled the number of shaders of the first, but they operated at a lower frequency because, as we said, this property known as “hot shaders” was eliminated, which allowed the core group to run at a much higher frequency of Work.
However, this important development was tarnished by the architecture foundation that was developed from the ground up with DirectX 11 in mind. This allowed NVIDIA to offer the AMD Radeon HD 7000 with the highest performance in most cases, and sparked clear controversy that led to two opposing positions: these who said NVIDIA was right to make it A solid bet, looking at the present rather than the future, and those who thought exactly the opposite, AMD would age better.
The truth is that both items were correct. Those who bought the Kepler-based GTX did well for several years, and those who bought the Radeon HD 7000 were rewarded with seeing their graphics card age better as competitive alternatives.
Why do we consider the GeForce GTX 690 to be one of the worst graphics cards in the last ten years? The answer is very simple as this is a model that has all of the Kepler flaws and has all the problems of a dual GPU setup. This graphics card is the equivalent of two GTX 680s in one computer, which means each GPU is limited to 2GB of graphics memory and displays it all. Its potential depends on the SLI support that each game offers.
The starting price was over 1000 euros and it has aged so much that today it is no better than the GTX 680 in most cases due to the poor SLI support that most games offer. It was a terrible investment that has aged a lot and therefore deserves to be on this list.
Their product selection isn’t quite as diverse compared to some of the larger manufacturers we’ve listed so far, but ZOTAC still has something to suit everyone’s needs – from the heavier high-end RGB AMP models to the more compact and affordable variants of some GPUs.
Scalping & cryptomining
Let’s start with the hot topic of recent months: scalpers. The idea of scalping – essentially buying as many stocks as possible at launch to resell at a higher value – isn’t a new concept, but going online during a pandemic means it’s easier than ever for those looking to make some money . It happened with valuable on-demand tech, including the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and unfortunately that also applies to graphics cards.