nVidia CEO: GeForce FX GPU almost "killed" the company

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#1 Posted by Xtasy26 (4251 posts) -

10 Years ago in 2003, nVidia released what was is now referred to as the infamous "Dustbuster" Gaming GPU, I am talking about the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra. nVidia's infamous GPU that was quite possible the loudest GPU (maybe even the hottest) GPU that was ever made in the history of Gaming. You guys think that the R9 290/R9 290X is loud and hot, then you guys obviously haven't heard of the FX 5800 Ultra. This GPU literally sounded like blender when people ran it when gaming. But little does people know that this was nVida's biggest investment in the history of nVidia. They spent to the tune of $400 million making the GPU and it was investment that made nVidia almost go bankrupt due to the poor sales that it garnered because it was getting smacked around by the ATI 9700 Pro and later the 9800 Pro and the 9800 XT.

It was one ugly GPU as nVidia's CEO referred to as a GPU that only a "mother could love" as to how ugly this GPU was.

Luckily for nVidia they next released the GeForce 6800 Ultra which was an awesome GPU that had pixel shader 3.0 and it was the first GPU that implemented HDR. Those of you who played Far Cry with HDR and pixel shader 3.0 would know what I am talking about. This was features that the 6800 Ultra's competitor from ATI, the X800 didn't have. nVida then followed that up that with the excellent Geforce 7000 series, for which I was a proud owner of the GeForce 7600 GT back in 2006. Easily the best price/performance GPU from 2006.

Although I parted ways from nVidia when I got my first ATI\AMD card the HD 4870 simply because nVidia started price gouging and no longer offered the best price\performance on GPU's above $300+ ( I am looking at you Titan, $1000 for a single GPU! Are you kidding me??) I still admire the company. You have to give to nVidia CEO, Jen Hsun Huang, what a down to earth, like able guy, that's not afraid to admit the truth.

For those who want to see the video, look for it starting 23:00 in the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn1EsFe7snQ

It's an interesting info for those who have been following the Gaming GPU industry for over 10 - 15+ years. ;)

#2 Posted by PredatorRules (7347 posts) -

I actually had GeForce FX GPU right after GeForce 4.... Oh the sweet colored that this GPU brought to my NFS Underground game :D

#3 Posted by 04dcarraher (19214 posts) -

There have been multiple great gpu's from Nvidia that have a great price to performance ratio over the years. 8800GT, GTX 460 or GTX 760 etc. Nvidia and AMD price gouge when their current new line is on top of the other company. When the 7970 released it was a $500+ card. And when Nvidia released the GTX 680 which creamed it was also a $500 card and AMD had to cut prices to make the 7970 look more appetizing. But when the GTX 670 came out it was still slightly faster then the 7970 and again AMD had to drop the price again below the 670. When Nvidia came out with the Titan it was not only targeted for gamers, hence the price. And AMD with their R280+ based cards they could not charge a premium on that series since they didnt out right beat Nvidia's offerings which is why Nvidia cut the prices of the GTX 770 and GTX 780 to make them more appetizing.

#4 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@Xtasy26 said:

GeForce 6800 Ultra which was an awesome GPU that had pixel shader 3.0 and it was the first GPU that implemented HDR. Those of you who played Far Cry with HDR and pixel shader 3.0 would know what I am talking about. This was features that the 6800 Ultra's competitor from ATI, the X800 didn't have.

I had one of those ATI X800s in the first gaming PC I built myself. Thing sucked. When the geforce 7000 series came out, I replaced it with a... ummm... 7800gt, I think. Might have been a 7900gt, unless the 7900s didn't come out til later. Good times.

#5 Posted by guynamedbilly (12949 posts) -

I suspect he's exaggerating.

#6 Edited by FelipeInside (25272 posts) -

Ahhhhh....The NVIDIA 6800 Ultra.... WHAT A CARD !!!

I got it at launch and after all these years it's STILL working on my dad's computer (which was my old gaming rig I gave him after I build a new one)

#7 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (15909 posts) -

I still have a GeForce 4 Ti-4200 and a GeForce FX-5200 here. Both still work okay with Windows Vista. I had an X800XL which I recently gave to a friend. It wasn't a bad card at all. I played Far Cry on it which still looked good.My X800XL certainly wasn't as glitchy as any of the Nvidia cards I owned during the previous decade.

#8 Posted by GummiRaccoon (13597 posts) -

I suspect he's exaggerating.

the 5800 ultra was literally the worst graphics card ever released.

#9 Edited by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

@Xtasy26 said:

10 Years ago in 2003, nVidia released what was is now referred to as the infamous "Dustbuster" Gaming GPU, I am talking about the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra. nVidia's infamous GPU that was quite possible the loudest GPU (maybe even the hottest) GPU that was ever made in the history of Gaming. You guys think that the R9 290/R9 290X is loud and hot, then you guys obviously haven't heard of the FX 5800 Ultra. This GPU literally sounded like blender when people ran it when gaming. But little does people know that this was nVida's biggest investment in the history of nVidia. They spent to the tune of $400 million making the GPU and it was investment that made nVidia almost go bankrupt due to the poor sales that it garnered because it was getting smacked around by the ATI 9700 Pro and later the 9800 Pro and the 9800 XT.

It was one ugly GPU as nVidia's CEO referred to as a GPU that only a "mother could love" as to how ugly this GPU was.

Luckily for nVidia they next released the GeForce 6800 Ultra which was an awesome GPU that had pixel shader 3.0 and it was the first GPU that implemented HDR. Those of you who played Far Cry with HDR and pixel shader 3.0 would know what I am talking about. This was features that the 6800 Ultra's competitor from ATI, the X800 didn't have. nVida then followed that up that with the excellent Geforce 7000 series, for which I was a proud owner of the GeForce 7600 GT back in 2006. Easily the best price/performance GPU from 2006.

Although I parted ways from nVidia when I got my first ATI\AMD card the HD 4870 simply because nVidia started price gouging and no longer offered the best price\performance on GPU's above $300+ ( I am looking at you Titan, $1000 for a single GPU! Are you kidding me??) I still admire the company. You have to give to nVidia CEO, Jen Hsun Huang, what a down to earth, like able guy, that's not afraid to admit the truth.

For those who want to see the video, look for it starting 23:00 in the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn1EsFe7snQ

It's an interesting info for those who have been following the Gaming GPU industry for over 10 - 15+ years. ;)

Like NVIDIA RSX, 6600 can't sustain heavy pixel shader 3.0 32 bit FP operations.

The best pixel shader 3.0 class GPU is Radeon X19x0 i.e. full speed 32 bit FP and better shader branch for pixel shader 3.0 operations.

On top of 32 bit FP problems, GeForce FX has VLIW architecture which makes it very hard to optimise.

On the PC, AMD has persistent with VLIW designs on until SIMD based 7970. Xbox 360's SIMD architecture won in the end and it's spiritual SIMD based GPU successor powers both Xbox One and PS4.

VLIW based architecture has very bad term records e.g. GeForce FX, Transmeta, Intel Itanium, Intel i860/i960.

#10 Posted by Klunt_Bumskrint (3632 posts) -

The Geforce 2 GTS 64Mb was my first foray into Geforce cards and it was awesome.

I had Riva TNT 2 before that.....32Mb baby, but that still kicked hell out of my ATI All in wonder 16Mb!

#11 Posted by Sharpie125 (3904 posts) -

My first real card was a GeForce 4 (I believe MX 440 64MB...) Without it, my Dell Pentium 4 couldn't play damn Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, and before that it was only NHL 2000 and Sim Safari. But many dozens of excellent hours playing Allied Assault after school on that old computer :). I installed it again on this Windows 8.1 comp and boy that nostalgia.

#12 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (15909 posts) -

@guynamedbilly said:

I suspect he's exaggerating.

the 5800 ultra was literally the worst graphics card ever released.

Nah. It's weaker brother, the FX5200, is unless you count the odd balls like S3 which was on life support by the time the Nvidia FX series came out.

#13 Posted by woomar (111 posts) -

@Xtasy26 said:

....But little does people know that this was nVida's biggest investment in the history of nVidia. They spent to the tune of $400 million making the GPU and it was investment that made nVidia almost go bankrupt due to the poor sales that it garnered because it was ....

Are you sure ? they spend nearly $400 million only for this GPU ?

BTW I had an FX 5200 which was really good actually , i remember it even ran NFS Most Wanted (which i was quite happy because it did).

#14 Posted by demi0227_basic (881 posts) -

My first gpu was a 9800 from ati. Those were some good old days!

#15 Edited by ShepardCommandr (2381 posts) -

Hmmmm My dad had one of those on his computer.

I spent my summers with him playing morrowind and kotor.

#16 Posted by PfizersaurusRex (662 posts) -

Yes I remember the Dustbuster. Had GF 4 MX 460 at that time, replaced it with Radeon 9550, OC'ed it from 250 to 350 MHz with two mouse clicks. I would have to get my GTX 660 to run at 1.4GHz to achieve the same OC percentage :D.

#17 Posted by Xtasy26 (4251 posts) -

There have been multiple great gpu's from Nvidia that have a great price to performance ratio over the years. 8800GT, GTX 460 or GTX 760 etc. Nvidia and AMD price gouge when their current new line is on top of the other company. When the 7970 released it was a $500+ card. And when Nvidia released the GTX 680 which creamed it was also a $500 card and AMD had to cut prices to make the 7970 look more appetizing. But when the GTX 670 came out it was still slightly faster then the 7970 and again AMD had to drop the price again below the 670. When Nvidia came out with the Titan it was not only targeted for gamers, hence the price. And AMD with their R280+ based cards they could not charge a premium on that series since they didnt out right beat Nvidia's offerings which is why Nvidia cut the prices of the GTX 770 and GTX 780 to make them more appetizing.

Well, the 8800 GT, GTX 460 and GTX 760 are all below $300, as I mentioned that's not the problem. The problem starts at the high end. I pointed to the Titan as a valid target as you can play games on it. That's why the review sites were comparing it to the R9 290/290X. You could go back to 2007 when nVidia was charging $850 for the 8800 Ultra. On a consistent basis, nVidia was pricing gouging on the high end. You don't have to go back to 2007, you could look at it right now. They are charging $700 for the GTX 780 Ti which is slightly faster than the R9 290X. I don't think it's worth $150 more just for slightly better performance, a price of $600 would have made more sense.

@Xtasy26 said:

GeForce 6800 Ultra which was an awesome GPU that had pixel shader 3.0 and it was the first GPU that implemented HDR. Those of you who played Far Cry with HDR and pixel shader 3.0 would know what I am talking about. This was features that the 6800 Ultra's competitor from ATI, the X800 didn't have.

I had one of those ATI X800s in the first gaming PC I built myself. Thing sucked. When the geforce 7000 series came out, I replaced it with a... ummm... 7800gt, I think. Might have been a 7900gt, unless the 7900s didn't come out til later. Good times.

The ATI X800's weren't as good as the GeForce 6800 as the GeFoce 6800 had support for HDR and pixel shader 3.0. It also paid off in the latter part of 2004 when Half-Life 2 had and supported HDR. Those of use who played Far Cry with Pixel Shader 3.0 and with HDR would know what I am talking about. I played it on my 7600 GT and the game was a night and day difference going from playing the game on my GeForce 4 64 MB DDR to playing it on a GeForce 7600 GT with HDR and Pixel Shader 3.0. The lighting, the water looked stunning.

The Geforce 2 GTS 64Mb was my first foray into Geforce cards and it was awesome.

I had Riva TNT 2 before that.....32Mb baby, but that still kicked hell out of my ATI All in wonder 16Mb!

Yeah the GeForce 2 GTS was an awesome card. I would say that card was the card that truly put 3DFX it's final death nail in the coffin as by the time 3dfx released the Voodoo 5 5500 it was outgunned in performance wise as well as features by the GeForce 2 GTS and the ATI All in Wonder series sucked through and through. I don't know why ATI bothered to keep that series alive for that long.

My first real card was a GeForce 4 (I believe MX 440 64MB...) Without it, my Dell Pentium 4 couldn't play damn Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, and before that it was only NHL 2000 and Sim Safari. But many dozens of excellent hours playing Allied Assault after school on that old computer :). I installed it again on this Windows 8.1 comp and boy that nostalgia.

That's so cool! I too used to have a GeForce 4 (MX 420 64 MB DDR) on my Dell Pentium 4 before upgrading to a GeForce 4 7600 GT. And I do remember playing Allied Assault on that GeForce 4. Ran it pretty good for it's time @1024x768 or was it 1280x1024. I plan to install Allied Assault on my Gaming Laptop as I never quite finished that game. Allied Assault I would say was one of the first WWII shooter that got the WWII shooter genre going that lasted for the next 5-6 years.

#18 Posted by Xtasy26 (4251 posts) -

@woomar said:

@Xtasy26 said:

....But little does people know that this was nVida's biggest investment in the history of nVidia. They spent to the tune of $400 million making the GPU and it was investment that made nVidia almost go bankrupt due to the poor sales that it garnered because it was ....

Are you sure ? they spend nearly $400 million only for this GPU ?

BTW I had an FX 5200 which was really good actually , i remember it even ran NFS Most Wanted (which i was quite happy because it did).

Yeah I remember reading that somewhere that they spent $400 million. Even the CEO talks about how this was their biggest investment in the video. It would certainly make sense.

By the way, does anyone remember the Dawn tech demo they were showing off for the GeFroce 5800 Ultra?

I remember being pretty impressed by the tech demo. It had CG quality graphics for the first time that I saw that was running in real time. The skin tone and the color of it looked pretty realistic. That's why nvidia mentioned "Cinematic Quality" graphics when they first introduced it.

And all I can say is Giggity Giggity Goo! If you know what I mean. ;)

#19 Posted by GummiRaccoon (13597 posts) -

@GummiRaccoon said:

@guynamedbilly said:

I suspect he's exaggerating.

the 5800 ultra was literally the worst graphics card ever released.

Nah. It's weaker brother, the FX5200, is unless you count the odd balls like S3 which was on life support by the time the Nvidia FX series came out.

there wasn't any hype for the low end 5200

#20 Edited by Sharpie125 (3904 posts) -

@Xtasy26: Allied Assault ran pretty crappily for me online lol (1024x768, yea) but as a teenager it didn't bother me as much as it would now. If I got a few kills here and there all was well. There are still folks playing the game now... the Counter Strike-styled objective maps are still fun as anything.

To add... I jumped on for about an hour today and it's still kinda fun :p

#21 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (15909 posts) -

@jun_aka_pekto said:

@GummiRaccoon said:

@guynamedbilly said:

I suspect he's exaggerating.

the 5800 ultra was literally the worst graphics card ever released.

Nah. It's weaker brother, the FX5200, is unless you count the odd balls like S3 which was on life support by the time the Nvidia FX series came out.

there wasn't any hype for the low end 5200

No. But, there sure as heck was a lot of negative reviews, far more than its beefier siblings. Everyone was sort of expecting a GF2-MX or GF4-MX equivalent. Low-end but still capable. The FX5200 fell short of even that mark.

#22 Posted by wis3boi (31102 posts) -

@Xtasy26 said:

GeForce 6800 Ultra which was an awesome GPU that had pixel shader 3.0 and it was the first GPU that implemented HDR. Those of you who played Far Cry with HDR and pixel shader 3.0 would know what I am talking about. This was features that the 6800 Ultra's competitor from ATI, the X800 didn't have.

I had one of those ATI X800s in the first gaming PC I built myself. Thing sucked. When the geforce 7000 series came out, I replaced it with a... ummm... 7800gt, I think. Might have been a 7900gt, unless the 7900s didn't come out til later. Good times.

I had an X800 when Oblivion came out. Couldn't run it, artifacted and so many glitches and issues. Worst card I've ever owned.

#23 Edited by JigglyWiggly_ (23455 posts) -

I had an x800 xt platinum, great card. It wasn't made for games like Oblivion, but I got it on release and it ran games like HL2 great.

#24 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (15909 posts) -

I got my ASUS X800XL ViVo back in 2005. It ran BF2 great (together with the then new Athlon 64 X2 4200+) without the glitches experienced by other gamers. I don't recall having any problems playing Oblivion although I got Oblivion fairly late and I had to run at 1024x768 while turning down some settings (Medium).

I was quite happy with the X800XL.....certainly much more than the Nvidia FX series.

All these old stuff had me reminiscing.....

ASUS GF4 Ti-4200 ViVo with PNY FX-5200 and new hardware (including ASUS X800XL ViVo), early 2005.....

#25 Edited by bigfootpart2 (91 posts) -

The Geforce FX series was truly awful. They were loud, hot, underperforming cards that despite supporting DX9, couldn't actually run DX9 games at playable framerates in most cases. Only the biggest nVidia fanboys actually bought them instead of the massively superior Radeon 9000 series. The Radeon 9700 Pro in particular was one of the most revolutionary graphics cards of all time when it launched in 2002.

#26 Edited by _SKatEDiRt_ (2570 posts) -

Glad i missed that card. I went from a 4200ti straight to a 6800 ultra

At the time i had a athlon xp2200+

epox 8k5a2+

1gb pc 2100

80gb HDD

creative audigy sound blaster platinum ex (still using this!)

and a generic white case (yes a sleeper)

#27 Posted by Xtasy26 (4251 posts) -

I got my ASUS X800XL ViVo back in 2005. It ran BF2 great (together with the then new Athlon 64 X2 4200+) without the glitches experienced by other gamers. I don't recall having any problems playing Oblivion although I got Oblivion fairly late and I had to run at 1024x768 while turning down some settings (Medium).

I was quite happy with the X800XL.....certainly much more than the Nvidia FX series.

All these old stuff had me reminiscing.....

ASUS GF4 Ti-4200 ViVo with PNY FX-5200 and new hardware (including ASUS X800XL ViVo), early 2005.....

Nice collection! Yeah you are right the X800XL was WAY better than the GeForce FX series. But that wasn't it's main competitor. It's main competitor was the GeForce 6800 series.

What's the second GPU on the bottom? I don't ever recall a X800XL being released with a simple heat sink. I thought they all had a fan with them as a heatsink wouldn't have been enough to keep that GPU cooled. the X800XL would have been considered more "high" end if you will.

#28 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (15909 posts) -

@Xtasy26: Oh. The X800XL is the one in the box with the PC parts. That second video card (next to the GF4 Ti-4200) is the PNY FX5200.

#29 Posted by Xtasy26 (4251 posts) -

The Geforce FX series was truly awful. They were loud, hot, underperforming cards that despite supporting DX9, couldn't actually run DX9 games at playable framerates in most cases. Only the biggest nVidia fanboys actually bought them instead of the massively superior Radeon 9000 series. The Radeon 9700 Pro in particular was one of the most revolutionary graphics cards of all time when it launched in 2002.

Yeah you are right, the Radeon 9700 Pro was a stunning piece of engineering with great drivers to boot. This was the first video card to totally blow away any nVidia card at the time. Something that hadn't been happening for years.

I would rate the 9700 Pro as one of the most revolutionary GPU's to be ever released besides the 3DFX Voodoo 2 and the 8800 GTX.

#30 Posted by ampiva (1246 posts) -

I can buy it; the FX series was the shittiest series of cards. I had a fx 5200, jesus, what a piece of shit.

#31 Edited by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

@ampiva said:

I can buy it; the FX series was the shittiest series of cards. I had a fx 5200, jesus, what a piece of shit.

My work place issued to me a DELL Inspiron 5150 laptop brick with Geforce FX 5200M and "mobile" Pentium IV 3Ghz.

My first disappoint with NVIDIA is with FX 5900 i.e. I bought FX5900 after the strength from GeForce 4 Ti 4200.

At the same time, I personally purchased a laptop with AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Mobile and ATI Radeon 9600M Pro.

It was LOL episode when Radeon 9600M Pro > FX5900 in Oblivion. I gave NVIDIA another chance with Geforce 8600M GT 256 MB GDDR3 and ended up with NVIDIA bumpgate gpu.

Reference

1. http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1004378/why-nvidia-chips-defective

2. http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1013947/why-nvidia-duff-chips-shoddy-engineering