History of nVIDIA Graphics cards Vol. 1

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nVIDIA was founded on April 5, 1993, by Jensen Huang,Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem.

1. NV1

May 22, 1995 nVIDIA Corporation and SGS-THOMSON announced the introduction of the NV1 and STG2000X Multimedia Accelerators.

The NV1 and STG2000X are the first complete Multimedia Accelerators to deliver the power of real-time photorealistic 3D graphics, video based special effects, full-motion video acceleration, and concurrent high-fidelity audio, in a single chip.

1.1 nVIDIA
1.1.1 NV1
1.1.1.1 Chip Evaluation board
Chip Evaluation board of NV1 graphics card.
 
(From EDGE magazine Februay 1996)

1.1.1.2 Product Evaluation board

The NV1 graphics card is initially positioned as a 3D game graphics card, so its Product Evaluation board is naturally related to games and is equipped with a universal GAME port.

July 31, 1995 Sega and nVIDIA reached an exclusive license agreement. However, Sega’s gamepads are not compatible with the universal GAME port. Seeing that there will be a lot of Sega games ported from the face, nVIDIA designed the Sega game port version.

1.1.1.2.1 Game port version

The NV1 graphics card rushes to the bright future of 3D games, and the official promotional picture theme of its Product Evaluation board is games.

This Product Evaluation board, 2/4MB VRAM.


(From NEXT Generation Issue #10 October 1995)

1.1.1.2.2 Sega game port version

This NV1 graphics card is a picture taken by Alexander Medvedev of ixbtlabs.com in nVIDIA internal museum on 2003.

This version has 4MB VRAM, NVSGP (NV SeGa Port) chip, and an external game daughter card.

1.1.2 STG2000X

This picture is from anandtech.com and is a collection of Huang Renxun's office. The ST logo in the picture shows that this is the design of the STG2000X chip graphics card undertaken by SGS-THOMSON. In fact, the design work is undertaken by NV. What is interesting is that the chip on the Chip Evaluation board of STG2000 is not STG2000X but NV1, and the video memory is DRAM instead of VRAM. This also shows that NV1 chip supports VRAM/DRAM, STG2000X is only for low-end, artificially limited to only support 2MB DRAM.

This graphics card is a Chip Evaluation board, not a Product Evaluation board. The NV1 chip and the NV1 Product Evaluation board have been basically finalized at this time. With the addition of Sega, nVIDIA added the NVSGP chip, which was later NVSGP (NV SeGa Port) chip, to support Sega games handle. Diamond, the first to follow up the pace of nVIDIA's research and development, has also experienced this situation.

1.2 Diamond Multimedia

May 22, 1995 Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. announced its endorsement of a new generation of Multimedia Accelerators from nVIDIA Corporation and SGS THOMSON Microelectronics.

November 7,1995 Diamond Multimedia ships Edge3D Series based on nVIDIA technology.

Diamond is nVIDIA’s earliest and most important partner. Diamond has the most complete product line based on nVIDIA’s early display chips, the largest output, and the most representative. This article focuses on Diamond graphics cards, supplemented by other manufacturers’ distinctive graphics cards to introduce early nVIDIA chip graphics cards.

In addition, another important reason is that Diamond does not strictly control engineering samples, and even uses well-functioning engineering samples directly for OEM or retail. Since most of the engineering samples are in the early stage of graphics cards, they have an unparalleled effect on the research of graphics history. There are very few engineering samples from other manufacturers. Although the main reason is that the manufacturers destroy almost all of them, our level of identification is not high enough to distinguish these engineering samples.

There has been no monograph on the identification of computer board samples.In the computer hardware collection world at the beginning of 2000, computer collections and CPU collections have become independent series, and there have been many well-known collectors.Computer parts, mainly computer boards and cards, are still groping due to their complexity and variety and the difficulty of collecting them.In the collection of nearly 20 years, engineering samples have gradually become the focus of my collection and research.
"Sample of computer hardware board and card" is the crystallization of my research results over the years, and plays an important role in guiding the identification of computer hardware samples.

1.2.1 Edge 3D 3000 series (NV1 Chip) 

Diamond Edge 3D 3000 series graphics cards use NV1 chips. There are two models of Edge 3D 3240/3400XL. Edge 3D 3240XL adds a 2MB video memory daughter card and attaches a green/white "3400" sticker to become Edge3D 3400XL.

In fact, Edge3D 3240/3400XL has two versions. Diamond cooperated with nVIDIA very early to develop Edge 3D equipped with GAME port version, and later developed Edge 3D with Sega game port version. This version with Sega gamepad is the official version.

Because NV1 comes standard with VRAM video memory, the development of VRAM video memory NV1 graphics card is difficult and costly. Only Diamond mass-produces VRAM video memory NV1 graphics card. NV1 graphics cards from other manufacturers are either difficult to produce or use DRAM version of NV1 graphics cards.

1.2.1.1 Game port version

1.2.1.1.1 Early Product Evaluation board

Although this card has the Diamond LOGO, it is not the early Product Evaluation Board of Diamond, but an engineering sample of nVIDIA. For the need of publicity, or its Edge 3D graphics card has not yet formed, or the new product is confidential, it directly affixed its own LOGO to the nVIDIA graphics card for emergency.

The early Product Evaluation board of Diamond should be the style of the main daughter card.
 

(From Computer Gaming World January 1996)

1.2.1.1.2 Late Product Evaluation board

This late Product Evaluation board expands the 2MB VRAM in the form of a daughter card and has been finalized. Although this graphics card is quite complete, it is a version that does not support Sega gamepads and was abandoned.

Note that the graphics card BIOS version is marked as V1.00A.
 



(From PC Mag on December 5, 1995)

 

1.2.1.2 Sega game port version

1.2.1.2.1 Qualification Sample

This Edge 3D graphics card is a picture taken by Anand Lal Shimpi of anandtech.com in Huang Renxun’s office on September 23, 2002.

This Edge 3D graphics card is an Qualification Sample/Customer Sample.

Diamond’s Qualification Sample/Customer Sample graphics cards and some early graphics cards will have LOGO stickers on the chips, and the EngineeringSample/Qualification Sample in the official promotional pictures also have LOGO stickers.

Although this Edge 3D graphics card is Qualification Sample/Customer Sample, its BIOS version is the official version, marked as V1.00. It can be seen that there is no letter suffix behind the official BIOS.

 
(From anandtech.com)

1.2.1.2.2 Official product

1.2.1.2.2.1 EDGE 3D 3400XL

This graphics card is very similar to the above Qualification Sample. The NV1 chip and NVSGP chip have the same date, or the EDGE 3D 3000 series early cards all use IBM's VRAM memory and have a white "3400" label. The PCB date of this graphics card is 9536 weeks, and the production date stamp is 9543 weeks.

And I have a graphics card with the earliest PCB date of 9534 weeks, but the chip date used by the graphics card is later than the chip used by the graphics card at 9536 weeks. The production date stamp is 9547 weeks, 9545 weeks later than the release date.

The PCB date of this VRAM video memory daughter card is 9533 weeks, which can be regarded as an early PCB date. This is because the video memory daughter card has an earlier finalization date and has been finalized in the Game port version. The production date stamp of this daughter card is 9550 weeks.

The later PCB date is 9537 weeks, but it is 9545 weeks. It is estimated that there are daughter cards that use IBM VRAM video memory earlier than 9533 weeks.
 

1.2.1.2.2.2 EDGE 3D 3240XL

The NV1 chip is 9531 weeks, the NVSGP chip is 9534 weeks without TM marking, and the NV DAC64 chip has an earlier date, 9509 weeks, which is earlier than the date announced by nVIDIA (9521 weeks),Same as the chip date of the late product evaluation version of the game port version.


1.2.1.2.2.3 EDGE 3D 2200XL

Some people say that the following EDGE 3D 2200XL graphics card is fake, because the STG2000X chip is replaced with NV1. In fact, I found this card from an electronic waste recycling station. This graphics card appeared late, with a PCB date of 9646 weeks. It is a chip error graphics card, which also shows that the NV1 chip supports DRAM. Last year, I bought another EDGE 3D 2200XL on eBay. Both of its ST chips were replaced by NV chips. The seller also tested it with the software, but the seller gave a non-existent postal number and said it was lost. I think it has been collected by a certain collector and you will see it in the future.

 

1.2.2 Edge 3D 2000 series (STG2000X Chip)

Diamond Edge 3D 2000 series graphics cards have Edge3D 2120/2200XL, Edge3D 2120XL can increase 2 slices of 512KB DRAM to expand to 2MB, and paste the green/white "2200" sticker to become Edge3D 2200XL.

There is no GAME port version for Edge3D 2120/2200XL. It may be that the STG2000X chip was launched a little later, nVIDIA has cooperated with Sega, and there is no need to continue to develop the GAME port version.

1.2.2.1 Engineering sample

 

(From PC Mag on December 5, 1995)

This board type is the late Product Evaluation board. It can be seen that it is slightly different from the common retail version, and the obvious change is the position of the aluminum electrolytic capacitor in the lower right corner of the main chip. The version number of the BIOS on the graphics card seems to be marked as V1.00C, at least the length of the handwriting can be judged that there are letters after V1.00, which also proves that the BIOS of the engineering samples has a letter suffix.

1.2.2.2 Qualification Sample

Diamond's EDGE 3D 2000 series graphics card saw the earliest PCB finalization date is also 9534 weeks, and the PCB date of this card is 9534 weeks. The stamp on the back of the graphics card is 9542 weeks, which means that 9542 weeks is the production date of the card. 11/7/95 (9545weeks) ships Edge3D. This Edge3D 2120XL was produced before the release date, and the version number on the graphics card BIOS is V 1.00E. It can be seen from the previous EDGE 3D engineering samples that the BIOS version number of the engineering sample has a letter suffix at the end, while the official version does not have a letter suffix at the end.

This graphics card is a sampling of the official product before retail, and is used in the Qualification Sample for the final test of the BIOS version. I have bought and sold nearly 100 EDGE 3D graphics cards. Only the BIOS of this card is special. Although I wrote "Sample of computer hardware board and card" , I can only identify this card as the earliest graphics card. Until this article was written recently, I checked a lot of information to determine whether it was a sample or a sample of the earliest known nVIDIA chip graphics card in the hands of collectors.

Why can I collect thousands of engineering samples while other collectors are hard to find? This is because I have invested a lot of time, researched in-depth, unique insight, and some elements of luck.
 

 

1.2.3.3 Official product
1.2.3.3.1 EDGE 3D 2200XL

The BIOS of this graphics card is VN1.00. "N" should be the meaning of NEC PC-9821 special edition, this BIOS version of the graphics card does not display on the PC.

1.2.3.3.2 EDGE 3D 2120XL

1.2.3 Boxed
1.2.3.1 Game Port version
 

This designed box comes from the Diamond website and is the original design. With the intervention of Sega, it was abandoned. Later, this box was slightly modified to be used in the NEC dedicated version.

1.2.3.2 Sega game port version

The box of this design is a concept map, and the theme of the box is Sega Games. It was announced that the EDGE 3D series of graphics cards will focus on supporting Sega games.

1.2.3.3 Normal version
1.2.3.3.1 Edge 3D 3000 series
 




(From Artex)

1.2.3.3.2 Edge 3D 2000 series


(From Artex)

 

1.2.3.4 Japanese version
1.2.3.4.1 Edge 3D 2000 series

 

1.2.3.4.1 Edge 3D 3000 series
 
1.2.3.5 NEC version

 
 


(From CompaqGuy youtube.com )

1.2.3.6 TARGET Soundline version
 



(From allegro.pl)

 

1.3 Leadtek Research Inc.

6/01/1995 Leadtek Research Inc. announces Proview GD400 and Proview GV500.A suggested list price for GD400 at $249 (1MB DRAM) and for GV500 at $399 (2MB VRAM).

1.3.1 Proview GD400 (STG2000X Chip)

Proview GD400 is based on SGS-THOMSON's STG2000 Multimedia Accelerator, with 1MB DRAM and socket-upgradeable to 2MB with PCI 2.0 bus plug and play supported, display resolution from 640x480 at 256/32K/16.7M colors up to 1280x1024 256 colors are provided.

The PCB dates of several Proview GD400 graphics cards I have seen are all 9547 weeks. It is estimated that this card will only be produced in one or two batches symbolically.
 
1.3.2 Proview GV500 (NV1 chip)

Proview GV500 is based on nVIDIA NV1 Multimedia Accelerator, with 2MB VRAM and upgradeable to 4MB. Proview GV500 is not mass-produced, so the model is mistaken as GD500.

 

1.4 Jazz Multimedia

NOVEMBER 1, 1995 - Jazz Multimedia, Inc. announced the introduction of 3D Magic.

Jazz's 3D Magic is based on the same technology as Diamond's Edge 3D card, but 3D Magic actually surpasses it with features not offered by any other 3D accelerator card manufacturer, such as built-in SRS™ 3D sound and the availability of a Jazz Output to TV Projection Card option. Thus, all 3D game titles and software ported to nVIDIA will run perfectly with Jazz's 3D Magic, including Sega titles.

There are two DRAM versions of 3-D Magic, based on SGS THOMSON'S STG2000 multimedia accelerator chip. The 3-D Magic 1MB DRAM version will have an expected street price of $239.00 and a 2MB version will be priced at around $289.00. Two VRAM configurations, based on nVIDIA Corp's NV1 multimedia accelerator chip, are also available for PCI in a 2MB version, for approximately $339.00 -- and a 4MB version to sell for around $489.00. Jazz Multimedia's 3D Magic in Q1 in 1996, at most major computer retail outlets bundled with several exciting 3D game titles.

1.4.1 3D Magic DRAM(STG2000X chip)

1.4.1.1 Early Engineering sample

The early Engineering sample did not use the STG2000X of the DRAM memory version but the all-round NV1 chip.
 
(From weirdo on twitter.com )

1.4.1.2 Late Engineering sample


Generally, it is possible to print the FCCID on the engineering sample card, because you can select the code first, and then register the selected code. There is no need to paste FCCID on engineering samples, unless it is evaluated, displayed, and sold directly, which is very likely. There are often engineering sample graphics cards that are packaged for retail sale, which should be the case for this graphics card.

1.4.1.3 Official product

(From segaretro.org)

This graphics card is Rev 2, which is more like ES than the Rev 0 graphics card above. One is that there are still many flying lines, the other is Full PCI connection finger, and the third is to use more tantalum capacitors. Therefore, JAZZ took out the ES with intact performance for retail, and users could not tell.

1.4.2 3D Magic VRAM (NV1 chip)

The VRAM version of the graphics card is more difficult to design, and the JAZZ R&D capabilities are limited, so this version was finally abandoned.

JAZZ was unsuccessful in NV1 and later switched to 3Dfx.

1.5 YUAN

There are three revised versions of JRS-3DS100, from which we can see the obvious changes, using a more compact package of NVSGP chip; canceling the sound card with poor performance. Almost all manufacturers that produce NV1/STG2000X chip graphics cards later do this.

1.5.1 JRS-3DS100 V3.0

 



(From enacademic.com)

1.5.2 JRS-3DS100 V6.0

It was planned to be equipped with Wave table.

 

1.5.3 JRS-3DS100 V6.8

 



(From vogons.org)

 

1.6 VIDEOFORTE 

VIDEOFORTE's VF64-3DG graphics card appeared late, nearly 1997. It uses NV1 chip, but instead of VRAM, it uses 2/4MB DRAM. There is no difference between the two sub-models.

1.6.1 VF64-3DG-01
 
 
  1.6.2 VF64-3DG-02

 
 


 

(From es.wallapop.com)

1.7 Generic

Turbo 2000B VER F2 uses NV1 chip, 1/2MB DRAM.

 

(From taiwan999.pixnet.net)

 


(FROM eBay.com)

1.8 Other

2/1/96,Genoa Introduces 3D Multimedia Accelerator Card(Stratos 3D) with High End Graphics and SRS 3D Sound based on the NV1/STG2000.This is the information released by nVIDIA that year, and no actual objects and pictures have been seen. Aztech's 3D Galaxy; Kasan Electronics' WinX 3D; Core-Dynamics' DynaGraFx 3-D and Focus TNC also launched NV1/STG2000X chip graphics cards, none of which have seen the actual objects and pictures.

 

NV2

July 31, 1995 Sega of America, Inc., is setting a new standard in gameplay for personal computers through an exclusive licensing agreement with nVIDIA;

Sega's high-end Sega Saturn and arcade software to CD-ROMs for Pentium-based PCs equipped with single-chip NV1 Multimedia Accelerator.

Sega PC CD-ROM games developed for the nVIDIA architecture deliver the next level of multimedia entertainment under Windows 95 and have the same stunning visuals and gameplay of the Sega Saturn versions.

January 9, 1996 Sega PC's Panzer Dragoon to be bundled with Diamond EDGE 3D Multimedia Accelerators for Personal Computers

Thanks to Sega's strong support, nVIDIA's NV1 chip finally got some applications. But nVIDIA is still in a difficult situation.

Due to nVIDIA's strong desire to stick with their maturing quadratic forward texture mapping technology, but polygon rendering was the way to go for the future.Sega and nVIDIA have conflicts.

Sega ultimately selected NEC/VideoLogic's PowerVR2 to power the 3d-graphics in its Dreamcast console.NV2 was finally cancelled.

 

3. NV3
3.1 nVIDIA
3.1.1 Riva 128

April 8, 1997- SGS-THOMSON Microelectronics, Inc. and nVIDIATM Corporation jointly introduced RIVA 128, the first 128-bit 3D multimedia accelerator.

August 25, 1997- nVIDIA Corporation announced its RIVA 128 3D multimedia accelerator has been selected by five major OEMs including Dell Computer, Gateway 2000, Micron Electronics, and graphics accelerator manufacturers Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc. and STB Systems Inc.

0.35 micron
3.5 million transistors
5M triangles/sec, 100M pixels/sec
3.5 million transistors
12 KB on chip memory
20 billion operations per second
128-bit pipeline and memory interface
100 MHz CLK speed
128-bit engine, 128-bit memory interface
100 MHz sgram interface - 1.6 gbytes/sec bandwidth
206 MHz integrated ramdac
NTSC/PAL output

With the popularity of Windows95, nVIDIA will not make mistakes like NV1 and NV2 again this time. Since the strength is not enough to make rules, then follow the trend. NV3 regards Microsoft's Direct3D as the priority API, which is very correct and lays a solid foundation for future development.

3.1.1 nVIDIA

3.1.1.1 Riva 128 Engineering sample

This is the Product Evaluation board, which is also a reference board. Many graphics cards look close to this.
 

3.1.2 Riva 128ZX
February 23, 1998 nVIDIA Corporation unveiled the RIVA 128ZX processor. Coupled with new enhanced ZX software drivers, the RIVA 128ZX processor offers the industry's fastest 3D processing capability , extended resolution and color depth, AGP 2X support, as well as high-performance 2D, VGA and digital video capabilities.

The PCB date of this Product Evaluation board is 9804 weeks, and the release date is 9809 weeks.




This is the earliest sample of nVIDIA's graphics card in the hands of known collectors.

 

3.2 Diamond

Diamond was unsuccessful in the NV1 graphics card project, which caused Diamond to lose confidence in nVIDIA and instead supported another new company, 3DFX. As a result, STB took the lead in the NV3 graphics card project.

Although Diamond is half-hearted on the NV3 graphics card, it has launched four board-type Viper V330 graphics cards, which are of decent design and workmanship and have achieved certain success.

3.2.1 Viper V330 VIVO AGP/PCI

3.2.1.1 ES

On August 25, 1997 (9735 week), nVIDIA announced that Diamond and STB had joined the ranks of riva128 graphics cards. At that time, the research and development of STB's VELOCITY 128 graphics card was completed, and it will be used on branded machines in September. What is the progress of Diamond's Viper V330 graphics card? Take a look at the Viper V330 engineering sample graphics card below and maybe give the answer.



The PCB date of the above card is 9736 weeks, which is more than one week later than nVIDIA's announcement date. After all, testing also takes time. The PCB date of the earliest official version of the Viper V330 graphics card is also 9736 weeks, and the 9736 week finalization date has been approved.

The Riva 128 chip date of this engineering sample graphics card is 9731 weeks, which is pretty early, and the graphics card is made in the United States. It can be seen that the positions and quantities of many resistors and capacitors are slightly different from the official version. If you are interested, you can compare them; the ITT video chip is also an ES version. Based on the consideration of manufacturing cost, Diamond first conducted small-batch R&D in the United States and mass-produced in Taiwan.

Viper V330 graphics cards began to advertise in November, and retail time is around October.

I spent $1,000 on this Viper V330 engineering sample graphics card.If you want to collect rare collectibles, if you don't have the luck to buy cheap ones, you have to be willing to spend money.

Most of the engineering samples are kept in small quantities, and many of them are orphans. If they are missed, they will never be met again.

3.2.1.2 QS

 

(From thg.ru)

This kind of graphics card has been distributed to evaluation agencies, but no retail.

3.2.1.3 Official product

3.2.1.3.1 VIVO

The full version of the VIVO version is very exquisite, and the number is very small. Few people can collect it.
 

 

3.2.1.3.2 TV Port
 
 


 
3.2.1.3.3 VGA Port
 
 
 

3.2.2 Viper V330 NLX AGP
 


Later RIVA128ZX chips can directly use this version.


3.2.3 Viper V330 ZX PCI

This version is the VIVO version specially modified for RIVA128ZX, in fact only the VGA Port version is available.

3.3 STB

STB believes that future growth was dependant upon the successful introduction of a new generation of multimedia accelerators.STB is the first to cooperate with nVIDIA, obtain the latest RIVA 128 graphics engine produced, and develop Velocity 128 graphics card.

In June 1997, STB began extensive testing of the Velocity 128. STB results of performance tests conducted on the Velocity 128 which proved that the nVIDIA RIVA128 graphics engine was defective and was causing PC's in which it was installed to crash.

VELOCITY 128

3.4 Leadtek
S3500ZX

3.5 YUAN

AGP300S

(From Palcal on vgamuseum.info)

 

3.6 ELSA

Victory Erazor

3.7 ASUS

3DP-V3000

3.8 Creative

CT6730

3.9 Canopus

TOTAL3D 128

This board is the largest.

3.10 NEC

G7AGK

The use of extended video memory design is rare.

3.11 I-O DATA

GA-ZXTV8/PCI-1

nVIDIA RIVA 128ZX

3.12 E4/DOOIN

CoolView3D AGP

This card can support dual EPROM, but I don't know what it is for.

4. NV4

July 31, 1998nVIDIA's RIVA TNT 3D PROCESSOR

Riva TNT defeated the incredible 3Dfx Voodoo 2 and became the fastest graphics card of the year, and nVIDIA also noticed the importance of excellent drivers to give full play to the performance of the graphics chip, and wrote a new driver for RIVA TNT and named it As "Detonator"

TNT is the abbreviation of Twin Texel. The core architecture is a rendering system with two 32-bit pixel pipelines, each pixel pipeline has 1 TMU, and two textures are processed in parallel in each clock cycle. In this way, the maximum fill rate of RivaTNT working at 90MHz can reach 180M Texels/sec. At the same time, Riva TNT also has a 24-bit Z buffer (Z-Buffer) and an 8-bit stencil buffer for the first time.

TNT's design goal was to achieve twice the performance of Voodoo2, but because the 0.25 micron process was not perfect at the time, nVIDIA had to use a 0.35 micron process, making RivaTNT only work at 90MHz.

4.1 nVIDIA
4.1.1 Chip Evaluation board


(From anandtech.com) 

4.1.2 Product Evaluation board

nVIDIA's Product Evaluation board is the later public version or reference board, and many manufacturers' graphics cards use this layout more or less.



(From PC Mag December 1, 1998)

 

4.2 Diamond

The NV3 graphics card project finally succeeded, and the Voodoo card supported by Diamond was also successful. Diamond was unable to tilt the NV4 graphics card project. There are only four types of Viper V550 graphics cards.

4.2.1 Viper V550 VIVO AGP/PCI

Although the two versions of Viper V550 graphics cards are VIVO versions, in fact very few have VIVO, most of them are TV-OUT Viper V550 graphics cards.

4.2.1.1 ES

This is the official promotional image of Diamond, which was later printed on the box.



(From assets.hardwarezone.com)

4.2.1.2 PCI

The most common is the TV-out version, but I haven't seen the VIVO version.
 

4.2.1.3 AGP

The most common is the TV-out version, and the VIVO version is very rare.



(From Amibay.com)

4.2.2 Viper V550 NLX AGP
4.2.2.1 QS

This is the official promotional image of Diamond, which was later printed on the box. Like the official product, it is QS.

(From home.datacomm.ch)

4.2.2.2 Official product

4.2.3 Viper V550 FP AGP

This model is an OEM version.

4.2.3.1 ES

After disassembling the machine, Diamond sends fully functional engineering samples to the manufacturer for use.

4.2.3.2 Official product

 

4.2.4 Riva TNT SDK

nVIDIA and STB graphics cards are optional for this component. I have an empty box to select Diamond. It is estimated that more Diamond graphics cards are used.


nVIDIA also presents engineering sample graphics cards in gift boxes to important customers.

4.3 STB

Velocity 4400

4.4 Visiontek

NVD01.0, this board type is very close to nVIDIA's Product Evaluation board.

4.5 ASUS

AGP-V3400TNT

4.6 Canopus

SPECTRA 5400

4.7.ELSA

VICTORY II-A16


 

4.8 Creative
CT6710

(From Vlask on vgamuseum.info)

4.9 Hercules

Dynamite TNT

(From Palcal on vgamuseum.info)
5. NV5 & NV6

Release Date:Mar 15th, 1999

The nVIDIA TNT2 was the first chipset to offer a 32-bit frame buffer for better quality visuals at higher resolutions, 32-bit color for more realistic colors, and a 32-bit Z/stencil buffer for incredible 3D effects—blazing

The TNT2 family is the first product line to offer "top-to-bottom" chips to satisfy the needs of every computer and user in the spectrum from basic to high-performance desktop PC computing.

The core code of Riva TNT2 is NV5, which is the cornerstone of nVIDIA's graphics dynasty so far. Thanks to the 0.25 micron process, the frequency of the nVIDIA Riva TNT2 Standard Edition has been increased to 125MHz. The frequency increase and the optimization of the core internals, the performance of nVIDIA Riva TNT2 With a big leap, the performance was unmatched at the time. In the later period, nVIDIA Riva TNT2 also uses NV6 with a 0.22 micron process, and the frequency is further improved.

Beginning with nVIDIA Riva TNT2, nVIDIA has marketed its products. At the high, middle and low end, nVIDIA Riva TNT2 chip derives TNT2 Ultra, TNT2 Pro, TNT2 M64, TNT2 Vanta, TNT2 Vanta LT, etc. Different models of products, with different capacities of video memory, the product line covers most of the market.


TNT2

Memory Speed:150 MHz

Pixels Per Second:230 Million

Memory Bandwidth:2.4GB/s 



TNT2 Ultra

Memory Speed:183 MHz

Pixels Per Second:300 Million

Memory Bandwidth:2.9GB/s

Later, with the progress of the process, NV6 also used 0.22 micron process, Release Date Oct 12th, 1999, and was named TNT2 PRO, which was also used in some TNT2 Ultra. After using the 0.22 micron process, the power consumption and heat generation of TNT2 PRO have been significantly reduced, the overclocking capability is stronger, and the cost performance is further improved. In addition to the high- and mid-end TNT2 standard version, nVIDIA also uses the 0.22 micron process NV6 chip to launch TNT2 Vanta and TNT2 M64 for low-end users.

The combination of reliability, compatibility, performance, and quality—at a low cost—has made nVIDIA Vanta the product of choice for leading OEMs and system integrators. The nVIDIA Vanta comes in 4-16MB configurations.

TNT2 Pro
Memory Speed:166 MHz
Pixels Per Second:284 Million
Memory Bandwidth:2.65GB/s

TNT2 M64
Memory Speed: 150 MHz
Pixels Per Second:230 Million
Memory Bandwidth:1.2GB/s

Vanta
Graphics Core:128-bit
Pixels per Second:200 Million
Memory Bandwidth:1.0GB/s

Vanta LT
Graphics Core:128-bit
Pixels per Second:160 Million
Memory Bandwidth:800 MB/s

5.1 nVIDIA
5.1.1 ES
5.1.1.1 CHIP EVALUATION board

The PCB date of the graphics card is 9850 weeks, earlier than the release date of Mar 15th, 1999 (9915 weeks).

TNT2 CHIP EVALUATION board

5.1.1.2 PRODUCT EVALUATION board

PCB date 9906 weeks, earlier than the release date Mar 15th, 1999 (9915 weeks).

TNT2 PRODUCT EVALUATION board

5.1.1.3 Reference board

PCB date is 0010 week, and the release date is March 1, 2000 (0010 week).

VANTA LT Reference board


The above graphics card is the public version or reference board often referred to now. The following graphics card is the manufacturer's public graphics card.



(From Palcal on vgamuseum.info)

5.2 Diamond

5.2.1 VIPER V770 ES
 

(From home.datacomm.ch)

5.2.2 VIPER V770

TNT2 chip

5.2.2 VIPER V770 Ultra

TNT2 Ultra chip

5.2.2 VIPER V730

Vanta chip

The PCB date of this graphics card is 9923 weeks, and Diamond was acquired by S3 on June 22, 1999 (9926 week).

It is a PCB board made before the acquisition. The memory chip date on the card is 9929 weeks, indicating that the card was finally manufactured by S3.

5.3 Gigabyte

5.3.1 GA-660 ES

(From orlova.rsue.ru.)

5.3.2 GA-622 ES


(From anandtech.com)

5.4 Creative

CT5823

5.5 ELSA

Synergy II-16

5.6 Canopus

SPECTRA Light T32PCI

5.7 ASUS

AGP-V3800/16M(DTF)

5.8 MSI

MS8807


(From Palcal on vgamuseum.info)


It can be seen from the previous graphics cards that all manufacturers have not completely copied the original nVIDIA design, at most they only partially borrowed from the original nVIDIA design. Even the public version launched by nVIDIA is not directly used by manufacturers. In addition to the fact that each manufacturer deliberately retains its own unique design concepts and styles, the design and use cycle of graphics cards is long, and everyone still has time to spend on design. But this time that can be consumed is gradually shortening. Big factories like STB and Dimeng were acquired in the TNT era. After entering the GPU era, graphics cards are updated faster, and manufacturers have to accept nVIDIA's public version design. Graphics cards that do not use the public version design are almost all shrunk designs and become synonymous with low-end graphics cards. So far, almost all the graphics cards look exactly the same, the only difference is the fan and heat sink. Therefore, the history of nVIDIA graphics cards introduced in the following chapters will be based on nVIDIA’s evaluation boards and reference versions.
 

 

 

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