Gigabyte GV-3D1 Dual Video Card Review :: Introduction

02-09-2005 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun

Gigabyte has been around making computer components for many years. Founded in 1986, it's an old horse in computer terms. Back in 1986 I was still in High School and my only computer experience was with an Atari 800XL computer in the early 1980 timeframe. We've come a long way in computers and we'll see even more innovations this year. Today, Gigabyte is one of the most recognized names in the computer industry in Taiwan and the rest of the world.

Over the years one of my favorite companies was 3dfx. Back in 1996, the first 3D computer video cards went into the market place, in the form of the 3dfx Voodoo Graphics card, Matrox Millennium II, ATI Rage II, and of course the famous "3D Decelerator", the S3 Virge. While the Matrox card and the ATI cards were capable of basic 3D functionality and speed, the 3dfx Voodoo 1 was the unparalleled leader in features and support.

3dfx didn't rest on it's laurels. In 1998, 3dfx introduced the Voodoo 2 graphics card. One of the defining features of this new chipset was its ability to run 2 cards in parallel, in SLI (Scalable Link Interface) mode. This allowed the system to run twice as fast in most games as a single card (depending on the system configuration). Unfortunately, just two years later, 3dfx folded and most of it's assets were sold to its competitor, NVIDIA Corporation.

Jen Hsun Huang and Chris Malachowsky, and Curtis Priem first formed NVIDIA in 1993. It is recognized today as one of the world leaders in graphics card technologies. Over the years it has released such chipsets as Riva 128, Riva TNT, GEFORCE, GEFORCE3, GEFORCE FX and now the GEFORCE 6xxx series of chips.

Last year NVIDIA reintroduced the concept of SLI with the introduction of their nForce4 SLI chipset. Today many motherboard and graphics card manufacturers offer SLI solutions based upon this chipset, including Gigabyte, Asus, DFI, Chaintech and others. Many enthusiasts have purchased this solution, as it offers the most feature-rich, performance heavy platform available on the graphics card and motherboard chipset today.