RPS Xmas Compo: Win a Sapphire Radeon 290

What do points mean?

We have a winner and a back-up (incidentally, the only two correct answers), both of whom have been informed by email. If you don’t have an email, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.

The answer is Intel’s aborted Larrabee graphics project. It was based on ancient Pentium MMX cores, the first ASIC was cancelled as a graphics chip and reappeared as a co-processor branded Xeon Phi under the codename Knight’s Corner. Would sir care for a vertex – geddit? Sigh.

Thanks to everyone who mailed in.

Right, then. This is your chance to win that slick, trick Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X. It’s been winning hearts and minds across the review community in recent days and the early numbers look like it delivers a gaming experience to match anything. And I mean anything. I doubt you’ll be able to feel the difference between Sapphire’s custom-cooled 290 and even Nvidia’s silly-money GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Fingers on buzzers, then.

So here’s the question. Like last year, we’re talking PC graphics.

What was based on something old when it was new, ended up DoA and was reborn in another guise? Hint: Would sir care for a vertex?

Answers to me via email – click my name at the top of this post for my email address. First correct answer according to my email inbox / the time stamp on the email wins.

Note, unlike last year, only email entries will be accepted.

As ever, judges’ decisions are final. No cash alternatives. The value of your investment can go down as well as up. Do not pass go. Etc.

We’ll ship the card out to the winner in the new year. Good luck, everybody!


  1. Fumarole says:

    Is this limited to UK folks like previous compos?

    • The Dark One says:

      That would sting.

      • bills6693 says:

        It would be annoying for you overseas folks. On the other hand, most competitions in the US are unavailable to UK folks, and those are, well, pretty much the majority of competitions.

        • dE says:

          Heck, I’d even pay customs. Even though with Switzerland they have a habit of ending up almost as expensive as the product at times.

        • Zanchito says:

          There are other countries besides the UK and the USA, they say!

    • Duke Nukem says:

      The previous compo wasn’t limited to UK folks, so I guess this one isn’t either.

  2. aoanla says:

    I suspect it’s already too late to email an answer, so congrats to whoever sent their email first…

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Emailed anyway, you never know!

      Completely bastard forgot about this.

      • aoanla says:

        I’m fairly sure I’m wrong, but I’m assuming the answer is somewhere nVidia 9000 series ish (maybe the 9800 GT?), since they were basically the same as the 8800 GTs, didn’t do that well (thanks to being the 8800 series again), and were relaunched both as the 100 series (for OEMs) and also as the basis of the first nVidia “GPGPU” boards.

        • FurryLippedSquid says:

          Ha! I said OpenGL.


          • aoanla says:

            Oh, dear, we were both wrong, given it was Larrabee (which, honestly, I really should have gotten; although I still think the nVidia 9000 series also kinda fits the clues, since the G92s were the first nVidia cards to support *vertex* shaders).

          • dE says:

            Well, my answer was in a similar vein. Not OpenGL but another technique that was quickly overwhelmed by the advent of 3D Accelerators and recently had a bit of a sandboxy renaissance.
            I said Voxels.
            Pretty much dead on arrival (except for Outcast and Delta Force, few games used it), based on old principles and superceded by 3D Accelerators. Recently reborn under a different guise in games such as Cubeworld or Everquest next. Oh well, congratulations to the winners.

          • FurryLippedSquid says:

            Armo(u)red Fist!

    • Ricc says:

      Took a wild guess, although I’m probably a bit late. Good luck to you knowledgeable PC people.

  3. NicholasTimothyJones says:

    I think I may be late but I have entered with an answer I am pretty confident about.

  4. Waswat says:

    I took two guesses… I’m not sure if that was allowed :( But didn’t see anything about only one entry allowed.

  5. dE says:

    I sent in a reply I don’t feel too confident about. Best of luck to everyone either way.

  6. Hater says:

    Is it UK people only? Would be nice to know. My grandmother is from Yorkshire does that count? Count against me?

  7. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    its your mom

  8. TWChristine says:

    Blast! I check and the only post is Horace’s Leftovers, go prep the turkey, come back and there is already a winner! Ahh well, I would never have guessed it anyway. My hardware nerd-cred is lacking these days.

  9. Sami H says:


    • aoanla says:

      Yeah, it was a pretty bad pun, as far as hints go…

    • The Dark One says:

      The clue pun thing was meaningless to me. I knew about Intel’s reuse of their Pentium cores, but wasn’t quick enough with the answer. :(

  10. DatonKallandor says:

    Since it’s over: It was Voxels, wasn’t it?

    • dE says:

      I thought so too but no, the solution is actually within the update. :)

  11. HadToLogin says:

    Now that’s a nice present for “back-up”: spending whole xmas praying someone will be splashed by falling safe.

    Nice one, RPS!

  12. PopeRatzo says:

    I just bought a new video card, so I’m gonna just wish everyone best of luck.

    Of course, if the winner wants to box up his old card and send it along, I’d love to try that two-video card thing with the crossfire (or SLI, or whatever it’s called).

  13. SkittleDiddler says:

    About eight hours too late for us ‘Muricans to enter, but thanks for holding this cool contest.

  14. Jeremy Laird says:

    Nope, if you read that post from a week ago it was merely a heads up for the compo we ran today.

  15. Awesumo says:

    Letters numbers letters cards are not nearly as good as letters numbers letters – X cards. -X makes everything better.

  16. Sinnorfin says:

    long-card.. it looks a lot like horace:)

  17. jrodman says:

    Doubles as a hovercraft!

  18. Yosharian says:

    Back-up? Don’t you mean runner-up?