Microsoft’s Direct3D team have covered some of their office walls with the hundreds of graphics cards they’ve gathered while working on the 3D API. That’s 402 graphics cards spanning 35 years of technohistory. If you get misty-eyed at the sight of a Voodoo card, shed a tear for the Matrox Parhelia, marvel at graphics cards the size of surfboards, or are still bitter that Direct3D beat many other APIs, you might enjoy a look. It is a shame that they don’t have more photos and they’re all so small, but I imagine that won’t put off the type likely to scream “OH MY GOD I FORGOT ABOUT BITBOYS.”
“When you are the team behind something like Direct3D, you need many different graphics cards to test on. And when you’ve been doing this for as long as we have, you’ll inevitably accumulate a LOT of cards left over from years gone by,” Microsoft explained in their blog post. “What to do with them all? One option would be to store boxes in someone’s office.”
Which they apparently did.
“But it occurred to us that a better solution would be to turn one of our office hallways into a museum of GPU history.”
Which they certainly did.
It is a shame that all their photos are so low-resolution. I would very much like a closer look at these. We’re not still on GeForce 256s; our GPUs can handle higher resolutions. Not on dialup anymore either.
The museum s great and all, but I am remembering how much blood I have lost to sharp edges on heatsinks and pins and things over my years of rummaging in technoguts. Several of my PCs might have been powered more by blood magic than electrons. Microsoft’s collection must be about the same, especially if they were often switching cards in and out. That’s a high concentration of dark energy right there.