It's Incredible How Small Graphics Cards Have Gotten

TechTalk

Published on March 6th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair

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It’s Incredible How Small Graphics Cards Have Gotten

Just a couple of years ago, if you wanted to crank the details to the maximum on a HD screen, you would need some serious firepower. Your graphic card options at the time were the NVIDIA GTX 980 and the R9 290.

I owned a couple of R9 290s, a HD 7870 and R7 267. While they were powerful cards, they were huge (the ones pictured below was about 30+ cm long), hot and had loud fans.

Not only that, but they consumed loads of power, requiring expensive power supplies capable of 500 watts and above.

To get over the fan noise from air-cooled units, I had to resort to water cooling the GPU. It wasn’t an elegant solution, and it added to the bulk of the solution but it certainly worked – 1080p gaming was a breeze.

Today, cards like the GTX 1060 and GTX 1050 Ti from NVIDIA are absolutely bonkers in comparison. Both give you similar performance to the R9 290 (by a small margin), but both are absolutely tiny. The GTX 1050 Ti doesn’t even need external power, it just draws what it can from the motherboard’s PCI-e slot.

 


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