The Wackiest Graphics Cards Ever Devised
John Williamson / 5 years ago
AMD’s small-form factor Nano GPU provides an insight into the future with HBM stackable memory which leads to more compact designs. As GDDR5 is phased out, graphics cards should become smaller as the memory is no longer scattered around the PCB. Over the years, there has been some rather unusual designs and here is a number of the best courtesy of a Reddit post.
The header image needs no introduction and features an absurd elongated heatsink. Additionally, the wild, vivid colour scheme is not to everyone’s tastes but certainly an eye-opener. This might come as a surprise but the card in question is the Colorful GeForce GTX 660 Ti World Cyber Games Edition.
Now we move onto the KFA2 GTX 460 which utilized wireless antennas to connect an additional monitor or TV via a HDMI dongle. This enabled you to use multiple displays without using a HDMI or VGA cable. The card incurred a rather extortionate price compared to reference models but is a fairly interesting, albeit flawed concept.
The Radeon RX800 is a work of art and attempted to become the most flexible GPU in the world as motherboards began to drop the AGP standard. PCI-Express was clearly the future and back then cards opted for either an AGP or PCI-E interface. Unbelievably, the RX800 offered both depending on the orientation the card was positioned in. Not only that, you could adjust the DVI slots to fit in the correct way if the card was turned upside down. This was a rather complicated solution to changing graphical interfaces but a quirky card which deserves respect.
If there was an award for the most likeable graphics card name it would have to go to the Radeon HD 2400 XT Bite-Taken-Out-Edition. Originally conceived as a slim, single-slot card, ATI’s engineers had to extend the PCB to add Crossfire functionality. The end result looks extremely silly but for some bizarre reason, I wouldn’t mind owning one!
The next entry is a very peculiar GTX 680 model which adopts a single slot design and humongous length. Unfortunately, the original poster hasn’t been able to track down any manufacturer information although it seems targeted at the Chinese market. I would love to know how cool the card runs and the operating temperatures on such a long profile.
Finally, we come to the HIS 5450 PCI-E x1 Edition which slots connects to a PCI-E x1 slot instead of the industry-standard PCI-E x16 for graphics cards. Usually, PCI-E x1 is reserved for sound cards, USB controllers and other add-in cards. As a result, it’s very perplexing to see a card designed for PCI-E x1 considering every motherboard with this slot design contains at least one PCI-E connector. Although, the 5450 was AMD’s cheapest graphics card available and still might be if I remember correctly. It’s mainly used in HTPCs or basic desktop environments. Therefore, the x1 connector shouldn’t make a big difference.