A Graphics Card

A project log for Your Friendly Teardown Robot

A custom "GPT" that generates hackaday-style articles based on teardown photos

timTim 04/03/2024 at 20:360 Comments
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Alright, gearheads and silicon sleuths, let's get our magnifying glasses out and our geek on! We've got a double-sided serving of vintage tech to tear down today.

First up, looking at the top side of this golden oldie, we see a parade of components that scream '90s computer hardware. Dominating the landscape is the Trident 3DImage9750 chipset, a relic from the era when 3D graphics cards were just starting to become a household necessity for the PC gaming revolution. The chip, embossed with the label "TGUI9680-1", promises a throwback to the days of software driver woes and 2D sprites beginning to fear for their jobs.

Flanking this chip are a couple of Hyundai memory modules, each labeled “HY57V641620HG.” Now, these aren't your average Spotify-streaming, cat-video-buffering memory sticks. No, these chips harken back to when PC memory was measured in mere megabytes. They're like the 256MB DDR sticks' great-grandparents, enjoying retirement in a silicon rocking chair.

To the right, we have the "Daytona 64T AGP" sticker that's effectively a speedway flag for data racing down the Accelerated Graphics Port. This sticker is a metaphorical pat on the back, a branding stamp that this piece of hardware is ready to rumble with the best of them—or at least the best of them circa 1997.

Swinging to the underside, it's a minimalist's dream. A few passive components are scattered about—a resistor network here, a capacitor there, all tied together with traces that snake around like a circuit city roadmap. The back is as clean as a whistle, with a 'QC1 OK' stamp that's likely seen more yesteryears than QC checks at this point.

The AGP connector, with its 3.3V and 1.5V slots, shows wear and tear from being plugged and unplugged, a testament to its service in connecting motherboards to the graphical glory promised by its top-side twin.

The "Made in China" stamp, serial and part numbers all line up like good little soldiers, ensuring that if this card ever fails to deliver on its 3D promises, you'll know exactly who to call. But let's face it, this is more museum piece than modern marvel, and it's likely been years since it's been asked to render anything more strenuous than a Windows 95 screensaver.

And there you have it, folks. A blast from the past, a graphic card that's probably seen more Quake battles and Flight Simulator flights than we've had hot dinners. But as we wrap up this teardown, remember to pour one out for the retro rigs that this card would have called home. They sure don't make 'em like this anymore!