Forgotten art of decorating packaging for video cards

Original author: Rich McCormick
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Modern gaming PCs and their accessories look like sports cars invented by brutal teenagers. Manufacturers give them sharp edges, blue lights and red stripes to run faster. The result is a huge, massive buildings, standing in the corner of the bedroom, like an obelisk from the movie "2001", which was coined by Stanley Kubrick, who grew up on the movies "Fast and Furious" and energy.

But compared to the gaming PC of the past, these creations are clearly losing. Not so long ago, when the computers were beige and the monitors were puffy, PC players had to put up with a different type of design - the design of graphic card boxes. For about 10 years, from the end of 90 to 2010, one could count on the existence of a very strange art of decorating boxes for video cards - and no one knows why this happened.

Images on the boxes supposedly were supposed to sell a video card located inside, and show how much better your system would work if you stuck this pile of chips into your PCI (or AGP) slot. But for some unknown reason, these cardboard paintings sheltered one of the most bizarre kinds of art that have ever come out from under the fingers of a person. The components advertised bored wizards, floating heads and silver surfers. Amphibians with megalomania inexplicably appeared on the boxes of video cards, which have never allowed themselves sellers of processors, memory or hard drives - other vital components of the PC.

This trend has practically died today, as small manufacturers who could buy a license for Nvidia or AMD technologies either closed or moved to other sectors. The remaining video card manufacturers usually make the package more modest - which is a pity, because we miss different masterpieces like this:

If you collect all the boxes for the last 25 years of video card technology development, then the Palit Radeon X700 will be the perfect representative. It has everything you could expect to see when entering a computer store from 1999 to 2010, including a slightly bored woman, overly overt armor, an abstract twisted background, too many emblems, incomprehensible digital symbols and textures, paradoxically losing much the quality of those that could be obtained on a PC using a real card that was in the box.

If a bored computer woman was an archetype for boxes of video cards, then silly monsters occupied an honorable second place. What is there on the cover of the XFX - a dog? Tiger with wrestler makeup? Hi-Men fighting catresigning from work in a cartoon and working on occasion? This is not so important - with its carefully crafted saliva, vinyl handcuffs and rare fur, the toothy cat dog is a type of animal talisman that has not been seen for a long time. XFX is still one of the big gaming companies, but the company's new graphics cards are packed in dull gray or black boxes.

Nvidia GeForce 3 Ti500, a slightly faster version of the standard GeForce 3 card, was released in 2001 - the same year as the game about the unrestrained god Black & White, which set new standards for the Grand Theft Auto III genre and Max Payne noir-shooter. And although it was possible to run all these games on high quality settings on the Gigabyte card itself, the warrior decorating her box looked like it was painted on a scientific calculator by the artist, who was explained the concept of video games in a bar at 2 am.

Wizards from video games collect the energy of the elements of the universe, to distort the fabric of reality, to create holes in space and time, to take fire and lightning from the sky, to bring them down on their enemies. The wizard from Leadtek is mad at the kids playing on his lawn. “Guys,” he seems to be screaming. - You are welcome! You will mech the whole grass! Put the amulet in place! Well, they broke it. ”

Perhaps the PNY 6600 GT box is not as inexplicable as some others, but it still represents the perfect storm of boxes for video cards. She has a bored woman, tribal tattoos, very few details of clothing, a set of mysterious numbers and a twisted background. The company, which still produces video cards, gets extra points for angel wings and hairstyle - these additions are mainly needed in order to emphasize how poorly the 3D artist managed feathers.

“Damn, I promised to take a picture for a box with a video card, but I can't remember if I locked the door. I am sure that yes. I remember taking the key. What? Pulling a little bit of mucus from a strange spinning apple hanging in space is not clear why? Ok, wait. I said wait! I always close the door. No, I'm not distracted, I just ...

No, take pictures, everything is fine. I swear I closed it ... "

Kingston, Jamaica, 2001. Young Usain Bolt enters a local computer shopping center. The young 15-year-old athlete has already shown his talent, and he needs two things: some characteristic way to celebrate victory in the race, and a new video card. He discovers both of these things in ProLink PixelView GeForce 3 Ti200. While Bolt will dominate the Olympic sprint, beat world records and get to world fame, ProLink will reset the licensing weight of video cards. In 2015, she sells 3D printers, light bulbs and tablet cases. Remember this instead of the strange silvery trellised man.

So many questions. How do you breathe, half broken cyborg? Do you need to breathe? What are you generally doing, threateningly hatched on us, being at a distance of several hundred meters from the island of crappy textures? Do stones swim in your world? What happened to your forehead that opened it so? Do you have a body, or are you just a head, doomed to wander around the oceans of the world of Jimi Hendrix with small screws? And, most importantly, would anyone, seeing such a box on the shelf, say, “Yes, I want my games to look that way!”?

Lyagumeh. Frog in robokosume. I do not think you fully understood this. Think carefully. This is a frog, yes? But the frog is in a robo suit. “Perhaps,” you may ask, “perhaps there is a game with a frog in a robot suit, to which this frog wearing a robot suit refers?” Let me stop you. There are no games with frogs in robosuits. That is, once someone from Palit called the design department and said: “You know, I think that we need to put a frog on the next box with a video card. But not just a frog! Can I put her in a robe suit? I think it would be a good idea. ” And that other person said: “Yes, I think it would be a good idea to stick a frog in a robin suit and put it on the cover. I'll draw it right now. ”

I would like to shake hands with both of them.

A bold attempt to create a standard composition for a box with a video card. However, Soltek, which has now ceased operations, did not succeed in everything. The star on the cover looks more frightened than bored, its Klingon ribs on the forehead are combined with deep furrows in the skin, puffy puppet lips and something like a Bluetooth headset designed by a nu-metal band. The handle of the sword, apparently, farts binary code.

Now I understand where Jared Leto got his ideas about the coloring of the Joker from the "Suicide Squad". Hercules 3D Prophet 9500 Pro gets extra points for tribal tattoos of both faces and boxes - just in case you were not sure that the card was released in the early 2000s. But the real star of the show are bad teeth. Here is the attention to detail and sells the product. It is a pity, however, that Hercules never succeeded.

The company began producing its own graphics cards, but in the 1990s, it lost to Nvidia, ATI and 3dfx. The brand was sold to ELSA, which then also closed, and the name eventually passed into the possession of the Canadian company Guillemot. 3D Prophet 9500 Pro, assembled on ATI's popular R300 chip in 2003, was one of the last cards bearing the name Hercules - in 2004 Guillemot finished production of video cards. And the face of their terrible clown now lives only in our dreams.

Gainward-used woman with radiant skin, made in 3D-graphics is an elementary example of the design of a box with a video card, but this cover can be distinguished by the facial expression of a 3D model. She simultaneously feels pain and is terrified. Perhaps she has such a face, because she was told that the words “golden example” would be placed next to her. This phrase is similar to what a new employer might ask you to make sure you are not taking drugs. Gainward still uses this phrase to designate cards that have been overclocked and tested in the company itself before being placed on store shelves.

The first maps from 3dfx Voodoo, released in the late 1990s, surprisingly, were tastefully decoratedthe boxes. But when 3dfx profits began to leak in favor of the more successful cards of their competitors on the Radeon and GeForce, the company apparently decided that if they could not defeat them, they had to join them, and began to advertise Voodoo 5 with the help of a cracking and flaking human face , voluntarily standing in the middle of a burning house. His skin is in abrasions, his nose is twisted, and his eyes scream "help." But the tactic did not work - 3dfx went bankrupt shortly after the release of this card.

His return meant that Palit did not just come up with it - someone in the company believed so strongly in the mechanized frog that he decided to place it on various products of the company. Note that this time, the laughter is angry. Who offended you, lauche? Love you, laug.

Will we see a liar and his ilk again? It is hard to say. Many small producers responsible for the wildest covers have gone bankrupt. Others work, but abandoned strange orcs, robots, and female warriors, adjusting the appearance to a new generation of players waiting for black boxes and industrial design. Perhaps because now players are buying components via the Internet, physical boxes no longer need to be so visible. Or, like cubism, Art Deco, and Rococo, the greatest artistic trends are doomed to bright flashes of creativity, followed by a quick burnout, leaving behind only truth, beauty, and blizzards.

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