Nvidia’s GTX Graphics Cards and Their Evolution

If you’ve been looking around for graphics cards, you may have bumped into Nvidia’s GTX cards numerous times. This variant of Nvidia’s Geforce has been around for more than a decade. Nvidia’s GTX family of graphics cards is designed for mid-tier computers and is a popular choice for many gaming laptops and desktops and even for regular consumer computers because of its above average image quality and low power consumption at an affordable price.

In this post, you’ll get to know more about Nvidia’s GTX graphics cards and their evolution.

What Does GTX Stand For?

GTX stands for Giga Texel Shader eXtreme which is a family of graphics cards under Nvidia’s umbrella. The first GTX, the 8800GTX, was released in 2006 and was the first ever GPU to support Direct3D 10. 8800GTX was GeForce’s 8th generation of GPU and implemented the Tesla microarchitecture. As demand for better graphics increased not only in the gaming space but in content creation as well, GTX GPUs also evolved to adapt to the changing needs and demands of consumers.

Evolution of GTX Graphics Cards

After the release of 8800GTX, the next GTX model came two years after. 9800GTX which belongs to the 9th generation of GeFroce graphics was released in the early part of 2008 featuring a single G92 GPU, 256-bit data bus, and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory.

New Name
The next generation of Geforce cards was released in the second half of the same year. Nvidia also changed its naming convention for its graphics card models. Starting with the 200 series, the models use the prefix GTX, or GTS followed by the model number. The GTX models released under the new naming scheme are the GTX 260 and GTX 280.

GTX 400-500 series
While there was no GTX card released under GeForce 300, Nvidia released the next generation of GTX graphics cards in 2010 which are based on Fermi architecture – GTX 470 and GTX 480. These were also the first cards that used 1 GB or more of GDDR5 memory. The GTX 400 series offered impressive performance. In fact, the GTX 480 was the fastest DirectX 11 card at the time of its release, however, these cards also received negative reviews due to high power, high temperature, and loud noise. Nvidia released an improved version of the GTX 480 later that year. The GTX 580 has a lot of enhancements for better performance, lower power consumption, and lesser heat generation and noise than its predecessor. The final model released for the GTX 500 series was the GTX 590 which featured two GF110 chips on a single card.

GTX 600 Series
In March of 2012, Nvidia released the flagship model GTX 680, which implemented the Kepler architecture utilizing the GK104 core. Fermi’s successor has a significant improvement on performance, is more power efficient, and generates lower heat. Soon after, the GTX 670 was released which only had a slight difference in performance with the GTX 680 due to its slightly cut-down GK104 core. The GTX 690 was released soon after which is an upgrade of the GTX 590. The card features two Kepler-based GK104 chips. Concluding the GTX 600 series is the GTX 650 Ti BOOST featuring Nvidia’s GPU Boost 2.0 which allows the GPU clock speed to increase indefinitely until a user-set temperature limit was reached.[1]

GTX 700 Series
It didn’t take long before the GTX 780 was released. The Kepler-based GTX 780 was released in May 2013 which was equipped with a GK110 core, 3GB of memory and had the same advanced reference cooler as the GTX Titan. Shortly after, the GTX 770 was released which was just a rebrand of the GTX 680 as well the GTX 760 which had similar features with the GTX 660 Ti. The GTX 780 Ti was later released in response to AMD’s R9 290. The newest addition to the 700 series featured a more powerful 2880-core GK110 with, an enhanced power delivery system, and an improved overclocking.

GTX 800-900 Series
The GTX 800M family was released in 2014 consisting of parts from the Kepler architecture and some others from the new Maxwell architecture. This has somehow led to confusion as it is based on the same Kepler chip as the GTX 700M. The GTX 850M/860M were built for mobile devices but Nvidia decided to skip the GTX 800 series for desktops and instead went on to produce chips in the 900 series family.

The Maxwell-based GTX 970/980 were released in September 2014 followed by GTX 960 all with improved performance, power efficiency, and lower heat than the previous Kepler-based GPUs.

GTX 10 Series
The GTX 10 series are based on the new Pascal architecture which consists of 128 CUDA cores. The higher-end models GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti, and the 6GB version of GTX 1060 support GDDR5X memory and an updated controller. On the other hand, lower end models GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1070, 3GB GTX 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, and GTX 1050 use GDDR5 [1]. Ray Tracing capable drivers are also made available for GTX 10 series with compromises on FPS, resolution, and other settings.

GTX 16 Series
The most recent generation of GTX GPUs is the 16 series. The GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti are based on Turing architecture which has new shading advancements for an improved performance and image quality and is 40% more power efficient than Pascal. The GTX 16 series has significant improvement over its predecessors delivering games at 1080p resolution. The 1660 Ti, for example, has a massive four times the performance of the GTX 960M. In October of 2019, Nvidia announced the GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1660 Super which use the TU116 chip and a faster GDDR6 memory. The GTX 16 Super series delivers a 50% faster performance than its non-super counterparts and 2x faster than the previous generation of cards.


Nividia’s GTX graphics cards are one of the most powerful graphics in the market today especially with the release of the ‘Super’ variants of their latest series. Nvidia has been developing iterations of these budget-friendly cards based on their latest GPU architecture to keep up with the demands of gamers and regular consumers. It may lack features of some high-end cards like ray tracing and DLSS, but it surely can deliver performance that is more than satisfactory.


[1] Wikipedia.GeForce.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce Accessed March 29, 2022

About the author

Glynis Navarrete

A freelance blogger who loves to write about anything related to technology. Born and raised in the Philippines and worked in Singapore for eight years as Technical Support for a wide range of IT equipment. Took a dive into the world of freelancing and now enjoying doing what I’m passionate about while not losing touch with technology.