Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zogis GeForce 9400

Oh ZOGIS, how do I love thee? Other graphics card boxes may change their content, they may opt for a sexy girl in a metal bikini, or a cyborg amphibian, but not you ZOGIS. You have found a formula for getting a solid score of "2" every time.

Dragons. Every single box. Not always the same dragon of course, that would be lame. Nope, different dragons for different cards, but that's it. No werewolf. No wizard. No castle. No maiden in distress. Just dragons.

Sometimes they swoop down upon some unsuspecting prey just below the edge of the box (look out Linksys WRT54G Router!)

Sometimes they charge right out of the box towards you, that reptilian eye fixed upon you. Gleaming teeth and claws poised for ripping you apart. "Buy me and cram me in your home computer or I'll rip your fucking lungs out! BREEEEAAAAAWK!" Yeah!

I could probably dedicate an entire sub-blog solely to ZOGIS dragons, but I won't. We'll just stick with this guy for now.

Let's see... he's orangey, hes' swooping down, he's um... got some sorta feathery lookin' action going on in the back there... he likes long walks on the beach, the History category of Trivial Pursuit, and he's allergic to peanuts. We'll name him Raul.

The scoring breakdown:
+2 for a Dragon

Final Score: 2

Asus ENGTX275

Asus is not normally a name one thinks of when you hear the term "videocard", but the great thing about video cards is just about every computer hardware manufacturer out there has produced at least one or two graphics cards in their day, which means we won't have to limit ourselves to ATI and nVidia! hoorj~!

The artwork on this one is pretty badass. I mean it's basically a D&D artists reworking of Skeletor... with perky cross-laden golden angel wings. Perhaps he's decided to join the crusades in the holy land?

Enough about Skeletor. Let's turn our attention now to two very fascinating points on this box. I'm talking of course of the words Heart and Touching. They're arranged right next to one another rather prominently right under the massive Asus logo, which implies that they're intended to be read together like a statement. "Heart Touching" -- y'know, like children's books about bunnies who sneak into Farmer MacGregor's carrot patch, or stories of how a child will donate their kidney to save a dying sibling.


Sorry Asus, there's nothing less heart touching than a piece of computer hardware. Depictions of weapon wielding skeletal warriors don't back up your claims. Heart Touching FAIL.

Let's rate this guy:
+2 Armor (the horse is wearing some too, afterall)
+1 Weapon
+1 Lightning
+1 Fictitious Monster
+1 Clouds (I guess that green glowing stuff is a cloud? maybe it's the Aurora Borealis?)
+1 letter X

The horse is giving me a bit of a dilemma. It's not a predatory animal, despite it's badass horn helmet and it's being used as a vehicle, essentially, which makes me wanna give it at least +1 for the "vehicle implying power" category... but I'm not in a giving mood after that whole "Heart Touching" fiasco.

Final Score: 7

Not bad, Asus, but seriously, get a new tag-line.

ATI Radeon HD4850

I'm not really sure what the artist was going for here... Is that some sort of space morning star? Perhaps some kinda space version of a water mine? The ├╝bergoth cousin of HAL from 2001? Whatever it is, it looks like getting near it would result in horrible explosions or lasery red death. Though it also looks like it'd be fun to ride around inside it.

Let's tally this one up:
+1 Spikeball
+1 Energy burst
+1 Weapon (I'm giving the benefit of the doubt that it's not a friendly evil glowing red space spike ball mine)
+2 uses of the letter X (I'm not going to count the X in "PCI Express")

Grand total: 5

Not bad, but I'm sure we can do better. C'mon ATI! Man up!


I'm a scientist, and as such I'm faced with the difficult problem of applying objective values on something as amorphous as art. In order to effectively compare Videocard Display Box art, I will first establish some criteria through which I can give a quantifiable score to any given example.

A general survey of my colleagues has resulted in the creation of the following scorecard (see below), which will be applied to every piece of artwork. One point will be awarded for every instance of every category example present.

The Scorecard

* Any use of wireframe
* Robots (1pt each)
* Spheres (1pt each)
* Cubes (1pt each)
* Ficticious Monster (1pt each, 2pt for a dragon)
* Predatory Animal (real animals)
* 3D renderings of hot chicks or parts of hot chicks (eyes, boobs, etc)
* Weapons (1pt each)
* Armor (1pt per person/being that's wearing any amount of armor)
* Vehicle implying speed (racecar, jet, etc)
* Vehicle implying power (monster truck, bomber plane, etc)
* Fire
* Lightning
* Ice
* Water
* Clouds
* Wizard
* Energy bursts (1pt each)
* Spikeballs (1 pt each)
* Number of times the letter X is used _____

An Introduction

Pretty much everyone knows that the tech industry is rife with competition. Particularly between rival companies that make the same damn thing. (Think Coke vs. Pepsi)

When it comes to computer tech hardware, video graphics cards are a heated competition. ATI and nVidia are locked in a constant battle for hardware supremacy to have the highest framerates, biggest resolutions, the most onboard memory, and sharpest 3D graphics in the world. Winner gets the bragging rights that come along with it (for a few minutes, anyway, until the competition takes the lead again.)

This site isn't about any of that.

Beneath the nVidia vs. ATI competition is another competition. A more basic competition which requires no technical knowledge whatsoever.

I am speaking, of course, of the epically ridiculous artwork which decorates virtually all graphics card display boxes.

It is my intention to dedicate this little space on the blog-o-blag to the categorical study of the quest to have the most fire-breathing 3D dragons riding monster trucks while doing battle with scantilly clad warrior women per square inch.