It all started with a small private exhibition, but now the Video Card Museum in Kharkov is open to the public, and growing larger every day, thanks to donations made by video card enthusiasts.
I stumbled across some photos of this museum while searching for writing material on an obscure Russian site, and after doing some research with the help of Google Translate, I found out this is a relatively new attraction in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov. Alexander, or SArd, as he’s known online, tells the story of how he came up with the idea for a video card museum, on Habrabar.ru. It all started in 1998, when his uncle gave him his first computer powered by a an Intel Celeron 266 processor and an S3 ViRGE DX c video card with 2 MB of memory. At the time, he thought 2 extra megabytes would solve all his problems and he would be able to play the coolest video games, forever.
As the years went by he went through many generations of graphic cards, learning new things about them and yearning for the models he could never afford. His passion for them passed the test of time, and at the end of 2010 he already had a collection of 35 video cards, which, with the support of PCShop Group, he was able to display in a private exhibition. It wasn’t much but it was enough for the organizers to understand the potential of a video card museum. People flocked to the PCShop Group store asking questions about the exhibits and donating their own outdated models. When the exhibition was over, the collection had grown to 56 items.
The Video Card Museum was officially opened on March 9, 2011, inside the PCShop Group venue on Pushkin. The word spread quickly, and geeks from all over the Ukraine came to see the vintage models some of them dreamed of as they were growing up, some of them bringing their own forgotten treasures to be exhibited. Today, the Kharkov Video Card Museum features over 200 items, some of them true rarities, along with specifications, star raiting and a list of popular games playable at over 35 fps (frames per second). To encourage visitors to donate their old graphic cards, PCShop Group gives donors the chance to take photos with the exhibits and also gives discounts on new products.