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For the last 4 to 5 of years the market of computers components experienced quite a lot of changes. The PC industry has become mature and larger compared to its state in the early nineties. The demand for quality components in general and graphics cards in particular changed for the demand for ultra-cheap, mainstream and ultra-expensive, luxurious parts. As a result of those revolutions, quite a lot of companies from the early and mid-nineties practically vanished into oblivion in 1998 – 2001 because of inability to work according to the new order in the market of PC hardware.

Apparently, people still remember and recognize good-old brands like Hercules, Diamond Multimedia, Voodoo, ELSA and some others. So why not return them now? Hercules was brought back in early 2000 by Guillemot after the original Hercules went bankrupt; because of the company’s policy Hercules/Guillemot had to practically leave the USA, though, it is still quite successful in Europe. ELSA is also making some progress in Europe and Asia. But what about the legendary Diamond Multimedia and Voodoo Graphics names? The latter belongs to NVIDIA and we will hardly see any Voodoo products in future, while the former is said to be returned into the US computer market!

Diamond Multimedia, a pioneer in the graphics industry, today announced its return to the consumer graphics market with plans to launch next-generation graphics cards under its legendary Stealth and Viper brands.

Continuing the tradition of these brands, the Stealth product line will offer a full series of value-based cards while Viper will target high-end gamers. True to its heritage, Diamond will continue to remain chip vendor neutral, offering consumers products from multiple vendors to provide maximum performance and value at each price point.

The first new Diamond graphics cards will begin shipping in November and are planned to feature technology from both of the leading graphics chip vendors, ATI Technologies and NVIDIA. As with previous Diamond products, the new lines will include bundles of popular software titles and additional offers and will be available at national retailers and through distribution.

Diamond was among the first companies to employ a GPU neutral strategy and will continue this going forward. The company selects graphic processors for each product based on performance, features, quality, and price.

In the late nineties Diamond Multimedia offered graphics cards based on chips from S3 Graphics, NVIDIA and some other GPU makers.

There is no information about manufacturers of graphics cards for Diamond Multimedia. This is not a secret that most of well-known brands, such as Hercules, ELSA, ATI, BFG and VisionTek, outsource manufacturing to some third-party firms in Asia. The quality of products offered by those companies is quite high because they usually proclaim some specific requirements for the manufacturers. In fact, the right choice of graphics card producer may be critical for successful business.

With the deployment of the developer neutral strategy by Diamond, I would expect some other independent hardware companies to follow it as well in an attempt to address broader market segments. This year we saw some “ATI-only” and “NVIDIA-only” companies adding products from another chip-company into their lineups, therefore I will not be surprised if there are more firms to adopt the same business tactic.

Diamond Multimedia may experience huge success, as there are not a lot of companies to sell both NVIDIA and ATI-based graphics cards in the USA.


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