It's hard to believe the performance of a $10k+ computer system would be eclipsed by the lowliest of the first Quadras as well.
Product cycles were longer back in the day, but basic technological changes
came about at a quicker pace than today, or so it would seem to me. Heck, SOFTWARE advanced by leaps and bounds back then, as did operating systems. Today there are thousands of apps available for myriad platforms that nobody saw coming back then, but few of them make any real difference to the average computer user.
< hyperbole mode >
90% of computer users could STILL
get 90% of anything they really NEED
to do on a computer done with Microsoft Works for DOS and a browser!
< /hyperbole mode >
We waste more computer cycles, transistor counts, computer hardware, telecom equipment, polygons and pixels on the WWW doing absolutely nothing PRODUCTIVE
with our time than would have been conceivable when that card was developed and marketed.
The IIfx and that VidCard were a High End Tools for a fast paced, High End Market doing revolutionary development on CAD systems, changing the face of the publishing industry and then annihilating it while torquing the InterNet into the WWW. Cost was relative, high dollar DTP/Lino and CAD "seats" dwarfed the cost of a IIfx, a Color TPD or three and the VidCards to run them.
But there weren't that many "seats" to go around for amortization of R&D costs for the relatively low production runs of High End VidCards. Hence, the price penalties that seem ludicrous today for such equipment.
Ubiquitous computing, however trivial, still adds up to incredible economies of scale . . . something Apple has only (fairly) recently learned to leverage.