Matrox: From Here to Obscurity


R

rjn

I've used MGA cards for the last decade's worth of PC
builds, and I'm planning for the next build. That
Matrox has been out of the gaming picture for years
is not a problem. That they may not fully support
Vista Aero is not a problem, but...

It was already beginning to look like Matrox was off
the short list, if only because they were weak on PCIe,
and also because they apparently nuked their user forum,
which I had found useful.

About 10 days ago they announced a complete product
line roll
<http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/corpo/news/pr/2007/P690Series.php>
and it confirmed that they are off the list.

The new cards are PCIe (presumably native, and not
bridged). Unsurprisingly, they don't bring significant
performance gains to the table.

What IS surprising, however, is that the new cards are
all DVI single-link, and thus limited to 1920x1200 per
DVI port. If you want dual-link, you have to buy the
absurd Parhelia DL256 PCI-64 card.

I'm already at the practical limit for single-link DVI
(1920x1200), and expect to move to 2560x1600 during the
life of the new PC. Matrox used to be competitive in the
2D huge-desktop market. No more, unless you want lots of
small screens.

Speaking of 2560x1600, one brand of 30in LCD monitor has
also departed my short list: Dell
<http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2007/10/26/charlie-rants-
dell>

Going over 1920x1200 requires dual-link, and that
presents some challenges for signals that aren't
integer fractions of the raster, and for analog
signals (esp. TV). Dell, however, has created two
poster children for how NOT to implement dual-link.
 
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S

Sean M.

rjn said:
I've used MGA cards for the last decade's worth of PC
builds, and I'm planning for the next build. That
Matrox has been out of the gaming picture for years
is not a problem. That they may not fully support
Vista Aero is not a problem, but...


What IS surprising, however, is that the new cards are
all DVI single-link, and thus limited to 1920x1200 per
DVI port. If you want dual-link, you have to buy the
absurd Parhelia DL256 PCI-64 card.

I'm already at the practical limit for single-link DVI
(1920x1200), and expect to move to 2560x1600 during the
life of the new PC. Matrox used to be competitive in the
2D huge-desktop market. No more, unless you want lots of
small screens.


I'm considering the P690.

My concern is will it allow me 1280x1024 60Hz 24-bit depth in Linux and
FreeBSD 6.2 using the MGA driver?

I have read of minor issues with the G450/550 but not the P690.

Any input warmly appreciated.
 

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