View Full Version : OpenGL acceleration in Matrox boards

Kevin James
25th April 2001, 14:36

I'm contemplating purchasing a Cornerstone p1700 with an ImageAccel 4 Plus (G450).

I understand that Matrox cards provide the best video signals in the industry, especially for these big 21 inch monitors. This is important for a good image at high resoluitions and refresh rates. My concern, however, is OpenGL 3D acceleration, which, in reviews of the Millienium G450, was poor, compared to the more popular gaming cards. I'm not a gamer. I develop math-models and simulations. I spend most of my time developing software, looking at mulicolored text. I spend the rest of my time looking at openGL renderings. Most of these are static (widgets); some are very dynamic and zoomable.

So, does Matrox plan on addressing this problem by producing better OpenGL 3D acceleration, while retaining the characteristically optimum video signal?

I'm currently using an ATI Radeon 32MB DDR. It has good acceleration, but I suspect it will not drive a p1700 very well at high resolutions.

I welcome any comments or suggestions on this issue.



25th April 2001, 17:14
Matrox has, apparently, gone on record as saying that strong OpenGL implementations are not a focal point at the moment (http://www.murc.ws). From what I understand, the Radeon is actually a very solid 2D/3D card, with the caveat that the drivers are currently optimized for 9x/Me, not 2000 or, by extension, XP. I'm not completely clear on their NT 4 support.

30th April 2001, 17:12
You could invest in a G400MAX which would give a very nice boost in 3D performance. Although the primary display on the G400MAX will be just as sharp as the G450, the secondary dispplay on the G400MAX doesn't allow as high resolutions as the G450. But if you don't use dual-head with large secondary monitors, ignore this.

Or you could attemp to modestly overclock the G450, which will give some tangible increases.

Kevin James
30th April 2001, 18:08

There's been a change of plan: I'm buying a 17 inch 1280x1024 LCD (Samsung 170T), and I need to choose a good board based on 3D accleration and DVI interface. Is there anything I need to know about the DVI part of the card in particular? Does it vary in quality or spec, from card to card?

I'm considering the ATI Radeon VE (but the DAC is only 300 Mhz), the ATI All-In-Wonder (a lot of features I many not use for a while; I assume the speed is the same as the Radeon 32MB DDR), and a GeForce 256 or GeForce Pro with DVI. I want to keep my price under $200.

Suggestions are welcome, and I don't really care whether the board has an analog-out or not--I've recently lost all interest in CRT monitors. I don't want to use a daugher-card or adapter, because I'm concerned about signal degradation. Is this a quality issue for the DVI interfaced?

30th April 2001, 18:15
You don't need a whole lot of 3D speed with an LCD because the display can't handle the animation. There's a lot of nice things to say about LCDs but gaming isn't one of them.

30th April 2001, 18:19
Also, DAC is not a concern on a video card when running a digital monitor.
DAC = Digital-Analog
DVI = Digital Video...DAC does not get used.

Kevin James
30th April 2001, 18:31
About the DAC: Yes I keep forgeting this. I guess I've already dismissed CRT technology--too much eyestrain. The rise-and-fall time on the 170T's pixels, I think, is around 50 ms--about 20 frames/second. This is not smooth, but it will have to do for now. Faster pixel switching rates seem to cost much more money.

I'm looking for an inexpensive card that does 4x4 matrix transformation in silicon. I have a very compute-intensive model that requires much double-float number crunching per frame. So, it wouldn't be fast, anyway, even in hardware.

Has anyone out there achieved satisfying frame-rates with an LCD?