View Full Version : What the hell is wrong with Matrox??

22nd July 1999, 05:18
Last Iīve heard, they are waiting for you to code a complete OpenGl ICD for them. Iīm sure you know how to do it, right?

Now for real: OpenGL icd is a very hard thing to code and debug. An Opengl ICD must have code for the transforming and lightning, while in d3d, all that stuff is taken care by the Directx routines.

Microsoft doesnīt like OpenGl that much (it can be easily ported to other OS), so as you can surely understand, itīs a lot easier to write d3d drivers because microsoft should kindly give all necessary support.

Matrox entered the *real* 3d card market with the g200. That was a generation after the riva 128. The same stuff happened with the riva 128. Their *beta* ICD was out I think about 6 months later that it should, and it take a whole year to them to release a final version. Why doesnīt anybody remember that? When they released the TNT, they had previous work done, Matrox had to began from the scratch with the g200. Even the first ICDīs for the TNT werenīt that bug-free. Things are better now, of couse.

Where is 3dfx OpenGL ICD?
Why does ATI ICD sucks so vad and they canīt fix it?

Matrox is very small, compared to Microsoft and Intel, for example. Itīs hard to keep good programers if somebody pays them the tripple.

Now, the ICD to be realeased (PD 5.20.xxx) has some major performance increases. And Things should only get better from now on.

Jon McGarry
22nd July 1999, 07:30
You make some very valid points. ATI does suck (I think we can all agree on that) I'm no big fan of Nvidia either, as I've never owned one of their cards.

I have owned a Permedia 2, Voodoo 2s, a Matrox G200, and an ATI Rage 128 and I can tell you that I had more problems in games with the G200 than any other card. That may not be the average experience, but it certainly was for me.

3D FX hasn't needed an Open GL ICD in the past. Since they effectively created the standards for 3D cards with the voodoo 1, most software more than a year old supported the Glide method of rendering. Glide is so entrenched, that even though it's outdated compared to OpenGL and Direct 3D, will probably be around for a while longer.

As for an Open GL ICD, no I cannot code one. I realize that it is tough work to do. I just cannot figure out why Matrox did not set out to work on a better ICD? More importantly why did they release their card without an optimized ICD? Most hard-core 3D gamers will be playing Quake 2 or 3 at some point, and I cannot see a reason (yet) to buy a G400 over the others.

I just hope that they do develop a good Open GL ICD by the time I'm ready to buy a new card in the next month or so. I've always been pleased with Matrox products (except the G200), right from my first Mystique card.

22nd July 1999, 14:14
You both touch on some good points, and I did own a Riva128 when they (nvidia) were monkeying around with beta ICD's. The sad thing is, it looks like it's going to happen again here. By the time a good ICD is available, the hardware will be a has been. My guess is they will get it right with the G600 http://forums.gagames.com/forums/smile.gif
Mmmm, Permedia. Decent hardware. Rock solid drivers and a great ICD. That makes all the difference when you are actually using your computer to make money rather than just frag your friends. All the previews show the P3 to be only a so-so gaming card, but I'm willing to bet it will smoke any other card in it's price range running Studio MAX or Lightwave.

Just my $.02 Canadian currency

--My Stuff
Cel266@448,Asus P2B 1009 bios,128MB,16MB G400,Quantum Obsidian,Panasonic 17" S70,MX300,Fujitsu 5.25GB,Dlink 530CT+, 1 grey Cat, 1 orange Cat

Jon McGarry
22nd July 1999, 16:01
First they release the G200, then do to poor driver support, almost all OpenGL games are unplayable. As a result they had virtually no share of the 3D gamers market with the G200.

Now, they release the G400. This could have been the best 3D graphics board ever invented, with its dualbus and bump-mapping technologies.

Why did matrox not learn from its G200 mistake and set out to create decent OpenGL drivers right from the beginning? I've seen benchmarks for the G400, and while Direct 3D is equivalent if not better than a TNT-2 the OpenGL performance is just pitiful. This is not due to the hardware, but it is the fault of the drivers team. Even more sad, the 3D Studio MAX performance rates worse than even an ATI-128 or Savage 4!!!!

Someone at Matrox really needs to be fired. If they had a decent OpenGL ICD right from the beginning, I probably would have purchased a G400, but as it sits I'll probably go for a TNT-2 since I know it will perform excellent in every game and 3D app I can think of.

If anyone can tell me why Matrox continues to bungle its OpenGL support so badly I would really like to know.

22nd July 1999, 17:42
Ok, i have to ask this question. For one I am not a die-hard gamer like some of y'all. Two I just don't understand all the damn fuss.

What games do you need an OGL for? There is only one game I am aware of. Well ok actually 3. The Quake series. I fully understand this is a very popular game. So yes the Gxxx should be able to support it. But how many other games out there are OGL only?

And before you crawl all over my white ass, I am fully aware there is biz related soft that requires OGL. I am assuming that these type of peps are not buying the Gxxx, which is truly sad for "M".

Please do not take this as a flame. I just don't understand what the big deal is is all.

Flangor StrongAxe

System specs: One bourbon, one scotch and one beer

27th July 1999, 06:13
why must there be OGL...?..hm ? first, all cards like RIVA TNT ,ATI,3dfx...MATROX are not profesional cards for CAD-CAM or LIGHTWAWE... if you want thet dam OGL so much BY A SGI-platform & dont bother us any more.

I played the mosr games in D3D with G-200 card & it was wery good UNREAL(225f), QUAKE(under OGL 800x600 no problems),BLOOD2,SHOGO,ALIEN vs PREDATOR,NEED FOR SPEED,..NOW I hawe a MATROX again Millenium G-400 32mb & I Like it wery wery much...I tryed Creative Labs RIVA TNT & ASUS 3800 UTNT & I can only say ...THIS SUCKS like HELL...I v got only problems & DARK SCREAN...drivers..men thats so bed I can only spit on it & OGL performance are raly not much better then G400...

Now I can PLAY XwingAlliance in 1024x768 no chopy or darknes or texture mixup like with TNT2 card...that s it I stay by MATROX...G400 is THE KING !

27th July 1999, 12:50
I've just gotten to the point that I don't trust the benchmarks for these OGL games anymore. I have been playing Q2, Q3test, and HL all in OGL lately, on-line, at 1024x768x32bit with all graphics options maxed, on my AMD K6-2/400 and G400, and am having no problems at all with slow downs. But according to the benchmarks my gameplay should truly suck.

Joel http://forums.gagames.com/forums/smile.gif

Let's put it this way. I play everything anymore at 1024x768x32bit if it is supported by the game.

[This message has been edited by Joel (edited 07-27-99).]

Jon McGarry
27th July 1999, 15:29
I read some more benchmark reviews (http://www.anandtech.com) of the G400 with the newly released drivers for the G400. I must say that it appears Matrox is on the right track. They've manage to bring Quake 3 performance scores up from an abysmal 25 fps to more than 40 fps at 1024x768! Unfortunately this still pales in comparison to the 60-70 fps you can get with a TNT-2 but at least it shows that the drivers team is working. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to buy a new card the drivers will be such that the G400 can compete on an even field with the TNT-2.

BTW, I am interested in Professional OpenGL performance because I do use 3D Studio MAX for a lot of things. I don't, however have several thousand $ to spend on a workstation class card. Unfortunately the G400 so far seems to be pitiful in 3D apps like 3D STudio (lower than a Savage4!), but I hope this will improve over time along with the dirvers.

27th July 1999, 16:55
I agree that if it wasnt for the Quake series, I could care less for the OpenGL drivers. But, unfortunatly, it's a game (Q3) I'll want to play as well as other games that will use the engine (Half Life runs better in OpenGL, so what about TeamFortress2?)

Also, I really hope 3Dsmax's performance will be good with a G400. I'm a regular user of this program, so I'm looking forward to 5.20... when will we see these by the way? CANT WAIT!!!

28th July 1999, 01:37
Yes, Matrox screwed the pooch w/OpenGL support on the G200, yes the G400 doesn't perform near as well as it could in OpenGL. Yes, only the biggest 3d-shooters (and the games based on their engine) directly require OpenGL. If you're pissed at Matrox because their OpenGL support sucks or because they lied to you about the support you could expect, go elsewhere (I did: TNT2Ultra on order). I'm sure Matrox will keep working on it. Eventually it will be mature. If you want to wait, and in the meantime have excellent DirectX performance, 2d quality, dualhead, etc., etc. get the G400.

That said, let me remind some of you of a few things: OpenGL is OPEN. It is standard. If you want to do 3d modeling, games, or other sorts of (3d) graphics, and want to (be able to) run on ANYTHING other than win9x, that's the only API you will be using. If you're looking to sell a (3d) game on win9x and only win9x, go with DirectX if you want. If you want to support anything else, it's gonna be OpenGL.

I'm coding a cross platform graphics library at work for 3d modeling. Can you guess what I'm using? Can you guess why? Oh yes, because of the Quake series (that essentially forced MS to support OpenGL on win9x) I'll be able to run that on win9x as well as various Unices and WinNT. To me (and many others like me) it's a good thing when MS is forced to support open standards, as opposed to proprietary (often crappy) solutions.


28th July 1999, 08:59
Where did you get the 60-70fps number for the TNT2 Ultra (1024x768x?32?). The numbers I've seen are all under 40fps. A couple of people in the videocard newsgroup reported 30fps at that res with a P2-450. While I don't doubt that TNT2-U has a better GL ICD but, it surely doesn't get 60-70fps at the same settings (32b color/texture, 1024 res)where the G400MAX would get below 30fps.

On my G400 32M (clocked at 147) with a P2-450, using the "high quality" setting + 1024 res, I get 28.8fps and 30.6fps with Bilinear filter. These numbers are higher than those from www.ixbt-labs.com and they use a P3 I think.

Can't always trust the numbers that get put onto websites...

28th July 1999, 11:16
The TNT2Ultra that I tried out for a week PEAKED at 80fps... standing still. However it dropped in many places to 10 or 20.

- Gurm

29th July 1999, 01:18
And here's another opinion.

Matrox really does need to look at who it is trying to target with it's hardware. Why do I say this? OK. Here we go. I'll cover my points in pro and non-pro setups.

Pro setup: NT, SMP and dual monitors. This would seem to be the ideal work setup, and indeed, from popping my G400 into the NT box I can tell you working in Lightwave and Maya with dual monitors is a dream. Here we hit the problem that Opengl really sint all that good in NT on the G400. SO we look at regular graphics and working stuff like Word, Photoshop, etc. No offense, but for the price, a couple G100's have about the same speed with these apps and work fine with it. This is somehting that I have seen on clean install's. Even a multimonitor G100 (cant remember the model name). So, under NT with work stuff, the value isnt all there unless we get decent openGL. I am not saying blazing fast OPenGl. I am saying decent. If I wanted blazing fast I would shell out a thousand bucks or so for a real openGL card, but as it stands, G400+NT+OpenGL isnt the best of ideas.

So scrath that one.

Now for win98. Mainly a gaming OS. I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but if Matrox publishes an add in a gaming magazine (look in almost any PC mag in the US, and they have an add saying they run quake2 AN OPENGL game at 66fps at 1024x768) comparing it to a Rage 128 and a tnt2. Now this tell's me Matrox recognizes that most gamers do diddle with quake every now and then. Otehrwise they would have posted their stellar DirectX performance, such as midtown madness at 1600x1200 at 32fps with high detail textures, ligthing and models. So right away I am going to assume the board has stellar quake 2 performance, that IS what is beeing advertised right? if I would have bought this board on opengl performance alone I would have been pised off and returned it. Now this just casues bad press and all the bitching we see here in these forums (Yes, I DO realize the irony about bitching about posting about bitching in a post). So I do think that all the complaints are getting a little old, but a lot of posters are new here and expressing the same feelings most people have felt a few times before.

Now if Matrox would just advertise the card for DirectX performance and not brag about openGL, then people wouldnt be able to complain about it all that much. SO in a way Matrox brings the critizizing on itself. And yes, I knwo this baord is run by our dear and patient Ant who has no ties to matrox, except the sad fact he loves the hardware (yes, I do to even after all my bitching) but it's just the relaity of the situation.

Sorry about the rambling post, just had to point out people bitching about openGL are in the right since Matrox doesnt seem to knwo who it is targetting in it's advertising.

29th July 1999, 11:54
I don't know what the big deal is about OpenGL or Glide.

If you are a gamer and play mainly in windows then it seems that D3D is the way of the future.

If you read Computer Gaming World last month all the games that were reviewed suggested Direct 3D only 2 of the games reviewed also had OpenGL as a chose and Glide was not even there, and the 2 games that did support OpenGL got very low ratings.

So maybe Matrox does know what they are doing by supporting D3D so heavy.

30th July 1999, 07:27
SMP NT ICD performance will improve with the 4.21 drivers.

30th July 1999, 16:32
You said this:

"If you are a gamer and play mainly in windows then it seems that D3D is the way of the future."

Presumably you meant this:

"If you are a developer and develope only for windows then it seems that D3D is the way of the future."

The first statement is somewhat silly. The second only makes sense if you have no intention of porting your games to other platforms.

That a particular game written with a particular API may be good or bad isn't really an issue. I'd bet that there's alot more DX/D3D games out there that blow (both % and total number) than OpenGL...but so what. If a game blows, it blows. It often has little to do with the API it was written in.

The only thing that concerns the gamer is support for their hardware and OS. Since there ARE gamers on non windows platforms (suprise, suprise), and since DX/D3D is a windows API, it seems that these other gamers would expect their games to be written with an API supported on their platform (such as OpenGL, supported on just about everything). It probably doesn't matter WHAT API, just that there is support for them. These are probably the people loudly supporting (demanding) OpenGL based 3d games--people that want support on non-windows platforms (that last bit is speculation on my part, of course).