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Francois_Dumas

Matrox website really worth a look

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With the imminent release of the Parhelia GPU I thought I would spend an afternoon going through all the information on the Matrox website regarding the product. Not only am I excited by the on-paper potential of this GPU, but even if the on-paper hype meets reality only part way, there is still going to be very fierce competition with Nvidia - great news for all of us. Already I have seen dealers start to not-so-subtly reduce the prices of Geforce 4 Ti cards.Of particular interest to me is the fact that Matrox (and / or the hardware testers) have clearly been playing around with FS2002 whilst developing this GPU. Paul01 has already mentioned the multi-screen support, but I was quite interested in the anti-aliasing. I downloaded a short 10 second video clip from the Matrox site showing a Sopwith Camel with and without AA. Whilst it is very hard to judge from a compressed video (and you don't know what might have been "done" to it), the AA looked better than even the Voodoo 5500 AA - and far, far better than anything I have seen on any Geforce. Matrox claim that the AA is intelligent enough to only process vertex edges rather than entire textures. This has always been my biggest complaint about AA - the fact that so much GPU power is waisted on processing textures that don't require processing - and in the process making the image look even WORSE! Although the idea of course isn't new (anyone remember the Rendition Verite?).One thing is clear to me. If this card can provide the same performance (speed wise) as my Geforce 3, whilst having all these image quality enhancing features enabled, then it is a must-buy in my book. Just don't know where the money is going to come from...As I still run Win9x, it might be a while before I know if Matrox will honour their promise to make Win9x drivers available subsequent to the release of the card, and how well these drivers might perform compared to the XP drivers in any case. OTOH, I wonder what this card is going to do to Nvidia prices? If the Parhelia really does perform as well as it is supposed to for $930 Australian dollars, what does that make a Geforce 4 Ti4600 worth?http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/parhelia512/home.cfm

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If you really want one go ahead and get it. I doubt you'll be disappointed. One thing to keep in mind while considering purchasing one at this point: *everything* we know about Parhelia has come directly from the horse's mouth. All the hardware review sites are still under NDA (until tomorrow). You may want to wait to form your opinion about the card until then, rather than relying purely on marketing hype. I was initially excited about the Parhelia (before it was announced) but am now looking forward to the R300 and NV30 instead. The (curent) price and performance of this card do not justify its purchase (for me anyway). The features, OTOH, are some of the best to come out in a long time, but I find that features alone do not justify a $400 purchase. 16x FAA is a great feature, especially for us flight simmers, but some compatibility issues with Matrox's FAA technique have been raised...Anyway, if you're looking for mind-boggling fps, this card is probably not for you. However, if you are looking for *acceptable* fps with all details turned on, this may be the card for you. Also, if you need triple monitor support or like some of the other features that this card and this card alone has, the Parhelia may be the one to get. Bottom-line: at least wait until the card has been reviewed by third parties before making up your mind to purchase one, don't just go by what Matrox says about their card.Max Cowgill

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Max has given you good advice -- in addition, I'd advise you to frequent this Matrox users site (note: it's not an "official" site but one frequented by the "beta boys" who have used the P board for quite some months):http://matroxusers.com/Based on their information I went ahead and ordered one. I have some reservations about the card (but not caused by the "phony" benchmark review that was a setup job by a German site partial to one of the other manufacturers): I believe it will run FS superbly, but I also think there are some resolution problems that I need some answers to (and we should get a lot more answers tomorrow). One thing is certain: if you want to run triple monitors, there's no other solution now or on the horizon. And in the FS world, triple monitors are going to be hard to beat.

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Hi Kelleym,Incidently, how do know for a fact that it was a "phony benchmark review" by the German website, Toms Hardware?Did the site state this or are you just using conjecture and your own opinion?HardOcp also posted info about the German Website and interestingly enough about an Israeli website that had graphs showing the Matrox getting smoked. I posted that link in another thread, but here you go. Read it for yourself.http://ftp.avsim.com/dcforum/DCForumID8/5785.html#21Again, I would like to see what caused you to state that the review was phony. I think it is possible that since the NDA is in effect until 06-25-2002, that maybe, just maybe it was pulled because of that and will reappear tomorrow.I guess we'll see.I would also take what you read on Matrox's own forums with grain of salt. IMHO, Max is correct in stating you should wait until release and let people who are not in the beta group do their reviews so you get a balanced opinion on all fronts, not just beta users.Regards,Joe :-wavePS - One more German site shows the Parhelia outperforming with AA turned on at higher speeds, but worse if AA is turned off. Interesting:http://www.chip.de/produkte_tests/untersei...ts_8737734.html.Oshkosh Pictures From 2001 (Part 1) 78 Pics in Frames with 1mb in ThumbnailsHigh speed connection Recommended:http://home.attbi.com/~flypics1/FrameSet.htm.Oshkosh Pictures From 2001 (Part 2) 106 Pics in Frames with 1.5mb in ThumbnailsHigh speed connection recommended:http://home.attbi.com/~flypics2/FrameSet.htm.Picture Gallery of My Flight in a 1945 SNJ-6 on June 1st, 2002Joliet, Illinoishttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/FrameSet.htm.http://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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It's phony for a lot of reasons -- the benchmarks were "rigged" to favor certain boards, and you can tell that from the tests. But all you have to do is to review the other sites and you'll be able to see.Don't get the idea I'm gaga over this board -- at the moment I have serious doubts that it's good for MSFS2K2 just because of the resolution you have to run it in -- but I also know fair reviews when I read them (and yes, I've seen the english translation for the site, including the benchies). Nothing about that review is impartial.But I do agree strongly with your post in another thread that it's better for the vast majority of people to wait for a while until the dust settles. Early adopters nearly always pay the price (and not in money -- money is the cheapest commodity you'll ever have).I really wish nVidia or ATI had a similar gaming mode where I could run multiple monitors because I think that's the biggest limitation of FS -- the viewport is still extremely limited compared to Real Life (not that *I'll* ever know -- but I assume from just driving in a car that in a plane you can see a lot more than my monitor can display ) It looks like I may have to wait for FS2004 before I'll get my wishes granted in the right resolution (I know, you're going to tell me about using multiple computers and that multiple monitor solution... well, I may be nuts about FS and just nuts in general, but I do draw the line *somewhere* LOL).

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As with any piece of hardware I have bought, I never buy until the hardware in question has been in circulation long enough to prove it's performance, compatibility and reliablity (or othterwise). In nearly all cases the hardware I buy has been out for at least 4 months before I commit myself. I wouldn't be buying one in the near future in any case, because as I pointed out, there is no Win9x support and it's performance in this OS might be under a cloud for some time. I am just as interested in whether the card can live up to the hype as to whether it might help reduce the still quite expensive Geforce 4 prices.

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Yes you are right, what a monitor certainly cannot provide is the peripheral vision we humans have..... I have sat in front of multiple-monitor (and multiple-PC) set-ups.... it does add to the realism, but still not the same... For that you'd need a commercial sim with 'see-around' screen... that goes a 'little bit' above my alotted budget too ! :-outta Francois :-wave[table border=0 cellpadding=10 cellspacing=0][tr][td valign=bottom" align="center]"At home in the wild"[/td][td valign=bottom" align="center][link:avsim.com/alaska/alaska_051.htm|Don's Alaskan Bush Charters]"Beavers Lead the Way"[/td][td valign=bottom" align="center][link:www.avsim.com/vfr_center/mainpages/vfr_flights_main_page.htm]VFR Flight Center]"Looking Good Outside"[/td][/tr][tr][td valign=top" align="center]http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif[/td][td valign="top" align="left" colspan=2]http://www.fssupport.com/images/moose2.gif[/td][tr][/table]________________________Francois A. "Navman" DumasAssociate Editor &Forums AdministratorAVSIM Online![/bemail: fdumas@avsim.com________________________

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>some time. I am just as interested in whether the card can >live up to the hype as to whether it might help reduce the >still quite expensive Geforce 4 prices. Hey, if I buy the Matrox card I'll sell you mine, cheap!

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