[lug] 2D cards

D. Stimits stimits at comcast.net
Thu Apr 27 21:51:24 MDT 2006

Gary Hodges wrote:
> Are the Matrox cards still the way to go for 2D?  I'm going to be 
> putting together a computer in the coming months and have been looking 
> at various components.  I like that the Matrox G550 PCIe is passively 
> cooled, but it seems to be a bit on the lean side for the $140ish price. 
>  I'll buy it if Matrox are still best 2D cards, but maybe there are 
> equal cards at 2D that also have better 3D.

One thing I never see in specs, and which seems important for 2D or 3D, 
is how clean the dot clock is. That little square wave that turns pixels 
on or off can be sharper on/off in different video cards rated at 
otherwise similar specs. The older Matrox G200 really sucks if you try 
to scan fast enough on a modern high quality monitor. The older 3dlabs 
Oxygen VX-1 (about the same speed as the old TNT2), on the other hand, 
is stone cold clean in every way. The two could be set up identically at 
slow scan rates and you might not tell them apart; speed them up to 
faster rates, and the old VX-1 will probably exceed the quality of a lot 
of newer cards. I'd take the VX-1 over any of the older Matrox cards any 
day...but I've never seen how the newer Matrox cards look.

D. Stimits, stimits AT comcast DOT net

PS: The VX-1 has no GPU, but is a 32 MB 3D card. Under windows the 
drivers are actually stable too, even on SMP. It seems to do quite well 
under linux as well.

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