Product Type: Matrox graphic cards
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G400 not so MAX!
Matrox Millennium G400 Max
Member Name: Technical Tobes
Matrox Millennium G400 Max
Date: 07/10/00, updated on 07/10/00 (330 review reads)
Advantages: Very good at dual output to TV or monitor
Disadvantages: Poor performance which gets worse when using dual output
I bought my G400 some 6 months ago with the main aim being the ability to run games on my big TV.
The G400 does this very well but suffers from very poor (considering the price) graphics performance. The card is bottom of the performance rating when compared with similarly priced cards.
Having said this, it does have the TV or second monitor output which is either pointless or very handy – it all depends if you want that capability.
Compared to most other card which offer this functionality, the G400 is the best. Most others will only output to a TV not monitor and the G400 has many options for the second output use. You can either duplicate the main screen, extend your Windows desktop onto another monitor/TV or play a DVD full screen on the second output while the main display is left free to use. You can even use the second output as a big zoom for the main display – it follows the mouse around, zoomed in.
This is basically the reason you would buy the card, if you don’t need these abilities, buy something else.
As I’ve said, the big drawback is speed. I have a Pentium III 550Mhz with 512MB RAM running Windows 2000 (NOT Windows ME).
Moving to Windows 2000 increased the speed a tiny bit but not a huge amount.
Most games run okay, Quake II & III, Unreal Tournament, MDK 2, C&C Tiberian Sun, Rally Masters etc etc all run very smoothly – although the frame rate is only just in the ‘acceptable’ range which means the card will become out of date a lot quicker.
I should point out, I run all my games in 640x480 - I see very little difference in the higher resolutions in terms of quality but obviously games will run slower the higher the resolution.
Unfortunately though, using (i.e. enabling) the second output degrades the speed still further, making a few games noticeably jerky. Worst affected are Virtual Pool Hall & Rally Masters but Quake etc are still okay.
br>I read Temujin’s opinion which mentioned that it requires an AGPx4 port to run really fast, I have a friend with a AGPx4 motherboard (mines just AGPx2) so tried a test (he also runs Windows 2000), but there was no noticeable difference, the frame rate was a tiny bit higher but then his CPU is 600Mhz against my 550Mhz.
So, not exactly a top performer and far from value for money but the additional output is very useful – if you need it.
Don’t think the new G450 is much better either according to the reviews.