iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






September'2001 3Digest
Matrox G400 MAX

By Andrey Vorobiev

This chip is presented by Matrox Millennium G400 DualHead 32 MBytes, AGP videocard.


  • Matrox G400 chip, clock rate increased up to 150 MHz;
  • 32 MBytes SGRAM memory in eight SEC 5ns microchips, clock rate increased up to 200 MHz, 128-bit bus;
  • Peak speed of scene drawing in multitexturing mode is 150 megapixels/sec and 300 megatexels/sec.

Tweaks up to 160/213 MHz (see summary diagrams).

These cards have been released in the Summer'99 and have been positioned mainly for hi-res 2D graphics, which quality is traditionally high for Matrox. But if that time G400 3D features have been high, they are not good now (even overclocked G400 MAX could not help) and that has lead these cards to 2D sector. The reviews of G400 cards are here (analysys) and here (the first review). I shall mark that these articles were written 2 years ago, thus you can just get acknowledged with cards' features. G400 MAX, being a faster version of G400, has been released in the same '1999. This chip differs not only by higher clock rate, but also by another RAMDAC that works on 360 MHz. G400 MAX cards support DualHead technology that is reviewed in the details in this article about Matrox G400 MAX.

For the 20th of April'2001 the latest drivers version from Matrox is PowerDesk 6.51.

As we can see, 6.50 and 6.51 drivers are worse than 6.21 and 6.23, except for Unreal.

Below are screenshots: to the left - taken on this card, to the right - reference ones taken on NVIDIA GeForce3.



Unreal Tournament:

No One Lives Forever:

Serious Sam:

Colin McRAE Rally2:

American McGee's Alice:

Mercedes Benz Truck Racing:



Need For Speed 5 (Porshe 2000):

Real MYST:

Blade of Darkness:

Giants: Citizen Cabuto

3DMark2001 Pro, GAME1:

3DMark2001 Pro, GAME2:

3DMark2001 Pro, GAME3:

3DMark2001 Pro, EMBM:

3DMark2001 Pro, Vertex Shaders:

Black & White:


There are other problems. E. g. Unreal has striped fog, and that is not good for gameplay. And there are also some artefacts like missing textures and some strange stripes:

And Unreal Tournament shows these artefacts:

Need For Speed: Porshe 2000 has strange fog. You can see it in the tunnel from a far distance:

And it disappears when you get closer:

This occurs on several tracks.

Giants often locks up on i815 platform. Besides, the game has serious bugs:

Moreover, Black & White produces black screen with 6.50 drivers, and 6.51 version causes frequent lock ups.

2D quality is traditionally perfect. 1600x1200 gives a crystal clear picture.

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