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Matrox Mystique: opinions?

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Reply 20 of 61, by Dominus

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yeah big move and I did a big cleansing 🙁

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Reply 22 of 61, by kjliew

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Jacques wrote:

Does anyone by a chance have ISOs of Mystique versions of Destruction Derby 2, Monstertruck Madness and Mechwarrior I had back in the days?

I also bought the boxed version Mystique 2MB back then.
Out of the bundled games, I believe only Mechwarrior 2 31st is the special version. Destruction Derby 2 and Monstertruck Madness are the same as retailed version. They are either Direct3D or patch is available. I am pretty sure the later is Direct3D as it was from Microsoft Studio.
I still have the Mechwarrior 2 31st CD but it is packed up & stored in far-away land. The rest wasn't so sure, including the HW itself.

Reply 23 of 61, by vetz

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kjliew wrote:
I also bought the boxed version Mystique 2MB back then. Out of the bundled games, I believe only Mechwarrior 2 31st is the speci […]
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Jacques wrote:

Does anyone by a chance have ISOs of Mystique versions of Destruction Derby 2, Monstertruck Madness and Mechwarrior I had back in the days?

I also bought the boxed version Mystique 2MB back then.
Out of the bundled games, I believe only Mechwarrior 2 31st is the special version. Destruction Derby 2 and Monstertruck Madness are the same as retailed version. They are either Direct3D or patch is available. I am pretty sure the later is Direct3D as it was from Microsoft Studio.
I still have the Mechwarrior 2 31st CD but it is packed up & stored in far-away land. The rest wasn't so sure, including the HW itself.

All those games have MSI support and were exlusively bundled with the Matrox Mystique. They are not that hard to find on Ebay. The Monster truck game was not Monstertruck Madness, but Monster Trucks (other names were Thunder Truck Rally) and were just a demo. The retail version do not have MSI support. The demo can be downloaded here:
Re: Matrox Mystique (MSI API Native) list
Also see this thread for more Matrox Mysqtiue supported games: 3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 24 of 61, by Scali

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The Matrox Mystique was my first 3D accelerator.
As a 2D card it was quite decent. Good performance in DOS and Windows, and excellent display quality. Especially the acceleration for video playback was quite good for the time (it had support for hardware-accelerated YUV overlays with bilinear filtered upscaling). The VBE implementation was a bit limited, so using UniVBE is recommended in some cases.
As a 3D card it is rather limited. It has no bilinear filtering, which is an interesting tradeoff that Matrox made. The result is that the 3D performance itself is quite good, but it looks more 'software rendered' than other accelerators. However, if you compare it to an S3 Virge, which was targeting the same market at the time... The Virge did have bilinear filtering, so it looked nice and smooth, but performance was very poor, sometimes even slower than software rendering.

From what I recall, the stability of the 3D rendering was excellent, with good subpixel/subtexel accuracy, and it also had a decent implementation of dithered 'alphablending'. Tomb Raider played very well on it.
For Direct3D games you really want the 4 MB model. I had the 2 MB model, which was too limited for most Direct3D games.

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Reply 25 of 61, by vvbee

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Vertices appear to have low internal precision, causing wobbly movement, which I don't see on the virge/dx. So maybe not stable on that front.

For retro programming, the mystique's msi 3d api seems incredibly easy to work with.

Reply 26 of 61, by oohms

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Matrox cards have very average drivers, dos compatibility and 3D performance. A voodoo 3 or banshee is a much better option, or if 3D support isn't an issue, pick from a pile of S3 cards to find the one with the best image quality

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Reply 27 of 61, by derSammler

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DOS compatibility is better than what most people say. Seems to me many just repeat that without knowing better. Or maybe the sole fact that the Commander Keen games have scrolling issues is enough to say that a card has bad DOS compatibility.

Also, as Scali wrote already, 3D performance isn't bad either. Just the image quality is due to the lack of filtering. Drivers are also good and stable, since it's not 1996 anymore and we have access to the latest drivers from late 1998.

Reply 28 of 61, by AlaricD

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I almost bought a "Maalox Mistake" when the prices on them started plummeting-- they were plummeting for a good reason. I called a good friend of mine while I was looking at one at Best Buy or CompUSA and asked if I should buy it, and he said "Hell, no!".

They are interesting from a historical perspective, certainly. But their utility, even in a retro system, seems limited.

Reply 29 of 61, by stamasd

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Dat alpha blending though. Sure it may have its charm, but it's just weird.

I/O, I/O,
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I/O, I/O

Reply 30 of 61, by skitters

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I always liked the Matrox Mystique and bought several of them used back when they were cheap.
They had good 2D, and most of the games I played were 2D.
In a couple of computers I have a Mystique alongside a Voodoo 2.

One of them came in a somewhat mangled box with CD's for Destruction Derby 2 and Scorched Planet (no Mechwarrior 2, though the box indicated it should have been included). That's the only one I have with the original box, though a couple of the others included driver and game CD's.

I never tried any of the Matrox Mystique versions of the games.
Would the Matrox Mystique versions of the games even work if someone tried to play them without having a Matrox Mystique installed?

Reply 31 of 61, by kjliew

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Scali wrote:

As a 2D card it was quite decent. Good performance in DOS and Windows, and excellent display quality. Especially the acceleration for video playback was quite good for the time (it had support for hardware-accelerated YUV overlays with bilinear filtered upscaling).

I recalled my Matrox Mystique did not support YUV overlay using XingMPEG on Win9x. Yes,it was a decent 2D GUI accelerator, but video playback was not its selling point. Both S3 Trio64V+ and S3 VIRGE had true YUV overlays acceleration at half its price. Later, Matrox had a driver that support hardware YUV overlays but only in 8-bit color modes, but who was still using 8-bit mode desktop at the time? The video playback of Matrox really shined starting with Matrox G200. Not too sure about G100, never had one and that chip was short-lived.

Scali wrote:

For Direct3D games you really want the 4 MB model. I had the 2 MB model, which was too limited for most Direct3D games.

I also started with 2MB model, but later purchased a 2MB memory upgrade, well, to see Tomb Raider 1 in 640x480 glory instead of 512x384 on 2MB model. Memory module upgrade reduced the clock rate though, at 3~5% performance penalty.

Reply 32 of 61, by Scali

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kjliew wrote:

I recalled my Matrox Mystique did not support YUV overlay using XingMPEG on Win9x. Yes,it was a decent 2D GUI accelerator, but video playback was not its selling point. Both S3 Trio64V+ and S3 VIRGE had true YUV overlays acceleration at half its price. Later, Matrox had a driver that support hardware YUV overlays but only in 8-bit color modes, but who was still using 8-bit mode desktop at the time? The video playback of Matrox really shined starting with Matrox G200. Not too sure about G100, never had one and that chip was short-lived.

Well, the Mystique came with a copy of SoftPEG, which worked like a charm. I came from a Trio64, and the Mystique was a big improvement over that when playing video.
I had a Pentium 133 at the time, and the Trio64 could basically only play VideoCD at 640x480. Upscaling was done with the CPU, and was too expensive. When I used the Mystique, the resolution no longer mattered. In 1024x768 it played just as well as in 640x480. And because of the bilinear filter, the quality was also better than software scaling, which was always nearest-neighbour.

I believe the overlay was technically YUY2 format or something, but that was not a practical limitation.

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Reply 34 of 61, by Scali

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derSammler wrote:
kjliew wrote:

but video playback was not its selling point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ir8NS3sIrk

It was. Maybe they just didn't care about the XingMPEG player.

Yes, that video came in MPEG format on the driver CD with my Mystique. It played perfectly with SoftPEG.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 35 of 61, by kjliew

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Scali wrote:

Well, the Mystique came with a copy of SoftPEG, which worked like a charm. I came from a Trio64, and the Mystique was a big improvement over that when playing video.
I had a Pentium 133 at the time, and the Trio64 could basically only play VideoCD at 640x480. Upscaling was done with the CPU, and was too expensive. When I used the Mystique, the resolution no longer mattered. In 1024x768 it played just as well as in 640x480. And because of the bilinear filter, the quality was also better than software scaling, which was always nearest-neighbour.

I believe the overlay was technically YUY2 format or something, but that was not a practical limitation.

I recalled that XingMPEG showed DirectDraw Offscreen instead of YUY2 on Mystique, until the arrival of new driver that exposed YUY2 on 8-bit modes.
I had a complete reversed experience. I think it was because S3 Trio64V+/VIRGE had video engine but not the older Trio32/64. I didn't remember if I tried the bundled SoftMPEG, but XingMPEG worked better on S3 Trio64V+/VIRGE compared to Mystique. I had Pentium 133, too, at the time.

Reply 36 of 61, by Scali

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oohms wrote:

Matrox cards have very average drivers

By 'drivers' I take it you mean Windows drivers, in which case I beg to differ. Matrox was at the top of Windows acceleration in those days, with their Millennium line, and having excellent Windows drivers to take full advantage of their cards was a big part of the success story.
The Mystique was basically a 'scaled down' version of the Millennium, and the drivers were based on the same codebase. So these drivers were top quality, and part of the appeal of the Mystique.

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Reply 38 of 61, by 640K!enough

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Scali wrote:

By 'drivers' I take it you mean Windows drivers, in which case I beg to differ. Matrox was at the top of Windows acceleration in those days, with their Millennium line, and having excellent Windows drivers to take full advantage of their cards was a big part of the success story.
The Mystique was basically a 'scaled down' version of the Millennium, and the drivers were based on the same codebase. So these drivers were top quality, and part of the appeal of the Mystique.

I had a Millennium at the time, and agree completely. They sometimes needed to implement tweaks for compatibility, like every other company, and had a few versions that would hog the bus to wring out better performance, but the Windows drivers were very solid. For 2D acceleration, almost nobody could match them at the time. They also did very well in terms of signal quality and hardware stability.

Reply 39 of 61, by sheath

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Matrox Mystique was my first video card, it came with a local build I bought in 1996 based on a Cyrix 686 133Mhz (166+). I love how games look when they work with the Mystique. Mech Warrior 2, Destruction Derby 2, MotoRacer and others look great not only for the time, but in general. I always hoped that some dedicated group would improve support for other games, or that software rendering would work out better with a CPU upgrade. I currently have my Mystique in my PIII system in case I want to run something specifically designed for it. It works well in that system with the m3D of course, but also with a Monster 3D Voodoo 1 PCI card in the same system.