VOGONS


First post, by Swiego

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This is mostly a matter of curiosity for me. From searching online, it seems one must allow for the existence of a 16MB version of this card, in addition to the 12MB, 8MB, 4MB variants. However from what I gathered from the manual, there was no additional resolution/color depth combo enabled by going from 12MB to 16MB. Given that there isn't a great deal of evidence about the 16MB model, I find myself wondering (a) whether it existed and (b) what was its purpose? I thought these cards didn't handle textures and therefore the RAM's main purpose was frame buffer?

BTW, I do have a 12MB version... it's not hard to source, there are models out there with 8MB WRAM on the board (chips on both sides of the board) and the 4MB WRAM expansion card is not difficult nor expensive to find. As for 16MB, I saw some pictures online of what looked like a 4MB card with a 12MB WRAM expansion card attached. I haven't actually seen that card.

Anyhow this seems like a somewhat esoteric subject but I was curious and perhaps someone else will be also.

BTW, my 12MB card is fun... it works in 1st gen Pentium PCs (no PCI weirdness) and gives me 1920x1200x24bit which is... fun. 😀

Reply 1 of 19, by Swiego

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By the way, as a bit of trivia I haven't seen anywhere... my 12MB (8MB base + 4MB expansion) does not run 3dmark99 at all, at any resolution or color depth, whereas the 8MB, 4MB and 4MB+4MB variants run it in all of its texture-free splendor. It either hangs the machine or throws a DX error of one kind or another. However, the 12MB does let me access color depths in Windows I would not have seen otherwise...

Reply 2 of 19, by The Serpent Rider

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No, Matrox Millenium II 16 Mb doesn't exist, nor 12 Mb. There's only 2, 4 and 8 Mb versions, each with RAM expansion card to double that amount.

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Reply 3 of 19, by matze79

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Why ? it does not exist ?

Looks like i`m blind. Maybe my cards are cheating me 😳

https://www.matrox.com/graphics/media/pdf/sup … als/en_mac2.pdf

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Reply 4 of 19, by kjliew

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The Matrox Millenium II (MGA-2164W) also supports texture mapping and offers similar 3D features as the Mystique for Direct3D games. So the additional memory can be used as local texture memory. But its pricing did not target consumer 3D gaming market.
The original Matrox Millenium (MGA-2064W) does not support texture mapping and its 3D features only target its intended professional CAD/CAM market at the time, which was pixels filling with Gourand shading.

Reply 5 of 19, by The Serpent Rider

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No, it doesn't, but you can upgrade 8 Mb Millennium II with 8 Mb expansion card. Which is directrly stated in PDF:

Memory upgrades -
*MIL2/MOD4: 4 MB WRAM (for MIL2P/4MAC, MIL2P/4MACB, MIL2P/MAC4N, MIL2P/8MAC and MIL2P/MAC8N)
*MIL2/MOD8: 8 MB WRAM (for MIL2P/4MAC, MIL2P/4MACB, MIL2P/MAC4N, MIL2P/8MAC and MIL2P/MAC8N)
*MIL2/MOD12: 12 MB WRAM (for MIL2P/4MAC, MIL2P/4MACB and MIL2P/MAC4N)

P.S.
I vaguely remember that some OEM like Compaq offered 2 Mb versions. But maybe I'm wrong.

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Reply 6 of 19, by yjfy

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Millennium II 4M+12MB

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  • MII-12MB.jpg
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  • MII-12MB_1.jpg
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  • Millenium_II_708-01_Rev_A.jpg
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Reply 7 of 19, by matze79

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With Addon installed it is 16Mb Card, so it exists 😉

i also have 2Mb Cards.

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Reply 9 of 19, by elianda

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matze79 wrote on 2020-04-03, 07:51:

The tables on page 9 list the differences. If the OP has a 12 MB version it would be interesting to know what the maximum refresh rate at 1440x1080 at 32 bit color depth is as it is lower as the one given in the table for 8/16 bit modes.
Most likely due to memory bandwidth -> DAC limitations.

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Reply 11 of 19, by The Serpent Rider

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cause the stated resolutions and refresh rates don't change for 8MB and up, apart for 3D mode.

You need more memory for CAD, so it make sense.

vgamuseum also says "max. 16MB"

Only with upgrade module. 8 Mb versions aren't that rare.

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Reply 12 of 19, by derSammler

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More RAM has many advantages even in 2D modes. Off-screen rendering, double- and triple-buffering etc. But it's a 3D card supporting texture mapping, so 16 MB isn't that special.

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Reply 13 of 19, by Swiego

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Thanks all for the information - I didn't realize the Millennium II had working texture mapping etc.

I guess the one thing I can contribute to this conversation is that it's possible to attach the 4MB board to the 8MB card and unlock improved color depths at the Windows 98 desktop, but at least some 3D functions break. I don't believe I've seen the 8MB upgrade before... it indeed must be rare.

Reply 14 of 19, by misterjones

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I have a very vague memory of magazine ads in some of the 3D CGI magazines around 98-ish or so where the entry level NT4 3D workstation's video option was a machine with a Millenium II with 32MB of RAM on it. I thought it was a bit odd, but it also made a lot of sense because the Millenium II under NT4 supported OpenGL in some form.

Reply 16 of 19, by misterjones

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derSammler wrote on 2020-04-03, 12:14:

More RAM has many advantages even in 2D modes. Off-screen rendering, double- and triple-buffering etc. But it's a 3D card supporting texture mapping, so 16 MB isn't that special.

At the time of its release, 16MB was a lot of memory, so that was very special. High end cards like my old Fire GL 2000 and 3000 had 16MB as an option and those things cost a couple of thousand (same for other high end cards from Digital Pictures, Evans and Sutherland, etc). The typical consumer 3d card in '97 was 2-4MB. Even the Mystique was an oddball with it's ability to be upgraded to 8MB.

Reply 17 of 19, by vlask

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Millennium II is something like Mystique core (hence support for textures) using more expensive WRAM memories,with better RAMDAC for higher resolutions and very highend price. So noone cared for games at that time. And since is based on mystique specs, it has no billinear filtering = ugly unfiltered textures and very very limited games support. Only few oldest ones are working.
You might try Turok Demo, Incoming Lex lutor timedemo or X demo as all of these are working even on original Millennium without texturing support and also on Mystique.....

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Reply 18 of 19, by Swiego

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vlask wrote on 2020-04-09, 15:25:

Millennium II is something like Mystique core (hence support for textures) using more expensive WRAM memories,with better RAMDAC for higher resolutions and very highend price. So noone cared for games at that time. And since is based on mystique specs, it has no billinear filtering = ugly unfiltered textures and very very limited games support. Only few oldest ones are working.
You might try Turok Demo, Incoming Lex lutor timedemo or X demo as all of these are working even on original Millennium without texturing support and also on Mystique.....

Thanks for the game tips! I’ll try them, it would be interesting to see what I can get this card to do.

I’m enjoying it. I have it in a Pentium 90 and it works perfectly which is not something I can say for newer and faster cards. It also does 1920x1200 at 24bit color in Windows 98, with a crisp picture on my Dell 1920x1200 16:10 LCD. And perfectly serviceable in Windows as well—quick, snappy even on a P90. It’s amazing seeing this kind of image quality on such old hardware.

Reply 19 of 19, by auron

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derSammler wrote on 2020-04-03, 12:14:

More RAM has many advantages even in 2D modes. Off-screen rendering, double- and triple-buffering etc.

i have also had this idea, but are there any known 2D windows games that engage things like double/triple buffering when enough memory is present? i have already tested heroes of might and magic 3, which displays at 800x600x16, on both 2 MB and 4 MB millennium cards and could not see a difference, both would show tearing during map scrolling.

by the way, the matrox cards were kind of unique for their era by offering a user upgradable EEPROM BIOS that actually received upgrades over the years. there's a blog post where someone did a small comparison for that: https://smugnplay.com/blog/matrox-millennium- … -dog-new-tricks