Enclosed are the results for the Matrox Parhelia 256 PCI-X card in comparison with other PCI graphics cards I have in possession. All cards were run on the same system, the IBM eServer x330, which is a PCI-X-only system, containing 2 expansion slots.
Matrox Parhelia 256
NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX400
NVIDIA Quadro FX600
NVIDIA GeForce FX5500
NVIDIA GeForce 6200 (eVGA)
NVIDIA GeForce 6200 (PNY)
ATI Radeon 9000
ATI Radeon 9250
Windows 2000 Pro SP4
IBM eServer xSeries 330
Broadcom ServerWorks ServerSet III LE chipset
Dual Intel 1.4 GHz Tualatin CPUs
1 GB registered ECC memory
Creative ES1373 sound card
3DMark2001 SE results for Matrox G450 in software mode
3DMark2001 SE requires DirectX 8.1
PCI-X slot running at 33 MHz, with and without the sound card
Graphic results the same, with and without the sound card installed
Highest quality settings
Command used to start the benchmark: "timedemo 1", <carriage return>, followed by "demo four"
D3D Pure Hardware T&L
Using driver versions 2.0.x had a detrimental effect for the Matrox Parhelia PCI card. Using driver version 1.00.x, in particular 1.09, yielded a 60% increase in performance for 3DMark2001SE and a 40% increase in performance for Quake III. A similar situation often occurs with NVIDIA graphic driver versions.
The Parhelia PCI-X results were a little disapointing. Perhaps the 33 MHz speed of the PCI-X slot on the test computer were holding it back some because the results for the Parhelia 128 AGP card on a different, but similar, Tualatin system were quite a bit higher. In both benchmarks, the Parhelia PCI card fell behind a Radeon 9250, GeForce 6200, and Quadro FX600. More tests will need to be done to dermine if the PCI-X slot on this particular IBM eServer, or on all boards based on the the ServerSet III LE chipset, are holding the card back. Also, tests with a more powerful CPU would be of interest. I do have a motherboard which contains a PCI-X slot and an Operton CPU, however I do not have high hopes for much improvement. Unless you are interested in tri-monitor applications/gaming, I see little value in a Matrox Parhelia PCI-X card. In addition, others have reported buggy game play, at least with the AGP version, particularly for earlier card revisions. I'm not sure how this information affects the PCI-X version of the card.
My main attraction to the Matrox Parhelia PCI-X card was the novelty in running a PCI-X graphics card on non-AGP and non-PCIe motherboards. Perhaps there are some CAD applications that run fantastic with the CAD-optimised drivers.