Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

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Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-11-29 @ 10:11

In this project I am comparing popular AGP Matrox graphics cards with each other. Featured are the following cards:

G200
G400
G400 MAX
G450

I used PowerStrip to disable V-sync on all cards.

The system I used to benchmark this cards is my Slot 1 reference system consisting of:

AOpen AX6BC
Latest BIOS
S370 to Slot 1 adapter
S370 100 MHz FSB Pentium III 1.1 GHz
128MB SDRAM
Windows 98SE

I used the latest Matrox driver.

Settings for benchmarking:

Forsaken: Patch 1.01, Generic 3D Accelerator, 1152 x 864, 32 bit colour, default details, v-sync off, Nuke demo
Quake II: 1024 x 768, default OpenGL render, default details, v-sync off, demo1.dm2
Q3A demo: 800 x 600, High details defaults, v-sync off, Demo 1
Incoming demo: 1024 x 768, 32 bit colour, gameindex.exe
Drakan: 800 x 600, 32 bit colour, default details + bumpmapping, v-sync off
Expendable: EMBM patch, 800 x 600, 32 bit colour, v-sync off, default details + hardware texture compression on + stencil buffers on + disable sound + trilinear filtering on + projected shadows on + bumpmapping on + detail level high, timedemo 1
MDK 2 demo: Default OpenGL driver, 1024 x 768, 32 bit colour, + trilinear, v-sync off
Incoming: Highest default settings, -timetest secret2.dem -width 1024 -height 768, v-sync off

Results for OpenGL:

Image

Results for DirectX:

Image

Findings:

- In OpenGL the G550 is quite decent, in DirectX it is very slow.
- You would think the G450 is faster than the G400 bit it's not.
- G400 MAX is faster than most cards apart from OpenGL where it loses against the G550.
- Matrox drivers don't have a setting for V-Sync > Used PowerStrip.
- Excellent VGA signal quality.
- Lots of games with EMBM (Environmental Mapped Bump Mapping) support exclusively on Matrox cards
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby obobskivich » 2014-11-29 @ 12:35

Thanks for doing this - I've been wondering how the G550 stacks up to its older brothers for a while. Does EMBM actually work correctly on the 550? Aside from Expendable, what other games support or use EMBM?

Also, can you test something like 3DMark01 or something else that uses pixel shaders on the 550? I've read in some places that it supposedly can do DX8.1, but in others that it cannot - any info about that would be useful imho. :blush:
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby meljor » 2014-11-29 @ 12:38

Nice work Phil! (as allways)

What about 3d image quality compared to 3dfx/nvidia? Any abnormal behaviour when it comes to shadows, blockyness or other glitches?

I allways feel like matrox ''misses'' something and the picture quality (and support) is better with the other brands... speed as well.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-11-29 @ 13:20

Sorry guys this is all the data I have. I did the benchmarks months ago and only now got to put it all together.

I haven't noticed any glitches / bugs / crashes with the latest drivers. Was presently surprised by the experience.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby soviet conscript » 2014-11-29 @ 16:21

There's also the G250 which is the overclocked G200A made for OEM only. always wondered how much faster it was then the G200.

As for what other games support EMBM viewtopic.php?f=46&t=40754&p=379528&hilit=EMBM+soviet+conscript#p379486
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby devius » 2014-11-29 @ 18:44

Wasn't the G450 supposed to be faster than the G400? Or is this another example of meaningless model names?
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby swaaye » 2014-11-29 @ 20:29

G200 actually has some 3D quirks that one might not notice. It appears to have some subpixel precision issues for example. You might see textures wobble occasionally.

There is also an OpenGL bug in the latest drivers that breaks transparency. You can use the G400 driver package instead. It contains a newer G200 ICD with this bug fixed.

devius wrote:Wasn't the G450 supposed to be faster than the G400? Or is this another example of meaningless model names?

As all the old reviews will tell ya, it has lower performance specifications than G400. It's basically a cost reduction with some feature improvements not related to gaming.

There are a number of G400 varieties, including some cheapened models that have 16MB SDRAM instead of 32MB SGRAM. So I see G450 as a replacement to these. It's a updated budget card.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby Skyscraper » 2014-11-29 @ 20:33

I just won a G550 with a ~5 Euro bid (+ ~3 Euro shipping)

This thread got me intrested in seeing what the "late" Matrox cards can do :)
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby LunarG » 2014-11-30 @ 09:17

devius wrote:Wasn't the G450 supposed to be faster than the G400? Or is this another example of meaningless model names?


Everything after the G400 series, like G450, G550, until the release of the Parhelia, was all based on the G400 core, just with changes in manufacture, clock speeds and so on.
The G450 was supposed be a cost-reduced G400, with better clocks than the stock G400, but slower than the MAX.
The G550 was clocked higher, and was a bit of a stop-gap in the wait for the rumored "G800", which never showed up.

I've always had a soft spot for Matrox cards, but I generally prefer the slightly more "gamer" type models (where available), like the G400MAX over things like the G450 and G550 or the Mystique 220 over Millennium II.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby sliderider » 2014-11-30 @ 14:56

G450 is not faster than G400 because Matrox thought that by going to DDR memory they could reduce the memory bus from 128-bit to 64-bit. This actually made the G450 slower in some tests.

Matrox was already well out of step with the mainstream by the time the G550 came around. The G550 is probably the only card I have seen that makes a SiS card look like a piece of high performance gaming gear.

http://techreport.com/review/3165/matro ... ics-card/4

The writer goes on to say that out of the cards tested, the G550 has the best visuals with all game options turned up to the max, the problem is that the G550 does not have the horsepower required to pull that load.

Matrox has been a niche market player ever since the first generation GeForce was released because their designs failed to keep up with the competition. They tried to rectify some of the G550's shortcomings with the Parhelia, but it lagged behind the GeForce 4 Ti in performance despite matching it's features and when the Radeon 9700 was released just a few weeks later, it pretty much sealed the Parhelia's fate.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby LunarG » 2014-11-30 @ 18:56

sliderider wrote:G450 is not faster than G400 because Matrox thought that by going to DDR memory they could reduce the memory bus from 128-bit to 64-bit. This actually made the G450 slower in some tests.

Matrox was already well out of step with the mainstream by the time the G550 came around. The G550 is probably the only card I have seen that makes a SiS card look like a piece of high performance gaming gear.

http://techreport.com/review/3165/matro ... ics-card/4

The writer goes on to say that out of the cards tested, the G550 has the best visuals with all game options turned up to the max, the problem is that the G550 does not have the horsepower required to pull that load.

Matrox has been a niche market player ever since the first generation GeForce was released because their designs failed to keep up with the competition. They tried to rectify some of the G550's shortcomings with the Parhelia, but it lagged behind the GeForce 4 Ti in performance despite matching it's features and when the Radeon 9700 was released just a few weeks later, it pretty much sealed the Parhelia's fate.


Ah yes, that's right about the DDR and narrower memory bus, I'd forgotten that. I seem to remember there were some difference in the ramdac as well, to make it cheaper to manufacture, but can't remember the details.
It was a shame that the Parhelia was so sub-par on performance when it came out... I think Matrox made a mistake in focusing on triple-head and such for a "gaming" oriented card. You can't sell a gaming card to professionals, and you can't sell a high-end workstation card to gamers. Matrox didn't wanna have to choose... Aim for both targets! That was never a good idea. They should've sacrificed triple-head and aimed for more pure performance and a lower overall price tag. Then they could've had a competitive card on their hands. I guess the consumer segment is very low profit compared to the professional segment where the buyers will pay much, much more for specialized products and a long-term support network.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby swaaye » 2014-11-30 @ 20:26

I don't think Matrox was ever really gaming focused. It seemed like they just dabbled in the possibilities for a few years before returning to their niches as the development investment of a 3D accelerator skyrocketed.

There were some other GPUs in development at Matrox. G800 and F800 for example. G550 is supposedly an offshoot of G800 (the budget version I imagine). I think what happened was ATI and NV just were too aggressive and had too much money. Matrox lost engineers to them too. This is why GPU companies folded en masse back then and NV and ATI picked up a lot of scraps. Matrox had successful niches that NV and ATI weren't interested in for whatever reason and thus survived.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby LunarG » 2014-12-01 @ 06:01

The development costs of consumer 3D accelerators were high for sure. And yes, Matrox were never really gaming focused. They had a few cards that were, but only as long as it didn't interfere with their regular business related stuff. The per unit profits of a consumer graphics card, compared to a specialized solution like the ones Matrox makes today, is laughably low. High development costs and relatively low price (a few hundred $) makes the consumer graphics market quite tough, which is why there appears to only be room for two giants.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby feipoa » 2014-12-01 @ 06:31

What is the reason why the G200 data is not included on the OpenGL results graph?
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-01 @ 07:24

feipoa wrote:What is the reason why the G200 data is not included on the OpenGL results graph?


Doesn't support it.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby Zup » 2014-12-01 @ 07:32

It's funny that some HP servers (gen 8) have an integrated Matrox G200. I don't think it's mean to show 3D games, but I wonder if their drivers have OpenGL support.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby feipoa » 2014-12-01 @ 08:45

philscomputerlab wrote:
feipoa wrote:What is the reason why the G200 data is not included on the OpenGL results graph?


Doesn't support it.

What doesn't support the Matrox G200 in OpenGL mode? I was able to run Quake II in OpenGL without any noticeable problems. I used driver version 6.28 and Win98SE.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-01 @ 09:23

G200's biggest problem was its OpenGL support. Throughout most of its life G200 had to get by, in popular games such as Quake II, with a slow OpenGL-to-Direct3D wrapper driver. This was a layer that translated OpenGL to run on the Direct3D driver. This hurt G200's performance dramatically in these games and caused a lot of controversy over continuing delays and promises from Matrox. [4] In fact, it would not be until well into the life of G200's successor, G400, that the OpenGL driver would finally be mature and fast.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrox_G200

Reading this I didn't bother testing it.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby devius » 2014-12-01 @ 10:43

Zup wrote:It's funny that some HP servers (gen 8) have an integrated Matrox G200. I don't think it's mean to show 3D games, but I wonder if their drivers have OpenGL support.


The linux G200 driver has 3D acceleration using OpenGL. Not sure if that's what the HP servers are using.
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Re: Matrox Roundup G200, G400, G400 MAX, G450 and G550

Postby Zup » 2014-12-01 @ 12:11

I guess that the integrated G200 is only meant to show basic desktop/console image (but at higher resolutions that the previous ATI ES1000). I don't know if it supports OpenGL at all (that servers have some optional high performance cards, meant to use GPUs in parallel computing) but it's funny that old G200 it's still in use.
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