Go to Matrox
Matrox have always been a corporate rather than home buyer company. Their flagship products always have amazingly fast 2D performance and top Windows acceleration too. Matrox didn't really make a massive effort in the 3D gaming market until recently. Their first 3D capable card was the Matrox Millenium. It had no texture mapping support and as such was of no use to gamers at all. It was successful though because for a long time no other card even came close to it's 2D performance. Then came the Millenium 2. The first version had a 220MHz RAMDAC, 4-16MB RAM, an optional TV capture add-on called Rainbow Runner and a 3D engine that supported texture mapping among other things. A later version had a 250MHz RAMDAC. The resolution, clarity and speed of this card were untouched by anyone until ATI released their Rage Pro chip many months later. It's 3D speed wasn't too bad either for the time, but, once again Matrox failed to keep up with the gamers needs and didn't implement bi-linear filtering into the design. Then they released the Mystique card to appeal to the gaming market. Again, the lack of bi-linear filtering meant that, while from a gamers perspective it was an improvement on Millenium 2 and did gain some support, it could never compete with the 3dfx Voodoo. In the middle of '98, Matrox released the G100. This was the first 8MB card to be truly affordable. It had decent 3D performance and at last supported bi-linear filtering. It was an AGP card too which at the time meant it was worthy of consideration. Once again though it was aimed at the corporate market as a cheap, but excellent video card. Finally, in late '98, Matrox took the gamer's needs into consideration and released the G200. Superb image quality (the best) coupled with above average 3D speed made it and still would make it a decent buy. The Riva TNT and Intel i740 stole a little of it's image quality thunder though. The latest from Matrox, the G400, is definitely aimed at the gamer. Going off the specs and the screen shots, it will probably have the best image quality of the new batch of cards, and won't be far behind in 3D either. It's primary marketing point is that it supports hardware bump-mapping, something that no other company has done so far. It won't however be a TNT2 basher. It's image quality might make the Voodoo3 look a little dated however. Overall, Matrox have a good range of stable and undeniably fast products, but, are not the primary choice for a gamer at the moment.