21 inches of sheer delight

Tea

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I've been dissatisfied with my three year old MAG DJ810 19 inch monitor at home for some time now. At 1024 x 768 it's damn near perfect, but the moment you push it up past that res, it's unpleasant. Odd that it looks so good at 1024 but even at 1152 x 864 it is clearly below par.

So, the other week I took an NEC home. Just the Accusync 90, their bottom of the range 19 inch model, one of which happened to be lying around the shop not spoken for.

The NEC was clearly superior to the MAG at higher resolutions - anything from 1152 up - and capable of running 1600 at 85Hz, which is an essential if I'm going to use 1600 res for more than 30 seconds at a time. This is particularly so as stupid bloody Windows insists, the moment I flick up to 1600 and back, on resetting my refresh frequency to some ridiculously low level, even though I'm back in 1024.

(Or possibly Matrox - don't tell me that Matrox drivers are "the best" or "super-stable", because they are not. Matrox drivers are clearly inferior for stability to Voodoo, S3, and quite possibly Nvidia, and inferior in feature set to bloody Trident for the love of Mike, let alone those first mentioned. But I put up with them, like a casino addict putting one last coin in the machine over and over again, downloading the latest one, just in case it's finally fixed some of their many issues. And as for compatibility, Matrocuto, they are not all that good on that front either: Nvidia are bettter, and possibly even S3.)

Ahem. Monitors.

Alas, the NEC was clearly inferior to the MAG at lower resolutions, and too damn grainy to last more than a week or two as my primary at-home monitor. A very visible dottiness to it, and the controls are poorly laid out. (So far as usability of the controls goes, MAG are the best by a country mile. Better than any monitor I have ever seen.)

Yesterday, I spat the dummy and in a fit of pique, drove into the office and spent a few of my hard-earned.
 

Tea

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Now the main office monitor is a two-year-old Hitachi CM753ET, which was their absolute top of the range 19 inch model before they discontinued it about three years ago. (No typo there, I've had it for two years but it had sat in a warehouse somewhere for twelve months prior to that.)

It is big, ugly, very expensive ($1250 Oz retail, as I recall), and badly laid out so far as the controls go. But the picture quality makes up for all. Alongside the equally excellent Mitsubushi 19NF, I rate the CM753 as the best 19 inch monitor I have ever seen. Vastly superior, by the way, to the newer Hitachi flat screen 19, which is crudsville. In fact, after seeing their new 19, we switched away from Hitachi to Mitsubushi for our higher end products.

Up until about six months ago the CM753 seemed absolutely perfect. Then, at about the time I upgraded from OS/2 4.5 to ECS 1.0, it seemed to deteriorate. For ages I blamed the ECS video drivers and fiddled about loading the Matrox ones instead of the two different ECS-supplied universal drivers, but couldn't ever get it looking quite so sharp and clear as it used to be. I swapped out the G200 for a G450 too. Nothing I could ever put my finger on, but just somehow wong: something more sensed than seen, something you detect better out of the corner of your eye than when you are looking straight at it, something reminiscent of the way a low contrast ratio TFT never looks quite right, though not nearly so pronounced. Switching from Netscape/2 2.02 to Mozilla as my primary browser didn't help either. The old Netscape uses much better colours and is easier on the eye. ("Progress". Ha!)

So, two birds with one stone, I faxed an order off to Westan and, that night, took the Hitachi home.

And, damn it, it was still not quite right. All that time wondering if ECS could somehow slightly degrade the quality of my monitor, and it was the damn monitor itself! Here at home, running W2K instead of ECS, and on a different G450, it was the same. Slightly less so, but not quite right.

Then I noticed that the signal cable, having been only just long enough to reach around all the corners of my odd-ball office monitor setup, was bent back on itself quite sharply. Might this be enough to degrade my picture quality? I intended to bring a spare monitor cable home with me tonight but I forgot. Tommorow. Unless I forget.

And this morning, my new baby arrived: a Mitsubushi 21. I'd expected it to be a flat screen model, but it isn't. Not that I care. In fact, I guess I prefer the slightly rounded ones, though it doesn't much matter either way. And it is absolutely beautiful.

Damn it, today was the first time I've seen Kristi volunteer to go out the back and do paperwork in months!
 

Clocker

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Tea-
I have a DJ810 for about three years as well. It was a good monitor for the price (at the time) but I agree with you that at higher resolutions, it leaves a bit to be desired. I think mine is OK at 1152 (the res at which I run it with my GF2 GTS) but I would never go any higher.

I leave my DJ810 on 24x7 in hope of replacing it soon!!

Clocker
 

Tea

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Yes, Clocker. I was very happy with mine. I'll certainly not be selling it. I'll either use it for another machine (not likely though, as the office moniters at present are pretty well-off) or else give it to a family member. But which one?

Don't you love that single wheel control arrangment?

Pradeep: you just have to wait: today is my day for enjoying my new monitor. I hope they mess up the shipping and you don't get it till next week. :mrgrn:
 

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I've had my IIyama VM Pro 450 for a couple years now and I am very happy with it. It has a Mitsubishi DiamonTron tube (Not sure which model the tube is) and it is perfectly flat. I run at 1280x1024@85Hz all the time and I think the picture looks great.

I don't know how their new monitors compare, but I was considering purchasing the VM 452 for my new setup.
 

P5-133XL

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I have a IIYama Vision Master Pro510 and I'm relatively happy with it. I do note that I prefer high Quality LCD screens, but I have yet to see one 20+ that supports 1600x1280 that is affordable.
 

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After learning that a dead pixel isn't enough to RMA an LCD, there's no way I'd consider buying one, even though I could really use at least a couple.

A dead pixel would simply drive me nuts. So would the narrow viewing angles. I'm often working at one PC and looking at a different display.
I suppose color fidelity/contrast would be an issue, too. In short, entirely too many trade-offs.

An odd thing, I have several 21" displays. Two, until recently, and now a third. The oldest is a Sun/Sony fixed frequency job that is mostly used as a warm place for my cats to sleep. My other big guy is a Viewsonic P815. Curved tube, only .24dp but simply unreal visual quality. Easily worth the $1100 I paid for it three years ago. My latest big display is a lease-return Dell. I keep telling people how good they are, and then the next thing everyone asks is "Why don't you have one?" Well, now I do. I realized that I was spending as much time using an ancient Mag DX17F (six years old and counting!) as the Viewsonic I try to use the most. The Dell is a clone of Sony's excellent CPD-G520 display. Lovely. Flat. Bright. And for $280 for a year-old monitor with a 3-year warranty, I really can't feel bad about the money I spent, either.

My game machine sits on a basically-inadequate 25" (or is it 27"? I never remember) presentation display. I keep 12" and 14" displays attached to my test machines (I have an IBM 8512 that looks as clear and sharp as it did new - great display for something that's probably 12 or 13 years old). I also have an old NEC projector. It does 800x600 and can display a 60" image with very good clarity. I don't think I could run a word processor on it, but movies usually look really good (I project onto a white sheet, if anyone is wondering).

The limiting factor for most monitors seems to be that, over time, phosphors burn off the tube. One needs to increase the brightness on the display to compesate, and that burns phosphors off faster. That's the fate of my DX17F. Which makes that little IBM monitor and my older 21" displays all the more amazing - they haven't needed any sort of adjustment at all.

By the way, my Mag has the same problem as Tannin's. At 1024x768, everything looks really good. At 1152x864, it looks like crap.

I'd also venture Tannin's taken leave of his senses for suggesting that nvidia and S3 make better drivers than Matrox, but that's not really part of this discussion, either. Frankly I don't know which suggestion to find more outrageous.
 

Bartender

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Mercutio said:
I'd also venture Tannin's taken leave of his senses for suggesting that nvidia and S3 make better drivers than Matrox, but that's not really part of this discussion, either. Frankly I don't know which suggestion to find more outrageous.

I believe young Tannin was speaking nonsense, as it was late and he had too many night-caps by the time of his post.
 

CougTek

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Mercutio said:
I'd also venture Tannin's taken leave of his senses for suggesting that nvidia and S3 make better drivers than Matrox, but that's not really part of this discussion, either. Frankly I don't know which suggestion to find more outrageous.
I believe he sticks too much with PeeWee these days and it's having a bad influence on him ;-)
 

NRG = mc²

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So far as usability of the controls goes, MAG are the best by a country mile

On the (admittedly few) MAG's I've seen the controls weren't anything special - good but nothing that the traditional Sony's cross layout doesn't do. Perhaps you're talking of a different one but then again, I don't think it can be any simpler than those on the Sony monitors.

I've got a 3 year old 20" SGI monitor thats a Sony but with the typical SGI look, gold badge, granite effect plastic. Its a Sony GDM4011P. The brightness is ridiculously high, I never take it above 35/100 except for some games that display pretty dark, though I do have the colour on full coolness (9300K).

Runs at 1280 pretty well but the dot pitch is a little grainy at anything higher than that, and the image isn't as good as my old Sony CPD200GS 17" this replaced but my old one kept dying again and again and warranty was running out so I got this used for £180 which is $260 a year ago - well worth it IMHO.
 

Tea

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My XJ810, and most of the other MAGs I've seen has a single wheel, like the jog/shuttle control on a VCR remote control.

To adjust brightness, just turn it.

To do anything else, press, then turn to select the function you want (vertical size, let's say) press again. turn up or down and press to exit.

That's it. Zero learning time. Takes perhaps one-fifth as long as those stupid damn multiple button arrangents, especially because if you want a large adjustment you don't have to press, press, press, press over and over, just press once, twirl, press again.
 

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Dear Ms. Tea and others:

Mag Innovation and Viewsonic make nice consumer monitors, monitors which have features that the average consumer will like and made available at a price point that will sell shiploads.

But, to get the price down, these manufacturers will cut corners in places that aren't too obvious from the outside, such as the use of inexpensive electronics on the inside. The use of inexpensive limited-bandwidth electronics is usually the principal reason that monitors by such companies as Mag Innovation usually don't perform well at higher spatial resolutions and/or at high refresh rates. Picture tubes are not quite as bad as they used to be in mid-range and lower-end monitors, but the electronics used are much more attuned to low cost and median durability than high performance.

What do I use?
The Mitsubishi 2060U monitor.

What resolution do I operate it at?
1152 x 864 @ 75 Hz refresh rate

 

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Tea said:
...don't tell me that Matrox drivers are "the best" or "super-stable", because they are not. Matrox drivers are clearly inferior for stability to Voodoo, S3, and quite possibly Nvidia, and inferior in feature set to bloody Trident for the love of Mike, let alone those first mentioned. But I put up with them, like a casino addict putting one last coin in the machine over and over again, downloading the latest one, just in case it's finally fixed some of their many issues. And as for compatibility, Matrocuto, they are not all that good on that front either: Nvidia are bettter, and possibly even S3.

What on bloody earth are you running as a computer? At this point I would have to suspect something based on a Via, SiS, or ALI chipset and/or a box with a chancy BIOS. Matrox has produced excellent Windows drivers longer than most graphics adaptor manufacturers have existed.

I'm sure you're familiar with Microsoft's quality certification program called WHQL, where Microsoft and the hardware manufacturer go through a long drawn-out set of testing procedures on a set of drivers before they get the Microsoft WHQL seal of approval. Of all the many many graphics adaptor, network interface, SCSI, Fibre-Channel, and so forth manufacturers of devices, Matrox proved over a period of time to Microsoft to be so thorough at producing QUALITY drivers that Matrox was the first manufacturer that Microsoft allowed to produce and WHQL certify device drivers ON THEIR OWN -- without having Microsoft in the loop at all! As far as I know, there have been very very few -- if any other manufacturers at all -- that have attained Microsoft's blessing to produce and certify WHQL drivers all on their own.

In any event, you should flash the latest Matrox G-200/400/450/550 BIOS, which is available at:

http://www.matrox.com/mga/support/drivers/bios/home2.cfm

You'll need to temporarily run your G-whatever at 640x480 or 800x600 to flash the BIOS. After it reboots, you can set the resolution back to 1024x768, 1152x864, 1280x1024, etc.


 

James

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I've got a Cornerstone 50/115sf 21" on my machine, my girlfriend has a pair of 19" (one Viewsonic G790, the other a Phillips Brilliance 109P) on hers.

The colour saturation on the Cornerstone is unreal - streets ahead of anything I've ever seen. And this on a 4 year old monitor I picked up at auction for about USD150. The screen is a little curved, but that doesn't bother me - and the picture is just stunning. I understand now why the RRP for these things when they came out was USD1600.

I think it uses a Hitachi tube - it's certainly not a Trinitron, 2 little horizontal wires jobbie.
 

Groltz

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I'm using a Viewsonic P815. It was manufactured in March '98 according to the placard on the back. I bought it in April '98. It has been flawless the entire time and has a great picture.

Once I get recalled to work I would like to get a newer 21" monitor. A flat faced type. The Sony GDM-F520 seems to be pretty nice, but unlike some people the two horizontal aperture grill damper wires stick out like sore thumbs to me. (We had Trinitron monitors at work) I guess a nice 21" flat face sans wires would be the best choice.
 

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James said:
...The colour saturation on the Cornerstone is unreal - streets ahead of anything I've ever seen. And this on a 4 year old monitor I picked up at auction for about USD150. The screen is a little curved, but that doesn't bother me - and the picture is just stunning. I understand now why the RRP for these things when they came out was USD1600.

I think it uses a Hitachi tube - it's certainly not a Trinitron, 2 little horizontal wires jobbie.

The "21-inch" Cornerstone monitors use the Hitachi CRT. The "22-inch" use the Mitsubishi CRT.

http://shop.monitorsdirect.com/searchresults.asp?dept_id=3

The monitors that I use at work for imagery and documentation work are the Mitsubishi Spectraview series, which are the DP-2060U with a built-in colorimeter computer for performing automated colour calibrations. Needless to say, these are all driven by a Matrox G-400, G-450, or G-550 graphics adaptor. :wink:

DP2060_sv_big.jpg



 

Tea

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Thanks Gary, I'll try flashing the BIOS.

But note well: this ain't something I have to do with any other brand of card that I can think of. Good Lord, we sell a host of cheap no-name cards in amongst the classier stuff, and in general they just perform.

Let me see now, I've run my assortment of Matrox cards under a wie variety of conditions. I have, at present, or have had in service until quite recently:

Millenium II (two)
Mystique (one)
G-200 (two or three)
G-400 (one)
G-450 (about three)

In both PCI and AGP.

Main boards from:

MSI
FIC
Epox
Soltek
Gigabyte
Iwill
ASUS
Some others I forget.

Chipsets:

LX
BX
MVP3
AMD 750
AMD 760
KT-133
KT-133A
KT-266A

Operating Systems:

Win 95B
Win 98SE
Win ME
Win NT 4.0 with appropriate service packs
Win 2000
OS/2 4.5
ECS 1.0 with fix pack 1

Now I won't say I've had trouble with every single combination above, but probably a good half of them. Bar one excetion, the trouble has always been a minor niggle, but I expect perfection from a card that costs roughly four times what any other card of similar spec costs. (I believe they are only mildly outrageous in the States, over here they are absurdly expensive. A 16MB G-450 in a plain platic bag (no box) with a single head costs almost the same as a brand-name 64MB Gforce II Ti with TV out, video in, and 64MB DDR.)

Every now and then I get stuff that refuses to run. Right now, the Matrox card is #1 on my list of suspects for the Folding@home graphical client. It might turn out to be something else, but I doubt it. Of course, it will be some particular combination of factors, I'm sure it's possible to run F@H on a G450, but the Matrox cards are a common factor that run through a good many of my minor bugs.

Of all the cards that we sell that get returned for compatibility problems with some particular program or other, Matrox is #1 in terms of returns per unit sold. Usually, I simply give the customer whatever I can find that has equivalent picture quality, or close to it, most commonly a Voodoo III, and that is the end of the problem.

Now there are two factors that we must take into account here: (1) I expect more from Matrox cards than I do from cheap stuff. In terms of picture quality I get it, but the fuss-free factor is sadly missing. When a cheap, crappy card like a generic S3 Trio 2X/3D has fewer software issues than a top of the line Matrox, you know they ain't trying hard enough.

(2) The systems I put Matrox cards into are ones, generally speaking, the ones where the owners are fussier than normal - myself first among that list, of course.

But I put up with the damn things anyway. I don't really care about the price when it comes to my own system, I love the picture quality, and I need that excellent cross-platform support, as so many of my systems are multi-boot.

But whenever I seew people go on about how stable they are, I laugh. They are, at best, average.

As for the feature set, the Matrox drivers are very lack lustre. For starters they insist on putting that damn quickdesk crap in my quick launch, and it is a poorly designed interface. (Compare to a four year old Trident or S3 driver.) The way the Matrox cards report (or don't report, more to the point) your refresh frequencies is very poor.

Their DVD software sucks.

Look, I'm not saying they are crap - why else would I have seven machines and six Matrox graphics cards?

(And the other one, believe it or not, is a Trident TVGA 9000 512k ISA card, which in that particular machine, is ample - it runs DOS 6.3 and nothing else at all. It formats floppy discs and plays audio CDs and stuff like that. Most of the time it doesn't have a monitor, unless I flick the KVM. It's a Pentium Classic 200, but a 386DX-40 would do the job just as well.)

But I am saying that Matrox ain't the gods they are made out to be all too often, and I laugh whenever I see people rabbit on about how good their drivers are. I'd rate Matrox drivers in the middle: about as good as Nvidia's, much better than ATI's older ones or the early TNT crap or SiS or Cirrus Logic, not as good as S3 or Trident or 3DFX. (Excluding, of course, the dreadful S3 Savage 4.)

I'll try flashing the BIOS.
 

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You can disable the QuickDesk thingee (I never use it nor have a need for it) by first right-clicking the QuickDesk thingee itself there in the toolbar, then followed up by right-clicking the desktop and un-check "Start Matrox QuickDesk When Windows Starts" selection.

I actually have used it once for alternating (easily) between vertical and horizontal desktops when using a dual-monitor setup. But, I quit doing that after I settled on a vertical desktop layout for running Vegas Pro Audio multi-track audio and SoundForge.

As for my experience with Matrox video cards (since way the hell back to the the original Impression 4MB in the late 1980s) has been essentially a smooth sailing experience. But then again, the computers that I've used (these are all systems at work) have been well-known machines like various Compaq Deskpro workstations (early '90s vintage 386, 486, Pentium Classic) then custom / pedigree boxes built around Intel mobos (mid '90s Pentium Classic), and custom / pedigree boxes built around Supermicro mobos since about 1996.

Most of these systems were typically full of various add-in cards: Ethernet, audio, GPIB, Firewire, multiple SCSI host adaptors, RAID, proprietary high-speed parallel interfaces, fibre-channel HBAs. A total in my head of everything that's come and gone would be approaching 120 computer systems. The "existing" workstations have Supermicro BX or GX mobos (a bit over 30-each). Then there are several NT servers that I've built around Supermicro GX mobos that use G-200 graphics cards and few Supermicro 370DE6 servers that have G-450 PCI graphics cards.


 

Tea

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Now there Platform raises (or at least implies) what may well be the heart of the matter. It's not what is "a good product", it's what products work together properly. Perhaps Matrox do all their testing with the sort of ultra-expensive exotica that Mr Platform plays with. Out here in the real world ("real" by my existentialist definition, of course), there ain't no such thing as a SuperMicro motherboard. (Well, I've seen them. Three, to be precise - which averages to one board every three or four years.)

The other crap thing they put in your quick launch, Desknav, you can disable like that, but I have yet to figure out how to do it with Quickdesk. If there is an untick for it I'm damned if I can find it. I took it out manually one, some months ago, and that worked fine. Well, worked fine except that I don't much like 640 x 480 res with 16 colours.

Am I just stupid?
 

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Tea said:
...The other crap thing they put in your quick launch, Desknav, you can disable like that, but I have yet to figure out how to do it with Quickdesk. If there is an untick for it I'm damned if I can find it. I took it out manually one, some months ago, and that worked fine. Well, worked fine except that I don't much like 640 x 480 res with 16 colours.

> 640 x 480 res

It sounds like you uninstalled the Matrox software, which is what you don't need to do because you uninstall drivers, too. All you need to do is disable QuickDesk. Are you running Windows or is this OS/2?

I'm running Windows 2000 and Windows XP and the method described earlier about right-clicking the round blue bulbous thingee down in the lower right hand corner of the screen (the tool tray or whatever in the hell Billgates calls it). Yeah, just RIGHT-CLICK that thing and "Close" it. Then RIGHT-CLICK the open and free desktop somewhere to bring up the Properties ---> Settings ---> Advanced ---> Options, then un-check "Start Matrox QuickDesk When Windows Starts."

By the way, I can recall ONE problem that I had with a Matrox graphics card. It was their first PCI card, which was called the Impression II / PCI. The very first edition of that hardware later proved to be incompatible with busmastering PCI. After 3 or 4 (or 6) phone calls to Dorval, Québec, I was able to exchange the old graphics card for a new one ( + shipping).

 

Handruin

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I started out with a 2MB version of the Matrox Millennium in our family PC a few years back. When I built my first machine I bought the Matrox Millennium II (I think with 4 MB). I won't go about saying everything was smooth sailing, nor was it a POS.

I'm about as happy with the card as Tony. I found it to be buggy, and in more case then not my games at the time had some problem or another. Although MechWarrior II ran really nice with the Millennium.

I feel as though Tea's statement of "it's what products work together properly" is well said. I didn't have the top of the line motherboard or RAM; I couldn't afford it at the time.

I believe most of our documentation here at work says that our products are not supported if a customer is using Matrox video cards. I don't know why, but it could be due to the drivers.
 

CougTek

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Handruin said:
I believe most of our documentation here at work says that our products are not supported if a customer is using Matrox video cards. I don't know why, but it could be due to the drivers.
If your products have anything to do that uses OpenGL, it's quite possible.
 

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Tea said:
W2K. No MSCONFIG. There is a version, for XP I think, that is supposed to work just fine with W2K, but I can never remember what I filed the link under.

You can use XP's MSCONFIG under Windows 2000, I think. Just get it from the C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache of an XP config and try it. 142kb filesize.
 

Tea

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Thanks Steve.

(Memo to self: take that XP MSCONFIG and put it on the same floppy disc that lives in the workshop and has Win 98SE MSCONFIG on it for using with Win 95 systems - that works fine, so long as certain other conditions are met on the W95 system, IE 5.0 or higher, I think. Haven't actually tracked it down exactly.)
 

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FROM: Tannin
TO: Tea
DATE: 25/5/02
SUBJECT: Heresy

Well done, little sister!

When you first posted that "Matrox are not perfect" heresy, I thought you were nuts.

Not that I thought you were wrong, of course, simply that I figured the chances of anyone else believing you were nil, and while I admired your bravery in taking on the MatroxareGod Mafia single-handed, I questioned your common sense. Some truths are just too uncomfortable to ever be uttered in public.

Well, it seems that your lone voice crying in the wilderness did not go unheard, and that two more brave and hardy souls have come out of their shelter to add their own voices and their own messages to yours - and no lesser judges than Coug of Tek and Hand of Ruin.

I salute you, young Tea, and (if truth be told) now wish that it was I who had had such an excess of courage over common sense.

Best regards,

Tannin
 

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Handruin said:
...I believe most of our documentation here at work says that our products are not supported if a customer is using Matrox video cards. I don't know why, but it could be due to the drivers.

It was not drivers, but a hardware issue with certain Taiwanese clone mobos (particular SiS or ALI chipsets would go into a tizzy when you installed a Matrox Millennium II, or was it a G-200). If I recall correctly, there was some errant way that these certain models of SiS and ALI chipsets handled IRQ chaining.

Matrox's mistake was that it went running with the idea that all X86 chipset manufactures would be 101% Intel compatible with their chipsets (and they weren't -- sometimes not by a long shot). Matrox then created a highly-tuned board -- much like a Formula 1 race car -- a board that didn't accept too much variance in chipset (nor BIOS) characteristics. There have also been some problems with certain Via chipsets.
 

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Handruin said:
...I found it to be buggy, and in more case then not my games at the time had some problem or another. Although MechWarrior II ran really nice with the Millennium...

Ahhhh... MS-DOS games and DOS games designed to run in a Windows environment!

Since I know little at all, if anything, about computer games (and don't particularly care to learn much about computer games), I recall that Matrox was always chasing various little bugs with these sorts of games as they came out onto the market, were upgraded, etc. Some of these bugs were fixed with Matrox BIOS updates, others were fixed with driver updates. All of that stuff is documented in the version history release notes.

I haven't been there in a very long time -- and I just checked to see if they even still exist, and they do -- but there is a Forum for Matrox users at:

http://forums.matroxusers.com/

...where people know all about the particular issues with Matrox hardware and certain obscure and/or ancient DOS and DOS+Windows9x games and the like.


 

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Tannin said:
...and while I admired your bravery in taking on the MatroxareGod Mafia single-handed, I questioned your common sense. Some truths are just too uncomfortable to ever be uttered in public...

Then why do you think there exists a pretty large following of the Matrox-R-God mafia? It's not an accident that there exists such a crowd.

The actual truth is that for us that have a narrow but nonetheless popular need for a particular set of capabilities from a graphics adaptor have found through actual use and word-of-mouth that Matrox graphics adaptors are currently the best at a particular set of jobs. In this case I'm speaking about professional photographic retouching, professional document systems, various technical systems (like dual-head audio workstations, multi-monitor financial workstations), scientific / medical image display systems (colour, greyscalel), and to a somewhat lesser extent high-availability Windows servers. Matrox have a very long and well-known reputation in these professional industries for stability and performance.

There are jobs that I would never recommend a Matrox G-whatever graphics adaptor for these are:

* Someone wanting a sooper-dooper 3-D game system. Others are clearly the king (at the moment).

* Someone on a budget (meaning US$90 for a graphics adaptor -- not to mention the likelihood of a mobo with chipset by SiS, ALI, et al).


That said, the more-affluent non/low-gamer type couldn't be better equipped than with a Matrox G-whatever graphics adaptor in their Intel X86 box. Ask Dell, Compaq, HP, IBM, and other major computer manufacturers about Matrox. They all offer and have offered for several years various Matrox G-series graphics adaptors for workstations targeted for the 2-D performance crowd.

(PS: I just realised my SIG had not been turned on yet, now it's on.)
 

Tea

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Oh I ain't saying that Matrox are no good, Gary. Just that they too have their problems. Yes, I am mildly dissatisfied with my Matrox cards - well, with the drivers to be more exact - and would prefer to switch to a better - i.e. "perfect" brand.

The day I find that perfect brand, I'll switch. Let's remember that out or my six systems (if I ignore the DOS box) I have six Matrox graphics cards. They are, in short, the least-worst - though if I could find an S3 or Trident card with a decent RAMDAC, not that there was ever such a thing, at least not since Number 9 days, I'd switch.

Maybe I should try ATI again.
 

GIANT

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Tea said:
...Maybe I should try ATI again.
I believe the "old" (and still manufactured) 2x or 1x AGP series ATI graphics adaptors called the Xpert had solid stable drivers for Windows, but the various Rage series for AGP most certainly had ongoing (I'm talking years) driver stability for Windows. The last I heard, the more-recent Radeons have better drivers, but not perfect.

The problems with ATI have, as far as I've been made aware, were *solely* with device drivers. The people they had writing drivers there at ATI from 1998 ~ 2001 must've been a bunch of kiddos straight outta grammar school. I used to use ATI cards back in the early '90s for non-techie workstations. The only problem I had with ATI cards back then (the VGA Wonder, and VGA Wonder XL, etc) was the damn Crystal Fonts. They weren't widely compatible with various common applications.

Actually, I think the "perfect" graphics adaptor(s) is/are just around the corner, and it's probably going to be one/several that will do the job adequately and without fuss. These will be the various integrated graphics adaptors that are part of certain chipsets from nVidia, ATI, and Intel that will have their own 8 MB or 16 MB memory module.

The UMA (Unified Memory Architecture) graphics adaptors that have been foist upon us in the past were some of the worst performers that I've ever witnessed on a "modern" machine. However, I might add, back in the early days of expensive specialised graphics workstations, using system memory for the frame buffer was the way it was commonly done. Sun and many other workstation manufacturers did it later on, too. But, using primary system memory as the frame buffer now has been simply a case of unforgivable cheapness on the part of Intel and others in this day and age.
 

Pradeep

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Well I finally picked up my Sony 21"er. My god, to think i've been missing out on the big screen experience for so long. Biggest thing I've used long term before is an LG 17"er Everything is looking nice and crisp at 1600*1200@85Hz on the AIW Radeon 7500. Though I do wish that phpBB would work with the text size option in IE :(
 

Tea

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On 23rd May, Pradeep wrote: "I'm hoping my Sony E540 (21") arrives either today or tomorrow."

I wrote: Pradeep: you just have to wait: today is my day for enjoying my new monitor. I hope they mess up the shipping and you don't get it till next week. :mrgrn:

Today, on 29th May, Pradeep wrote: "Well I finally picked up my Sony 21"er."

Whoo! My fault. Sorry Pradeep! I forgot to unwish you your bad luck.
 

Pradeep

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No worries Tony. The bastards at the shop were meant to ring me and tell me when it came in, so for all I know it was sitting there last week :)
 

NRG = mc²

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21 inches? Really? Would you like to star in my next movie, Rocco ravishes Melbourne?[/i]
 
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