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Sharky Extreme : June 24, 2009

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This article examines the 3D capabilities of the MATROX Millennium G400 in terms of image quality and performance. The image quality of the G400 is compared with that of NVIDIA's TNT2 and S3's Savage4. OpenGL and Direct3D performance are compared with that of the TNT2 alone. A section is devoted to environment mapped bump mapping (or EMBM).

Shown below is the 16-megabyte Millennium G400. The board is populated with Samsung SGRAM, which is conservatively rated at 166 MHz. The 32-megabyte version is similar with the addition of four SGRAM modules on the other side of the PCB. The G400 chip is covered by a massive heatsink.

The 16 MB Millennium G400

G400 contains two separate Cathode Ray Tube Controllers (CRTCs) that form the basis of the DualHead Display capabilities. The primary CRTC is connected to the integrated RAMDAC in the G400 for output to a RGB monitor. The second CRTC can be connected to the Matrox MGA-TVO chip for display on a television set or a second RGB monitor. This accounts for the presence of a second CRT connector as shown in the photograph above. Readers may wonder about the absence of a TV-out on the board itself. TV-out is accomplished by channeling video output from the second CRT connector to a television set via a special adapter.

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