When we think of Matrox, we think of supreme 2D and 3D quality, but at a price. Matrox is trying to do something about that last little naughty bit. They have made a deal with Taiwan-based motherboard/platform solution/video card manufacturer, Gigabyte, to produce a G400 based card. But there's an odd catch. In order to cut production costs, the GA-MG400 produced by Gigabyte carries no onboard BIOS and only works with certain Gigabyte motherboards that can supply BIOS to the video card. This also stops the GA-MG400 from taking major market share away from Matrox. We decided to put Gigabyte's GA-MG400 card through our demanding test routine to see how it stacks up.
The layout of the GA-MG400 is closely based on the design of all Matrox G400s, but there are a several significant differences:
First, the GA-MG400 we tested is single head, that is to say, it has only one VGA out. This means that you don't get one of the G400's best features, dual-head support for two monitors. Second, it uses a turquoise heat sink that is smaller than those on any Matrox G400 we've encountered. While the heat sink is smaller, we encountered no problems with heat dissipation. In fact, the heat sink was hardly warm to the touch even during intense 3D benchmarking. This may limit overclockability for some, but it does help keep the price down and does not affect normal operation.