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    Matrox Parhelia Review
    By Vince Freeman :  June 25, 2002


    Assigning a value rating to the Matrox Parhelia is another tough job. Matrox is releasing two versions of the Parhelia, with the retail card (220/275 MHz) priced at $399, and the OEM Parhelia (200/250 MHz ) checking in at approximately $350. At this price level, it's almost impossible to recommend the cards to the hardcore gaming community, as a GeForce4 Ti 4200 or Radeon 8500 can be had for much less and will yield higher overall framerates. The FAA-16x feature is a definite consideration, as is Surround Gaming, and there will likely be many who feel the Matrox name, 2D quality and overall card features are more than worth the price premium.

    The main issue seems to be that the Parhelia is designed for many different markets, and all user levels are required to buy into the overall design. Without a GeForce4 Ti-like differentiation of their product line, Matrox may have a hard time reaching the mass market with this board. Where it can really make hay is with 2D and 3D professionals, who will likely pay any price in return for some of the card's unique features.

    * Please note that online prices are taken at the time of review and are not intended to reflect long-term trends.


    The Matrox Parhelia is a true 3D enigma. It does what it intended to do, by offering playable framerates at high AA levels and an incredible array of multi-monitor and image quality enhancements. But we can't but feel a bit disappointed that the card doesn't match up to the high-end in standard game performance or overall flexibility. For this reason we can't recommend it to the hardcore gamer who gets juiced posting the latest 3DMark 2001SE high scores. It's also tough to peg an optimal target market for the Parhelia, but this is the only TripleHead show in town, and the Parhelia would do much better as a high-end choice for home entertainment and use across a wide range of gaming genres.


    • High Performance FAA-16x
    • Powerful Desktop Contender


    • High Retail Price
    • Disappointing 3D Performance


    Page 1 Introduction
    Page 2 The Matrox Parhelia 128-MB Card
    Page 3 Parhelia-512 GPU Features
    Page 4 Performance and Test System
    Page 5 Quake 3 and Serious Sam 2 Performance
    Page 6 Jedi Knight II, Comanche & 3DMark 2001 Performance
    Page 7 Anti Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering Performance
    Page 8 Anti Aliasing Techniques
    Page 9 Image Quality and Screenshots
  • Page 10 Value and Conclusion

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