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    Matrox Parhelia Review
    By Vince Freeman :  June 25, 2002

    Anti Aliasing Analysis and Image Comparison

    We had intended to provide a detailed image comparison, complete with enlarged FSAA images, but due to the incredibly tight timeline involved in the Parhelia review, work on the NVIDIA and ATI cards needed to be done upfront. Unfortunately, the 3DMark 2001SE screenshot we selected displayed a few graphical anomalies with the Parhelia. As we assume this is another undocumented game/benchmark that is incompatible with the FAA-16x technology, we've decided in the interest of fairness, to forgo this section entirely.

    The Matrox Reef Demo

    Matrox included a few demos with the Parhelia and the Shark-related content (including the SharkMark Parhelia benchmark) both pleased and surprised us. The best of the lot is definitely the Reef Demo, and to help show off what the Matrox Parhelia is capable of, we've assembled a nice selection for your viewing pleasure. We start off with a favorite here, with our quick reflexes catching a Shark in full flight and munching down on a fish.

    From a more general point of view, assigning an Image Quality winner is one tough task, since there are so many intangibles present. We like the IQ of the Radeon 8500 when 4X AA and even 2X AF are enabled, but the performance penalty is steep. The GeForce4 Ti line strikes an excellent balance of flexibility, high-end IQ and playable framerates, but by the same token, there is a large segment of the gaming population who are quite satisfied with the IQ-performance ratio that Quincunx/2X AF brings to the table.

    In terms of the Parhelia, the overall effect of FAA-16x is quite good during in-game action and the technology offers high IQ combined with very playable framerates. Then again, if the game is "incompatible" with FAA-16x and starts displaying artifacts and skipping over some edge aliasing, then you may be forced to either go without AA or enable 4X supersampling and take a huge framerate hit. The actual game may have more to do with choosing an IQ winner, than the individual features of the various Matrox, NVIDIA or ATI cards.

    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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