Matrox's New $600 Graphics Card

Montreal (Canada) - Let’s be realistic, the glory days of Matrox and blockbuster graphics cards such as the legendary Millennium are over. But despite the rise of Nvidia and ATI, Matrox is still around and is catering to an industry running workstations and mission critical applications. The manufacturer recently introduced a handful of new cards that can run up to four LCDs, but come with prices that got us thinking.

Matrox has been left out of most graphics decisions in recent years, with the exception of its Dual Head 2 Go and Triple Head 2 Go products that are really the only devices left that may appeal to an enthusiast graphics crowd which the company once helped to create. But if you are running workstation software such as financial or industrial monitoring applications, there is a good chance that you are still familiar with this brand, even if Nvidia and AMD (ATI) are dominating these market segments and there are very few niches left for Matrox to compete in.

The company recently introduced five new graphics cards, all powered by the companies M-series chip, which Matrox says is the industry’s first "QuadHead GPU." QuadHead refers to the claim that the chip integrates native support up to four displays on one card and a maximum resolution of 4 x 1920 x 1200 pixels - or about 9.2 megapixels. The M9140 LP PCIe x16 model is the only model to support this feature out of the box and sells for $599 MSRP. The M9120 Plus LP PCIe x16 ($329) and the M9120 Plus LP PCIe x1 ($329) can also support up to four LCDs, but require a $99 after-market cable.

There are two cards that are limited to two outputs, the M9120 PCIe x16 ($259) and the M9125 PCIe x16 ($399). The M9120 supports digital output of up to 1920x1200 pixels and analog output of up to 2048x1536 pixels, while the M9125 ups the digital output to 2560x1600 pixels. All cards are passively cooled.

Let’s recap. Matrox is offering a low-profile graphics card will set you back about $600. Seeing that price tag, we had to remind ourselves that, for the same money, you can get two ATI Radeon 4870 512 MB graphics cards, and drive four 2560x1600 monitors. Or you can buy three 4850 512 MB, and drive six 2560x1600 monitors.

Performance-wise, Matrox’ graphics chip can hardly be called a GPU. Instead, it is clear that the company focused on delivering (analog) native quad-monitor support, so we are not surprised to see that DirectX compliancy was not mentioned. We managed to find out that M-Series supports DirectX 9.0 in a way to run Windows Vista’s Aero interface and OpenGL 2.0. There are no technical specifications available on the GPU.

  • razor512
    Any info thats not released is NOT released because the specs are sub par and if they release them, it will only hurt their sales

    so they keep that info hidden so when they bur the card, it is already to late to do anything.

    it is like buying a PC game, only to find out that it is crap then you and your basically screwed (even though many pc games suck, they will never disclose that info on the box )

    same with almost any PC hardware. info thats not included is about specs that are lacking or are far below their competitors
  • truehighroller
    I feel bad for them it makes me sad.
  • khaydin
    Why waste $600 when you can buy a single ColorGraphic Xentera GT 8 that will drive 8 monitors at once? We had those in our 911 dispatch center PCs where I used to work. They cost a lot less than $600 too. I'm not sure why this article puts so much emphasis on the max resolution they can display. Anyone that's gonna be using 4 or more monitors to display information isn't gonna care about using the highest resolution. They're gonna wanna use something around the 1280x1024 range so they can easily read text and not strain their eyes too much.
  • razor512
    companies like to have higher specs than their competitors

    too bad one of the specs Matrox chose, was price
  • weixinyuan
    Wow, is this even a joke?
  • klarkmdb
    Then what's their point? Why are they still producing it?
  • razor512
    klarkmdbThen what's their point? Why are they still producing it?

    money /profits

    a company does not get paid by how many people buy their products, they get paid by how many units the stores order to have in stock

    if newegg buys 10,000 of those cards thinking it is the next best thing, and only 5 people buy it, then the videocard company made a profit and newegg lost money and will be forced to sell them dirt cheap to clear out the inventory
  • slope987
    Why are people always talking only about 3D performance? Except for games, it's not that useful. If you have a PC at your job, do you think your boss really care about 3d performance of the graphic card you have in your work PC (unless if you are working in a video game company)? Even if your company needs to do some 3d, chances are good that those cards will be fast enough. Good Multi-monitor support, display correctness, driver realiabiliy (no crash!) and card realiability should come higher on the priority list. Having a fanless card is a big advantage for the graphic card reliability (plus it makes no noise).

    Do you think hospitals will put cards in their PCs that come need fans... I don't think so... Also, many buisnesses require 4 monitors or more. I am pretty sure that Matrox will come up with a multi-board solution with cards based on this GPU. Imagine running aero glass with 8 monitors..

    By the way, I do have a ATI gaming card in my home system and that's ok for my need (except for display error on my second monitor when I run it in a different resolution than my main monitor). But for a job PC, that's not the card I would buy. nVidia and ATI may have similar solutions to the one offered my Matrox, but they will be costly too..
  • Lozil
    Matrox's New $600 Graphics Card....???

    Who is going to buy that after ATI and nVIDIA are Competing with high end stuff at 500$......???
  • coverfire
    Just a side note. I work at a hospital and the only cards capable of producing the gray scale for our XRAY and MRI reading monitors are matrox cards. Or I should say the only SUPPORTED cards for those gray scale monitors are matrox cards.