Attack Out Of The Blind Spot: Matrox Parhelia-512

The Driver

The new Matrox "Power Desk" Display Utility is the central element of the Matrox driver. This is what allows you to create all settings, from the monitor setup to the 3D options.

Matrox Power Desk Utility

Happily, the 3D options are easy to set, even though it would have been nice to have a few more advanced settings at your fingertips.

In the tests, the driver ran quite stably, except for two blue screens that weren't reproducible. Only in Aquanox could we find any image deficiencies, which, in this case, were encountered with the rendering of water plants. ATI's Radeon 8500 had also suffered from this problem for a long time. Another problem is the display of VESA graphics under DOS. Parhelia cannot display VESA graphics that are not 100% compatible, for example, in a high-resolution BIOS of a motherboard. Matrox will be offering an additional BIOS to remedy this problem.

A positive aspect is the signal quality of the Parhelia. In 1600 x 1200 @ 85 Hz, the card delivered a crystal clear image on our 22" test monitor. We'll be bringing you further details on this in Part II of the article, where we'll talk about all other characteristics of the Parhelia apart from 3D quality.