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Head Two Head: Matrox Millennium G450

Millennium G450: Did Matrox Miss The Market?

A modern graphics card for 3D gamers has to provide high frame rates, it must come with fast memory and also support as many 3D functions as possible - without being too expensive. The Millennium G450 does not fulfill any of those criteria.

So, why does Matrox produce and sell such a product? Only some years ago, their cards used to provide the best 2D performance and top notch signal quality. That's still the same today, but the competitors gradually came closer. Today, graphics cards are usually rated by 3D performance and features - something which leaves the Matrox cards behind the times. The performance leader, nVIDIA, releases graphics chips on steadily shortened product cycles, outshining predecessors and outclassing other companies' products.

Todays graphics chips also come with some functions to accelerate and to enhance DVD/MPEG2 playback. Back in the times of the good old Matrox Millennium (MGA 2064W) or the Diamond Fire GL 1000 Pro, the 2D or Windows performance had already reached its plateau. No ultra-fast ATI Radeon or nVIDIA GeForce 2 Ultra board is able to draw windows and text faster.

Matrox's new Millennium G450 does not surpass the former top model G400MAX in terms of performance, even though the name might imply it. Actually, the new model is as fast as the standard G400, as the modifications merely concern optimizations for the business and OEM market.