FS: Matrox AGP cards

Discussion in 'For Sale / Trade' started by Engr62, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Engr62

    Engr62 Limp Gawd

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    I have four Matrox AGP cards for sale. These were working when pullled, but I have no way to test at this time. I take Paypal and shipping to the CONUS is included (not shipping outside of CONUS). Bare cards, no boxes or accessories.

    $130 OBO

    Matrox AGP Graphics Cards.jpg
     
  2. Engr62

    Engr62 Limp Gawd

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  3. Pappy

    Pappy 2[H]4U

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    Wow, the G400 Max was a beast in the day. Bump mapping! Multi display out! Brings back memories for sure. I remember replacing it with a Voodoo 5 5500. I am half tempted to buy it for nostalgia sake. Could be fun to build a gaming computer circa 2000...
     
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  4. auntjemima

    auntjemima [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have two of these already, otherwise I would buy them. I really only want the Parhelia.
     
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  5. Absalom

    Absalom Gawd

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    Matrox 2D quality was bar none the best back in the day. I still have my Millennium II and G400 MAX.

    I also have the Rainbow Runner G daughter card. It was a damn good TV tuner and capture card. While the ATI All in Wonder was a pretty good card for the money, I always thought Matrox had superior driver and software support. That alone was worth the price of admission.

    The G400 MAX and the TNT2 Ultra were neck and neck in gaming performance, especially Direct3D, but Nvidia always had better OpenGL support. Really that's about the only black mark with my G400 experience.

    The Matrox dual head feature was also way ahead of its time. Driving two really nice CRTs via one card was the dream. Matrox always put a killer RAMDAC on their stuff.

    I recall later on being really disappointed when I saw my Geforce 256 and Geforce 2 GTS put out a really piss poor 2D signal. But once LCDs with DVI inputs became a thing, the point was moot.

    Matrox never really captured the magic after the 400 series, sadly. They were a damn good company at making quality products.
     
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  6. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

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    Uh, no they didn't on both accounts. They were their own worst enemy with the PR and marketing teams promising features that their silicon didn't have and would never have. This resulted in engineers writing drivers to try and force the silicon to do things it was never designed to with disastrous results.

    The only things they had going for them was the 2D acceleration and multi-head outputs on their video cards. What got them into trouble is when they started marketing their cards to gamers, which none of their cards well into the G series could do. Starting with DOS, they had basically no support for VESA modes, making any DOS games that rely on them unstable and crash prone. My G200 couldn't run any Build engine game (Duke3D, Shadow Warrior, etc.) without major screen corruption or crashing to DOS if you encountered a translucent object.

    In Windows, OpenGL support was broken from the start. Matrox had an OpenGL to Direct3D wrapper which was painfully slow and didn't have proper OpenGL drivers well into the G400s life, and even then you had to do ugly driver hacks to work around transparency bugs. Direct3D wasn't much better, but that didn't matter at that point in time since most games still used OpenGL or Glide.

    I've had several Matrox cards over the years (and still have a small collection of them.) None of them were ever good beyond the crisp 2D output on a CRT.
     
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  7. Absalom

    Absalom Gawd

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    I don't know what you are smoking... The Millennium II ran 640x480 and other VESA modes just fine, albeit no CPU around at the time could maintain a decent framerate in Build @ VESA 640x480. Even my $1100 Pentium Pro 200Mhz couldn't pull off a decent framerate in Build using those high end VESA modes. And I used it to play a quite a few Build engine games, Duke3D, Witchaven, Blood, Shadow Warrior, etc.. I rarely if ever ran into VESA problems in DOS as you described. It certainly wasn't an issue with Descent, which I was obsessed with, because I always ran it at an oddball 320x400 VESA mode. No crashing as you described. Even the oddball 512x384 was no problem. Again, my Matrox VESA experience in the DOS days was not broken.
    If you understood how the Build engine works, you'd know that translucent objects have nothing to do with the VESA mode much less any notion of some 2D driver or acceleration. These type of DOS games were simple and used the cpu to do everything. There was no 2D acceleration in DOS. 2D acceleration didn't become a thing until the late Win3.1 and early Win95 period. It sounds like you had issues elsewhere in your setup. And if it was truly the card at fault, then it was a defective card. In any event, your issue would not be an accurate representation of everyone else.
    True, out of the gate Matrox provided shoddy OpenGL support, at least for gaming. But months after launch of the G400, they fixed that by providing a miniGL driver that was a pure OpenGL implementation. The miniGL was focused on gaming performance, and if id tech was any indication, it certainly delivered. It came very close to the TNT2 experience (I was lucky to have access to both). However, being a miniGL it was not the full blown OpenGL API, so certain things were missing. And id tech wasn't the only thing around running on OpenGL. You couldn't use the miniGL in places where a full blown OpenGL driver were needed. So I guess you could say they half-assed it, but you make it sound like Matrox didn't care about gaming and resorted to hacks which is just plain heresy.

    Keep in mind that even back then, Direct3D games were far more prominent than OpenGL. So they could have ignored OpenGL completely and still be known for their Direct3D. But history paints a different picture.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  8. mvmiller12

    mvmiller12 Gawd

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    I still have my G400 and 2xVoodoo2 cards.... I was upset that the Parhelia had such sub-par performance at it's release, and Matrox just never seemed to come back to us gamers :(
     
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  9. Engr62

    Engr62 Limp Gawd

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    Bump just in case there are any collectors that didn't see this before.
     
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  10. Bigbacon

    Bigbacon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    my first media PC used a G400 max...I reemember playing Battlezone 2 on it on a HUGE 27" TV!!!
     
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  11. deaedius

    deaedius Gawd

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    I always wanted a Matrox Parhelia 512, even if it was just for display.
     
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  12. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    OMG Battlezone 2.... played that on my Voodoo 1 card.

    I think I sold a G400 on here or ebay for like $10 not that long ago...
     
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  13. cjcox

    cjcox [H]ard|Gawd

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    Memories of my G200. Matrox boards has awesome DACs. But alas, apart from framing one on a wall, not sure what an AGP card would be good for anymore.
     
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