Looks like a game's box!
All quiet on the Canadian front
Over the course of the past year, the battle in the graphics industry has not seen any sign of resolution.
We've seen new and improved product offerings from the usual suspects: ATI, 3dfx, and NVIDIA. What ever
happened to Matrox?
Back in the day of separate 2D and 3D cards, Matrox was recognized as the 2D champion. A consumer system
that was considered as having powerful video capabilities typically utilized a Matrox card to handle 2D,
such as a card from the venerable Millennium or Millennium 2 lines, and had a 3D "accelerator" - typically
a Voodoo 1 or 2. If you were 1337, of course, you had a Voodoo 2 SLI setup.
The two-card approach didn't last long after that, as we began to see cards with integrated 2D and 3D
capabilities (gasp!). Games were increasingly becoming 3D, which began to make 3D graphics cards a necessary
component in a gaming rig. Matrox realized this, and offered a 2D/3D video card in the G200. However, the
lack of an OpenGL ICD for the G200 really crippled its ability to perform on par with its competitors.
Enter the G400
Matrox's answer was held in their next chipset - the G400. The summer of 1999 saw the release of the
Millennium G400 card
and its sibling, the
Millennium G400 MAX
. These two
cards were based on the G400 chipset, built around a 0.25 micron manufacturing process. The G400 chipset
offered the same great image quality that Matrox was known for while trying to stay competitive in 3D.
Unfortunately, in a pretty vicious market, 3dfx and NVIDIA were the two strongest competitors in the 3D
arena. Although the G400 chipset had some cool features and much better OpenGL support than its G200
predecessor, the G400 cards didn't see as much success among gamers as Matrox probably would have liked.
Corporate gaming rigs?
Matrox found its answer to video card success by moving on and hitting a market that would appreciate
the 2D and image quality - business professionals. Since most jobs stress applications that are 2D, such
as your typical word processing and spreadsheet programs, Matrox had a viable market to hit. Unlike our
computer systems here at FiringSquad, super high 3D framerate is not a typical concern for the IT guy who
buys corporate machines.
Matrox was able to attack this market with some success. Many large corporations have adopted Matrox products
as part of their lineup. With this knowledge under their belt, the G450 was launched as a "corporate" video
card - a point that they have made clear with their marketing and press materials.