Matrox M3D: your opinions?

Discussion in 'Architecture and Products' started by Simon82, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Simon82

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    Hello,
    I'd like to know what do you think about this card, sold as a Voodoo killer in the past age with some great features, one for all the use of the primary frame buffer to display image through the PCI bus and not through the loop cable that so many past cards includes with an enormous loose of quality. If I remember correctly there were some great features regarding the use of the 4Mb of ram to get superior resolutions compared to the 640x480 locked Voodoo graphics board.

    A little, cheap but misunderstood card in my opinion, that if supported would realy compete with other beast.


    Bye
     
  2. CarstenS

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    I really liked and still like my m3D - especially running SGL-Quake in 1.024x768 was quite a jaw dropper for all my friends who used a Voodoo Graphics back in the days. Sadly though, the m3D was killed by GLide.
     
  3. Simon82

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    Yeah, I totally agree... like other cards the use of a propetary api would solve many problems if developers decide to go with it, but Glide was indeed a good api anyway capable to show its capabilities even with 1998/99 games and 16bit limits.
    I remember the car game the make total use of this sgl api at 1024x768, really awesome! It was "Rage... something like this...
     
  4. Davros

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    Dont exagerate..

    ps: great card in its day A fellow b3d reader sent me one (the powervr version) not long ago
     
  5. Simon82

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    Well... I remember that windows fonts was blurried. And there were no way to enhanche the image qualty of it...
     
  6. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I've found that the blur is more caused by the quality of the Voodoo card. My Righteous 3D blurred the 2D a lot, but a STB Voodoo2 that I have barely affects 2D at all. Same passthru cable.
     
  7. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    SGL-lite was very similar to GLide but wrappers historically attracted the ire of a certain company.
     
  8. Davros

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    SGL-lite? did the m3d have a glide wrapper
     
  9. _xxx_

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    It couldn't even do bilinear, talk about the Voodoo killer - LMAO.

    It wasn't a bad product as such, but it surely wasn't even near being competitive with Voodoo in terms of market appeal. The speed also was never great, although that might be due to a lacking SW-support.
     
  10. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    Are you confusing PCX1 and PCX2?

    a) SGL was high level, display-list API (i.e. API maintained a tree of objects, lights, transformations etc) while SGL-lite was a low-level, post-projection triangle API.

    b) I was trying to imply it was doable but not advisable to do so.
     
  11. Simon82

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    I remember bilinear filtered texture on all the games where hw acceleration was involved. Maybe it was not as good as the Voodoo one, but it was there absolutely. Even the S3 Virge card was capable of bilinear filtering and you could see it on the Quake S3 GL wrapped version. A good 5fps accelerated game... :D Maybe slower that the software accelerated version... :lol:
     
  12. Panajev2001a

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    I like the look of standard Quake better than GL Quake... I remember trying it with the Voodoo 1 (attached to a Matrox Millennium II ;))... filtered textures were nice and all, but lighting looked a lot less dynamic and a lot more baked-in than standard Quake... and that is why I preferred Quake in high-res over GL Quake.
     
  13. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Not if you had a Matrox Mystique or PowerVR PCX1 :wink:

    Funny thing is that I sometimes preferred point sampling to bilinear in those days of incredibly low resolution textures. Blur fest or artificial pixely detail? That is the question!

    The lack of mip mapping was one really annoying aspect of some ancient cards (like Mystique). You'd get this crazy swimmy texture noise out in the distance that was almost dizzying. You can still see this in some Cube and Wii games. And some cards only did per-poly mip mapping (Verite comes to mind) so you could see whole triangles having their textures popping in and out lol. Some games were designed for per poly mip mapping though so it wasn't too bad in those. Good 'ol days!
     
  14. Bob

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    The Mystique also came bundled with Mechwarrior II. The only way to play that game without confusing enemy mechs for, you know, terrain, is to turn on "Enhanced Targetting Mode". That's really just line-mode polygons. Don't know if the lines were SW renderred or not, but either way that doesn't bode well for Matrox :)

    M3D definitely did bilinear filtering. I don't remember if it did trilinear though.
     
  15. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    IIRC, the PCX2 (the chip in the m3D) supported the following modes
    • Nearest Pixel, Linear MIP (this was the mode on PCX1)
    • Bilinear Pixel, Nearest MIP (actually, I'm not 100% sure about this)

      and an intelligent combined mode:
    • Bilinear for magnified and minification down to about 1.5x compression**, then switched to (Nearest Pixel, Linear MIP)

    So, no it didn't do trilinear, but the last mode looked quite reasonable and was the default in the drivers, IIRC.


    **Sorry, I don't actually know what the exact figure for this was, but it's reasonably close.
     
    #15 Simon F, Mar 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2009
  16. Rodéric

    Rodéric a.k.a. Ingenu
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    I still have one of my Matrox m3D around :)
    16bit rendering for dummies ! Real mean use 24bit colors ! ;)
     
  17. Davros

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    Mine didnt :(
     
  18. _xxx_

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    Hmm, could be the case :)
     
  19. the maddman

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    I still have my Mystique and my copy of Mechwarrior II. I wasted so much time on that game it was scary, it's always been my favorite of the Mechwarrior series.
     
  20. DeanoC

    DeanoC Trust me, I'm a renderer person!
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    IIRC Another interesting feature of PCX2 was that it didn't have colour interpolators when texturing. It only interpolated a single channel, so often lighting fell back to monochromic on it.

    The original Millennium didn't do texturing, it did run our games from that era but looked very old fashioned even then.

    Mystique didn't do alpha, using stipple patterns instead. Which of course we now call alpha to coverage and consider all fancy and high tech ;)
     

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