First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Matrox Parhelia Graphics card
- — 27 August, 2002 07:31
This graphics card is aimed at gamers (as well as business professionals) with screen real estate, image quality and performance in mind.
The Parhelia sports two independent DVI-I connections on its mounting bracket. These can be used to drive up to three analog displays at a time (or two analog devices and one digital flat panel) in a wide screen (stretched mode) resolution of up to 3840x1024 with 32-bit colour depth.
Not only that, but a number of different types of analog and digital devices can be connected in various combinations, with Matrox supplying all the necessary cabling (one Y-shaped DVI-I to dual HD-15 cable, one DVI-I to HD-15 adapter and one HD-15 to S-Video and composite cable).
For entertainment, the Parhelia features DVD Max, which allows you to view a DVD movie in full-screen mode on one screen, while allowing you to continue working unaffected on your primary screen. Keen gamers will enjoy immersing themselves in the tri-monitor setup while flying a jumbo in Fight Simulator 2002 or blasting away in Quake III Arena.
This isn't the only new feature, for Parhelia also features DirectX 9.0-compatible Quad Texturing and Hardware Displacement Mapping support. This enhances rendering and geometry performance as well as improves colour depth and antialiasing.
Performance testing with 3DMark 2001 SE and Quake III revealed that the card provides smooth high-end gaming performance, although the top-of-the-range GeForce4 flavours are still able to outmuscle it in terms of frame rates.
Currently, the card supports Windows 2000 and XP.
For more information on the Parhelia, check the PC World magazine September Tech.Files on page 18.
In brief:Matrox Parhelia
The Parhelia mustered 7213 marks in 3DMark 2001 SE and 70fps in the Quake III Timedemo 1 benchmark at a resolution of 1600x1200 with 32-bit colour depth. Offering smooth, high- detail surround gaming, this is a very desirable card. Unfortunately, three-screen mode can only be implemented in stretched mode and will not accommodate individual or cloned screen modes.
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