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Review: Matrox Millennium G450 DualHead (Page 2/9)

Posted: December 8, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen


0.18 micron technology
166MHz Core
AGP 1X, 2X, 4X
32MB DDR memory
64-bit DDR/SDR external bus to frame buffer memory
Support for OpenGL and DirectX
256-bit DualBus
DualHead Display
Vibrant Color Quality˛ rendering
Environment-Mapped Bump Mapping
UltraSharp DAC
Integrated second RAMDAC
Integrated TMDS transmitter
Integrated TV encoder
High-quality DVD playback
Primary display resolution up to 2048x1536x32-bit
Bilinear, trilinear, and anisotropic filtering
Symmetric Rendering Architecture
32-bit Z-buffer including 8-bit stencil buffer

Comparing the G450 to its older brother, the G400, we see that the only major difference is the fabrication process -- from 0.25 micron down to 0.18 micron. The core of the G450 is the same speed as the G400. Basically what you have now is a highly optimized and integrated graphics card for individuals requiring multiple displays while maintaining a good level of performance.

Matrox also gives the G450 the fastest RAMDAC available. Running at a speed of 360MHz, the G450 produces the sharpest visuals at the highest refresh rates possible. This maintains sharpness at high resolutions while at the same time giving you a solid display without flickering.


What's a bus? What's a DualBus? You can think of a bus as being a highway for data to travel to and from components. Taking into account that the word Dual means two, we now have two buses.

Didn't the G200 have a DualBus also? Yes. But it was 128-bit, comprised of two 64-bit buses. The G450 contains two 128-bit buses. This technology will surely prep the G450 for the future and keep it a step away from being the next bargain-bin card.

Data on the bus normally goes in one direction. But the bus is bi-directional. During any given clock cycle, data may go from the graphics engine or to the graphics engine. So technically only one thing can be done at a time. But Matrox took a different approach and split the bus into two -- hence the name DualBus. One bus goes from the graphics engine and the other goes to the graphics engine. So now data can go in and out at the same time. The spark here is that both buses are 128-bits wide, producing and total bus width of 256-bits!

This is extremely efficient, and theoretically the card can pump out double the performance. Working in tandem with the DualBus architecture, the graphics engine can make sure both buses are doing what they should respectively be doing. Instead of waiting for in-data to finish to go out, in-data and out-data can be active at the same time and not saturate the bus.

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