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Matrox G400 Tweak Guide (Page 1/4)

Posted: November 28, 1999
Written by: David "Spunk" Grampa

The Matrox G400 was by far one of the better in the old series video cards. However, with next-gen boards hitting store shelves everywhere, it's time to dust off your old card and see what's still rumbling under the hood before you go and upgrade. While the G400 is not the most overclockable or tweakable board I've seen, squeezing out a few frames per second is easy, fun, and virtually painless...

Lil bit o' BIOS

As with any video card, the first tweaking you'll see begins in the BIOS. For more specific information regarding the BIOS on your motherboard, please see the manufacturer's bundled user's guide. That last sentence was supposed to be read excessively professional, as with this one... Moving on, reaching your BIOS is easy! Simply press the delete (not backspace) key located on your personal computer's keyboard during the boot process. This will bring you into a rather funky looking interface known as your system's, you guessed it, BIOS. Once in, take the time to note parameters before changing them. Although these settings optimized my G400, every PC is different.

Here is the normal stuff that you will see in most of Tweak3D's tweak guides. You may want to do a little 'messing around' yourself to see what works best for you:

Video BIOS cacheable - Set to enabled. Performance should be slightly increased.

Video BIOS shadow - Set to enabled. Usually increases video card performance. If you encounter problems, set back to default and restart your system.

PCI Palette Snoop - Set to disabled. An old BIOS feature used mainly when running a daughter video board.

VGA Palette Snoop - Set to disabled. Another old VGA BIOS feature not required by today's more advanced video card.

C8xxxx-CBxxxx Shadow - Set all to disabled. Video shadowing often creates conflicts with other devices within your computer. Try enabling these a few at a time and if your system remains stable, performance will gradually increase.

AGP Aperture Size - This is the system memory available to your AGP device. The more memory available to your video card, the better it performs. Then again, it takes away from system memory, so don't set it too high or you'll have a load of fun with swap buffer errors...
  • 128+ MB ram: Set to 64 MB or 32 MB (try both, pick which is better)
  • 96 MB ram: Set to 48 MB or 24 MB (try both, pick which is better)
  • 64 MB ram: Set to 32 MB or 16 MB (try both, pick which is better)
  • 48 MB ram: Set to 24 MB or 12 MB (try both, pick which is better)
  • 32 MB ram: Set to 24 MB or 12 MB (try both, pick which is better)
  • 16 MB ram: Set to 24 MB or 12 MB (try both, pick which is better)
Once you get the BIOS down, and everything is working without errors, try running a few benchmarks to see the performance gain thus far. Then go ahead and strap on a pair, 'cause we are moving on to installing new drivers...

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