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Matrox launches range of AMD-powered graphics cards

by Ryan Martin on 5 December 2014, 06:00

Tags: Matrox, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacmcn

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The graphics market has changed significantly since the mid-1990s when it was populated by four large companies: 3DFX, ATI, Matrox and Nvidia. Nothing better signifies how much has changed than the fact Matrox's most recently-launched products, the C420 and C680 graphics cards, both feature graphics chips from AMD.

Since failing to keep up with the 3D graphics trend Matrox has pursued specialist 2D graphics with a focus on enterprise and industrial solutions for television studios, digital signage and other activities requiring large multi-display arrays. Matrox's latest C420LP and C680 graphics cards make use of AMD's Cape Verde GPU core that powers the Radeon HD 7700 series. 2GB of GDDR5 video memory is backed up with support for the OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL 4.4 and DirectX 11.2 graphics standards.

A fully-customised display configuration on the C680 enables up to six 4,096 x 2,160 'true' 4K displays to be driven at 30Hz, or three at 60Hz, through six mini-DisplayPort connections. Such extensive display capabilities are also paired up with enterprise-class software, known as the Matrox PowerDesk desktop management suite, and extensive driver support and interoperability on Windows embedded operating systems.

The C420 low-profile graphics card is a lower-cost alternative which can drive four 2,560 x 1,440-pixel displays in a passively-cooled package. Like the C680 it comes with the same software, driver support and interoperability for embedded operating systems.

Neither solution is of significant interest to mainstream consumers, with pricing of $760 for the C420 and $930 for the C680, but it's good to see Matrox is still alive and kicking. More interesting is the fact AMD is selling its GPU technology directly to other hardware vendors to use; something we've rarely seen the company do before.

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Finally! I was worried for a moment that my life would continue without the legendary driver support of Matrox!

My finely attuned Moose senses tell me,someone is slightly annoyed in this thread.
Still use them occasionally for the niche they seem to have filled.

Reminds me of the old G200+SLI Voodoo days though!
My finely attuned Moose senses tell me,someone is slightly annoyed in this thread.
Some investment banks standardised on them decades ago, back when you only had one AGP slot, they would use PCI Matrox cards, because screw logic!

These cards could drive 4 or 8 screens each (I think 8 might have been the AGP only actually). Impressive for the time.

However, they didn't maintain or keep up to date their hardware or software. DirectX has a 2D component, I used this in my application because I wanted a fast graphing experiance, handling some many thousand ticks of data, updating in real time.

I found out that it was blue screening, all the time, as soon as I used certain APIs which they claimed to support.

In the end, I opted out of rendering via DirectX subsystems all together, using GDI+ which is incredibly slow.

I then made the mistake of raising a ticket with a very large banks desktop support team. Now, desktop support in this place I figured where just incompetent and nothing would come of it. But oh no, they proved that they had to go and be the Yodel of people, trying to prove that that they were correct to be still using matrox in 2012. ARGH, whats worse than a fornicationwit, one that is trying to suggest that the one thousand graphics cards they just ordered were not a mistake. I mean, who cares, that's like half a million quid, they wasted that on a daily basis, just replace them with something that works. No, they didn't like that. So imagine driving 8 screens without hardware acceleration.

Matrox drivers were awful, they claimed to support features which resulted with instant bluescreen on XP and Win7.
Oh I forgot to say, in 2008 I did a test to show how awful matrox cards were, and why having them on your PC is like having a virus.

Matlab. Not renowned for doing anything graphical, in fact, in my test, I didn't. It's just the hedge fund I was working for had a very important board member who used this application a lot.

So I swapped out the matrox card, for my ATI thing from my home media PC, rebooted, and ran the same matlab calcaulations again. 5 hours dropped to under 4. More extensive tests showed it took over 10% of performance away.

Matrox - Not even once.