Matrox Millennium G400 & G400MAXby Anand Lal Shimpi on May 20, 1999 12:34 AM EST
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Two Smiling Faces: G400 & G400MAX
Although Matrox has a strict (very strict) policy about not releasing the clock speeds of their products, basic math will tell you the core clock speeds of the two G400 models. According to Matrox's spec sheet, the regular G400 achieves a peak fill rate of 250 Megatexels per second, and since the G400 is capable of the now commonplace single pass multi-texture rendering (2 textures in one clock) dividing the fill rate by 2 results in a 125 clock frequency, meaning the G400 runs at an internal clock frequency of 125MHz. The memory clock on the G400 happens to be an unusually high frequency (for such a low core speed) of 166MHz, and AnandTech speculates (Matrox won't give out the exact numbers) that the MAX version features a memory clock of approximately 200MHz. The 333 Megatexels/sec fill rate of the G400MAX points us in the direction of a 166MHz core clock speed (333 Megatexels/sec / 2 cycles per clock = 166MHz) which is a tad lower than what the competition is offering already.
As mentioned above, the third differentiating quality is the speed of the integrated RAMDAC featured on the chip. The regular G400 features a 300MHz internal RAMDAC while the G400MAX, in an attempt to gain the edge over 3dfx, features a 360MHz internal RAMDAC for support for the higher resolutions. The G400 will be available in both a 16MB and 32MB configuration, and the G400MAX comes exclusively in a 32MB configuration. As far as pricing goes, directly from Matrox, the G400 should be shipping in mid-June (no official word on the MAX, but probably around then or shortly thereafter) at the following prices:
Matrox Millennium G400 16MB - $149
Matrox Millennium G400 32MB - $199
Matrox Millennium G400MAX 32MB - $249
There are already reports of pre-orders going on with prices up to $30 less than the official quotes from Matrox which makes the 32MB G400 a bit more affordable, although it still makes the MAX as expensive as the most expensive TNT2 Ultra; and as you're about to find out, the performance of the G400MAX isn't exactly TNT2 Ultra comparable.
While the launch of the G400 chip itself will be reserved solely for the two arriving Millennium G400 products, Matrox has assured AnandTech that towards the end of the summer or possibly into Q4, the G400 should be available in a Marvel version as well for Video Editing enthusiasts. The Marvel G400 should offer the same features as the Marvel G200 (check out AnandTech's review on the Marvel G200) did with a few added features to make the ride worth it. With 3dfx entering the TV-in/out arena with their Voodoo3 3500TV, Matrox needs to make sure any competing products they release can paint the walls with any features 3dfx can crank out. We'll have to wait to see about that though
The bottom line is that the Mystique is gone, the Millennium G400 will be the only G400 product for at least a few more months, followed by the release of the more expensive Marvel G400 version. Easy enough to understand? Perfect, let's complicate it ;)
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