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home : reviews : Matrox Parhelia 512 Review

Written by Benjamin Sun
Edited & Posted by Giovanni Glass
October 17, 2002

Matrox Parhelia 512 Review
Matrox's flagship videocard hits the screen with flying colors...

Parhelia is a lens effect. Consequently, Matrox named their video card after it. If you haven't already, read my Parhelia preview which covers the features of the Matrox Parhelia. You can read the preview by clicking here. I won't be rehashing the Parhelia feature set in this article. Second point, due to a slight hiccup with my system, and the extra time I took to do more of an in-depth look into the Parhelia, this review is a little bit late.

Matrox released the Parhelia to retailers in late June of 2002. While there are a lot of reviews around the net, I feel not enough attention has been paid to games other than “First Person Shooters” and hope to rectify it in this review. I'll cover benchmarks, gameplay, DVD playback, an in-depth look at what the Parhelia 512 brings to the table in terms of Fragment Anti-Aliasing and Full Scene Anti-Aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and 2D image quality.

Unfortunately, one of my three monitors is on the fritz. So my look into Surround Gaming will have to wait for another day. I intend to put more work on the Parhelia review than any other review I've done. However, this is not an issue as I will cover Surround Gaming in detail at a later date. In any event, you don't want to hear about my hardware that's not related to the Parhelia problems with the review, so let's get started.

For the first time in Matrox's history, they've publicly disclosed the clockspeed of the graphics chip and the memory. In prior card releases, they always kept that to themselves, leaving the job of finding clockspeeds up to the reviewer or end user via PowerStrip. The Parhelia is a very complex video card, with over 80 million transistors on a 0.15 micron process. In order for Matrox to get the yields they wanted with the Parhelia, they decided to release the card at a rather low 220 MHz graphics clock and a 275 MHz memory clock. This gives a theoretical fill-rate of 880 megapixels a second and 3520 megatexels a second. It also gives a theoretical memory bandwidth of 17 GB a second..
Matrox Parhelia 512
Over the last 25 years, Matrox has taken its place as leader and innovator in today’s hottest, most state-of-the-art technologies designing software and hardware solutions in the fields of Graphics, Video editing, Image processing and New business media.

With over 1,450 employees worldwide, headquarters in Dorval on the island of Montreal, design centers in Ontario and Florida and sales offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Matrox is one of North America’s most successful high tech companies. Matrox's revolutionary technology, customer-oriented philosophy, and reputation for exceptional product quality and value set it apart from the competition. Matrox products have earned over 1000 prestigious industry awards for product excellence and secured  business partnerships with industry leaders.

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