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Amiganauts rave over Matrox G1000

Nextgen graphics chip spotted in the wild

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On May 3, TechNation, a UK games-oriented hardware site, published a screen grab purporting to be of the data sheet for the Matrox G1000, an as yet unannounced graphics chip, published possibly in error on Matrox Graphics's web site.

"The G1000 is the world's FIRST DirectX 9 compliant Graphics Immersion Unit! Utilizing the eight-pipe matrox Deferred Rendering Engine, it achieves over twice the performance of any other graphics solution in it's (sic) class.", it begins.

According to many readers, the data sheet is a hoax, possibly first surfacing on April 1. But there is a kernel of truth, namely that there is a next-gen Matrox chip in the offing. Last week news circulated around Hardware Land about Parhelia, the code name for this elusive next-gen graphics accelerator. This was fuelled by a 'teaser animation' on the Matrox web site which to all intents and purposes confirms May 14 as the launch date, according to Ace's Hardware.

"The flash animation depicts Parhelia or sundogs, which are meteorological phenomena caused when light from the sun is refracted through ice crystals," Ace's reports.

So it's not called the Matrox G1000 then. So what are we to make of the first sighting of the Matrox G1000 confirmed in Amiga Land, attributed to Ben Hermans, Hyperion Entertainment's managing partner, and manager of the AmigaOS4 project, in some posts on ANN.lu and collated by vgr.com.

Mr. Ben Hermans posted to ANN.lu about "spill the beans" over Matrox G1000 for OS4. "It destroys the Geforce 4 completely. We've seen it in action already." Later he posts "They have much more than samples. Yes, it will be supported by OS 4. But not right away, this type of advanced architecture requires Warp 3D V5 ("Nova"). It's simply miles ahead of anything out there on the market now. The only that comes close is the P10 from 3DLabs. I'm glad I can finally spill the beans about this. Remember all the nay-sayers whining about Matrox and saying the AmigaOne would be a pile of crap because we didn't have nVidia drivers? This goes to show that just because you are the fastest at one point in time, this doesn't ncessarily mean you will remain the fastest for ever. Think about that when you start another "x86 is so much faster than PPC" thread. PPC used to be faster than x86, then Motorola hit their infamous 500 Mhz G4 ceiling overtaken. But I can assure you that just as Matrox is reclaiming the crown now, the G5 will do the same."

Note the the G5 forecast. Hermans confirmed to us by email that the postings were genuine.

Here's another Nvidia dig from OSNews.com, commenting on the Matrox G1000.

Together with ATI they might be able to finally break down the current anti-competitive nature of the graphics industry, regarding alternative OS driver support.

What can they mean?

Matrox is a longtime, longtime player in the graphics accelerator market, but in recent years, it has failed to keep pace with Nvidia and ATI. With the G1000 and 3DLabs' forthcoming P10, we are back to four contenders for high-end PC/low-end workstation graphics.

Forget the technology for a moment: as incumbents, Nvidia and ATI are only renting market share. No-one owns the graphics market, as 3dfx's spectacular implosion proved.

Nevertheless, Nvidia and ATI have distribution welly, OEM contracts by the bucketful and huge marketing clout. 3DLabs and Matrox have the hard work cut out for them, even if Matrox has the Amiga fan base sewn up.

Finally, if you want to keep on top of the Matrox rumour mill, look no further than the Matrox Users Resource Center. ®

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