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Matrox Graphics, a supplier of graphics solutions for niche markets, this month quietly unveiled its new lineup of graphics cards that can boast with fanless cooling system and low power consumption. Unfortunately, the new Matrox Millennium P690-series graphics boards are based on five years old Parhelia technology and do have proper drivers for Microsoft Windows Vista.

The new Matrox Millennium P690-series graphics cards are available in several form factors for PCI Express x16 or PCI bus, offer 12W or less power consumption and can drive two monitors using DVI interconnection. Specially designed Millennium P690 Plus graphics cards can also drive up to four monitors using special a Quad-HD15 cable upgrade cable.

Regretfully, the new Millennium P690-series does not bring any innovations besides support for DDR2 memory. The novelty is based on the Matrox Parhelia LX technology, which features two pixel pipelines, does not support pixel shader 2.0 and therefore is not compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista Aero interface. In addition, the new graphics boards do not feature any type of hardware high-definition video acceleration or post-processing and will hardly find a place in a PC outside offices.

Unfortunately, Matrox Graphics also decided not to redevelop drivers specifically for Windows Vista, as a result, end-users will have to use the so-called XDDM drivers for Vista, which virtually means using Windows XP drivers. Nevertheless, Matrox claims that this is not a drawback, but an advantage.

“The P690-series is a redesign of the popular P650 Series graphics cards, combining new 90nm chip design and DDR2 memory technology with our rock-solid unified drivers. As a result, the P690-series is an ideal choice for professionals looking for low power consumption and a long production life, without the risk of unproven drivers,” said Alan Vandenbussche, vice president of sales and marketing for Matrox Graphics.

The Matrox Millennium P690 Series graphics cards will be available in October, and list at the following prices:

  • P690 PCIe x16 128MB – $199
  • P690 PCI 128MB – $199
  • P690 LP PCIe x16 128MB – $249
  • P690 LP PCIe x1 128MB – 249
  • P690 Plus LP PCIe x16 – 256MB $289
  • P690 Plus LP PCI 256MB – $289
  • Quad-monitor upgrade cable (CAB-L60-4XAF) – $99


Comments currently: 15
Discussion started: 10/25/07 09:35:10 AM
Latest comment: 11/06/07 05:37:09 AM
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Poor matrox :(

You are slowely failing...and its been going on a while.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/25/07 09:35:10 AM]
- collapse thread

I don't think they're that bad off.

After the Parhalia failed as Matrox's comeback card they started to focus on niche products. Monitor walls, thin clients, Dual/TripleHead2Go, video editing, etc.

No one will say (with glee) that they just bought the latest Matrox video card, but when was the last time that happened? G200? Matrox Millennium II? Yet Matrox is still around, just in different markets.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/25/07 01:36:22 PM]
They are not intended for the game/home user market, but profit-rich business/professional market.

That's why Dell and Lenovo resume the sales of XP pre-loaded machines
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/26/07 02:24:41 AM]
If I were running any business/professional environment, the last thing I need would be some video card companies ripping me off with last gen performance for next-gen price, which is exactly what Matrox is doing. Don't forget, even though Vista isn't going anywhere for now, DirectX 9/10-compliance introduced in Vista becomes more crucial over the course of owning a video card that is expected to last 3 years.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/26/07 11:46:14 AM]
Why would data entry/database access/developers/etc. computers used in business enviroment need DX 10, Or even DX 9, or even DX 2.0?! What they need is low power consuption because they get astronomical bills. I think for them its advantage that latest DX does not work, to prevent misuse of their pc's (for example playing latest far cry instead of data entry :)).
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/27/07 06:23:10 PM]
U can't say it's a rip off. None of the bomeburb system need the crappy 3D engine from Nvidia or ATI. All we need is a card which can clearly output the market price information into multiple monitors. Your DirectX 10 engine can't help for improve productivity while Matrox's good old Millennium can! In the other words only Matrox can help us to earn $, that's why we need to buy cards from them!

None of Intel, nVidia or ATI would like to provide solution to financial/medical market. And that's why Matrox can mark their price tag higher than the others.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/29/07 07:37:04 AM]

Parhelia was considered ridicously slow just at the time of its first debut, not to speak about an hypothetical comparison with even the cheapest among current graphics hardware.
Someone at Matrox Sales Dept should find REALLY convincing reasons to explain me why I should prefer a $149 card which just doesn't offer either a decent 3D or video playback assistance, when I can get a Radeon HD 2600 XT which offers both DX10 support AND hardware-accelerated HD playback for less money. What the hell am I supposed to find on a Matrox card which can't be found in other, also cheaper, products? Maybe image quality? Well, since DVI came out, the influence of RAMDACs (the only really strong point of Matrox) on overall video quality ceased to exist. So?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/26/07 05:18:02 AM]

People like the consistent quality of the Matrox cards but they are really for very specific business uses and not gaming. Using 4 monitors on a single card is a compelling factor for some. An environment like code editing, anti virus coding, certain types of video editing, and sound editing that may be using non DVI monitors could make good use out of this card. Unfortunately for Matrox their market will get smaller and smaller as more programs use the shading processors in graphics cards to accelerate all of these tasks. In that event you would be better off with two low prices Radeon 2600s. I am a little disappointed though, I would have thought that after all this time the Matrox cards would at least have MINIMAL shader 2.0 support.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 10/26/07 04:35:55 PM]


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