Operating Systems > Windows ME (Sep 2000)

matrox g450 (2000)


matrox g450

--- Quote ---In Fall of 2000, Matrox introduced the G450 chip (codenamed Condor) as a successor to the G400 line. Like the G250 was to the G200, G450 was primarily a die shrink of the G400 core from the 250 nm semiconductor fabrication process to 180 nm. By shrinking the core, costs are reduced because more chips are made per wafer at the factory, and Matrox can take the time to fix earlier mistakes in the core, and trim or add new functionality. Matrox clocked the G450 core at 125 MHz, just like the plain G400. Overclocking tests showed that the core was unable to achieve higher speeds than G400 even though it was manufactured on a newer process.[2]

Perhaps the biggest addition to G450 was that Matrox moved the previously external second RAMDAC, for the second monitor connector (DualHead), into the G450 chip itself. RAMDAC speeds were still different though, with the primary running at an excellent 360 MHz, but the secondary running at only 230 MHz. This meant that the primary monitor could run much higher resolutions and refresh rates than the secondary. This was the same as G400. The G450 also had native support for TMDS signaling, and thus DVI, but this was not a standard issue connector. Boards shipped with dual analog VGA connectors.

G450 was adapted to use a DDR SDRAM memory interface, instead of the older single data rate (SDR) SGRAM and SDRAM used on G400. By doing this they were able to switch to a 64-bit memory bus and use the DDR memory to equal the previous memory bandwidth by clocking the RAM again at 166 MHz. A 64-bit bus reduces the board's complexity (and cost) because fewer traces have to be used, and potentially the pin-count of the graphics processor can be significantly reduced if the chip is designed only for a 64-bit bus. However, DDR has a higher inherent latency than SDR given the same bandwidth, so performance dropped somewhat.[2]

The new G450 again had support for AGP 4X, like some later-produced G400 boards. The 3D capabilities of G450 were identical to G400. Unfortunately, because of the identical core clock and due to lower memory bandwidth, G450 was slower than G400 in games.[3]

Marvel G450 eTV not only had a TV tuner, but also was a launchpad for Matrox's new eDualHead dual display enhancement. It added some new features to DualHead that worked with Internet Explorer to make pages show up on both screens at once.[4]
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