Matrox Parhelia 128MB AGP

The Matrox Parhelia 128MB AGP - Page 6

The Matrox Parhelia 128MB AGP
Hands on testing of Matrox's High End Gaming Card

By -Dave Altavilla
June 25, 2002

Well then, you've seen the fruits of 16X FAA in action, so you'll have to make judgments on your own, since visual attributes are subjective.  However, it is our personal opinion that Matrox's 16X FAA image quality is superior to anything out there right now, at equivalent resolutions and even 1280X1024 - 4X Multi-Sample AA versus 1024X768 16X FAA at a lower resolution.

16X FAA Versus 4X Super Sample AA
Better image quality and a better showing for the Parhelia

Here we see the obvious benefits of Fragmentation Anti-Aliasing versus traditional Super Sample and Multi-Sample techniques.  Since the Parhelia only samples the edge pixels of a given scene, it also only has to process a fraction (on average about 5 - 10%) of a frame with anti-aliasing at 16X.  As a result, the Parhelia surges past even the GeForce4 Ti 4600 at 1280X1024 with traditional 4X AA.  However, notice we did include one score with the Parhelia running in 4X Super Sample mode at 1024X768.  One word... OUCH.  Obviously, Matrox has focused on their 16X FAA performance and left out optimizations in Super Sample mode.  Frankly, we don't even see a need to enable the feature in the driver control panel, if these are the type of frame rates that are produced.

Here the Parhelia drops back to second place, with the Jedi Knight II taxing the GPUs a bit more in this test.  Now, remember the screen shots we took back on page 3?  Decide for yourself if you think that the Parhelia's 1024X768 16X FAA mode looks better than the NVIDIA 4X AA at 1280X1024.  We think it does but it's up to you to decide.  Then consider the above scores again.  In any event, at 1024X768 with 16X FAA running, Jedi Knight II looks great on the Parhelia and frame rates are solid and playable at nearly 60 fps.

Here things are a little bit more nip and tuck for the GeForce4 Ti 4600 and the Parhelia but GeForce 4 still pulls out in front.  Once again, you'll have to be the judge of which is more important to you, frame rate or image quality.  Again, image quality is superb at 1024X768 with 16X FAA on the Parhelia and it is no slouch on the GeForce4 either, at 54 fps. with 4X AA.

Finally, let's keep turning up the eye candy coefficient and enable sharper more detailed textures with Anisotropic Filtering.


16 Tap Anisotropic Filtering and AA In Motion

Tags:  Matrox, mat, Parhelia, AG, AR

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