[AG-TECH] Linux support for Matrox G200 MMS Quad

Christoph Willing chris at vislab.usyd.edu.au
Wed Mar 26 16:58:09 CST 2003

On Wed, 2003-03-26 at 08:49, Wei Deng wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I'd like to know if anyone have successfully got Matrox G200 MMS Quad 
> running four screens with XFree86. We want to buy a G200 MMS Quad and 
> use a Linux box (RedHat 8.0, XFree86 4.2.0) as the display computer. 
> Thanks.


We used the G200 in the first system we built in 2001 (like Jeremy at
UTHSCA, also using Slackware 8.1). If you already have one of these
cards, thats fine - they work quite well.

However if you still haven't spent the money, there are cheaper and
technically better ways that we've found over the last 2 years.

The technical shortcoming of the G200 is that all video destined for
ouput has to travel across the PCI bus, whose bandwidth is limited. An
AGP solution is far preferable. Since AGP cards can generally only do 2
vga outputs (3 with Parhelia), you need to do a mix of AGP & PCI
graphics cards to achieve 4 vga outputs. After our single G200 version,
we next used a Matrox G400 (dual output PCI) with a G450 (dual output
AGP). That worked very well and a later incarnation using using a G550
(dual output AGP) also worked but was a bit fiddly at times.

All these Matrox combinations are cheaper and have higher performance
than a single G200.

Our latest setup, which we recommend strongly to anyone who asks, was
motivated by our desire to start using the AG for visualisation
collaboration, typically involving hardware accelerated graphics (OpenGL
based) applications. In this latest system we have a PNY brand Quadro4
500XGL card (dual output AGP) as well as two PNY GeForce4 MX420 cards
(single output PCI). Its a killer! Accelerated output is limited to the
two vga outputs from the AGP card but its thousands times better than
not having it at all.

The three cards for this accelerated graphics version is also cheaper
than the single G200!


Chris Willing                      Telephone   (61-2) 9351 3005
VisLab, A28                        Facsimile   (61-2) 9351 1880
University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia                http://www.vislab.usyd.edu.au

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