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I'd like to know why the Matrox G550 is being used in a

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by digdug, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. digdug

    digdug Guest

    I dont see how using a 3d Card is going to take away from audio harware acceleration...

    3d Hardware acceleration is contained within the card it self... It uses its own memory and its own GPU.

    Now if the 3d card was onboard yeah thats sucks performance like no others (uses shared mem etc)

    I dont see why using the top of the line consumer 3d vid card like the GforceFX5900 is going to be any different than using a Matrox G550 Dual Head 32Mb 2d card...

    I want to know this once and for all... Is the ONLY reason that people go ahead and get the Matrox G550 is because its for 2d workstation use only and dual vga output?

    Please dont give me the its been "Proved" upon bit. I know that, thats great but I'd like some real info here...
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    There are a few different reasons as to why this is..

    One: compatability. There are certain video cards in which do not work well with DAW systems. I have seen ATI cards cause glitches on dual monitor application situations in which it froze the program.

    Two: Bandwidth usage. Yes, the AGP slot is on it's own "bus" so to speak but typically the more memory a video card has the more it takes away from your audio performance. The bit resolution can indeed effect your audio performance when set to high.

    Three: Audio applications are 2D only. They are not 3D and do not need the most intensive Open GL or any other 3D based drawing capabilities.

    Four: The Matrox G550 is not expensive and works very well under dual monitor situations.

    Five: The Matrox G550 works perfectly when using two audio cards of the same manufacturer. I have seen other dual monitor AGP cards that freak out when this scenario is in place.

    And last but not least...as you have stated yourself.....IT IS PROVEN! :p

    Remember that most DAW's are built to do audio and simply that only. If you are doing video as well on the same machine then indeed get yourself a decent video card at that point.

    I'm sure now that there are systems that have a huge FSB and better PCI throughput that it won't matter as much but in the long run the audio application is still only 2D and you do not need to go out and get the best 3D card for that!

    If you want to play video games...build another system....plain and simple. Video games and DAW applications should not be on the same system.

  3. Tungstengruvsten

    Tungstengruvsten Active Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Guelph, Ontario
    uh what sort of 'real info' do you want? Choosing something because it is reliable and proven is usually the best route when choosing a utilitarian product like a video card. I don't have any reason to bother trying another one, kinda leaning on the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' adage. And for the price why would you bother looking elsewhere? Awesome tech support, great drivers...i'm not denying there might be better cards out there, but this card is feature rich and stable enough to make searching out others pointless. How much is "the top of the line consumer 3d vid card" versus the Matrox G550? If that isn't reason enough then here's another: No fan on the card. No having to dick around with heatpipes etc trying to silence one more thing in your computer.

    Who cares about 3d engines and the cards with them if you aren't using that feature? seems like you are gonna pay extra for something you'll never use. Now if you have 1 computer and want to game as well as do audio work, get a 3d card. My home computer has one, an ATI that does games great and does nothing special when i'm doing audio.

    For what it's worth i've built 6 DAWs for others, 2 had Matrox 450's(It was recommended by a buddy with a DAW) and the other 4 have had been G550's. The 550's have a flat screen output with a converter now for dual VGA, very handy if you decide to upgreade.
  4. digdug

    digdug Guest

    Opus's #2 reason was one of my main concerns for this thread... Id like more technical info on that, if we cant find any ohwell..
  5. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Guest

    Well, in theory the AGP bus is "on it's own", separate from the PCI bus that most of our beloved Audio cards are on. In reality, however, all these buses are still handled by the core chipset (in this case it is the so-called Northbridge that connects directly to the CPU). Whatever load a components puts on one bus will affect the performance of devices on the other as it is all handled by the same bridge chip.

    Dig's question is really a valid one in that a graphics accelerator's meaning in life is to "unload" the rest of the system rather than burden other components (like Audio). In the race for better and better performance (... the ongoing race is decided by techie benchmarking) and knowing that most people care alot more about video than audio what happens is that some of the high-end graphics chips still eat up all the system resources that they can (legally) get away with. That's why some graphics cards are better than others. But you have to test it - there is really no rule.

    The second header for dual-panel is of course another good reason to use the Matrox.

    This might still not be the perfect explanation but I hope it helps somewhat.

  6. digdug

    digdug Guest

    Thats closer to where im headed.
    But the question should be when your using a hardcore consumer 3d vid card and NOT actully in a program that is graphics and memory extensive while in an audio prog. How would it alter peeformance? I really dont think it would.
  7. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    >>How would it alter peeformance?<<

    If you drink a few beers while using it then the "peeformance" is definately altered :D

    Seriously though I use it for non-academic reasons. It'll run my duo-monitors and it's reliable.
  8. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    It all boils down the issue of the time the CPU has to wait for the video bus to be refreshed in the long run. The more memory the card has plus the more 3D acceleration it has the more the CPU waits in idle mode.

    With better chipsets and bus architecture this gets better and better. Also with faster CPU's.
    Even still in the long run the video card should not be more demanding than your audio card. plain and simple.

    The more demanding the video card is the more it soaks up PCI bandwidth by hogging the CPU time.


    Opus :D

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