The Active Network

Product: Matrox Millennium G400 32MB Dual Head
Company: Matrox
Estimated Street Price: 150/$149.95
Review By: Byron Hinson

Environment-Mapped Bump Mapping - Introduction

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Installation & Driver Quality
3: 2D & VCQ
5: DualHead
6: DVD Playback
7: Benchmarks & Games Tested
8: Overall
9: Screenshots

The Matrox G400 series is the first ever graphics card to introduce hardware support for Microsoft's DirectX -  Environment-Mapped Bump Mapping. Environment Mapped Bump Mapping is a DirectX 6 quality feature which will be used to substantially increase the visual realism of 3D scenes. In fact, 3D graphics hardware that supports this feature will be able to render 3D scenes with more realism than was ever before possible on the PC.

Environment Mapped Bump Mapping is essentially a technique that allows a much higher level of detail to be added to a 3D world than could be possible with texture- mapped polygons alone. Fine details such as the pock- marked surface of bricks in a dungeon and scratches on robots and tanks can be added with ease. Special effects such as realistic water surfaces, heat shimmering off hot asphalt on a summer day and air turbulence in flight simulators can also be uniquely accomplished by using Environment Mapped Bump Mapping. This new feature will prove to be as revolutionary as alpha blending in terms of the creative effects that game developers will accomplish when given free rein. With the advent of the Matrox G400 as the first chip to support Environment Mapped Bump Mapping in hardware, game developers are quickly pledging to add support for this feature into cutting-edge games that will ship in 1999

Environment-Mapped Bump Mapping

There is no doubt that Environment-Mapped Bump Mapping is great to look at. But yet again there is a performance hit whenever you use it - but if you are into image quality instead of frame rates like I am, you'll love it.

td_1_big.jpg (547889 bytes)

Percentage Loss 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024
Expendable 16-Bit 29% 33% 36%
Earth Demo 16-Bit 44% 48% 50%
Earth Demo 32-Bit 34% 34% 35%


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