"For Linux users, Matrox has been one of the most important
video card manufacturers for quite some time. Traditionally, their
cards have enjoyed the best support due to their crisp 2D quality
and willingness to open their specs, at least to some extent, to
Linux developers. Unlike Windows users, Linux relies on the
development efforts of the community to develop drivers for their
products. Without the benefit of in-house driver development, cards
often come to the market long before drivers are available, if
"However, things are changing. With the growing popularity of
Linux, video card manufacturers are taking notice. For the Matrox
G400 and G450, Matrox contracted Precision Insight to develop
drivers. While not in-house, the effort was financially supported
and ensured proper support for their products under XFree86.
Elsewhere, NVIDIA signed a contract with SGI and VA Linux to help
codevelop drivers themselves. Their goals were to unify as much
code as possible between Linux and Windows. Their drivers are now
up to revision 0.9-5, which was released 9/6/2000, and are not
based on DRI (although it works similarly). By using the same code
base for both Linux and Windows drivers, they have quickly become
one of, if not the fastest performing Linux 3D video card."
"So, the question remains, with the advanced NVIDIA drivers
available, does Matrox still hold the crown of "best supported card
under Linux?" Further, since the Linux gaming market is still quite
small, is 3D acceleration the most important factor in determining
what card to get? Now that XFree86 4.0.x is available and Linux
users have proper multi-monitor support through the Xinerama
extension (that combines multiple displays into a single logical
root window), multi-head has become the thing to do. It seems
almost every website in Linux land has a screenshot at 2560x1024 or
3840x1024 resolution. Further, Matrox has recently released G450
drivers for Linux that support their Dual Head functionality. Will
this become the card to have?"
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