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  Daily Column, June 22nd 
  Jun 22, 2001, 10:00am EDT 
 
By: Sander Sassen

Whatís new for today? A lot actually. I have a Tualatin incoming and should also be getting a G550 shortly, or at least I emailed Sebastian at Matrox about it and he should be able to get me one. Although I do think that the whole HeadCasting feature is a bit of a joke, the other features of the G550, and especially the vertex shader offer an improvement over the older G400/G450.

The vertex shader actually has access to 256 registers instead of the 96, as specified in DirectX 8.0. This allows the G550 vertex shader to cache or manipulate more matrices, which basically means that when rendering complex movements, for example a human face can be done much more realistic. So the HeadCasting could just be a nice display of the G550ís abilities. Although I do think their marketing department shouldíve put a lot less emphasis on this and donít market it as a feature, when did software suddenly become a feature?

But anyway, weíll see what the G550 can do once we get it in, Matrox has always been known for their excellent 2D and I donít think the G550 will disappoint in that department, especially with the 360MHz RAMDAC. If theyíve also brushed up on some hardware DVD support, such as hardware motion compensation or some of the stuff ATi regularly uses in their products this might actually turn out to be a nice card for the professional rather than the gamer.

Speaking of games, is it just me or hasnít there been a single action adventure game like Unreal been released in the past few years or is it just because I stopped checking VoodooExtreme and Stomped on a daily basis? I mean I spent countless hours playing Unreal, and although I enjoy a good deathmatch, single player games are my preference.

Whatever happened to Prey and some of the other games that promised to Ďrevolutionizeí gaming. Daikatana was a joke, Duke Nukem Forever has been in the works forever it now seems, maybe thatís what they were hinting about with the title? I even have a PCGamer magazine dating back to 1997 where they mention the game with screenshots etc. So if you, unlike me, know what is going on drop me an email or post a message in the forums and give me some pointers.

Oh, in case you got a timeout on Hardware Analysis this morning, that's due to the fact that our ISP had to move some stuff around and asked us to shut down the server for a few minutes. I kinda felt bad about that as we've been up and running for almost two months without a single reboot and now we're back to square one again. But anyway, there wasn't much we could do about it really, and I'm actually happy that our ISP notified us prior to pulling the plug, I've heard all kinds of horror stories from other people.

Another thing, totally unrelated, Iíll be working on the Koi fishpond whole weekend and hope to have some new pictures etc ready by Monday. If all goes well I should be able to get the liner in and finish up the filter and pump. Iím actually about to construct a cabinet thatíll go into the filter chamber and that will hold all the bits and pieces needed to keep the water clean.

Sander Sassen

 

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