Best video cards for 2D???

Larc

Junior Member
Jul 29, 2002
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I can't seem to find much info here at AnandTech about 2D performance of video cards. Everything seems geared toward 3D and gaming. What about those of us who aren't very hung up on games, but would like to know what the sharpest and most vividly colored 2D cards are? After all, most of us probably do other things on our computers more than we play games.

My Matrox G400 doesn't appear to fit the max 1.5 volt requirement of a new mobo I'm getting, so I need to know which current video cards have the best 2D abilities. Thanks for any suggestions. :confused:
 

Sunner

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
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For something almost purely 2D focues, a Matrox G550 should do the trick.
For something with quite a bit of 3D power as well as the best 2D money can buy, a Matrox Parhelia.
 

Actaeon

Diamond Member
Dec 28, 2000
8,657
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Originally posted by: Sunner
For something almost purely 2D focues, a Matrox G550 should do the trick.
For something with quite a bit of 3D power as well as the best 2D money can buy, a Matrox Parhelia.
He pretty much hit the spot.

You want Matrox for 2d quality. G550 for just non-gaming. If you want some gaming potential, get the Parhelia (Quite pricey).
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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:eek: Matrox Parhelia is the top card for 2D, but not worth the huge price tag. Rad8500 and GF4TI cards both offer VERY nearly the same 2D at a much lower cost. I believe all Radeon cards offer great 2D, so you may get a bargain for an original RadeonSDR or DDR if not the faster (3D) Rad7500, always buy a true ATI though ('built' NOT 'powered' by ATI). If you go GF4TI then Gainward and Leadtek are the most respected for 2D, although the diffs are marginal between those and other GF4TI cards.

:D However, your current Matrox G400 will work fine if you buy a mobo which uses the 'Universal AGP2.0 slot' (1.5v AND 3.3v supported) rather than the 'AGP2.0 slot' which is 1.5v ONLY. This would save you a lot of time and trouble as the Matrox G400 has excellent 2D and you aren't bothered about 3D perf anyway. This would be by FAR the best recommendation and mobos using the 'Universal AGP2.0 slot' are still VERY common.
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
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In a word: Matrox.

nVidia ranges from very poor to decent 2D image quality, ATi is slightly preferable as they consistently manage decent 2D quality.
3dfx offers very good 2D quality, but as their now dead I wouldnt recommend them.
3DLabs and Appian are solid alternatives, especially Appian... both have good 2D quality.

Matrox is the king of 2D though, and there are precious few that debate that.
The G450/550 are handily superior to ATi/nVidia's best, though the difference isnt too noticeable until you hit 1280x1024 or higher. If your doing 1600x1200+ Matrox will really be a lot more pleasant.

The Matrox Parhelia is quite an improvement beyond even the steallar quality offered by the G450/550, and offer a few side benefits like glyph AA, and GigaColor. If you've got the cash then nothing can match the Parhelia.
Still, unless your a 2D graphics design artist, or are looking towards resolutions above 1600x1200 then the Parhelia probably won't be worth the extra cash if your not interested in any of it's other advantages besides sheer 2D output.
 

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