10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2008 1:11 PM by Jim_Simon

    Matrox RT.X2 Review

    Steven L. Gotz Level 5
      I finished my testing of the Matrox RT.X2. The review is online:

      http://www.stevengotz.com/rtx2.htm

      You might find the review interesting, you might not. The best thing I can say is that the hardware and software performed flawlessly, as designed.

      The worst I can say is that you might still decide to avoid it for various reasons.

      I liked it. If I didn't already have Cineform and a graphics card with Component outputs, I might be inclined to buy one of the new RT.X2LE cards. It is certainly better than editing HDV natively.

      The reason Matrox wanted me to test it was so I would stop saying bad things about it. They achieved their goal. The system I tested was rock solid.
        • 1. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          But it still has the primary flaw that beleaguers Matrox - you couldn't just plop their card in your existing system and have everything work perfectly. The hardware requirements are so strict, they had to send you a complete system.
          • 2. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
            Dan Isaacs Level 2
            I slapped an RT.X2 system together (two, actually) for relatively short money and little hassle. They have a decent (if somewhat short) list of compatible boards and video cards on their site.

            I think I'll take the opposite argument of Steven's on this: If I didn't already have the RT.X2, I'd get Cineform and a graphics card with component outs :) My system was once "fast", but compared to some of the newer (non-matrox-certified) systems it's a snail. It's good enough (for SD especially) so I won't bother for now.
            • 3. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
              Steven L. Gotz Level 5
              Well, technically, they sent me the system because the LE version was not available and the regular card didn't fit into my case.

              To be honest, I didn't see anything interesting about the motherboard or case or drive configurations at all. According to Matrox, the newer systems out there should be able to handle the RT.X2 without a problem. I might be inclined to check out the LE version in my system, but that still would not address the issue.

              Matrox needs to check out more systems and list them on their site I guess. Or enough to make it seem like they should all work. They have tested ASUS, Tyan, HP and Dell and Intel. That is a pretty decent collection.

              I bought an ASUS last time, so if I were to buy again, I would probably buy the ASUS approved by Matrox. Just as an example. So I guess the moral of the story is to buy the PC to fit the Matrox not the other way around.

              As for Dan's comment, please be aware that I am a huge Cineform fan, and always have been. So take that as you wish.
              • 4. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
                Jim_Simon Level 8
                >They have tested ASUS, Tyan, HP and Dell and Intel...

                What I've found, though, is that they might test one model in a lineup, such as the ASUS P5E. But that is no guarantee that any other P5 motherboards will work. In fact, I bought a slightly upgraded version of a tested motherboard and had issues up the wazoo.

                You also have to make sure the bios version matches exactly. If you get a motherboard with a newer bios version, it might not work.

                If you put the card in the wrong slot, it might not work.

                If you use the wrong sound card, or put that in the wrong slot, it might not work.

                There's just too many "it might not work" scenarios. It should "just work", as most all add-in cards do.

                >the moral of the story is to buy the PC to fit the Matrox not the other way around.

                And that is my issue with Matrox, cause folks often buy the system first. The Matrox card is an add-in, which means it properly comes later in the process.
                • 5. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
                  Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                  I don't disagree with you, however, I have seen many messages on this forum asking for PC recommendations. A lot of people buy a new editing PC specifically for editing and in that case, the decision to go with the PC and the RT.X2 at the same time makes sense.

                  As you point out, it has to be exact, or you have to get lucky, or both.
                  • 6. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    I guess I object on the grounds that if Matrox can't just make it work, then they shouldn't be in business. My own philosophy is if you can't do it right, then just don't do it. And Matrox doesn't do it right for enough people, so I recommend against them for all.
                    • 7. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
                      Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                      I understand, but there are plenty of turn-key providers who make it work every day.
                      • 8. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                        There again, the user is limited. It should work on most any system meeting minimum requirements. If it doesn't, the card isn't good enough to be sold (in my opinion).

                        That it works for some is great for those some, but for me, it needs to work for most before I can suggest someone look into that as a solution.
                        • 9. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
                          Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                          That does not make any sense to me. If you buy a turnkey system and it works, who cares how it works for someone else?

                          There used to be a pretty good market in editing appliances that were never upgradable and extremely proprietary. They worked. That was that. And I'll bet many are still in use after many years.
                          • 10. Re: Matrox RT.X2 Review
                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                            Just a different viewpoint, I guess. If Matrox is going to sell the card as a stand alone item, it needs to work for most users meeting minimum requirements. In this case, it doesn't, so I can't suggest it for anyone.

                            I mean, what if the mobo of that turnkey goes. Then you're right back to where the average guy is, very limited replacement choices. That's just not acceptable to me.