However, the RT.X2 isn’t quite the complete package the RT.X100 was when it first arrived, in part due to Adobe’s new bundle deals (or lack thereof). So you don’t get any disc authoring software in the box, nor indeed anything other than Premiere Pro 2 and its associated training videos.
Not so much an upgrade, as a new era
In terms of abilities, the Matrox RT.X2 is lacking very little. However, to compare this card to the RT.X100 is a bit misleading. For a start, it’s coming in at slightly higher price than the RT.X100 was at launch, and without the comprehensive software package. So just laying down the £1,379 for the card is only the beginning. Whilst the RT.X100 was a bit picky about hardware platforms, particularly PCI chipsets, you could comfortably use it in a fairly regular PC. In this respect, one of the RT.X2’s biggest assets – its scaleability – is also one of its biggest downsides. You will need a phenomenally fast, dual-core and preferably quad-core system to get the most out of it, and faster PCs will make it better and better. But you can’t use a single-core system at all, so you’ll probably have to factor a new PC into the price as well, with turnkey systems costing at least £5,000.
So whilst Matrox has achieved an incredible benchmark in real-time editing with the RT.X2, it comes at a pretty hefty price. This will mean that the alternatives are still worth considering instead if your needs are more modest, and so is your budget. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be comparing the Matrox RT.X2 with its competitors from Avid and Canopus, both of which have had significant recent updates. So whilst we’d recommend the RT.X2 if you can afford it, tune in next week to see if there are more affordable alternatives around!