Matrox Parhelia DL256

Although the Parhelia DL256 does have a full 3D feature set, 3D performance is not really paramount to Matrox’s target market. I therefore didn’t run any conventional benchmarks using the card, instead choosing to hook it up to multiple displays, and run various creative applications.

There’s no denying that this card is the perfect companion for anyone wishing to use a four megapixel screen like the Apple display, with a PC rather than a Mac. Of course if you’re looking for something to run graphically intensive design packages like AutoCAD or 3DStudio Max, then you’re probably better off with one of the dual link workstation cards from ATI or nVidia, but you’re going to need deep pockets, because those cards don’t come cheap.

Talking of cost, the Parhelia DL256 isn’t what you’d call cheap either, but at £457 including VAT, it’s still a fair bit cheaper than a workstation card. And when you factor in the fact that the 30in Apple Cinema Display is going to set you back over £2,000 as well, saving a bit of cash on the graphics card can’t be bad.

Verdict

The Matrox Parhelia DL256 is a great solution for anyone that wants to run a high resolution screen like the 30in Apple Cinema Display, but doesn’t want to have to buy a G5 Mac to drive it. Not only does its dual link capability let you drive the Apple screen, it also gives you the option of outputting to a video monitor for previewing your video editing projects. Even if you’re not a video editor and you’ve just been wishing for a way to run Apple’s flagship screen without having to buy a Mac, the DL256 can make your dream come true.

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