I don't know if the article(s) you read mention it or not, but make
sure to do the cross-cuts (perpendicular to the grain) before the rip
cuts (parallel to the grain) on the panel. Unless you use a really
good cross-cut blade you'll likely get some tear-out at the end of the
cross-cuts. If you do those two cuts first, the splintered region will
be removed when you do the rip cuts.
I think the initial cuts you do at 1/8" height will help; I've never
bothered to do it that way. Even on those cuts, however, you'll
probably avoid some splintering on the corners of the panel center by
doing the cross-cuts first.