Matrox announces TripleHead2Go expansion module

Matrox today unveiled a new product, the TripleHead2Go, to complement its line of Graphics eXpansion Modules (GXMs). GXMs are external boxes that connect a single graphics card output to multiple monitors. The new TripleHead2Go—sibling of the current DualHead2Go—allows users to connect up to three displays to their desktop computer or notebook, enabling what the company calls Surround Gaming and Surround Design by providing a field of view of up to 135°.

The TripleHead2Go doesn’t include a GPU, so it requires no driver, although the company does supply desktop management software to help segment windows and applications across the three monitors. The product simply identifies itself to the computer as a single, ultra-wide display with a maximum resolution of 3840×1024. Matrox says this method ensures compatibility with “most, if not all” new ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards, both desktop and mobile, although there could be compatibility issues with older cards that don’t support the unit’s 1920×480, 2400×800, 3072×768, and 3840×1024 resolutions.

Matrox says it has renewed its focus on professionals with the TripleHead2Go, and the unit is designed to enhance mechanical CAD, visualization, digital content creation, and animation tasks. The company has also focused on games: the bundled utility will automatically configure 150 titles for triple-head gaming, including Doom 3, Quake 4, F.E.A.R., Unreal Tournament 2004, Civilization IV, and Age of Empires III. Valve is reportedly still working on Half-Life 2 compatibility. Matrox did mention that some games will require users to manually edit configuration files, and that a few other titles simply won’t work due to coding limits and a lack of wide-screen support.

This product is analog-only, although it ships with a DVI-I to analog adapter for users with DVI-only graphics cards. Matrox says a DVI version of the TripleHead2Go is possible, but such a product would have very high bandwidth demands and therefore require a card with a dual-link DVI output. Matrox also points out that the software doesn’t support daisy-chaining multiple TripleHead2Go units, so users looking for six-monitor setups will have to bide their time.

Matrox will launch the TripleHead2Go in April with a suggested retail price of $299. The company will also be showing a live demo at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco next week.

Comments closed
    • protege
    • 13 years ago

    Dell 30 inch 2200 CAD Dell 17 inch 299 CAD X 3 = 900 + Dual Head to go = 1200 Still cheaper then your Dell 30 inch.

    • Chaos-Storm
    • 13 years ago

    #26 Except that 3 large CRT’s will consume almost 500 W of power by themselves, making them not as attractive or economical as you might think.

    • nonegatives
    • 13 years ago

    Now we need game benchmarks run at 3840×1024 to see how bad they will run. Although a 7800 GTX could probably hit 30FPS. Definately would be nice accessory for an SLI rig.

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 13 years ago

    Will you just look at that Guild Wars goodness!!!!

    • boing
    • 13 years ago

    Is it possible to buy two, and connect one each to the outputs of a gfx-card (usually you have either two dvi or one vga and one dvi) to get a six-screen setup? 🙂

      • SonicSilicon
      • 13 years ago

      It should work as they (DoubleHead2Go and TripleHead2Go) emulate monitors. The hitch is that one card will have to handle all of the pixels. That may not be an issue at the lower resolutions or for 2D at the highest, but may not work too well at the highest resolution with 3D.

      I wish I could find that article (I think Damage wrote) on using a behemoth, super high resolution CRT. Video bandwidth became an issue trying to drive the CRT at its highest resolution. Also, some drivers were known to secretly tone down or turn off options above certain resolutions.

    • Forge
    • 13 years ago

    Cyril – Brief blurb goes on the front page, make a link to click to get the rest.

    Just an idea.

      • sativa
      • 13 years ago

      actually i prefer the way he did it.

    • wierdo
    • 13 years ago

    Matrox sometimes makes good products, but their drivers are often a nightmare to work with when something has a glitch or goes wrong.

    • Anonymous Hamster
    • 13 years ago

    Since most desktop graphics cards support dual outputs, why couldn’t you have a 6-monitor setup using 2 of these gadgets? Or a 12-monitor setup with your SLI-capable motherboard?

    Imagine using video projectors and covering your walls with high-resolution PC output. Instead of the aquarium screen saver, you’re now in the middle of a tropical reef!

    • Stranger
    • 13 years ago

    it would be a great product if it was DVI and cost 99-69 dollars

    • SNM
    • 13 years ago

    Bet it gives you a good edge in UT2k4 with some SLI/Crossfire setups.

    Otherwise I see no use in the consumer market.

    • leor
    • 13 years ago

    well can 2 pci-e cards display a full screen game over 3 screens? if not then this product has no competition.

      • Corrado
      • 13 years ago

      Nope… not that I’m aware of.

        • Bensam123
        • 13 years ago

        Can’t even do it with two. I still remember when matrox first came out with the perhelia to compete with GF4s (or was it 3s). Surround gaming was sweet then it never happened ever again.

        They’re too busy on making stuff on your screen look crappy when it’s farther then 10 feet away then making it look better. It’s all about the frames -_-

    • Freon
    • 13 years ago

    Sounds like an interesting product for professionals if they found out they need more screens as an afterthought. Still, I’d think anyone with the forethought would build the system correctly to begin. If nothing else, you’re not stuck using the “unified display” method of multi-monitoring allowing more flexibility and better compatability. I don’t think anyone spending the bucks would flinch at buying one extra video card after the three LCDs and first dualhead card. $299 is a pretty good allowance, and I think overall performance tradeoff would be moot even with a PCI card. Maybe you couldn’t put your 3D pre-render screen on the right most display.

    Obviously for a laptop, assuming the onboard card can do such a high res (can they?), this is doing something largely impossible otherwise.

    I’m trying to think of a reason you need three monitors on a laptop, though… Salespeople, traveling engineer? If you have three LCDs waiting for you at your destination, at that point it almost seems like you could have a whole computer waiting for you. What salesperson is going to expect clients to have three monitors? They’re going to use a single projector, not even two displays.

    Can’t see a gamer or enthusiast being that interested at all. I predict high frustration levels getting your new game to work properly, or finding out one of your favorite games is just outright incompatible.

    Novel idea at least.

    • flybywire
    • 13 years ago

    I wonder how Civ IV would look on 3 monitors? Hmmm..

      • highlandr
      • 13 years ago

      Just a guess, but a lot like a slideshow?

    • willyolio
    • 13 years ago

    while this is a cool product and all, i would like to make a statement about all this xxxxxtreeeeme marketing crap. why the x’s? calling it a GEM instead of GXM would make it sound pronounceable, shiny, good looking, and precious.

    • mongoosesRawesome
    • 13 years ago

    looks like guild wars in the screen shot – pre searing

      • Shinare
      • 13 years ago

      The name on that jpeg make more sence now, heh.

    • Stripe7
    • 13 years ago

    Price of that unit and 3 LCD monitors is less than say a 30″ Dell monitor. Of course that is what I am using as I type this. 🙂

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 13 years ago

    where is my *free* gfx card for that price ???

      • SGWB
      • 13 years ago

      This line says it all: “the unit is designed to enhance mechanical CAD, visualization, digital content creation, and animation tasks.”

      300 bucks is a pretty reasonable price over buying a 2nd Wildcat graphics card. If you need more screen real estate but don’t need the additional power from a second GPU, then this is a bargan.

        • Tuanies
        • 13 years ago

        Its not really that good of a deal considering it doesn’t do anything to enhance wireframe/modeling performance like say a Quadro can and you have to have an existing video card already.

        For $300 you can get a second PCI Express card if your mobo has two slots for 1/3 the price and it’d work just as well.

          • continuum
          • 13 years ago

          True, but for those who can’t expand their video outputs or who already have hardware in place that is worth far more than $299… it looks useful. Some of our departments here would be very interested in such a product…

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    t3h sexy if you have the $$$$ and desktop space to handle 3 LCD mointors.

      • GodsMadClown
      • 13 years ago

      With them only being VGA, you don’t need to spend on LCD monitors. CRT should do ya. Ordering 3 CRTs at a time should ease shipping cost somewhat too.

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