Matrox TripleHead2Go Page 13

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Conclusion

The TripleHead2Go is a fantastic piece of hardware when used in 3D mode. It provides excellent immersion in flight sims, driving sims, and shooters that support triplehead resolutions. In addition, since the TripleHead2Go is independent of your graphics card, it can stick around through multiple upgrade cycles. For graphically intensive titles, a powerful GPU (an SLI setup is definitely not out of the question) is a must of you want to use the higher triple head resolutions.

In 2D mode the TripleHead2Go is considerably less exciting. It works, but using it is frustrating and underwhelming. After using the TripleHead 2Go for two weeks, I am strongly considering using it in single-screen mode on the Windows desktop in order to regain the features of UltraMon, to restore normal video playback, and so that I can run both of my dual monitors at 1280×960 (1024×768 is really a waste of space for a 21″ inch monitor in a 2D environment).

If Matrox can develop some respectable desktop management software that emulates a non-spanned desktop, the TripleHead2Go will be an excellent product for NVIDIA users. If Matrox allows end users to modify the EDID data to create their own triplehead resolutions and refresh rates to better specifically accommodate CRT users (i.e. 1920×480 @ 85 Hz, 2400×800 @ 85 Hz, 3072×768 @ 85 Hz, 3840×960 @ >60 Hz, etc.) and LCD users (lower 5:4 triplehead resolutions), the TripleHead2Go will be a must-have product.

Triplehead gaming is absolutely amazing. Consider the cost of three 17″ monitors plus the TripleHead2Go, and compare it to the price of a single high-resolution monitor.

For example:

3 – 17″ LCD monitors, 1280×1024 native resolution
$675
– vs –
1 – 24″ widescreen
LCD monitor, 1920×1200
native resolution
$1000
TripleHead2Go
$300
TOTAL (3840×1024)
$975
TOTAL (1920×1200)
$1000

You can get lots more resolution and a much more immersive gaming experience with three smaller monitors and a TripleHead2Go. The drawbacks are that monitor frames interrupt the image and that you need the hardware to push acceptable framerates. Although the framerate impact of triplehead resolutions was not nearly as great as I thought it would be, there are clearly some situations where it has a major effect. For graphically intensive applications, the TripleHead2Go is a legitimate use for SLI.

If you have ATI hardware, TripleHead2Go is not a total flop, but it’s close. Grab an NVIDIA card or start yelling at ATI to get their compatibility act together.

System Specs

  • AMD Opteron 148 overclocked to 2.85 GHz
  • 1024MB of PC3200 DDR RAM
  • 256MB 6800GT using NVIDIA 81.95 Forceware
  • Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard
  • 52x/24x/52x CD-RW drive
  • 2 x 36GB WD Raptor RAID 0 array
  • Audigy2 ZS sound card
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • Windows XP Home with SP2
  • TrackIR2

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