by Joe Keefe
On June 23rd, Matrox announced the TripleHead2Go DP Edition. “DP” stands for DisplayPort, the latest graphics connectivity technology. DisplayPort provides a small interface cable connection and supports up to 8.64 Gb/s data transfer rate, higher than the 7.92 Gb/s of dual-link DVI. This means that higher resolutions, or the same resolution at a higher refresh rate, can be used.
The TripleHead2Go Digital Edition, which uses DVI-I connections, already supports a large selection of resolutions and refresh rates; they can be seen here. The full list of supported resolutions and refresh rates for the TripleHead2Go DP Edition can be seen here.
The notable differences are as follows:
- 2560 x 1024 (2 x 1280 x 1024) is now supported at 85 Hz as well as 60 Hz and 75 Hz. There’s not much benefit to simmers there.
- 1920 x 480 (3 x 640 x 480) is now supported at 85 Hz and 75 Hz as well as 60 Hz. This can be a big benefit to users of older DirectX7-based flight sims such as Jane’s F-18 and Falcon 4.
- 5040 x 1050 (3 x 1680 x 1050) is now supported at 60 Hz instead of 57 Hz. This is the big news, as 5040 x 1050 is the flagship resolution of the TripleHead2Go. 5040×1050 is used for three widescreen monitors, and before the TripleHead2Go DP Edition existed this resolution had to be used at 57 Hz due to limited bandwidth on a dual-link DVI connection. The 57 Hz requirement ruled out the use of a number of monitors that didn’t operate properly (or at all) at this strange refresh rate. With the support of 5040 x 1050 at 60 Hz, obtaining triplehead widescreen at the largest supported resolution should now be no more complicated than any other TripleHead2Go mode.
However, Matrox has informed me that the TripleHead2Go DP Edition will only accept true DisplayPort input, not any input that comes via an adapter to DisplayPort. (The only adapter that will work is one from a Mac mini-DP to full-size DP.) The TripleHead2Go DP Edition output will be capable of adapting to DVI and VGA connections. If one wishes to connect to HDMI monitors, the necessary adapter route would be DP-to-DVI, then DVI-to-HDMI.
So, the TripleHead2Go DP Edition is a product that is ahead of its time, since even the fastest desktop GPUs available today do not come with DP connections. There are products with integrated DP, however, such as Alienware’s new M17x gaming laptop and many Mac products. Hopefully desktop GPUs with DisplayPort outputs will start appearing soon.
The TripleHead2Go DP Edition is considerably smaller than the TripleHead2Go Digital Edition, with dimensions of 3.5″ x 3.8″ x 1.1″. The device is powered via the USB and DisplayPort connections. Matrox states that it will be available in Q3 2009 for an MSRP of $329.
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