Introduction

A while back we got a chance to look at a little box from Matrox called the DualHead2Go. This was basically a little black box which split a single video signal so that it could be output onto two separate displays. We found it to be an interesting piece of equipment that showed potential in certain areas like gaming and office situations, but was somewhat limited in its use. We would have liked to have seen a dual-link DVI version of the DualHead2Go, and while the wide resolutions were nice, the split down the middle from the sides of the two monitors pressed together made it all but useless for most types of gaming. This is assuming you couldn't afford the awesome yet outrageously expensive dual video projector setup of course.

Recently though, Matrox has released the aptly named TripleHead2Go, which not surprisingly does just what its name suggests: adds support for a third display. Now instead of only having two monitors side by side, three can be used with your system (using this box) to create a much wider display. Like the DualHead2Go, the TripleHead2Go is a stand-alone peripheral whose only purpose is running multiple displays with a laptop or desktop. Most newer graphics cards already had the capability of doing what the DualHead2Go could do, so that particular device was mostly just practical for notebooks or older desktop systems that only have a single analog video output. The TripleHead2Go with its three display capability might prove more desirable to the contemporary PC user.


Of course there are several applications for a device like this including gaming and the additional desktop space for use in office presentations or workstations. With the Parhelia, Matrox was first to bring triple-head support to PCs a few years back, but not until now have they provided an external triple-head device with the kind of 3D gaming capabilities of the TripleHead2Go. It looks as though with the TripleHead2Go, Matrox manages to offer the kind of multi-display gaming experience that the DualHead2Go just couldn't quite provide.

We'll take a look at the TripleHead2Go in the next section, and talk about the hardware and drivers and how they differ, if at all, from the DualHead2Go. As can be expected, the TripleHead2Go has a higher price tag than the DualHead2Go, and at about $270 right now, it's not very cheap, especially considering how much more the average user might have to pay for a decent triple-display gaming setup. For those users who can afford it, however, the extra-widescreen resolutions that become available are quite impressive to behold, as the images below suggest. (Images courtesy of Matrox.)

Click to enlarge

We'll talk more about gaming performance later, but for now, let's look at the Matrox TripleHead2Go.
The TripleHead2Go
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  • blinkin2000 - Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - link

    All you need is better nvidia drivers, SLI drivers that support multiple monitors. Currently they do not. I have one 7900gtx and i can span a lot of games across my two 20" lcds @3200x1200. but if SLI supported multiple monitors i would buy a third monitor and the display would be 4800x1200. Then Quad-SLI would be something to think about.

    If nvidia would make better SLI drivers then matrox's "niche" would disappear.
    Reply
  • R3MF - Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - link

    3072x1280 on a digital pickup would rock. Reply
  • araczynski - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    nice, but until projectors come down in price and i can afford to have 3, i'll take my
    sxga projector over 3 19" monitors anyday.

    i'm using a 24"widescreen, 19" widescreen, and 18" regular monitors on my computer at work, and i must say its very nice programming on that kind of a setup, so this device has a lot of potential aside from gaming, especially since programming doesn't exactly take serious graphics power ;).
    Reply
  • Avalon - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    Interesting product. It wouldn't be that bad to feasibly set up such a system, since ideally you're going to want three 19" LCDs, which can be had for under $200 a pop. The price after adding in the TH2G will probably come in close to some who buy a 2407FPW.

    The only thing that does stink is that half inch of space between the monitors. It does sound like a tempting DIY experiment to try and remedy that gap.
    Reply
  • JNo - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    but a step in the right direction admittedly... Reply
  • Paladin165 - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    What I can't figure out is why some LCD manufacturer hasn't come out with LCD moniters that have the ability to sort of "snap" together, creating a more-or-less unified display. Do they really need the half-inch of plastic around the edges? Could this maybe be a DIY project to cut off the edges of these displays and get the viewable portions closer together? Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - link

    ive akways wondered the same thing... I remember the guy that made a grid of displays (cant remember how many, i think it was 5x5 or something) and it looked dumb with the lines inbetween each monitor Reply
  • JNo - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    1) works best with nvidia
    2) no dvi
    3) works with sli/crossfire? prob difficult to implement
    4) limited resolutions (should support X x 1200 resolutions ideally)
    5) few games supported
    6) need to be able to hack FOV in other games - could be a pain
    7) need 3 similar brand/model monitors ideally (for clean side-by-side setups)
    8) again resolution - they were talking of being able to have a widescreen monitor in the middle and 2x 4x3 monitors at the side - that would be awesome but still not implemented
    9) power - no cards/setup powerful enough to get good framerates at these huge resolutions
    10) expensive
    Reply
  • Googer - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    I am wondering what the benchmarks would be like if the Triple Head to Go was used with a x1900xt or in SLi/Crossfire Modes? Reply
  • Lonyo - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    "and while the wide resolutions were nice, the split down the middle from the sides of the two monitors pressed together made it all but useless for most types of gaming."


    With DualHead2Go, can you not hook up one graphics card output to it (and therefore 2 monitors) and then use the other output for a third monitor, creating a triple head setup using both the graphics cards outputs (one being double by the dualhead2go)?
    Reply

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