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Matrox TripleHead Triples Your Viewing Pleasure 215

mikemuch writes "Matrox brings one of the coolest features of its Parhelia graphics card--the ability to drive three monitors--to any setup through a little VGA box. ExtremeTech has a review of the Matrox TripleHead2Go up. The review is pretty positive, the immersion in games and extra productivity area are a definite boon, but there are drawbacks: First of all, three hi-res monitors will set you back some serious dough, also there are some compatibility issues with ATI GPUs, and you may get a little vertigo while surrounded by your WoW world."
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Matrox TripleHead Triples Your Viewing Pleasure

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  • Perfect for (Score:4, Funny)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:27PM (#15144472) Homepage Journal
    Flight simulators. Mmm. Surround vision.

    • Space flight simulators. []

      Especially when they're free. ;)

  • by IflyRC ( 956454 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:30PM (#15144482)
    and you may get a little vertigo while surrounded by your WoW world.

    WoW is addictive enough, something like this will send people over the deep end.
  • cool but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mytrip ( 940886 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:31PM (#15144487) Homepage Journal
    I'd really like to see more games support multiple monitors. I have a bunch that dont and only support up to 1280x1024.
    • I'd really like to see more games support multiple monitors. I have a bunch that dont and only support up to 1280x1024.

      That's because resolution isn't important; only FPS and polygon counts are. That's why you should always run your games in 640x480, so you can get the most frames-per-second.
  • Whoa.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:32PM (#15144495)
    Slow down there Matrox..... I'd be happy to just get some SingleHead
    • Re:Whoa.... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Think single head is rare, try getting married head ...
  • by Z0mb1eman ( 629653 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:33PM (#15144504) Homepage

    Resolutions supported are limited to triple 640x480 (1920x480), triple 800x600(2400x600), triple 1024x768(3072x768), and triple 1280x1024(3840x1024).

    If you have the room for three 19" CRTs, they're dirt cheap nowadays. Even LCDs have come down in price a lot - 17" and 19" LCDs are generally 1280x1024, and you can easily find cheap 19" LCDs for under CAD$300 (and decent ones around $350). Not all three monitors need to be identical... I'd suggest a quality monitor in the middle (since it'll be used the most), and cheaper ones on the sides.
    • I am thinking of the guy with a dual-head video card installing two of these...does that mean that using a dual-head monitor and two of these triple-head adapters, you can run six screens together? That would have to be one heck of a desk to have it all, but I could see the need for this. Better yet, if you hooked this thing up to a Quattro that supports four monitors, do you get 12 monitors for a resolution of 7680x2048? Or would you get 15360x1024?
      • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:25PM (#15144808)
        You'll be reducing individual screen resolutions, color depth, or both to account for the memory shortfall on the video card. Just because you can connect a big screen to the card doesn't necessarily mean the card has enough memory to feed it all in 24-bit color.
        • My iBook only has 32 MB of VRAM, but I have no problem spanning dual-screen with 1024x768 on the built-in screen and 1280x960 on an external CRT. That works out to about 2 MP. 7680x2048 would be about 15 MP. Shouldn't a card with 256 MB of VRAM be able to handle that? 17.67 bytes per pixel.
          • It is not just a factor of available memory. You also have to have enough bandwidth to get all that video information to the monitors in a timely fashion. So if your card does not have a fat/fast enough pipe to the monitors it either won't work or will work very poorly.

    • by setirw ( 854029 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:56PM (#15144643) Homepage
      For me, at least, the monitors have to be identical, as subtle color shifts between different monitors become especially evident when using a multimon setup. It's annoying when one monitor's 9300K differs from another's. It's also nice to have identical bezel widths, so that windows transition properly from one monitor to another.
      • If I had mod points I'd give them to you. And since models change so quickly, good luck finding an identical version of something you bought last year. I'm stuck even with the same monitor on a dual ATI card - I think because one is analog, one is digital (going through digital to analog adapter), that that's what's screwing me up.

        It really fubarred me doing a web page, and the colors on one screen were just different... anyone know of a decent calibration utility?
      • by LibertineR ( 591918 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @06:19PM (#15145116)
        The way to insure that is to stick with Viewsonic. I run 3 VP201b monitors at 1600x1200 resolution and the color temps are identical across them all. You can select 9300, 6500, 5400, 5000, RGB and user adjusted from the front panel. The bezel is .5 inches and Viewsonic sells a stand that will let you mount 3 monitors on a single center leg. This only works with an Nvidia SLI setup, I use dual 7800GTX cards. WHen I am not gaming, I can run Visual studio on one monitor, Watch a DVD or a TiVo feed from WinDVR/S-video on another, and Excel, Word and Outlook on the third. I could never go back to working on one monitor.
      • For me, at least, the monitors have to be identical, as subtle color shifts between different monitors become especially evident when using a multimon setup. It's annoying when one monitor's 9300K differs from another I run a triple head now, and I have that problem. Even with a near perfectly matched pair of Iiyama monitors with very close to consecutive serial numbers its no guarantee they will be an exact color match. Mine isn't, and my third display is a used Compaq 7550 - which is substantially brighte
        • I ask that, because I went to my current setup, (see above reply) from a Parhelia, because PowerDesk made me crazy. It would not keep settings after a reboot, and I was limited to 1280X1024 across 3 screens. Since I have 3 Viewsonics capable of 1600x1200, the nView solution has worked great for me. I still have trouble sometimes saving configurations through a reboot, but only with the TV out switching from Component-out to Composite-out. My 4th screen is an HDTV. When PowerDesk would lock up, nothing could
    • How many videocards will be able to run 3840x1024 on a frequency of 85 Hz? Because that is what you would need if you used triple 19" CRT monitors. With TFT's you can get away with 60, 70 or 72 Hz without degrading picture quality. CRT's also produce a lot of heat and use a lot of energy. Besides that, who would still want his desk to be occupied with 3 CRT's while you can get decent 1280x1024 17" TFT's at decent prices?
      • People like me who feel constrained by 1280x1024. I've been using 1600x1200 for years, and it can be distracting for me to use lower resolutions. I'd really like to have a nice LCD capable of 1600x1200 (or better) resolution on my desk, but they're still too expensive for me to be able to just drop coin. I have a secondary screen that is nearly dead, and is only good for 800x600 anyway (and ten years of service is a good run), so I may replace that soon with something of a relatively low resolution, but
        • Uh, I just bought a 600 euro screen from Dell that does 1680x1050. I prefer it over the two 17" screens at work because of video and games - also my development environment still works better on just one screen instead of two (even though it IS optimized for two screens). You cannot split lines of text over two screens, it's that simple. All this said, I really don't see this having to much to do on this topic, so we'll probably be modded down :)
        • I've thought about the best way to get three heads at lower cost. What if you used displays XGAs for the outer displays and What if you used a WSXGA (1600x1024) for the center and two XGAs rotated 90 degrees (768x1024) for the wings, for 3136x1024. That would let you retain your older investment or get by with cheaper displays, though matching the DPI between them may be harder. The portrait orientation of the wings lends itself to document presentation better.

          Unfortunately so far only vertical resolutio
          • That's an interesting idea, and perhaps not too expensive. It may also lend an interesting look to the desktop layout. In addition, having reference documents open in the wings would be easy to do, with primary work in the center.

            I shall look into this. Thank you for the suggestion.
            • Not the best solution, but for my dev machine at work, I don't need 3d accel, so I just stuck in three low end graphics card's, one monitor each. That way, I can run them all at any resolutions, so I can have 1024x768 to test things at what the user would experience, 2048x1536 for coding, and 1600x1200 for other tasks. Just using three cards can be a relatively inexpensive solution.
    • My work setup is dual 1280x1024 monitors and it rocks.

      I can open open up the eclipse workspace and then adjust it so source and variables are on the right, tasks and console are on the left, etc.

      The monitors are at slightly different heights and have different bezel colors but after about 2 days, I don't even notice it any more. My brain just remapped it into one big monitor.
      • That would kill me... when they finally upgraded me to dual displays, I asked for even two cheaper monitors (and give the good older one to someone else), and they said "yes" so I lucked out.

        Still, now that I've got two, I think three would be ideal ergonomically, since you'd concentrate on the center one so much and turn your head only for the less used programs. I know it sounds like "oh, boo hoo, you have to turn your head", but I sit at a computer long enough to know that good ergonomics are important
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @07:35PM (#15145627) Homepage
      I just bought 3 AOC 19" lcd's from newegg for $200.00US each. they look as good as my expensive Viewsonics and have a better warranty. Couple that with a dirt cheap Nvidia 6600AGP and a 6600PCI and I have 4 head capability with greater resolution capabilities for much much less while able to play any game at full res. (Yes even doom3/quake4 is smooth at full res) Matrox should give up and stay in the industrial 4-12 head video cards and not try to touch the home or media markets.. they simply can not compete.

      Problem is that no ID games have been able to do multi-head cince Quake III had a hack to support it.

      And flight sim's have sucked for decades because support for multiple PC's in MS flight sim has been missing for a really long time. (I had 4 monitors + 1 for instruments in MS flight sim 4.0 back in college... it was fun abusing the Computer lab!)

      I would love to see games or mods use just a second monitor for stats, top down map, etc... but nobody is doing it as less than 10% have more than 1 monitor on their computer... Some games (C&C generals) have major control probmens with multiple monitors because the mouse does not stop at the border and they are using a 1 pixel wide b order for scrolling.

      • I'll 2nd the comment about Matrox sticking to industrial cards. I made one of the early purchases of the AGP Parhelia card when they made all these great claims about how they were going to take over the world with "surround gaming". Fast forward one year and the user base was having to make their own mods to the software just to get the latest games to run. Matrox completely dropped any gaming support (and fired most of the staff responsible for it) for the card - pretty sad when it wouldn't even run Wo
      • Yeah I totally agree there really isn't much of a market for this product other than the stock traders that want to hook up their laptop to there monitors, but why not just get a desktop to do this?

        My home system is kind of a weird combination of monitors/LCD's so this box definately wouldn't work:
        Radeon 7500 PCI
        analog, Viewsonic 19" CRT 1280x960@85Hz

        Radeon X800 AGP
        DVI, 24" Dell LCD 1920x1200@60Hz,12ms
        analog, 19" Viewsonic 19" LCD 1280x1024@60Hz,2ms

        So I've had the freedom to upgrade one monitor at a time, I
  • re: perfect for (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jdbear ( 607709 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:39PM (#15144535)
    Once you've flown just about any Flight Sim on multiple monitors, it's hard to go back to just one. Two is good, but there is the problem of having to deal with the divider in the screen, or living with your view being offset from center. I usually opt to fly with one monitor just offset from the center, and the other looking out one window. Three is much better, because you can center the main monitor and use the two on the sides for side window views. I've used multiple video cards and a product called WidevieW to achieve this. WidevieW allows Microsoft Flight Sim to run on multiple machines in Slave mode so that one machine controls the plane and the others just handle the view.

        The difference it makes in flying sims is too big to describe. I know guys who have opted for many more monitors (13 or 19 even) to get a full surround view. I think that 3 or 5 would be gracious plenty.

    The cost is not that big a deal, either. Fifteen or seventeen inch flat panel monitors are available for less than $250 each, and can be used on other systems if the multi-monitor setup is not needed all the time.

    • Re: perfect for (Score:4, Informative)

      by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:35PM (#15144858)
      Of course, these things are NOT seen as three different monitors. This means that you have to have support from the game to put the side views on the single monitor. I doubt many flight sims are capable of that, although there are so many add-ins for MS flight sim that this may just be that one exception.
      • Some old Mac flight sims supported this. I believe FA-18 Hornet was one - we used to play it on a Mac IIci with 3 13" monitors and two extra NuBus video cards. It was only 256 color on each display, but the effect was quite good.

        But this was 1993 or so so I'll stop raining on the "cool new technology parade".
    • Two is good, but there is the problem of having to deal with the divider in the screen,

      funny, pilots have dealt with the support seam down the middle of the windscreen on Piper and other aircraft for tens of years without a problem.

      I would call the seam a "realistic feature" :-) add a plastic cover with scratches and yellowing to further simulate a nice 1978 comanche windscreen.
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:39PM (#15144537) Journal
    Change screen setting to letterbox.
    Sit Really Close.
  • by Jarnis ( 266190 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:41PM (#15144549)
    In the days of DVI connectors, this product is DOA. It uses VGA connectors only. 3840x1024 outta analog VGA is going to look .. umm.. less than perfect.

    Besides, with sli/crossfire board setups you can already get three screens with DVI - even with 1600x1200 displays, and couple of dual DVI 6600s are not that much more expensive than this thingy. The only thing this has going for is that it's external, so it works for laptops.

    This is Matrox once again playing the 'stuff for 3-screen stock market gamblers'-market. Same as with parhelia - most common use for Parhelia in the real world was by stock traders who wanted their three screens full of graphs and stuff. They can't get Parhelia sold to laptops (Which are the New Toy of the stock gamblers), so they made an external triple head thingy, so you can bring your laptop to your desk, stick in this and turn on your three screens of crappy fuzzy picture and look like a l33t stock market specialist.

    • by necro81 ( 917438 )
      I agree that not providing DVI support will certainly dampen this product's future.

      However, I have a practical question: is there enough room on the back of a standard PCI card for three DVI ports side-by-side? My workstation graphics card has dual DVI outputs, plus an S-Video port. Even if you took the S-Video port off, there doesn't appear to be enough room for a third DVI connector. I suppose you could do it with mini-DVI ports, such as they have on some laptops (e.g., iBooks) but then you'd need
      • is there enough room on the back of a standard PCI card for three DVI ports side-by-side? My workstation graphics card has dual DVI outputs, plus an S-Video port. Even if you took the S-Video port off, there doesn't appear to be enough room for a third DVI connector.

        Another replier pointed out [] that his/her video card can support two displays from one output using a dongle. Matrox, which has found a niche serving the multi-display market, has illustrations of this on their product info pages.

        Matrox's Q []

    • I didn't notice at first that this was an external dongle for existing graphics cards. Nevermind.
    • by m50d ( 797211 )
      In the days of DVI connectors, this product is DOA. It uses VGA connectors only. 3840x1024 outta analog VGA is going to look .. umm.. less than perfect.

      I've used VGA at 2500-ish and it looks beautiful. I don't want, need or care about DVI - only DVI output I have goes straight into a converter back to VGA. DVI is a solution in search of a problem.

      • Well, maybe then dvi should take a look at your eyes.
        If it looks "fine" to you that just means your vision is crap.
        (You cant argue the signal properties of those cables, so please dont even try)
        • My eyes are fine. I can see the the compression artifacts when I'm playing an (unscaled) video at that res. I routinely use 8x6 console fonts. I don't know anything about the tech, but I can see it's unnecessary.
      • by pla ( 258480 )
        DVI is a solution in search of a problem.

        Then, no offense, but you either use so much higher quality displays than the rest of us that you can't fairly compare the two, or you've never used an LCD display.

        Not a solution in search of a problem, DVI removes exactly such a beast - Namely, removing an D2A2D path that compensates for a digital device trying to maintain backward compatibility with old analogue (CRT) displays. Yes, newer flat panels do a pretty good job of autosyncing - But particularly if y
      • Get a flat panel monitor with a VGA and a DVI input. Then hook both the inputs into a dual head video card. Then mirror the outputs so they are the same. Then switch between the inputs on the monitor - the difference is very obvious, no matter how good the monitor and the video card are - you'll be able to tell the difference between the DVI and VGA inputs at a glance.

        Of course, if all you use are CRTs, then the VGA output is just fine, as CRTs are analog devices (though I do have a 21" IBM monster that
    • Right this moment I can go to my local tip and pick up 3 fairly good quality 17 inch CRT monitors for free. All the local businesses have upgraded to LCD's so CRTs are easy to find. Now with a VGA connector I can connect up these free monitors, otherwise I'd have to spend money on LCD's which I simply can't afford.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:42PM (#15144553)
    Many of you might not know it, but Matrox has become hard to deal with when it comes to open source OS support.

    Matrox Parhelia open source drivers are badly needed! Since Parhelia was introduced something happened at Matrox and now they are not willing to do co-operation with open source people. Open source world has needed bug free, up to date Parhelia drivers for years, but without success.

    I'm writing this right now on a FreeBSD box that uses VESA driver to display X graphics. Would be damn nice to finally be able to use my video card properly. I own Matrox Millenium P650 AGP.

    There's one guy who provides up to date drivers to Linux community. You can find his unofficial Parhelia drivers here. [] He's a regular contributor at Matrox Technical Support Forums, but does not belong to Matrox staff.
    • It is common knowlegde that there are open drivers for Matrox cards, but the common knowledge is wrong, unless you limit yourself to basic functionality. Check out the Matrox support forums. You need their closed driver for using DVI on the G450/G550 cards.
      • Actually, there are no open drivers at all for the Parhelia or the P-series, even though Matrox promised it when the Parhelia was released several years ago.
  • by VorpalRodent ( 964940 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:45PM (#15144576)
    Working as a software engineer, I enjoy using multiple monitors for efficient multi-tasking (ie - I do not have to mess around with sizing different windows, I just throw them onto the other monitor).

    However, I wonder at what point this becomes no more beneficial. I could foresee finding uses for three monitors in a work environment (although less frequently than I utilize two monitors). But four monitors? Five?

    At some point, its got to become more difficult to keep track of where you've put everything than the efficiency of having everything available warrants.

    I can understand the benefit in games with immersive environments. I've played many a game where I would have enjoyed having three or more monitors in front of me, all useful to the game itself, but as far as productivity applications go, there's got to be a limit. More can't always be better.

    And then there's the...other...application. Will Slashdotters soon find themselves utilizing three whole monitors of porn? I know I like to keep my monitors having screenfulls of fluffy bunnies and puppies.

    • A few years ago I had three CRT monitors going, 17" in the middle, two 15" on either side. They were replaced with two 19" LCDs, and while the bigger screens were nice, I found not having that third screen to be annoying. I recently got a third 19" LCD and things are much nicer. I have queries running in oracle on one screen and development tools on the other two.

      I don't think four screens would be helpful, and think it might even be counter productive by having the information too spread out.
    • You must not use virtual desktops much. I easily run six virtual desktops without losing windows, and I'm sure plenty of people run a whole lot more than that. I generally have one devoted to Firefox windows, one devoted to mail/mud terminals, and the rest devoted to management/programming terminals.
    • I could foresee finding uses for three monitors in a work environment (although less frequently than I utilize two monitors). But four monitors? Five?

      I use three monitors at work, and it's great. I treat them like the big display in Minority Report - whatever needs the most attention goes in the middle, and things I want to keep handy but are less important go to the side. One really big high-res monitor would work just as well, but no one will buy one of those for me.

      For me personally, I could probably fin
    • I guess it depends on the application. 90% of the computer users Out There aren't going to need more than one monitor at a time. Your office workers, for example, typically don't multitask between programs. Home users browse the web and read email, but usually not at the same time. Gamers might see some advantages depending on the game that they're playing.

      However, as an IT guy by day and a wannabe programmer by night, I find that my productivity is vastly improved by dual-head monitors. The primary reason:
  • by $1uck ( 710826 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:52PM (#15144627)
    I've got two monitor system at home and 3 pc's hooked up into a KVM switch. Only one machine gets to use the second monitor in the current setup. Even if my other machines had the video output for multiple monitors I wouldn't be able to pipe them all through the kvm switch. Can this device sit outside the kvm switch and allow all three pc's access to both (or even all three if I bought another monitor)? If so this would definitely beat buying video cards that allow 3 monitors (or 2 monitors) for all three pcs. I guess I should RTFA and find out.
  • by bugnuts ( 94678 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:04PM (#15144689) Journal
    Get yourself 3 projectors and a huge wrap-around screen (hell, white cardboard). VGA is fine on projectors, and you can blend the edges.

    Talk about immersive... imagine a driving game on that.
  • on a related note (Score:3, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:07PM (#15144714) Homepage Journal
    i used to have real estate envy, and car envy

    now i suffer from multiple monitor envy []

    scroll down to the 8 screen, zenview and arena displays, and let your mouth hang open, watering

    hmmm, maybe i should rob a bank...

  • by VorpalRodent ( 964940 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:11PM (#15144734)
    I was looking at the website, and it clearly depicts how Windows handles this. Windows believes that you have a single monitor that is three times as wide. The problem with this is that if I maximize a windowed application, it spans three monitors. It even shows a picture of this happening in their little demo advertisement.

    This totally defeats the purpose for productivity type things. I want to be able to maximize things onto a single monitor. I don't want to take the extra step of properly sizing something to fill a third of my "monitor".

    Do they provide a means to trick Windows into artificially separating the monitor? Perhaps they could team up with Sony and provide a rootkit that does it for me that I can never remove, so that when I get rid of this, I only ever maximize things to one-third of my screen. That would be a hoot.

  • by Otto ( 17870 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:14PM (#15144745) Homepage Journal
    "Increase my killing power, eh?"

  • This means that the thing is useless to me. I do not look at my two screens at work as one single screen. I see them as two seperate screens. If I put an application on one screen, I expect it to open on that screen. If I maximize a window, I expect it to maximize on one monitor, not over two monitors. I don't want to see the task bar stretched over the whole two screens (ok, with KDE/Gnome this is no problem). I don't want new applications to be centered on the screen. Well, you catch my drift by now. Mayb
  • When XFree86 4 came out supporting Xinerama the first thing that I did was to set up a box with three beat up CRT monitors and install "The Matrix" screensaver... It was so pimp...
  • "Matrox TripleHead Triples Your Viewing Pleasure"

    I'm sorry but the headline reads like a condom advertisement. Mind you, I do have the tiny puerile mind of an adolescent.
  • by RembrandtX ( 240864 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:37PM (#15144866) Homepage Journal
    I was an early adopeter of the Parhelia card, [with 3 19 inch CRTS none the less] and sent it back in under a week.

    This box, 4 or 5 years later, is exactly the same thing, low resolution, flickery displays .. at least its a lot cheaper. still, for $50 you can buy an extra video card.. sure you can't have 180 degree WOW .. but have you ever tried to play WOW across even 2 monitors ?
    • The only problem with second video cards in Windows is that you only get acceleration on your primary screen. Which sucks for games that want to do anything fancy on the second screen, and also means you can't run your Winamp visualizations on that second monitor. I haven't really found a good solution to this yet - you can make the side monitor your "primary" and drag all your icons and stuff over to the front monitor. However, this just creates a new set of problems.
  • Don't forget about the electricity to run a 3-headed rig. These days it costs far more to run it for ~3 years then to buy it.

  • I've been using the dualhead2go for about 4 months now. I hang it off my lappy and run trip heads and frankly, I can't live without it. Takes a little mucking to get it working right with Linux but it's well worth it. One note, I've attempted to get this working under FC5 with Xorg.7.0 and no luck. The accelerated ATI drivers aren't working well with it either, but the radeon drivers with Xorg.6.8 work great. To anyone with spare monitors, I highly recommend it.
  • This is for games. I can see some usage and it had me interested at first. But, after reading about it, you need some serious muscle to drive the video in your games. As in, a COUPLE of high-end video cards (~$500/ea, maybe the $300 model would give you enough).

    At that high of resolution (3840 x 1024), many many games look pretty solid. So you are looking at (3) x $250 for monitors, plus another $600-$1000 in video cards (SLI required). Sweet, but ouch.
  • by stinerman ( 812158 ) <> on Monday April 17, 2006 @05:50PM (#15144931) Homepage
    Finally I can build the computer system from Swordfish!
  • In this article is a pic of Bill Gates desk with 3 monitors - anyone know what hardare he's running to do this? tes_howiwork_fortune/ []
    • Can't tell from the pic, Could be a three headed card, two headed card and a single head card, three single head cards, etc etc etc. With win XP it's very easy to set up multiple monitors.

    • > In this article is a pic of Bill Gates desk
      > with 3 monitors - anyone know what hardare
      > he's running to do this?

      Come on, your name is McGuyver, you tell us how he's doin it..

      is it paper towel tubes doing cross monitor electron channeling?

      is it a distribution panel built from paper clips and foil?

      Seriously though... Windows has all that built in. Just plug in more video cards, or multi-head cards.
      • >Seriously though... Windows has all that built in. Just plug in more video cards, or multi-head cards.

        Middle management has reduced me to asking simple questions on /.! Thanks for the help though, I appreciate it.
  • The Matrox QID Pro graphics card [] supports up to 4 digital or analog monitors at a time and provides 2D/3D acceleration across all displays.

    The big drawback is no Linux drivers (that I know of)
  • >Matrox TripleHead Triples Your Viewing Pleasure
    Awesome, but... when did Matrox expand into the prostitution business?
  • I looked at the DualHead2Go product a while ago, and it's a nifty trick. It takes one really wide VGA signal (say, 2048x768) and splits it into two 1024x768 signals. This one splits it three ways. Windows thinks you still have the one monitor. This is not an ideal multi-monitor setup, as your poor video card still has to drive this insane resolution.

    Running three monitors these days is not hard with desktop machines, you can easily run your primary display off your AGP card and get a cheapo PCI dualhead
  • by plasticpixel ( 323537 ) <mark.maehem@com> on Monday April 17, 2006 @08:25PM (#15145900) Homepage
    and you may get a little vertigo while surrounded by your WoW world.

    You get used to it. I set up a Sharp Aquos 45" as my desktop
    monitor. Sitting 3ft away from it gives a pretty immersive
    view of games running at 1920x1080i. I was a little sick to
    the stomach at first, but it soon passed. Now playing World
    of Warcraft on anything else feels like peering into another world through
    a keyhole.

    I also find that with a big monitor, I don't hunch over the desk anymore
    to make out the letters. My neck and back problems have dissapeared.

    Bigger is better.

    To be truely immersive with three monitors, they should probably be
    in the 24" wide size. Three tiny little 17" or 19" monitors won't
    cut it. Or better yet, mount three projectors to a rail, line up
    the edges where the picture meets, and you have a really cool wrap-around

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...