Matrox boxes make Macs work with two, three displays

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Matrox on Wednesday announced that its DualHead2Go and TripleHead2Go peripherals now support the Macintosh. The devices are small external boxes that connect to the Mac’s display output, and enable it to work with either two or three displays simultaneously. The DualHead2Go and TripleHead2Go cost $169 and $299 respectively, and are available now.

Both devices are parts of Matrox’s Graphics Expansion Module (GXM) product line. They’re palm-sized boxes that feature one VGA input port and either two or three VGA output ports. The devices are recognized by the Macintosh independently of whatever displays they’re connected to — the Mac simply thinks of the box as a single ultra-widescreen monitor that supports resolutions of up to 2560 x 1024 pixels or 3840 x 1024 pixels, respectively. The box then splits that signal between the two or three displays it is connected to.

Support is specifically limited to a list of compatible Macs — all systems listed on Matrox’s Web site at present are Intel-based models. Support for the boxes depends partly on the Mac’s maximum resolution support, so the TripleHead2Go system only works with certain configurations. An Apple mini-DVI to VGA adapter is necessary, as well.

The Mac Pro already supports more than one display thanks to its use of graphics cards that feature two Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connectors, and it’s possible to support even more displays by installing multiple graphics cards together using the Mac Pro’s PCI Express expansion interface — so the appeal of the Matrox boxes is probably limited for Mac Pro users.

But MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and iMac users all are limited to one external display only, so the boxes provide those users with additional functionality they couldn’t achieve on their own.

This story, "Matrox boxes make Macs work with two, three displays" was originally published by PCWorld.

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